The leading flank in discovering how to use technology in cool, interesting, thoughtful ways will generally always be the amateurs. […]
I have a whole theory, actually, that the world of fan fiction is the most technologically explosive thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Every single technology that has come along, fan fiction people have come along and colonized it and stress-tested it and found the most amazing things. They were the first people to realize the potential of meta-tagging and bookmarking sites. Like, here’s a link with four tags, and then you go to a fan fiction person, and they have a link, and it has 70 tags. They are pushing this to absolute limit, and they are finding these amazing ways to sort knowledge.
It’s all because they’re passionate and nobody is making any money off of it and they don’t want to make any money off of it. They get some amazing stuff done. If you’re ever wondering about a future technology, just drop what you’re doing and find out what fan fiction people are doing with it. What are fan fiction people doing right now with WhatsApp? I don’t know. But, whatever it is, it’s the future.
- SXSW Interview: Author Clive Thompson Explains FOMO, the NSA, and His Latest Book, “Smarter Than You Think” (x)