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Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

Informed enough to be misinformed

June 3, 2011

Inside sources, rumors, conjecture and even reasonable assumptions based on experience and knowledge – all lead to what can only be called educated guesses.

For years I’ve been following the speculations thrown-out by industry pundits in order to formulate my own opinion of what’s to come at Apple’s next event. This year is no different as I’m tuned in with my ear-to-the-ground and my finger-in-the-air about what is to come at WWDC. I’m really very, very excited about Monday’s event. Moreso than I’ve been for a WWDC in a few years.

But I may choose to back away a little from all of this speculation because the phrasing of various bloggers is getting a bit out of control and it ends up in me being misinformed rather than informed.

Let me explain. When someone is riffing on what Apple’s upcoming, already announced, iCloud service will be it is OK to write posts like “What I think iCloud will be?” or “Based on the current information, iCloud could very well be”. But, that isn’t what is happening. The expectation for what iCloud will be has already been molded over months-and-months of rumors that “people in the know” (that is, people that have been following the rumors for months) already have a pretty hard and fast opinion about what iCloud is.

I’m included in this group. I’ve read enough speculation about iCloud and examined enough about iCloud’s competition to have already formed my opinion of exactly what iCloud could be. On Monday I’ll either be very happy or very disappointed as whatever iCloud ends up being may not align with my idea of what iCloud should be.

Take for example AOL/TechCrunch’s MG Seigler (whom I read regularly) who recently wrote a rather gloomy post about iCloud.

“One killer feature of iTunes in iCloud was supposed to be the ability to mirror songs. That is, for iTunes to scan your hard drive, identify your music, and give you access to those same songs in iCloud without any uploading necessary.”

Emphasis mine. Notice “was supposed to be”.

Was supposed to be? How does he know what iCloud was supposed to be? No, no. What we’ve all wanted from every product from Apple, including the upcoming iCloud, was for it to ease the biggest pain points in whatever area Apple happens to be touching on with its next product. In reality what we all wanted iCloud to be was a much, much better and more consumer-friendly offering than Google’s or Amazon’s music-in-the-cloud services. One of those pain points is obviously this whole uploading your music to the cloud business. But that doesn’t mean that it will be (though I’m willing to bet it will be better in many ways). But, supposed to be? No. Only in our minds.

I realize that we’re all supposed to read these speculative blog posts with our “hypothetical glasses” on but after a while it begins to grate on me that writers (and Seigler is not alone) tend to believe there own opinions as being fact before they’ve even seen the products they are speculating about. That somehow their own ideas about what a product should be become what the product “was supposed to be” even before they see what the product actually is. And I think that leads to people like me being misinformed.

So, perhaps I’ll slowly back away from all of the speculation that happens before an event like this and try only to follow the headlines. I want to make sure that I’m informed enough to know what is going on but not informed enough to be misinformed.