The Internet is an Echo Chamber Full of Sheep

(And I’m a wolf with a megaphone.)

This is just a short post on how people receive information. Most people just read the headlines, or if they do read more, they just retain the headlines. And while tech-savvy people like most of this blog’s readers (I suspect) might know a bit more about technical areas, they likely won’t look much deeper into areas that don’t interest them.

For example, politics interests me, but conversations with other people reveal how little many people actually think about it very hard. And most people treat technical problems (what kind of TV should I buy, what phone is best, what does that button do) with a similar lack of information. It’s completely understandable: why should a random person know, for example, what Bluetooth does? Maybe they saw a logo on their new stereo and got curious. (Unlikely, there are many logos there.) More likely, a tech-savvy person told them: a relative or a salesperson recommending a solution.

So, it’s sad when people receive opinion second- or third-hand and accept it as truth. For example, the new FCP X received a rocky welcome — it wasn’t what people expected, it looked more like the consumer iMovie app than the old Final Cut Pro, it was missing a few features that some workflows require, they changed the interface, and the old version became instantly unavailable. But the program, judged on its own merits, is actually very good. It’s quick, it’s capable, it’s on a modern foundation. It’s not perfect, and will never be suitable for every workflow that the old FCP was good for. It’s not bad, it’s different. Simply because it’s easier to learn, in terms of the numbers of people who will use the program effectively, it’s a clear win.

The received wisdom, simply that “Final Cut Pro X isn’t any good” is simply wrong. But hey, it’s an ecosystem. If half the world’s editing schools decide that FCP X is unusable, it won’t be anywhere near as popular as FCP 7. The main reason they might decide that: because the prevailing industry mood is sour. And why is the mood sour? Largely because the initial feedback was bad. We’re still hearing the echoes from the sound of a thousand teeth gnashing. And because the internet is an echo chamber full of sheep.

Take another look. (There’s a free trial.) Evaluate your workflow. See if the next point update will bring back features you need, and keep using FCP 7 if you need to. And if you decide that FCP X is a great program that doesn’t deserve its flak, shout it out.

Be a wolf with a megaphone.