We're all Japanese Schoolgirls Now!

by Steve Mallett

I've begun to notice the emergence and growth of a new subgenus of AlphaGeek: the "AlphaJunkie".

This sub-species' defining characteristics are that it is likely to have an apple desktop, a windows desktop, a Linux server at home or in a colo, at least one or more mobile devices, at least one game console (that's at least five operating systems), and some dedicated device like a GPS or Tamagotchi. That's a lot of hardware, a lot of software, and one twitchy geek.

Aside from interest in hardware and software upgrades, 'twitchy' is also consumed with the latest, hottest, but smart meme of the day, nay hour. A comedic viral video is of interest or course, but one of time-lapsed FedEx flightpaths...? Well, that's going to induce a twitch.

I call AlphaJunkie a subgenus of AlphaGeek because while they are related there are two different thought processes at work. The classic AlphaGeek is more a long-term processor. Noticing a new trend it will kick at it for a while to figure out what is happening there and in some way help shape said 'new' thing. The AlphaJunkie, or twitcher, is a more short-term animal and is a part of the trend.

Most AlphaGeeks display AlphaJunkie behavior so they are obviously of the same vine and of one another.

I've begun a new weblog, aptly named AlphaJunkie, because I indeed display some AlphaJunkie tendencies... plus because it's fun. I've described the content as O'Reilly Radar without all the thinking... more twitching.

I believe that we see this emergence when looking at the differences between Slashdot and Digg. No, this isn't a X better than Y comparison! Digg's readership looks distinctly younger, and frankly more hip. As such it embodies this twitch culture with a expansive tech. topical interest.

To sum up I've begun this new blog/digest which I've been kicking the tires on for almost two weeks now. Topics range from Teen Watch, Robots!, and Virtual Worlds to VoIP. Lastly, I'm very interested in hearing from like minded AlphaJunkies interested in becoming contributing bloggers (email | AIM). We're all Japanese schoolgirls now.


2006-05-17 10:18:08
So, how exactly are we all Japanese schoolgirls? I think I missed something here.
Steve Mallett
2006-05-17 10:25:04
Well, Japanese school girls are somewhat epitomised as harbingers of new, cool tech trends. Digg, I find, is able to replicate that indication of what is and will be cool. It 'digs' it up.
2006-05-17 11:56:52
To each his own, live and let live, etc., but as you mention, an AlphaGeek is an innovator and an AlphaJunkie is a reactor or twitchy. I would add that an AlphaGeek is something to admire and emulate, but I irrationally despise the usual AlphaJunkie-type, while having some of its characteristics. To me it seems like an AlphaJunkie is a sheep who tries to appear innovative by moving in the front third of the flock. Hence the AlphaJunkie is an early adopter. I like, but cannot necessarily afford, interesting new devices and media...but it's all so temporary and good-because-it's-new. Dust in the wind. A "meme" (I dislike that concept because ideas don't spread to people, people spread ideas!) is just another word for a passing fashion. I don't revel in my AlphaJunkie qualities; I try to fight them, usually unsuccessfully, so I can spend my time and money meaningfully.
Steve Mallett
2006-05-17 12:01:00
"I irrationally despise the usual AlphaJunkie-type, while having some of its characteristics".

I used to feel the same way. I've been banging my head on that wall for years, and have just gained insight (or lost the will to fight) into simply going with it. I don't blow more money than I have, but I will indulge my 'fun'.

2006-05-23 16:54:16
Living in Japan, I can tell you it is no longer isolated to Japanese school girls even the older slarymen now carry a DS or PSP with them on the train (and Sudoku is just catching on here believe it or not. But anywayI digress
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2006-11-23 00:14:56
The first stage of a 150m investment in regional museums is praised for boosting visitor numbers...
Coco Liso
2007-05-29 16:57:17
That's nive, very cool
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I dislike that concept because ideas don't spread to people, people spread ideas!
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