Today is the 14th anniversary of the very first Ask Leo! article.
I’d left Microsoft a year and a half earlier, at which point I’d joined a mastermind group of internet entrepreneurs. At the end of April in 2003 we had our first face-to-face conference, and it was within that conference that the germ of the idea that would become Ask Leo! was born.
It continues to be an interesting, and rewarding, endeavor. I’m grateful for the serendipity that lead to its creation, I’m grateful for the support – not only of that mastermind group, but of my assistants and audience as well. I’m grateful to be able to indulge my continued love of technology in a way that can occasionally help others as well.
It’s interesting to consider things that have, and have not, changed in 14 years.
That first article, for example, concerns Internet Explorer version 6 (so far this year still responsible for all of 0.0022% of Ask Leo! traffic). That puts it squarely in the days of Windows XP being the “latest new thing” from Microsoft that people were still getting used to.
Technologies change, but some things remain the same.
In fact, it’s change itself, and in particular what some see as change for the sake of change, that remains one of the most common frustrations I hear. Bugs, failures, and inexplicable “features” continue to annoy, coupled with documentation that, if it exists at all, seems targeted at anyone but the average consumer.
Malware persists, but its nature has changed. What was once more frequently the result of “script kiddies” just trying to cause havoc has turned into big business. With the increase and connectedness and complexity of our systems, so too have those with malicious intent upped their game in the form of more frequent industry-scale hacks, and the occasionally devastating malware known as ransomware.
New in both scope and awareness in recent years is awareness of personal privacy — or the seeming lack thereof — that predominates our now mostly-online activities.
And one thing that seems to have changed are “weird” questions – I don’t get nearly as many as I once did. So much so that this year there’s no annual wrap-up as there has been in years past. Perhaps some corners of the internet really are maturing. Or maybe they’ve found other, more entertaining places to waste time.
As always I am honored, humbled, and very grateful to be able to do what I do. While specifics may change to better serve my audience and keep things interesting for me, I expect Ask Leo! to be around for a long time.