Anti-Lifehacker: Why Lifehacker is probably bad for you

Lifehacker is a website with (mostly) technological solutions for productivity – and it is super-popular.

Lifehacker sounds good – who doesn’t want to improve their productivity or upgrade the way they approach a problem?

But there are deep, but slightly subtle, problems with Lifehacker:

1. Lifehacker ignores the big cost of installing a new piece of software: time and energy.
2. Lifehacker does minimal testing of software – and never does the “I used it daily for 3 months” type of testing.
3. Lifehacker values newness (“newly available!”) over robust, well-tested, solutions.
4. Lifehacker does minimal comparative testing: if there are thirty “todo list” applications on the web, I want to know about the best ones – not just the names of all thirty. I really want someone to evaluate things for me.
5. Lifehacker focuses on free software but ignores one of the most important parts: mature software with a significant user base and robust support. Sure, I respect heroic, single person efforts. But I’d rather have a piece of software with strong, sustained support.

So what’s good about lifehacker?

1. It’s fun. That is, if you are a certain sort of person, it’s fun.
2. It does provide a snapshot – and repository – of new software developments in the productivity area.
3. It provides exposure for new software. And some of this software is probably great.

For me, I just worry about the time and energy… and the illusion that I am helping my productivity. So personally, I’ll spend my time writing these blog entries instead.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: