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Consumption

January 31, 2007

Got a few people coming in to the blog recently from this link on the blog of my former colleague at Microsoft Gianpaolo Carraro (known as GP). We had been discussing the use of the term “consumption” as a way to describe how services are “used” in a Software as a Service (SaaS) architecture. I suggested that the negative connotations of the word “consumption” outweighed the correctness of its usage.

GP and I had a good back and forth over that, and his perspective was illuminating. Given that fact that he is not a native English speaker (but is an outstanding one) and speaks at least two other languages he attacked the problem from a different place than I did. I suspect my extreme sensitivity to the subtleties of the word was driving my argument.

The fact is that I think paying careful attention to the words we use in product naming, marketing, etc. is critical and an often overlooked aspect of positioning. Although many people today might not known the various historical and linguistic underpinnings of a word like “consumption” there is still something ingrained into the fabric of our language that can cause a bit of delay in comprehension or a bit of lingering affect that we really don’t want.

Please consume my blog at your own risk.

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