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by nmw

What’s App

2015-11-30 in Uncategorized

I typed „Uber“ into „Google“ and the #1 result on the first page of SERPs (SERP = „search engine results page“ 😉 ) — – was TL;DR (too long – don’t read). I couldn’t do very much on the page using the flip-phone (probably about 10 years old) I was using. I tried pressing the „sign up“ link.

I got a page which asked me to enter payment details. Nope – sorry, not doing that.

If Uber were actually about ride-sharing, then it would let me enter my location and hail a taxi right away. Payment could be solved if/when the taxi arrived. But it isn’t an app for hailing taxis – it’s an app for collecting data.

I also have a smartphone, but now that I know that Uber isn’t really very useful to me, I won’t visit their site, download their app or anything like that. I could have simply used Google to type in taxi (plus my location) in order to get a phone number and call a taxi using my phone… in less time!

I could also have tried to „cut to the chase“ by simply entering into my rather feeble [0.1] browser… but it seems like some idiot is using that site as a brand name. 😐

Now you may say that I am not Uber’s target „consumer“ (and quite obviously also not OK, I get that. My point is: There are probably potentially billions of users I feel Uber ought to be targeting with a targeted website for very „low“ technology… – probably the vast majority of (potential) users worldwide are using a so-called „feature phone“ with little or no smarts besides a browser with very little memory.

I do have a smart phone – but I rarely use it. I prefer to type on a keyboard. Although my kids laugh at me, when I recently suggested to one of my daughters that she should send me SMS questions that I can simply answer with „yes“ or „no“ (Y/N), she said that would require her to write more. I noted that since she’s such an expert with her smart phone, she could type such questions easily. She chuckled, but I have yet to receive my first question. 😉

If I were to use my smart phone as my kids do, loading it up with dozens if not hundreds of apps, then I guess I would join the millennial consumer community (see „Millennial Media Landscape“ and also „Making + Breaking Connections + Relationships“)… and many companies could collect and share data about me with other companies and/or spy companies (the so-called „big data“ industry is all about industrial espinoage – just in case you didn’t know that already).

Most of these apps give their users the impression that things change on the web at breakneck speed – but that is simply yet another hoax created by people trying to profit from the gullibility of novice users. My hunch is that far more than 99% of the web doesn’t change at all from one day to the next. It is important to realize that the web is no longer something new… and that what novice users consider to be significant may very well actually be rather insignificant.

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by nmw

How to Be Your Own Boss

2015-11-10 in Uncategorized

Every now and then people ask me what I do. A couple weeks ago, I met up with a friend I have known “virtually” for about 10 years. We have exchanged so much writing, we live on different parts of the globe, and then he happened to be in the area — so we were actually able to meet up in “meat space“. When we did so, I asked him “so, what do you do?”

Indeed: I asked this with some reluctance, because I sort of knew it was a stupid question.

He answered “I do whatever I want to do whenever I want to do it”. 😀

This man is definitely his own boss!

He was traveling together with his wife — they were both doing exactly what they wanted to do at that very moment — which was to meet up with me. They had 4 suitcases on the back seat of their small car. They brought me wine and cake. We ate a wonderful lunch together, sat, chatted, exchanged ideas, enjoyed each other’s company, planned business, pondered fun + games, and then parted… — and yet we are still linked, still engaged, still collaborating,… — even if we are not forced to do so by any contractual arrangement.

I am not following his orders, neither is he following mine — neither of us are interested in ordering and/or following. We are both doing whatever we want to do whenever we want to do it.

There are times when I do things for money. There are times when I do things just because I feel like doing them. Sometime I do things for money that I feel like doing, sometimes I do things I think I don’t feel like doing — but that is quite rarely. Mostly, I just do whatever I want to do whenever I want to do it.

Right now I think it’s important for me to explain to you that you can do whatever you want to do whenever you want to do it, too.

What I find super-neato is when I do something that makes me happy, and you do something that makes you happy, and we can help each other by doing these things together — I think this is called “collaboration”. You may notice the word “labor” in the middle of the word — we may indeed build up a sweat by doing it. We could also build up a sweat by running together, playing tennis, and maybe even just by thinking really hard. Whether or not we build up a sweat, whether or not we call it “work” or “play” — these things I consider secondary to the question of whether we are happy or enjoying ourselves, or anything like that.

I understand you may think this a meaningless blog post — but I have a hunch it might be a stepping stone to something really profound. I hope I don’t let you down — and until I pick up on this topic again, I hope you have a wonderful time doing the things you want to do. 🙂

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