Wednesday 20 Jan 2010
What a day this has been! My first 24 hours with Google’s Nexus One. Hang a left over to Search Engine Guide if you’d like to read my first review of the Nexus One after a day going around with this smart phone glued to my palm.
Right now, though, at the close of the business day, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on human beings and their technology. Since the Industrial Revolution, the scenarios in which machines have taken work away from people have been too numerous to count. Downsizing, outsourcing, redundancy…all common words in our lingo.
But machines have a funny way of creating new scenarios for us, new ways in which people live, earn livings, do business. After a day spent with my Nexus One, I am thinking about all of the nascent activities emerging around Mobile/Local technologies. Everywhere I go, people are on their phones, searching, finding, talking, connecting. Work is going into this and work is coming out the other end of the machine. Local businesses that are gaining visibility thanks to the web, local organizations that are rallying around causes through their blackberry devices, local people who are conducting national and global conference calls via their smart phones. The technology we are using grows ever more dazzling, but in the end, it’s the people and their ideas that count.
Take a look at this photo I snapped today with my Nexus One while I was out buying groceries. It’s nothing new to put posters up on bus stops. Designers, printers and marketers have been using their special machines for ages. In 2010, it’s no longer new at all to be advertising a web-based business like Zagat. Even the whole user review-local search-mobile activity-thing is starting to get a bit comfortable for the common man. What is so new, what is so unique about this photo I took is the human element in it that has caused me to look at this bus stop poster over and over again in admiration.
Look at the cleverness of that slogan. Tips Before Dinner. Now that is just brilliant. An outrageously smart sound byte for a business that gives you tips on where to dine, via reviews, before you head out to local restaurants. It’s short, memorable and witty. And, somewhere behind this 3 word phrase is a human being who must have had one of those lightning bolt inspirations that make writing well such a joy for the writer. And, let’s assume he was paid. Because out there, in my town, an ad campaign was being launched, for a web-based business, which serves a public that seeks lifestyle information on the Internet; a public which is accessing that information via billions of devices of different sizes and makes. Technology and commerce springing up from every direction. Breathtaking. And what makes it all tick is a little 3 word idea, from a human mind. An idea that makes the human connection we still need in the midst of all the ring tones, texting, voice commands and ear-bud-driven isolation. It’s the job the machines can’t take away – the job of being human.