Antisocial networking.

Wired has a great article about the growing backlash against social networking. It is rapidly becoming the professional equivalent of a cute girl in a chat room getting PM’d to death by guys who want to chat with her.

Are we going to see the rise of a new profession? The Professional Networker will network with you for a price. Or is that just a different take on the world’s oldest profession?

I’ve got something to get off my chest.

Finally there is a place on the web where I can go to vent. And to read the rantings and ravings of many anonymous people, conveniently organized by target. Now if someone who could connect searching, social networking, and venting it would be great. I could finally know what my friends are mad about. Interestingly enough, the largest number of items are self-directed, followed by ex-boyfriends.

That’s what friends are for.

A startup named Eurekster has merged social networking and searching, ostensibly so “everyone can learn from the search activity of people they know and trust.”

I may know and trust lots of people, but I’m not sure that my searches will be improved by understanding what they are searching for. Having working previously for a search technology company, I consider myself and expert searcher, often finding detailed information in one or two searches. I might therefore find my searching less effective if matched with even similar searches done by my friends.

What I would love to have is one service that would let me keep track of all of my friends, business contacts, etcetera, and then pull those into any tool (Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, blog templates,…) that I want, or just reference them from that service.

PopUp Ad Service Beats PopUp Blocker

It seems that a company in California has found a way around popup blocking software.

Perhaps the saddest thought here is the fact that this form of ridiculously intrusive advertising must work, otherwise marketing companies would have given up on it instead of finding new ways to get popup messages out. The web has spawned a new lower form of life even than telemarketers. The low cost of spamming everyone certainly makes it attractive to do regardless of how many people you offend. I’m pretty sure that cruel and unusual punishment would be perfectly acceptable in this situation.

Dialup isn’t dead yet

It seems that in Western Europe, dialup still perserveres. Even though Americans take broadband for granted, over 50% of Europeans still access the net through a dialup connection. I’ve had high speed access for about six years now, apart from a couple of months when I lived in a town outside Boston until they had service available. I guess I’m just hooked on “always on” access.

Drinking from a firehose.

In my hyperdrive to using blogging as a tool to better communicate with customers, I am attempting to assimilate (read suck up) as much information from an ever expanding universe, which is seemingly increasing far more than merely exponentially. Ross Mayfield says that his brain can only take reading around 150 blogs. I’m getting up there, and increasingly following more and more links. I’m getting info from newsreaders. I’m also trying to absorb as much as I can about feeds and subscriptions.

Is this an illness? Is there a cure? Perhaps I just need more information…

Customer Service via the net?

I recently purchased a Motorola T720 phone. I had a question, so I navigated through the Motorola site to find out how to submit a question. I sent the question, and they they promptly sent me an automated acknowledgement. Then, a day later I received this message:

Dear Mr. Larry Borsato,

Thank you for contacting Motorola e-mail support. We really appreciate your interest in our brand and our products.

Please contact our Canada Cellular Customer Support Centre to speak with a customer service representative regarding this issue. We can be reached at 1-800-461-4575. Our business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM until 7:00 PM CST.

I guess it makes sense. Motorola makes phones, not email appliances, after all. But why bother to even let me submit the question via email after all? Just to tease me?

So what did I want? I was looking for a rebate coupon I should have received. Ironically enough, there was a web form available to complete the coupon. Unfortunately I had to make a phone call to get a web address. A sad waste of my time and theirs.

Sometimes a PDA is just a PDA…

I have Palm V and Palm III PDAs. They are pretty simple devices; they don’t play music but they do manage information nicely. I’m one of those people who just want their PDA to do one thing instead of trying to be all things. I’ve bought PDAs for my kids as well. It seems that instead of putting every cool gadget into a PDA, manufacturers are targeting the upper end of the market. However, rather than selling a few more high end devices, a stripped down “PDA ONLY”, could push everyone into the PDA market. It would be interesting to see market stats on this idea.

I also think that cameras on cell phones are a bit silly, and mainly intended to generate extra revenue for service providers, and apparent for companies like Mobog. To contradict myself, I would love a good compact combination PDA and cell phone. Of course, that may already exist in the Samsung SPH-i500 and SCH-i600.