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Technology and Joy

After my last phone call tonight, I put my Nokia down on the table and looked at it for the first time. Now, mind you, I’ve had a mobile phone since 1993 when I joined Nokia so it’s not like I’ve never seen a phone.

But this time, I placed it on my work desk in front of my laptop and I saw and contemplated it.

I could be a Friday night sort of feeling where I’m home alone because I’m sick. I just looked at the phone, history came forward, and I initially marveled but that did not last long.

This tiny device in front of me connects me to the world. I have no clue how to construct one of these despite having worked in companies manufacturing mobile phones for 10 years.

Then I thought of my early career.

I started work in 1988. It was an international company and a leader in its industry. Yet, when I started work, I had no mobile phone, no laptop, no blackberry, and no email. What that meant practically is that when I left work for the day, I really left work.

What did that mean to me? Well, I enjoyed me job. So, as a result, I actually looked forward to going to work each morning. I enjoyed my 8 hours there. And yes, I did leave at 6pm every day. And, I enjoyed leaving work each day. I looked forward to Fridays because I had the weekend to enjoy but I equally enjoyed my Sunday as it meant I could go back to doing something I really enjoyed (for 8 hours).

After 20 years of working, I moved up the ranks and held very senior positions in jobs that I technically should have enjoyed. I know I should have enjoyed those jobs because after I left all those companies, I still think about them, read about them and hold a dear interest in the companies and industries that I left.

But then, why didn’t I stay? Why did I burn out?

Mobile phones came into the picture, laptops and emails visited and finally Blackberries invaded. I didn’t have air tight containers of different things I enjoy. My different enjoyments crashed and clashed.

I love cooking and I love tennis. Can you imagine cooking and playing tennis at the same time? It just doesn’t work!

If technology allowed me to do two or more things that I love at the same time, the result will be rejection of both.

Arguably Racist 1960’s Jell-O Ad

Oh dear… don’t know what to make of it. The brief was probably twofold. To talk about the great taste but also to highlight the variety of flavours.

From a creative point of view, if this was truly from the 60s, the juxtaposition of a Chinese baby with jello is very clever methinks. Surely would have made people sit up and look.

Bills and Noise

This evening, I decided to go through accumulated bills from the last two weeks. Each envelope I open is filled with other “stuff”. While some were interesting, I just did not have the bandwidth to go through all of them. Actually, some of them, I really was keen to find out.

Observations:

1. Keep language brutally simple. We don’t believe marketing blah blah. Give us the facts and keep it at that. We’ll make up our own minds.

2. Keep the word count brutally minimal. We want economy and efficiency of language. We just don’t have time to plow through your marketing blah blah.

3. Layout. Keep it simple. No pictures admittedly is irritating but redundant pictures and complicated layout is even worse.

End result. Nothing caught my attention and both the marketer and myself are worse off for it.

The Wind

Amazing ad… I wanna meet the person who conceptualized this. Truly brilliant.

Asia Pacific Internet Usage

comScore, earlier this month released a comprehensive study of internet usage covering 10 countries in Asia Pac. This is great and information abounds on the US market but much less so for Asia. So thanks, comScore! Read their press release here.

Some tables (click to enlarge):

asia-pac-online-audience-comscore-july-2007.jpg
*Excludes traffic from public computers such as Internet cafes or access from mobile phones or PDAs.

**Estimated Users age 15+ active within 30 days from Home or Work computer as a percentage of total country population age 15+.

*** Total Asia-Pacific, including countries other than the 10 countries that comScore provides individual country-level reporting.

comscore-top-3-asia-pacific-properties-july-2007.jpg

*Excludes traffic from public computers such as Internet cafes or access from mobile phones or PDAs.

** Total Asia-Pacific, including countries other than the 10 countries that comScore provides individual country-level reporting.

Admittedly, this is US centric and is targeted more to high school education. However, this is extremely relevant for us and we are actually using many of the ideas in this vid (e.g. podcasts, portfolios, etc). There are also a number of new thoughts that we could consider.

While I was watching this, it struck me that I’d probably have skimmed read the same content in written form. However, a very simple text-based video with music managed to reign my usually short attention span.

Watching this though, it seems targeted at “old fashioned” American high school teachers.

Worth a watch though.

I thought this was brilliant! In 5 minutes, it summarizes the evolution of the web, issues and paradigm shifts concerning Web 2.0.