Oct 13, 2009

What's in your Pocket? Part II

I discussed what the Google phone is in What's in your Pocket? Part I. There's a reason I'm finally ready for a web savvy phone. The reason is that the web and mobile technology are now converging in a big way. The ability to access web search, contact information, calendar, RSS feeds, documents, weather, and other personalized information is getting a lot more practical. Frankly, I'm tired of having more than one calendar and list of contacts.

With Google Voice technology things come together in a even bigger way. Among the many features of Google Voice is the ability to have a single phone number forward to any phone (or multiple phones) depending on your choice. You can select contacts from your Google contacts to go to either work or home phones depending on how you label them. Cool stuff! Traditional phone companies should have done this a looong time ago.

Check out the following video about the convergence of the web, social media, and mobile technologies. It's a fun time to be a web developer! Developing for the desktop web browser is only part of the equation now.

Oct 8, 2009

What's in your Pocket? Part I

If you read my post Joining the Revolution in November then you know that I've been looking forward to upgrading my standard mobile phone to a web enabled phone. The two web phone technologies I've been keeping my eye on are Apple and Google. Apple is a well proven quality product; however, with the announcement from Verizon that they are producing a Google phone this fall, my thoughts are swinging the Google way. I'm already a Google power user so having that functionality in a mobile device will be a perfect fit for me.

So what makes a phone a "Google" phone. It's the Android OS that makes it a Google phone. The Android OS is an open source project backed by Google. Unlike the iPhone which is an Apple only product, Android is designed to run on any device that chooses to support it. For example, one of the anticipated Verizon Google phones will be made by Motorola.

Check out this video on Android 1.6 and its functionality.

See more videos at the Android developer web site.

Oct 2, 2009

Momentary Value

I'm making a second effort at Twitter. I've got too much information coming at me right now so I haven't been all that excited about adding tweets to my daily dashboard. I'm already behind on my RSS feeds and can barely get to Facebook at the end of each day. So adding Twitter seems like a complication I don't need. However, since I'm keen on studying how people learn and share information on-line, I'm redoubling my efforts to find value.

Am I alone? Doesn't all this information on the web give you a headache? Do you really feel comfortable relying on filters and keywords to guide what you learn? This seems to be the issue of our time...where do we draw the line between information value and information distraction?

Each generation deals with this to a certain extent. At one time people didn't want a phone in their house because they didn't want the disruption. What? A phone in my house that can ring at any time? Why would I want that? The current generation is slapped in the face with this--texting during movies, while driving, while in meetings, while playing with your kids, while eating dinner, while waiting in line, while on the potty, and on and on. How many of these are you guilty of? Do you really benefit from that exchange of information more than the activity you are supposedly paying attention to? If you were waiting on something then "yes". If you were spending time with a loved one then don't be so sure.

So I'm exploring value versus distraction with regards to Twitter. So far I've found both. I've deleted several tweeters who although they offer value, offer way to much distraction. I'm not sure what the threshold is yet for how to determine value. There's quantity versus quality to consider. However, it seems that if a tweeter is offering less than 25% value, I'm really starting to question whether or not I should follow them.

Social Context Is Important

Value varies depending on the context of the social network I'm using. In Facebook I'm dealing almost exclusively with friendships. I'm actually interested in where they ate out for dinner last night and how many home runs their kids made at the ball game. In LinkedIn I'm thinking about my career. I'm not primarily interested in those personal things.

Right now my Twitter account is schizophrenic. I'm using it for both personal and career reasons. This is actually where I've been having problems with Twitter. Where does Twitter fit in? The value I find in tweets changes during the day depending on what I'm doing at the time. Momentary value, now there's something to think about.