Has the signal-to-noise backlash started?

April 11, 2008

Interesting to read two posts in one day about the distractions of Web 2.0 services. Hugh MacLeod has deleted his Twitter account and Robert Scoble is finding that turning off his internet connection makes him more productive. I’m not quite sure why this is news (except because Robert wrote about it) but I entirely agree with his sentiment. There is something quite sinister and pervasive about these services, the way they dramatically reduce concentration times and continually pummel the mind in all different directions. What makes them worse is that they have apparently addictive properties. In Hugh’s case why would you not just switch off your Twitter alerts and never check the site (like I do)? To actually delete it is quite suggestive.

I accept that some jobs actually require a short focus but many jobs require a great deal of concentration, I can only begin to imagine what these services are doing to the productivity of the workforces around the world.

Joel Spolsky puts it very well:

“Here’s the trouble. We all know that knowledge workers work best by getting into “flow”, also known as being “in the zone”, where they are fully concentrated on their work and fully tuned out of their environment. They lose track of time and produce great stuff through absolute concentration. This is when they get all of their productive work done. Writers, programmers, scientists, and even basketball players will tell you about being in the zone.”

I think the worrying thing is that many of these services aren’t even mainstream yet. If these services are addictive then we are either going to need a lot of self control or employers are going to have to try and put measures in place. All for what appears to be an awful lot of noise and not much signal.


phuser in the phield!

July 4, 2007

Esteemed phuser phellow George ‘the phuse master’ Black has just blogged about how phuser got him and his disparate but merry band of europhriends together for a trip to Dublin.

PhuserCastApart from helping plan the trip, it seems that the real star of the show was phuser’s SMS broadcast feature. By sending an SMS to phuser starting with the word ‘Dublin‘, each member of the party could broadcast messages to all the others. Even better, the messages appeared to come from their own mobile numbers, as if they had sent them directly. Great for rounding everyone up at the nearest public house for a pint or three of Ireland’s Finest.

Everybody could use some phuser Broadcast goodness in their lives, so I’ll be blogging about it here soon, with ideas and tips to help you get started.


Find it fast with phuser

April 20, 2007

It’s Friday and that means upgrade time at phuser.  One short week since our last installment but still we’ve managed to dig up a couple of tasty morsels for you to savour…

There are two new features that should appeal to the phuser neophiles amongst you.  We can’t decide which is our favourite so we’ll call it a tie and let you make up your mind. So, in alphabetical order, in joint first place:

Friend finderFriend Finder

This piece of phuser goodness is a boon to anyone using phuser Quick SMS and Email features.  Now, from your phuser homepage you can instantly call up friends from My Network.  A list of matching friends appears as you type, and you can instantly go to their profile, start a phuse with them or message them directly.  SMSing your friends with phuser just got even easier!  (Tip: Make your SMS appear to come from your own number – Register your mobile).

Find a phuse

We know that a number of you with busy phuses have been asking for a Search feature.  Well at last we have one, and we’re pretty pleased with it.  Enter your search on My phuses and you’ll see a tastefully presented list of results:

Search results

 

The first line is the phuse of course, then the Activity (Poll, Question etc), and the remaining lines show exactly where the match was found. Simple.

 

Invite from phuseThe runner-up in our list of new features is an improvement to the phuse Members page, inspired by Chris who is organising a Stag do with phuser.  This page now lets you invite any phuse members who aren’t already in your network, which of course means you can get more from phuse Broadcasting (see last week’s update): 

 

Happy phusing!