Posts Tagged With: Technology

Meeting People through the use of Technology

When I arrived in San Francisco on Sunday I didn’t really know anyone and had no plans for the day. I had been using a great app called Glassboard to share ideas and experiences with other attendees so posted a message asking if anyone else was at a loose end.

Within a few moments a message popped up from another developer also free and very quickly we ended up heading out for some lunch.

A similar thing happened on Monday, someone posted on Glassboard looking for people to have dinner with, within 30 minutes 12 people had congregated in the foyer of Moscane West and we all headed out for an Indian.

In both of these cases technology has enabled me to become more social, had I not had access to Glassboard I might well have ended up eating dinner alone and wouldn’t have made new and exciting connections.

It seems to me that social media is often viewed in he wrong way. People often consider that technology is causing people to become less social and live their lives online but the more I use social centric technology the more I realise that this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Has technology helped you to be more social recently?

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Categories: Apps, Social, Technology | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Traveling with Tech

This weekend I’m visiting Dublin – a city that I’ve never been to before. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the technology that I’ve used to get me here and how I’ve relied on technology to enhance my visit.

My journey to Dublin actually started when I booked my flights. In this day and age everything can obviously be done online – my booking confirmation was e-mailed to me and the day before flying I simply checked in and printed my boarding pass from the comfort of my sofa. (Everything going good so far).

Once at the airport my boarding pass is scanned, again everything seems to be working although it’s a little disconcerting to think that I’m now entirely reliant upon the Ryan air booking system to recognise that I have a flight that I’ve paid for.

We could obviously spend a lot of time discussing the technology of the plane and computer systems in the airport …..

So now I’m in Dublin does my reliance on technology stop? Well I guess it could ….. But I have been rather lazy using my iPhone to help me navigate, booking tickets for the Guinness Storehouse online to receive my 10% discount and even writing this blog post while grabbing a coffee.

So lets take stock for a moment. Is technology taking the fun out of traveling? Obviously there is technology that is now essential to travel, the booking of the flights and the systems that actually get me here ….. But now I’m here wouldn’t it be more interesting to see the city without my technology leading the way? To navigate using a traditional map, or by speaking to people and asking directions …..

If that we’re the case its’s unlikely I’d have found the costa coffee shop that I’m now sat in …. And I wouldn’t have been able to check reviews of restaurants before choosing one for lunch. But is that actually important? If the restaurant had been dreadful it would have made for an interesting story to tell when I get home.

Maybe i should try traveling the old fashioned way and see how i get on ….. not on this trip (obviously) Maybe that’s an experiment for another time. Or maybe it’s something you’ve done, or do? Does traveling without tech create more adventure?

Categories: Apple, Invention, Social, Technology | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Re-Revolution

Einstein's Big IdeaaSo this is the first blog post of the all new, revolutionised, WestgarthsWeb. I’ve attempted blogging a number of times in the past and have failed miserably predominantly because i’ve never given the blog a focus. I’ve simply dipped in and out of whatever I might be vaguely interested in at the time.

Well this time WestgarthsWeb is different; the concept of the site has undergone a revolution! WestgarthsWeb is now all about what i’m interested in most in the world, and, put simply that’s technology, and more importantly how technology fits into everyday life. I’ve always been fascinated by how technology is able to site at the intersection of “techie” and useful; it’s the point that Technology meets Social and impacts upon our identity; in my view it is this that causes some great ideas take off and often causes even greater ideas to fail.

We’re back to that concept of how to start a revolution ….. Consider for a moment those people in history that you would consider revolutionary. Perhaps you considered ancient philosophers – Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras? Or maybe you thought of scientists of more modern times, Einstein, Galileo or Darwin. No matter who you have chosen I would consider it a fairly safe bet that the people on your list devoted their life’s work to creating whatever mark they left on history.

So now to consider a modern revolution. Surely the word revolution means the same though? Be it modern or historic. Google ….. Define: Revolution ….. “A forcible overthrow of a government or social order for a new system.” I’m sure we would all agree that the development and growth of the internet fits this definition. What is perhaps extraordinary is that internet revolution is providing a platform for the revolution to be re-imagined, re-invented and consequently revolutionised. A good example of this is the explosion of “Social Media” over the last 10 years; arguably this has revolutionised the internet. In this context the idea of revolution certainly isn’t new; what is perhaps new is the speed with which the “internet revolution” has been “re-revolutionised”.

Back in the year 2000 internet penetration in the UK was around 26%, by the end of 2010 that figure had doubled to 52% (http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm). When you consider revolution you expect change, but in history it is questionable whether anything ever changed the world so radically. To put this in context we are talking change in a 20 year period that has impacted more than 2,000,000,000 people or more accurately 1/3 of the worlds population. Revolution on this scale is much bigger than the English Civil War, arguably bigger than both the first and second world wars and has effected more people than were part of the British Empire. Am I exaggerating? I guess that’s a judgement that you need to make ….. but consider this …..

Virtually every new website changes something about the way we interact with the world around us. The internet “revolution” is not a one off event. It’s a revolution that keeps on giving “re-revolution”. Some of these mini revolutions have bean hugely publicised and attracted huge amounts of media attention, you only have to think of Google, FaceBook, and Twitter to see how mere mortals have created things for society and left an impact that has literally defined modern history.

In years to come it will be interesting to see if the impact of the likes of Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will be immortalised alongside great inventors like Einstein; but you have to admit that the impact of revolutionaries such as these individuals has been great.

To my mind this is the power of the internet …. once inventors required huge amounts of money, state backing, and years, often lifetimes of painstaking hard work. In this day and age it is possible to create a revolution that has great impact from your back bedroom; or as Zukerberg demonstrated from a dorm room at Harvard. The internet has made it possible for anyone to literally change the world on the back of new, often incredibly simple idea …..

This, however, in my view is the key – in order to change the world the masses have to like to your idea; it is at this point that Technology meets Social and it is this concept that is the new focus of WestgarthsWeb.

So over the coming weeks and months expect posts about new ideas, technologies and things that I find interesting and that I believe have the power to change the world. Maybe along this journey some of you will get in touch, drop me an e-mail and let me know about how technology has impacted upon your everyday life.

My aspiration is that in years to come I can read back over these posts and track the development of a revolution that to my mind is only just beginning, a revolution that that I believe will keep on re-revolutionising for years to come.

Categories: Invention, Social, Technology | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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