November 12th, 2007

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Responding to Dvorak on the gPhone. Summary: he's an idiot

John Dvorak is an idiot. Old and privilaged and cantankerous, but still doubly an idiot.

The very use case that he ridicules, using a smartphone/PDA to look up location, hours, directions, etc of a restaurant, instead of actaully calling up the restaurant, is one that I see "normal" people, not just geeks, do all the time.

People don't want to wait on hold, nav a voicemail tree, or even talk to a rushed overworked human. They want to glance at the knowledge they want, and have it right at that moment.

And that's what ubiquitous `net, currently via usable phone-based browsers, gets you, that realtime telephony, POTS or cell, doesn't.
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Rant about webforums and socialnetwork "mailboxes".

All webforums should have an NNTP and an IMAP interface. And just saying "We have RSS!" or "We have Atom!" doesn't cut it. With much baroqueness, overhead, XMLness, and waste, you/we are laboriously building and using environments that supply 10% of the function of NNTP, at 10x the effort.

I fight with the MySQL forums, and wish for an NNTP/IMAP interface. I sort out the "mailboxes" on various social network sites, and groan, wish that I could just point my IMAP client at them.

Public discusion forums, such as GoogleGroups, YahooGroups, eBay forums, BoingBoing, LJ journals and communities, Slashdot, MySQL forums, plus all the precanned turnkey webforum software, and all the political rant cesspools, from LGF to DK, all of you: NNTP or IMAP. Now.

If your answer is "but then, people won't see my ads", you're a fool. Anyone clueful enough to run a reader client is already running Adblock, and so already isn't looking at your ads. And if you really think your ads are contentful, roll them into the article stream and into the article bodies.

That it's not been done is idiotic. That is not being done right now, remains idiotic.

Yes, I know I'm calling a lot of smart people idiots. It's still true.