Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile My Website Previous Previous Next Next
Mark Atwood
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.

Tags: , , ,
Current Location: Home, Capitol Hill, Seattle WA

12 comments or Leave a comment
From: bolstrood Date: November 12th, 2007 09:42 pm (UTC) (Link)


Dvorak is a professional troll, by his own admission. He's the journalistic equivalent of Fred Phelps.

If Slashdot ever stopped linking to his stuff he'd probably have to start working for a living.

From: bolstrood Date: November 12th, 2007 09:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Dvorak

ckn From: ckn Date: November 12th, 2007 09:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Dvorak

couldn't have expressed these sentiments better myself
ckn From: ckn Date: November 12th, 2007 09:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

resturants answer their phones?

every single restaurant I've called in the past year have had a machine answer the phone, and that machine was not capable of receiving, let alone answering, complicated questions like 'what part of town is that in?' or 'what are the nearest cross streets?'.

Dvorak needs to retire.
dcseain From: dcseain Date: November 12th, 2007 09:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

You're spot-on

I already do Google searches from my mobile all the time. Unless i need reservations, i'd rather know where it is than talk to them.
gipsieee From: gipsieee Date: November 12th, 2007 10:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
May I suggest, that even your "normal" sample is self-selected to a higher socio-economic class than average.
May I also suggest that looking up information about a restaurant on the restaurant's site (for example hours or menu options) only works if they have a web presence. Google would suffice if you already had their address and simply needed directions, but nav systems do that well already. I suppose there is some gain in not needing more than one widget, but...

That said, I am, of course, currently in rural Virginia. I find restaurants by looking in the yellow pages and paying attention as I drive through town. The web is NOT the most effective tool to find food in this town.
And it's only marginally better in Baltimore and DC.
mauser From: mauser Date: November 13th, 2007 02:06 am (UTC) (Link)
It also presumes the website is up to date, rather than some Geocities template they set up 10 years ago and haven't touched since.

The brew shop I deal with has a web page, but the store hours aren't on it, so I had to call. Fortunately they were on the answering machine. Unfortunately I'd just missed them.
roseembolism From: roseembolism Date: November 13th, 2007 05:35 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't see using Google and similar functions as all that different from using the phone book, with the added benefit that if I'm already in the car I don't need to hunt up a gas station.

My Razor for example isn't all that expensive or capable, and can easily connect to smart yellow pages, google maps, or review sites. I don't think it's so much a matter of socioeconomic status, as of being young or technologically hip enough to prefer modern technology.
awfief From: awfief Date: November 13th, 2007 12:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
EXACTLY. I like to use the phone just because often the website is wrong, or doesn't have exactly what I want (ie, are they open on a Sunday? are they still taking orders right now?), but I'll use the web to find the phone number!
lishablog From: lishablog Date: November 13th, 2007 09:28 am (UTC) (Link)
I wonder how many other people are like me in having become more comfortable NOT trying to get information out of a person if I can get it out of another source. Not only do I not call stores or restaurants or banks unless I absolutely have to, I rarely call my friends or associates until I've sms'd them first to see if now is a good time. I don't like uncomfortable telephone conversations. (I LOVE good telephone conversations. That's different.)

Getting on the phone to get information or make a reservation means waiting on hold, possibly getting rude or snarky service, possibly not hearing or being heard if, say, I'm out on the street at a bus stop where I've gotten off a bus and suddenly realize that I'm completely lost...

If I can get information myself, quickly, from a website on my phone, that's fantastic. I can read faster than I can navigate a telephone menu. I can understand a map faster than I can figure out where I am and where my goal is via spoken or written directions (in most cases). And if I happen to be in a country where they speak a language that isn't the most comfortable for me, I didn't have to stumble through in pidgin and then hope I know what was said to me.

memegarden From: memegarden Date: November 14th, 2007 06:11 am (UTC) (Link)
This is exactly why in Japan you can buy *anything* from a vending machine. It's quicker to stick money/card in and push buttons than to go through the communication rituals with a human.
captain_button From: captain_button Date: November 14th, 2007 01:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't text message people*, but I agree with you about not calling or talking to people for stuff that can be readily obtained without doing so. It is usually easier, more effective, and faster. Plus you know you aren't annoying the people answering the phone or the meatspace customers waiting on them.

(Plus things like when I check on the progress of a mail order shipment a dozen times a day. If I was calling a person to check on that, I'd be a real jerk. As it is, I'm just wasting bandwidth and my time.

* Assuming that is what sms means, which tells you something about me right there.
12 comments or Leave a comment