People Travel and places

The Rosebank commuter

I grouped some of the photos I took this morning together into a set I’m calling “The Rosebank commuter”. It’s a working title, really, and it extends a couple photos I took while I was waiting for the train at the Rhodesfield Gautrain station a while ago which I titled “The commuter”.

I initially titled photos of one particular person “The Rosebank commuter” and as I edited more of my photos and came up with these particular ones I started thinking that, perhaps, the Rosebank commuter isn’t just one arbitrarily chosen commuter but rather a sort of multi-faceted personality and each of these people represent one of those facets.

You don’t really have to overthink it quite like I have, it’s just a thought that occurred to me while I was editing. I would like to know what you think about the photos?

Social Web

Google+ fundamentally isn't about social or people

I’m reading Om Malik’s interesting article titled “One diabetic’s take on Google’s Smart Contact Lenses” and his assessment of Google+ stood out for me:

Google+, their social network, is a fail because it fundamentally isn’t social or about people — it is an effort to solve Google’s need for social data for better advertising using machines.

His thoughts about the contact lenses are pretty interesting too, particularly because I am also diabetic.

Business and work Photography

The Great Office Photo Wall debate

My wife and I are having a debate about my planned photo wall in my new office which I move into later this month. The idea is to have one wall in my office and one in Nastassja‘s office which will have photos relevant to what we’re doing. My thinking behind the wall in my office is to have photos of people in the Web industry who inspire me (and some people I have met). Here are a couple photos I’ve picked so far:

Lawrence Lessig

Mark Zuckerberg

Jimmy Wales

and (you might recognise this inspiring person)

M in colour

Gina doesn’t agree with my choice and thinks the photos are a little random. Her thinking is that the photos on my office wall should be more artistic than random photos of people. Another idea which came to me when debating this with Gina is to put up some of my photos. Here are a couple options which I picked out quickly (I may go out and take more photos for the office but these give you an idea of the photos I could include):

Bean There-6

Bean There-1

Bean There-5

Nokia Lumia launch-9


Nokia Lumia launch-51

What do you think? If I go the great looking photos approach, I don’t even mind including some of the more awesome (and more artistic) work by other photographers I know, like Darren Smith and Jeanette Verster, if they make their photos available. I haven’t spoken to them so this is just an idea.

Update: It looks like just about everyone agrees with Gina (and I do like that idea too) so I’ll pick out some of my photos for my office wall. Jeanette is happy to contribute some of hers so I’ll chat to her further about including some of her photos too (if you haven’t seen her work, you really should: Jeanette Verster Photography). Disclosure: Jeanette is a client at Jacobson Attorneys.

Business and work Mobile Tech Useful stuff

Evernote and contextual experiences

Evernote is the app you use to remember stuff. Just about anything. Its apps run on a variety of mobile devices, Mac and Windows and the only reason its not ubiquitous is that there isn’t a Linux app (although the Web app has really developed in the last few years to the point where its a pretty decent desktop app alternative).

Evernote has launched a couple apps in the last few months that focus the general service on specific uses. Clearly, a Chrome extension, is a lot like the Readability extension and it renders a Web page into something more readable and which you can conveniently save into Evernote to read another time.

Evernote launched two more really interesting apps in the last week or so. The first is Evernote Food which immediately reminded me of Oink which I am using. The idea is to capture food you eat and enjoy along with information about location (posts can be geotagged) and people you were with. The result is a custom note in Evernote optimized for the content type (a photo, description of the food and other info). I’m not sure how often I’ll use it but it signifies a subtle shift in how users may perceive and use Evernote.

The latest app, Evernote Hello, excites me a bit more. This app encroaches on apps like LinkedIn’s CardMunch and Hashable although it takes the idea of capturing contacts a bit beyond business card captures (one of the uses Evernote’s Phil Libin mentioned in the earlier days was snapping business cards with Evernote with his camera phone) and addresses one of the challenges I face – recognizing people when I bump into them again.

I am curious to see how this would work in practice. It would obviously work best if people you meet are happy to take a snapshot of themselves and enter their data (or let you take the photo). As with Food, this app creates a custom note in Evernote with the data you capture along with the photo. I love the idea.

What interests me more about these apps is how it extends Evernote’s utility for me. Until now I have had the Evernote app on my phone and use it from time to time (I find the app is pretty sluggish so I don’t bother when I have a quick note to take – not the point). These two apps give me quick, specialized applications of the service to specific contexts. These apps make Evernote an experiential and contextual service and that interests me a lot.