I do love how serendipity continues to lead me to great and unexpected discoveries and here is but one of the latest examples which I think and hope has some value for you too.
As you may know I’ve been out sailing in some remote spots (aren’t they all?) in the SW Pacific for the past year with mostly just my sat phone for connectivity so now that I’m stopped here in Majuro in the the Marshall Islands I’m enjoying my first decent WiFi connection to the web and a chance to do some serendipitous rich surfing.
It started when I was catching up to some of my Email backlog and my friend Marcia put me onto a new book called “I Live in the Future and Here’s How it Works” by Nick Bolton. After downloading the Kindle version and giving it a quick read I think many of you will also enjoy Nick’s writing and insights and wanted to pass it along to you here.
In the book Nick writes about how he sees our shift as a "personal 'digital metamorphosis.'” which is fundamentally changing how we live, work, communicate, learn and think. He picks up on a key issue I’ve been focusing on more lately which is the fallicy, IMHO of what he calls being “"multiple multitasking multitaskers”.
I’ve also been talking and writing for many years about the transformation we’ve been making over the past fifty years or so to a society of “prosumers” as Alvin Toffler nicely put it, and Bolton talks here about a new type of consumer, the “consumnivore,” resulting from living in a world where immediacy trumps quality and quantity.
I linked you (above) to the Amazon site for this book because their “Product Summary” provides a good summary of the key points to the book and you can also read some of the comments from others who have reviewed the book which I often find to be insightful. I’ll wait while you jump over there to get the synopsis ……………………..
The next step in the cascading waterfalls of serendipity was when I happened to check out the author Nick Bilton. As many of you may already know but I obviously didn’t, Nick is the Lead Technology Writer for The New York Times Bits Blog and a reporter for the paper. With a background that spans design, user interface, journalism and hardware hacking and having previously worked as a researcher in The Times R&D Labs, looking at the media landscape 2-10 years, no wonder I was drawn to him.
Reading through Nick’s blog led me to this recent posting which was itself about his NYT article “Making A Social Media Burger”. Both well worth reading as they are about his visit to a new “healthy fast food restaurant” that just opened in New York. I’m not so sure about the healthy part nor am I a fan of putting fast and food together in any case but here’s the crux of Nick’s (and my) interest and why a techie is writing about food:
- with hamburgers shaped like doghnuts (read the article) Nick’s burger was as he put it “from the future: my burger was created on the Internet and broadcast to Twitter, Foursquare and Facebook, part of a multiplayer online game, and my order was checked in by a receptionist with an iPad.”
- “Once you place your order, you can give it a name and off you go to pick it up. And this is where the game aspect comes in. 4Food has a leaderboard that shows the most-ordered burger. That turns it into a social networking food game.
- Here’s how it works: I create a burger, call it “The Bits Burger” and broadcast it to Twitter or Facebook. Each time someone orders my special creation, I get 25 cents credit in the restaurant and my burger rises up the leaderboard. The more customers order my burger, the higher it goes and the more credits I get, until I’m eating free.”
More rooted in the present, Nick also noted that:
“In addition to a connected burger, the space is as plugged-in as you will find: there are more power outlets in 4Food than I’ve seen in the lighting and electronics aisle at Home Depot. And of course there will be free Wi-Fi too.”
I stumble over what I regard as Snowflake Effect examples like this every day, and I’m out here in the middle of the South Pacific! I’ve got to believe it is happening even more dramatically for those of you who are living in much larger centers and so much more connected than I. As with so many others, this Snowflaked burger example is both severely social and personalized and yet more proof IMHO of how the Snowflake Effect is becoming more and more pervasive. Bon appétit mes amis!