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Facebook’s Many Faces

The other day I found myself in a restaurant in northern Japan explaining to a South Korean acquaintance of less than a day how I divided my social networks up. LinkedIn, I said, was for people I needed to know, or who felt they need to know me. Facebook was for my friends — people I had known for a long time, family, I keep my Facebook world for my real world friends, I said. He nodded sagely before we were interrupted by two young Japanese from across the table who had just joined the throng.  I dutifully rummaged round for my business cards forContinue readingFacebook’s Many Faces

Podcast: The Starbucks Effect

The BBC World Service Business Daily version of my piece on  why we do all our work in Starbucks.  (The Business Daily podcast is here; the original piece is here.)   Loose Wireless 110413 To listen to Business Daily on the radio, tune into BBC World Service at the following times, or click here.  Australasia: Mon-Fri 0141*, 0741  East Asia: Mon-Fri 0041, 1441  South Asia: Tue-Fri 0141*, Mon-Fri 0741  East Africa: Mon-Fri 1941  West Africa: Mon-Fri 1541*  Middle East: Mon-Fri 0141*, 1141*  Europe: Mon-Fri 0741, 2132  Americas: Tue-Fri 0141*, Mon-Fri 0741, 1041, 2132 Thanks to the BBC for allowing me to reproduce it as a podcast.

Why We Work in Starbucks

(this is a copy of my Loose Wire Service column, syndicated to newspapers; hence no links.) By Jeremy Wagstaff Why do we work in Starbucks? It’s a question I ask myself every day, because I usually find myself in one at least once. This despite having an excellent home office replete with cappuccino machine, music, ergonomic chair and, most importantly, sofa. But lo, every day I wend my way to a Starbucks, or one of those other chains, and park myself in an uncomfortable chair and too-low table, dodging the students with their bags strewn across space they’ll never use, the dregs of a smoothieContinue readingWhy We Work in Starbucks

Concentration in the Public Space

By Jeremy Wagstaff Why do we work in Starbucks? It’s a question I ask myself every day, because I usually find myself in one at least once. This despite having an excellent home office replete with cappucino machine, music, ergonomic chair and, most importantly, sofa. But lo, every day I wend my way to a Starbucks, or one of those other chains, and park myself in an uncomfortable chair and too-low table, dodging the students with their bags strewn across space they’ll never use, the dregs of a smoothie enough to make it look as if they’re paying their way, babies screaming blue murder byContinue readingConcentration in the Public Space

Social Netquirks

Each social network has its quirk. I want to fix them. Here’s how. Skype, for example, won’t let you be invisible to certain people. You’re either visible to all your buddies, or none at all. So if you have a contact who thinks a Skype connection is an open invitation to call you up out of the blue, there’s no way to discourage them other than by blocking. Which seems kinda harsh. Solution: A fake online button that takes calls but never quite connects them due to ‘network difficulties.’ Facebook has its quirks too. One is that it fails to recognise the vagaries of real-worldContinue readingSocial Netquirks

Ritual: The Forgotten Sweet Spot of Old Media

Lifehacker just pointed to a four-year old entry on how to fold a newspaper: Real Simple magazine has an old but good step-by-step guide to folding an unwieldy broadsheet newspaper for easy reading on the go. It’s really just a matter of a few well placed folds, but if you don’t already have a good folding strategy, this post is a great starting point. On the other hand, if you’re a newspaper-folding pro and your methods differ from Real Simple’s guide, let’s hear all about how you make it work in the comments. Of course, my first reaction was the same as some of theContinue readingRitual: The Forgotten Sweet Spot of Old Media

Power to the Consumer. (Is That All?)

Jan Chipchase, roving Nokia researcher, as ever inspires and provokes with this piece on the psychology of the coffee cup: This Akasaka coffee shop includes a row of accessible power sockets (running a long the edge of the window) primarily to support laptop use – though over the course of an hour a number of people charged their phones (yes people here sometimes carry petite phone chargers). Recharging mobile devices in coffee shops is nothing new – but to what extent does the explicit nature of the infrastructure lead to new behaviours? Like? Well, maybe plugging in a printer? Or setting up a server. Or,Continue readingPower to the Consumer. (Is That All?)

Welcome to Setarbak

Not sure who to credit for this one. Let me know if it’s you.  Not sure where this originates, but it’s doing the rounds. A terrible example of Indonesia’s rampant property rights abuse, or a reflection of Indonesian-ness? (For non-Bahasa speakers, just say the first word quickly. The second means coffee, not, in this case, copy. Although that would have been more apt.) (This guy has a picture of the same stall, which he says is in Malaysia.) Actually Starbucks has branches elsewhere. Like this one in Aceh from a couple of years ago: Radio 68h Bring your own Internet. The WiFi’s lousy. del.icio.us Tags:Continue readingWelcome to Setarbak

My Starbucks, My Love

I love the Starbucks at Jakarta’s International Airport, and it saddens me I won’t be frequenting it all that much from now on. Today when I grabbed my favourite slot near the entrance (only one with a power outlet, away from the arctic blast further in), I posed my usual question: Is the WiFi working? The sweet lady behind the counter, who is as creative with her responses as she is with her coffees, replied: “No, I don’t think so. It was raining quite heavily last night.” I’m still not sure a) whether the two statements are connected, and b) if so, whether the monsoonContinue readingMy Starbucks, My Love

Starbucks Comes To Tsunami-hit Aceh

Indonesians don’t have much time for trademarks, copyright and all that kind of thing, but they do have a great sense of humour and a resilience that inspires. Here’s a new cafe that has just opened for business near the airport in Aceh’s Meulaboh, one of the worst hit areas: (picture courtesy of Radio68H. The full-sized picture is here. ) Warkop is Indonesian short-speak for warung kopi, or coffee stall. I love the scene, the plastic containers of kerupuk (thanks, Wicak!) and donuts, the expression on the face of the guy hanging out on the right, the ears on the little fella sitting at theContinue readingStarbucks Comes To Tsunami-hit Aceh

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