It was some years ago that I saw a media player that finally did what I always wanted: it let you delete songs as you listened to them! It was of course for anyone listening to pirated music which is why Apple wasn’t busy copying the feature. All those songs a friend left for you on a USB stick, or that huge compilation you downloaded; you just listened to it, deleted anything you didn’t like and what was left, like a gold digger of the past, was your nuggets of stuff that you like.
Now it is 4.40 AM as I write, which happens to be one of the times of day (barely day!) when I get a lot of bright ideas. It is also the time of day or night when I hope to catch my friend James on Skype. He currently works in New Zealand, so the logistics of us actually talking are complex. Especially since he work entails travelling around saving animals and filming in remote locations and neither of us are religiously connected to our cell phones. What I really want Skype to do for us is to set up an appointment. A Skype meeting which figures out time differences and pings of an alarm for both of us. Adding Facebook isn’t a social layer. Figuring out when I want to be interrupted and by whom is!
And the same applies to my mobile phone. I left it in my brother’s car last weekend. What bliss to be without it for two days; heck, I didn’t even go out of my way to pick it up! For anyone thinking up clever things as a business, lack of interruptions dramatically improves the quality of your work.
And there it is, the solution. A social intelligence layer on my contacts application. No, I don’t want to wade through all my contacts putting them in groups; I want the software to figure it out! All it needs is some input from me but – here is the sneaky bit – as the call ends.
“Was that phone call worth the two minutes you spent on it?” it can ask just after I hang up and look at the device before putting it back in my pocket. A number of options:
1. Yes, this person is always worth talking to. (ie VIP in my category system)
2. Yes, but I would rather we talked during work hours (work related, shouldn’t be calling at this time of day).
3. Sort of worth talking to. Could probably do the information transaction better via email. (Enter fancy ways of not answering this number next time but automatically sending an SMS or email that I am busy.)
And the list could continue with a number of variations. The phone would very quickly figure out which contacts go into which category, and I would waste less time and get far less interruptions. In fact over time the menu when the phone rings could have other options other than “Answer” and “Reject”.
James got the time difference wrong and called in the middle of the night last week. I have probably done the same. Right now my cell phone is switched off. Guess I will just email him as usual. Somebody please implement all of these ideas quickly!