March 29, 2007


It finally happened. I am going slightly...well, not mad, but I am definitively very enthusiastic about my new iPod. To straighten things out first: I do not own Apple stocks. I wish I did, but unfortunately, I don't. So, all this ranting about my new iPod has nothing to do with any commercial intentions whatsoever. Good, glad that's out of my way. What was I ranting about? O, yes, my new prrrrrrecioussss. Hmm, maybe I am going mad after all.

The iPod has definitely caused a change in my behaviour. The thing is not only a very cool and slick looking gadget, but it also is very usefull and fun. When you see it, you instantly want it, almost like a swiss bar of chocolate that has 80% cocoa printed on it. Irresistable!

What amazes me most about the iPod is its simplicity. All its functions are accessed through this ingenious "click-touch-wheel" (I don't know how it is officially called). Basically, an iPod plays audio and video clips. Nothing special about that in my humble opinion. No, the real use of the iPod is in its ability to synchronise itself with your collection through iTunes. In iTunes you manage your collection of music, movies, TV-shows and podcasts. Almost too conveniently, iTunes is connected with Apple's online media store. Very smart.

I mostly use my iPod for listening to all sorts of podcasts and for watching video podcasts. The quality of the podcast shows varies, but some of them are actually very informative and fun to listen to (or watch). My favority at this moment is the Web 2.0 show. The name is utterly ridiculous, but the content is very good. The concept is simple. The hosts (Josh Owen and Darren Stuart) of this show interview inventors/creators of popular or interesting Web 2.0 web sites. And there's no traveling involved. All you need is Skype and an audio editor.

In the most recent Web 2.0 show they interviewed John O’Halloran, one of the founders and inventors of TrailFire. With TrailFire you can leave a trail on the internet of pages that you visited while you were browsing for something. You simply leave a sticky note on a page that you found interesting and link it to other, previously visited pages about the same subject. The real value of this is that you can share these trails with the rest of the world. Each trail has a unique, public URL that is indexed by search engines just like any other web page. Very usefull. Using google to search for hybrid cars will first show you a list of sponsored links to car vendors. These sites will not refer you to sites of competitors, but a TrailFire trail will. Many other people may have browsed vendor pages for hybrid cars and put sticky notes on those pages with comments stating the usefullness of the page and such. By following a trail, you could save a lot of time. Very much web 2.0 - like.

See, I learned all this by just listening while I was waiting for my delayed train. Thanks to my iPod, that time was not wasted! Now I am continously virtually connected to the internet. That's exactly what the iPod changed in me: now I am even more online even while I am offline. Does that sound mad to you? Well, I could care less (meaning that I could NOT care less about anything you could possibly think of)! This very phrase was enough reason for John Cleese to create a video podcast where he points out the utter stupidity of this often used american phrase. Of course, he is right.