Daily Archives: October 22, 2007

Help Wanted? Work Wanted?

If you live in Japan Just answer your cell phone:
Joi Ito introduces us to otetsudai networks:

With Otetsudai Networks, if you are willing to work, you sign up for the service with your skills and focus, take a GPS reading on your phone and then just hang out. If you are looking for someone for say… 3 hours to man a cash register or help wash dishes, you just send the request to Otetsudai Networks and within minutes, you have a list of people available. The list shows what each person is qualified for, how others have rated their work and exactly how far away they are. Typically you will receive a list of half a dozen or more people within a few minutes.

Amongst a zillion other things it would be interesting to find out:

  • How many of these part timers eventually go to work full time for one of the businesses they worked at.
  • If a business is frequently hiring folk for 2-3 hour shifts does the potential workforce start congregating closer to the business.

There are aspects of this that many business areas need to be moved toward:

It’s also a perfect example of a location based, peer-to-peer reputation based, mobile behavior oriented product for an aging society.

Law and health care come to mind as easy examples. Almost completely missing from our interaction with the legal and health care system is a good reputation based evaluation system easily available to potential customers via a variety of easy to use network access methods: cell, web, etc. A

…marketplace, in which families armed with specific information about the treatment success and prices of hospitals and doctors can shop at will for the best quality and most affordable care.*

I’d rephrase this along the lines of consumers can shop at will for the quality of service and price that they prefer.
This type of information needs to be available for each of the monopolistic, read government licensed, service organizations.
Medical and legal licenses may provide a bit more asssurance that the holder knows something but when you get right down to it be it a hairdresser, doctor, real estate agent, lawyer or other state licensee all we really know is that they are licensed. We know nothing more about the quality of their work than that they have not been tossed out of their respective licensing organization. In many cases we know little to nothing about their fee structures.**
This needs to change.

*Strange, I just favorably quoted a paraphrase of a bush appointee’s vision. Rather wrenching.

**Well, we do know that the typical realtor charges monopoly pricing.

republicrats At Work

I’ve said it more than once and now the New York Times is catching on:

It was bad enough having a one-party government when Republicans controlled the White House and both houses of Congress. But the Democrats took over, and still the one-party system continues.

At best the differences between the democrats and republicans are minor points of emphasis when it comes to protecting your life, liberty and pursuit of happiness…they are not really interested in this. The differences are a bit larger when it comes to the constituencies whose votes they try to buy.
Unfortunately for all of us none of these critters represent even a majority of the citizens in their states or districts. If they did it might be more appropriate to call the United States a representative democracy and its government a government of the people. Today, our congress critters represent themselves, their parties, lobbyists, state corporate interests and government power. Their only interest in the citizens of this country is how to get enough votes to stay in office.
Kudos to the NYT for this editorial.
Where were they, though, during the lead up to the Iraq invasion? When the patriot act was being passed?
They have a lot more work to do to re-establish their position as the paper of record for the people of this country rather than whoever is currently pulling the strings from the Washington, D.C.
NB: Will chris dodd be able to survive as the independent he is playing?

Via Hullaballoo.