Episode 17 On IM and “Pocket Computer”

Apologies for skipping one week. We actually recorded the talk, but it didn’t go well. We had a fight, because of lack of preparation and miscommunication. The talk has always been casual conversation between two friends, but knowing there are actual listeners makes us feel stressful. We both get more concerned about whom we are talking to and how listeners are going to understand the show. Still, we are going to be who we are and talk about what interest us, but we do need to spend more time for preparation and setup better structures of the talk. We are working on it!

Till now we have no idea who have been listening to our podcast, we want to thank you for the attention, and we hope to hear from you for any feedback.

1:00 We start slowly by talking about Slack has been down for a while and people complained about it on Twitter. Bo’s company has been using Slack and it works pretty well for a 60-person company. In China, most companies communicate over Wechat groups. It’s interesting to see some new mobile apps have designed hidden surprises for users, like Slack and Snapchat.

9:00 The problem this time that we are interested in is working IMs (instant messenger) has been blurring the lines between work and life. We are receiving emails or work-related notifications 24-hour a day. Bo thinks it’s not because of the IMs, but because of the smartphones, or pocket computers, as Bo spontaneously coined the word.

16:00 We dive into some features in IMs that make us stressful, like “typing”, “have seen the message”, etc.

32:00 While it’s quite common for users from the West and the East to have multiple IMs installed on their phone, users in China seem rely mainly on Wechat for communication for social and for work. This might be because of the heavy-feature nature of apps from Asia. We side-tracked a bit and discuss the cost of living in the Bay Area and Beijing.

50:00 As we returned to our topic, we also realize how it relates to wearable, a topic that Bo has always enthusiastic about. We discuss the notion of information triage and wearables that are always on, which we will talk more about in the next episode.