The QWERTY efect

As many things that seem random the order of the keys on the computer keyboards (at least the more popular ones in USA and Mex) is not. But against common sense it’s not made  to simplify typewriting but to make it harder.

The QWERTY keyboards are named so because  -q-, -w-, -e-, -r-, -t-, e  -y- are the firsts 6 characters of the first character row. This has been so since the mechanical type writers times. It turns out that the original typewriters keyboard layout allowed faster writing than the qwerty ones and the mechanisms of that time couldn’t keep the phase. There fore to avoid the constant jamming of type writers the qwerty layout was designed and popularized .

I believe this history encloses some valueble lessons. To begin with it teaches us to leave aside perfection and adapt to the possibilities to achieve  things. with out the qwerty layout it’s very likely that typewrites have never become popular (who like a machine that jams when it does what it is intended to do) and this would have a affected many things like science, literature, mail, etc. just think of the impact  that means writing faster and with clear and homogeneous charterers.

Never the lees the phenomena I’ll like to baptize as the qwerty effect refers to something negative and its the tendency to inherit solutions of the past as valid without reevaluate them. I’m talking about the things we do because they have always been done that way. The really valid reasons to do the qwerty layout are not applicable to the circumstances since decades ago, but most of keyboards are still qwerty. We invest millions of resources on improving PCs and millions of man hours learning to use software to be more productive but for some weird reason we still use qwerty keyboards.

This QWERTY effect that consists on attach to and take as valid solutions which circumstances or motivations are not longer  current or valid happen ant many levels, from large societies to small more defines groups and individuals. I invite you to think about the qwerty effects in your life, you’ll find that a small effort to change will bring you great benefits.



Great adivices in few lines

Yesterday I found a good article thanks to a friend in facebook. Later on exploring www.TED.org I started to watch a good video and before it ended I decided to share you both things. I started pausing and taking notes on the video. At the end of it I found that in addition of being interesting video and article coincide on what is the very first step to be good in their respective topics.

What good CEOs do according to Peter Druker
• They ask, what must be done?
• They ask, what is good for the company?
• They make a plan of action
• They assumed the responsibility for their actions
• They assumed the responsibility of communication
• They focus on opportunities instead of problems
• They made productive meetings
• They talk in terms of WE instead of I.
The first two allow them to know what they need
The next for transform that knowledge into efficient action
The last two involved the hole organization and made all their members to fell responsible


Design big good
Tim Brown
• Design begins with humans. It may integrate technology and economy but it begins with human needs. This is more than placing buttons on the right place is to know the people and culture even before starting to have ideas.
• Build to think instead to think to build. Hand on aprouch and prototyping allow idea to be tested on the real world and therefore evolve faster. ( Personal NOTE: Ideas must EVOLVE to become GOOD)
• Change the idea of design for consumption design for participation
• Design is to important to be delegated to designers
• Change requires new options. Design thinking give new options.
• The fisrt step is to make the correct questions


Bytes with ink sent

Hi I have added a note in Spanish about my new job. I won’t translate it because of lack of time. The main point is that I’m charge of innovation and development of new features of the web site. I’m working on a newspaper “El Universal”. This is a very challenging and interesting experience since internet is drastically changing and threatening newspapers all around the world. Hope you can read Spanish.


The unstudied effect of Internet.

I rescued this post form a previous blog.

—————The unstudied effect of Internet.

A lot has been told about Internet’s effects on human life and societies. Web 2.0 has increased a bit more this fascination on the power of the WEB. Very revealing and fantastic thoughts and observations are made around these topics. Threw the WEB people are communicating like never before, this phenomenon has triggered new ways of developing software, sharing ideas, having fun, etc.

As a professional web developer I’ve found myself in the middle of several discussions about the advantages and disadvantages of this arising technology. I to think it’s really fantastic to have the thousand times discussed access to the information, typing on Google about virtually any topic and most of time being able to found useful information about it is fantastic. I do think it’s great that “any  body” or at least those with internet access can post a video on YouTube and eventually have more public than big TV stations. I do enjoy reading blogs from people around the world. Etc. I use Wikipedia on every topic I unknown almost as much as Google. But besides all this terrific things I always add and argument to the conversation that as far as I can tell has not been not properly observer nor discussed.

The more evident effects of the web are related to the amount of information and its sources this is really valuable but there’s and other effect as important as been heard and access information.  It’s the effect of having people realize that they can think and have a voice. Watching internet as only as an information and communication phenomena a blog with thousands of visitors and accurate and meaningful post for those visitors may be more valuable than a blog with no visitors (like this one at the time this was posed) but both may have triggered a very similar event on the bloggers mind. They had have to ask themselves, what do I have to tell? Similar things occur if people have to create a Facebook or LinkedIn profile or even evaluating a product at Amazon. People are benign encouraged to THINK ABOUT THEM SELVES IN RELATION WITH OTHER PERSONS this thinking encouragement is as important as the more commented effects of the Internet. But its effects and consequences may take longer and may be harder to identify.

Mass media predecessors from press to TV have created “informed societies”, with all these technologies people gained access to information. Each technology and improvement helped to spread knowledge like ever before but always creating “informed” societies. Internet and particularly Web 2.0 is congruent with the informed society but for the first time ever is a mass media with a new huge effect on society besides spreading information it’s creating a “thinker’s societies”. Internet gave people the opportunity to express them self’s like never before (cheaper and simpler) but at the beginning that was analogue to post an ad in the classified newspaper adds, people need to be willing to say something to trigger the process. Latest Web development challenge individuals every now and then with the question ¿What do you have to say? I can be by asking you to fill the messenger what I’m doing line, or a Face Book profile, in a fast voting survey, ratting a youtube video or threw a  large opinion form about site or any topic, one way or another people is getting small but constant demands that force them to think a bit.

To prove my points try to find a group of kids playing happily anywhere. Chances are that most of them have no thought about the CRISIS but have heard about it. As soon as you ask them ¿What do you think about the crisis? Practically all will think about it regardless they have done it before or not. So the mere fact of asking causes thinking.

So according to me Internet is creating “thinking societies”


Please go ahead and tell us ¿What do you think?

Creative Commons LicenseThe unstudied effect of Internet.

by Ruben Schaffer is licensed under  Creative Commons


The next 5000 days of the WEB

Excellent conference that explains what is and will be Internet in social terms.




A very good web site to be updated about most of what’s new in the IT wold (in spanish). www.diarioti.com