Apps: When they're good (at uni, when you need organising) and when they're not (at festivals, when you don't)

Jun

25

Today I’ve been thinking about music festivals… how could I not?  The day before yesterday the radio was talking about people already making their way down to Glastonbury, and the music doesn’t even start until tomorrow.  So Glastonbury now starts 96 hours before it starts, apparently.  Anyway, I digress.

I used to be one of them, you know.  I went to several Glastonburys consecutively, the last being in 2005.  It seems like it’s changed a little … and it had already started when I last went, what with phone charging tents appearing.  Most people back then were appalled.
No battery?  Who cares.  No signal anyway.
No battery? Who cares. No signal anyway.

“What is this nonsense?!” we said.
"What do you need a phone for HERE?” we said.
“What a waste of time, queuing in a phone tent,” we said.
"There's not even any phone signal here down on Worthy Farm," we said.    

Glastonbury was about entering an exclusive territory - a bubble of an alternative reality with a group of amazing buddies around you and no need, frankly, to communicate with anyone else outside of the bubble because they just weren’t exciting enough to be involved.

Ahhh… how things have changed.  Phones seem integral to the festival experience - smartphones, that is.  Because now, of course, there’s an app for that. (TM iPhone 2004 yes yes yes).  There’s an app that allows you to not only see the programme of the festival, but see which bands your friends are going to see (so you know who really is the coolest, or who to not invite next year because they went to see Kanye and not Pharrell and well, who would do THAT?!).  There’s also a map function so people know where you’re camped (and you can find your way back to it at 3 am when your senses are, let’s say, dulled.

 

mobile-phone-charging-station-coachella-valley-music-arts-festival-2012

To keep this up all weekend, there’s not just a phone-charging tent.   You can register for a power service which keeps you going by basically swapping a dead power pack for an alive one when you need it.  If you forgot to register, you can charge your phone at one of billions of charge points in a tent… which has had DJs drafted in to make it a party tent.  Now even charging your phone is part of the fun.

 ANYWAY.  I digress.  Again.  Well, sort of.  The point is… everything: there’s an app for that.   

I was in an IT meeting yesterday when we were talking about the Sussex Mobile app which, I have to say it, is a pretty awesome tool for students.  Back when I was a student at Sussex (even before that last Glastonbury), we had to really search our our useful info, and it took quite a bit of effort to know where we had to be when - and you had to go to quite a length to double check everything.  Now, it’s all there.  In this thing that we carry around with us, everywhere.  Your timetable is there, your library account info is there, upcoming deadlines are there, you can find out where there are spare study rooms to go get some work done in peace, and there’s a campus map that can show you where they are.

sussexmob-web US logo 

I’m just sorry that we don’t have a charging point with DJs throwing a party - only if we were to accurately translate the analogy, it would probably be a room full of professors giving lectures which doesn’t have quite the same vibe.  (Oh, and loads of lecture theatres have power points now anyway so … )

 

If there isn’t a handy app for that, something that helps us be where we need to be exactly when we need to be there, something that makes our lives at that minute just *that* much more easy, well, we think why not?  And someone else more inventive is already making it.  Is it OK then, that I think the Sussex Mobile app is awesome and useful and organisey-brilliance, but the Glastonbury app is well… superfluous to need?  Leave the phones at home, get your tent up and leave the timetabling to term time!!!

 

(And while I've got you here, download the Sussex Mobile app from the Play Store or the App Store.)

peace-love-hippie

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