The web 2.0 phenomenon. Phenomenal! Where would we be without it? In no other time could we quickly share pictures, join clubs and check up on lost friends, events, parties and who’s with who nowadays; all without ever speaking to anyone! The information is freely available to you and all you need to do is log in and create your own space. Throw in flash plugins and you have yourself a homepage that entertains and informs. Communication has never been easier, faster and more fun.

But then there is the creative disadvantage of such systems. These websites have more control over you than what they’d have you believe. Your own theme for your webpage? Looks cool! Where did you download that from? What’s your online pet called? How many days till you go on holiday to Australia and see Kings of Leon? And your own url?

There are of course many other ways to create your truly personal webpage. you could unbind yourself from the tethers of pre-builts pages and learn HTML, embed Flash and link to your friends’ unimaginative sites. But then, this takes much longer and requires a reasonable technical level. Who would do this when an easy interface that provides more professional-looking pages exists? How do you link to your friends’ pages on social websites that only allow you to use their interface?

This current trend is the reason why web 2.0 exists. Even though a million people may share the same page skin and countdown timer plugins as you, you get to customise the colour, background text and decide what your countdown timer counts down. In short, whilst there are levels of rigidity in these sites, scope is allowed for customisation. One great advantage is that it saves you and me the technical troubles of creating such masterpieces. Do you think I made this webpage all by myself ?!

So how does this relate to life outside of

When I worked at NCR (first proper job after university) I was working on a security system for cash machines using 8-bit microcontrollers. Very boring and uncreative stuff I believed. However, with these technical limitations, imaginative thinking was required to achieve what would be trivial on a Windows PC. With this line of work, I ended up being named on a related design patent. Had I not worked on that boring job then I would never have faced the situation which inspired me to create the invention. Also, NCR had a scheme of rewarding financially for new patents; great for paying off student loans!

Even in the most dull situations, with creative approaches or improvements to what currently exists your job can also be unique and exciting.

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