Monthly Archives: July 2011

I find Joe, a 60-year-old hospital cafeteria employee, in the food court looking suitably bored out of his mind. Joe agrees to do a user test, so I begin by asking my standard demographics questions about his experience with the internet. Joe tells me he???a never used a computer, and my eyes light up. It???s very rare in San Francisco to meet a person who???s not used a computer even once, but such people are amazingly useful. It???s a unique opportunity to see what someone who hasn???t been biased by any prior usage reacts. I ask Joe if I could interview him more extensively, and he agrees.

I hate computers. Really.


What the site offers very little of, with its quick-list format, are personal reasons for saving this or that object — stories, in other words. I’m prepared to believe someone finds a suede-elbowed polo personally meaningful, but why? Ultimately a lot of the stuff pictured these little displays is perfectly tasteful, but the result doesn’t seem like self-portraits. Instead — and this is true of Everyday Carry, as well — they seem like performances. Entertaining as they may be, I’m not sure I believe any them.

Rob Walker takes a look at sites like “Everyday Carry” and comes away with the kind of observation that makes me offer to buy him beers on a regular basis.

(UPDATE:) In an exciting two-fer, Rob also has a column in Slate today.