Edinburgh Book Festival

Join the queue for online ticketing

I wanted to attend an event at the Edinburgh Book Festival (Paul Auster).

To book tickets online you have to use their phone/counter/web ‘queue management system’ (honestly). To do that you have to register by submitting a login form with an empty password field. It responded to that by saying that my login is not registered (honestly).

I sent the form in again with my choice of password … and it replied by saying my password is not registered (honestly). Eventually, after approaching the problem from a number of angles, I gave up. When I next opened outlook, there were six separate emails asking me to click a link to authenticate my registration. I only clicked one of them but it did say that I could, if I still wanted to, join today’s queue. I did and was told I was sixth in the queue. Then it said that the Auster event was sold out.

Edinburgh Book Festival

The Global Village at the start of the new millenium

What the world would have looked like at the beginning of the millennium if it were reduced to a village of 1,000 people?

  • There would be 584 Asians, 124 Africans, 136 North and South Americans, 95 Eastern/Western Europeans, 55 Russians.
  • 520 would be female, 480 would be male.
  • 330 would be children.
  • 650 would lack a telephone at home. 500 would never have used a telephone. 500 would have to walk two hours to the nearest telephone.
  • 335 would be illiterate.
  • 333 would lack access to safe, clean drinking water.
  • 70 would own automobiles.
  • 10 would have a college degree.
  • 1 would own a computer.

– taken from an EC newsletter of 1999.

The Global Village at the start of the new millenium

How to get people to use online services (not)

Inland revenue online filing guide (presciently identified as “BS” 09/03) points you to the web-site, which encourages you (as an employer) to register for online PAYE filing. Except that when you follow the instructions it rejects you and the form expires and you can’t do anything except … call the help line (see other blogs on this below)!

More …


How to get people to use online services (not)