“Wi-fi is everywhere!” “Get your wireless laptop today!” “Make sure you get a wireless card in your new laptop!” Blah, blah, blah….
Everywhere you turn people are tooting the greatness of wireless technology, mainly wireless laptops. Commercials show people sitting in trees working on their laptops, why in trees? Because they can, it shows if you have a wireless laptop you can work ANYWHERE! Right? WRONG!
I have a wireless laptop and often enjoy working on my deck on nice days, but needing the chatter of people I decided to head to a local coffee shop, drink some tea and work. Much to my dismay, I had to pay to log into their Wi-Fi connection. I thought, no big deal, except it took forever for the page to load in order to “buy” some time online. Please…buy some time online, that’s like paying to put air in your tires–oh wait, you have to pay for that now, too.
So trying not to think that I could have been wi-fied already for free at home, I tried again and the page just conked out. So I asked a guy next to me if he knows where I can go to enjoy my freedom as a wi-fi’er. He laughed and said McDonalds or Panera Bread. Knowing I didn’t want to spend my morning at McDonalds or Panera Bread, I kindly asked, where else? He said that’s about it that I know of around here. Geesh, how lame, then it hit me…I live in a Lame Wi-Fi town, how could this be?
All of the commercials pump you up to enjoy your newfound freedom, with wireless you can work from anywhere. What you can’t read in the fine print saying, “Unless your town is wi-fi lame, then you must work alone at all times in your home office.”
I got to thinking, how could this problem be solved. Maybe big name advertisers could sponsor Wi-Fi places that would be kinda cool. But better yet, the restaurants and cool hang-outs could make a minimum 1 coffee or scone to use their Wi-Fi. I would gladly do that, because after all, you’ve gotta eat.
So, hint, hint ad agencies and businesses out there, if you have a restaurant as a client, throw a few suggestions their way and work in some coupons or something that we wi-fiers might see on their website, in their blogs or even on their phones and PDA’s. You figure if people are wireless they are going to have their cell phones on them and PDA’s if they own one.
Even though I’m not a big fan of getting ads on my cell phone, I would gladly go for a tracking technology so when I was close to a wi-fi place, my cell phone would beep with a message saying go to Joe’s eatery for free wi-fi and a sandwich. Now THAT would be cool.
I checked out several sites to see what wi-fi places were in the area…*sigh* I am embarrassed to say in the Pittsburgh area there are only 20 free wi-fi sites listed, though there may be more…
Philadelphia has a minimum of 30 listed free wi-fi spots, so that means even the local KFC has wi-fi in tow…
Even Moscow, Idaho has more free wi-fi spots than Pittsburgh; I think I need to move.
Next, I checked out a Wi-fi map locator for your area, this I thought was pretty cool. It didn’t help me out, but I’m sure it will be good for you:
If you are a business, local hangout or want to become a local hangout, consider becoming a free wi-fi spot. And if you are in Pittsburgh, by all means contact me. I need somewhere to go, as I’m tired of sitting on my deck with my neighbor’s cat all day.