I'm in Las Vegas this week. I'm staying in a beautiful room in a fabulous resort overlooking a gorgeous pool. The service is impeccable, the food is great, and I am absolutely deeply frustrated with the entire experience.
What's the problem? Connectivity. I can't haz it reliably in this lovely place. These are the trials and tribulations of the vacationing geek.
Many of us are deeply attached to our internet access. For many of us, our internet presence has become completely intertwined with our real life social scene. For example, I am on Twitter nearly constantly to DM my friends both local and remote - the 'real life' vs. virtual friend moniker has ceased to be relevant to me. There are only the people who are near my meatspace and those who are remote from it. I depend on Twitter and texting to keep up with all of them.
This lovely hotel I'm at, Wynn in Las Vegas, not only has atrocious cell access (can a bitch get a repeater up in here?) but also the wifi that they are totally jacking us for (it's FREE - with a $25 a night resort fee) works at 'fair' strength if I position myself very carefully. And say a soft prayer. I've even eyed the neighbor across the hall as a potential sacrifice. Just kidding. (Not really.)
Five years ago, cell service in a big hotel could be spotty and we'd be like, well, what can you do? Five years ago, wifi could be considered a luxury service and if you had to pay for it, well, what can you do?
These days? It's not just a luxury. It's not just a nice-to-have. I've been trying to get in contact with my mother for almost 24 hours but I can't find a place in this damnably expensive luxury hotel where my cell gets more than 1 bar. They helpfully offer the use of their landlines (FREE - with a $25 a night resort fee) which I guess is good because I am going to have to call her on the phone like fucking caveman.
Connectivity to what has become a hybrid of our virtual and physical presences has reached a "standard feature" point in the lives of many people. If you're going to offer me the use of your plugged in phone for a ridiculous fee instead of being able to use my cell, i'm not going to be very happy with your establishment. Moreover, I will not return to your establishment and I will tell all my like-minded friends to go elsewhere.
You know what we need? We need an app that shows us the best places to stay for geeks on vacation. Where was the wifi good? Where don't they charge you an exorbitant fee? Where was your cell service good and, more importantly, where was it atrocious? Does this exist? I'm envisioning something like Yelp only for Serious Geek Business.
This is kind of a #firstworldproblems rant but I want to break it down for any businesses that happen to see this: There are a lot of geeks out there who make a LOT of money. Tons. Scads. A veritable shitload. Many of us don't have childrens and don't plan to. This means that a great deal of that money we make is highly disposable, and I imagine you'd like us to dispose of it at your business. Give us good, cheap/free wifi, put in a few cell repeaters, and, for the love of Zeus, a few places to just sit down and write, and we will come. Build it, and we will come.