Tech Pulse Action Alert – Panera Bread

Take this with a grain of salt.

Then acknowledge that this post is one opinion of said writer and therefore does not necessarily reflect the opinions, policies, of Liberated Syndication AKA libsyn under subsidiary webmayhem.net or its parent company Wizzard Software…. Yada Yada, okay we good.  That’ll be the rule for most of the posts I sign.  You can take comfort that there will be other contributors to this blog.

I have these barometers I keep. Little measurements that I like to think indicate technology trends and within these unverified microcosms I sometimes draw sweeping conclusions.

One of my barometers is Panera Bread.  If I checked in there on foursquare I’m pretty sure I would be mayor.  I’m a jerk, but not the only jerk that comes to some conclusions about customers in a place based on assumptions I make about the place and the prototypical consumer that I associate with that place.

So one of my classes of barometers is “people places with wifi”.  You can then drill down another level with “free wifi”.  I think Panera is a complex place.  It is hard to pin down the atypical Panera customer.  I don’t think you can, thats why its an interesting study.  So while I’m there to support their use of natural, hormone and genetically modified free chicken products I’m also there to see what kind of devices people use to do whatever they are doing with the free wifi.  Its located in Pittsburgh, in Shadyside not far from some universities, Pitt, CMU.

So lately, last year or so its been dominated by netbooks.  And I really mean dominated, sometimes it could be like 100% cute little netbooks.  Classy looking students and professional types with sharp looking netbooks.

Today I saw my first iPad in there.  It feels like a big deal.  I usually keep this stuff to myself, but I thought I’d share.

Okay, now how bout you guys?  Do you have luddite friends, parents, or social circles that tip you off to the latest zeitgeists, memes, trends, happenings etc?  If you are reading this I assume you have to 🙂

– Dave M

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