Paul Walk’s blog post on Get off of my cloud acknowledged that even clever techies sometimes value simplicity over the complexity often found in richly functional and distributed systems., In Paul’s case he was praising the ease of use and convenience of an iPhone over, say, the additional functions provided by a Nokia N95 or the inconvenience of carrying multiple devices.
I feel that this is a valid position in many cases. And, coincidentally I have just discovered a very simple Web-based tool for organising meetings.
With Doodle (address www.doodle.ch, incidentally) you simply select dates and times and email the people you wish to invite. The service will then send an email with the URI of a page containing the available dates. And, as can be seen in the image, once the data has been entered you can see the preferred slots.
OK, there’s no authentication, updating dates can’t be done and security is through obscurity. In addition the data can’t be output in formats such as RSS or iCal. But sometimes we need to remember that we don’t always need such richness. And yes, who knows whether this service is sustainable. And, perhaps, like Facebook (according to some), is is a front for an extreme right wing organisation. But, for arranging a date for a practice and a rapper dancing crawl prior to the national rapper sword dancing competition, I am willing to take a risk and avoid the confusions of arranging such events on email or, even worse, via text messages. Why not give it a try?