Thursday, March 08, 2007

Timeshifted Delegation Use-Case

In order to guarantee our 4 yr old daughter a spot in a city run 'Sporty Kids' program, my wife had to stay up till midnight last night as registration did not open till that time. (I had my beeper by the bedside in case I was needed for tech support but fortunately no call came in).

The time difference between Ottawa and India suggests an alternative.

My wife delegates her rights to a 'Municipal Service Registration Provider' based in Mumbai, for which the ungodly hour of 12 EST is a far more civilized mid-morning.

I can see it. Sipping his chai, a MSRP employee navigates through the various pages of the City of Ottawa registration site, referring to my wife's instructions as appropriate, selecting the right program, and providing my wife's credit card information at the end to finalize the transaction. If further interaction with the city were necessary to clarify some point, the representative would be authorized to send emails or IMs on my wife's behalf, or even impersonate her on the phone (existing call center training that teaches operators to use a nondescript mid-West accent would be relevant here, but would need to be localized with some 'eh's peppered indiscriminately throughout).

I see no downside. My wife gets extra sleep, we leverage the bandwidth surplus of deep Pacific submarine cables, and India gets needed exposure to Canadian sports programs (when have they last had a contending curling team?).

A possible alternative would be a Firefox extension that would submit a form at a specific time. I just can't see the desktop having the equivalent identity smarts of a Tata educated Masters student in the forseeable future.

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