Board News > December Madness 2

APPS Division FINALS: Clock vs Text Messaging

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Oh, it's getting exciting now!

Ladies and gentlemen, it's time to choose which app will represent the entire apps division in the tournament semifinals. We have two very solid competitors here, and looking at both of them one thing is very clear: when it comes to stage management, tried and true wins out over new technology across the board.

Once again we face an organization vs communication decision here.

Clock has triumphed over Evernote and shuttered Camera with ease. Its simple function and reliable presence on every smartphone makes it indispensable. They say you can't please all of the people all of the time, but I don't think you'll ever hear a stage manager griping about how they wish they could delete the Clock app from their phone.

Meanwhile, Text Messaging has faced two cloud-sharing apps (Dropbox and Drive) but has yet to take on a real organizational tool like Clock. Stage managers have come down strongly in favor of organizational tools throughout this entire tournament. A win here for text messaging would turn that time in favor of the communication side of the job.

Santa will bring the answers to this matchup when he comes down the chimney at midnight (EST) on Christmas Eve.

Michelle R. Wood:
They just keep getting harder and harder. I really hate to choose one over the other here (just thinking about doing without either gives me shudders). But I had to vote for text messaging over clock. Why? Because the worst that will happen if I don't have a clock is that I'll have to be more conscientious about keeping up with what's going on and how long we've gone in rehearsal, and won't really affect anything but general bookkeeping for shows. But no texts? When I'm trying desperately to get up with actors stuck in traffic, my designer because a board or prop or scenic element is no longer working, or even just for my ASM backstage to suddenly let me know that someone's sick or hurt (yes, we have headphones, but sometimes not everyone has them or they don't stretch very far)? It's really a no brainer. Texts help us stay in communication with everyone all the time, and that's the primary job in SM.

I'm in the minority right now but my vote is for clock. It's the tool that I use more than anything as an SM. Scene timings, quick changes, cue calling, breaks, etc etc. Text messaging is convenient but not critical.

What good is an SMS telling you rehearsal is at 9:00am if you don't know when 9:00am is?

Gotta go with the clock!

Mac Calder:
Apparently in the olden days there was this thing called a waaa-tchh which one could strap about their wrist. There were two main types of waaa-tchh. One which told the time in the traditional way we are all used to when using "clock" - and another which required interpretation of a circular array of numbers with two or three bars which rotated around the face of the waaa-tchh. This second type of waaa-tchh was misleading however - as the numbers only went to 12 - we can only assume that the ancient waa-tchh users had some form of codex for decoding the time from this device.

(My vote is for SMS - without which I would never manage to complete my daily tasks as I would spend it all on the phone calling people one by one instead of shot-gun sms's)


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