This is the first in a series of new and regular articles that I, Phil Taylor, will be writing for Chronicle.lu over the next few months. The series will focus on using the World Wide Web in Luxembourg as part of your daily life. It will mostly be about what services are available on what websites and how you can access them as quickly and easily as possible. I cover everything from LuxTrust and MyGuichet to online banking, shopping, social networks and much more.
I got the idea for the articles when a family friend told me about an experience that they had with a municipality. In the old days, they would phone the municipality and speak to somebody who would let them know how to proceed and what paperwork to submit. The person at the municipality would call back with confirmation that all was OK and good to go. Our friend’s experience online was, in their words, “much more complicated” because they had nobody to speak to at the municipality.
Let’s first look at who I am.
I am a technocrat, somebody who understands technology and knows what makes it work. I know, for example, that if you visit a website then you cannot break it accidentally - if it does not work for you, then it was not built properly (and this includes you clicking on the wrong button).
I have been working in internet marketing since 2007 when websites were static pages and mobile phones were just that, phones. My day job is to help businesses use the web to grow and get more customers. Over the years, I have become used to working with websites and apps for mobile devices, getting to know what works and what does not. During that time, people have asked many questions from the point of view of the “end user” - you - and I thought that it is about time that these questions were given some attention.
Moving on, what can you expect to get from my articles in this series?
The Luxembourg Government has made a concerted drive to put as many of its services to you online. The government has also encouraged the municipalities to do the same. In a much more digital environment, you cannot be blamed for becoming a little overwhelmed with all these new, digitised and online services. My aim here is to explain what you can expect from these new public service websites and apps.
There are some good things happening in the digital world, both locally and globally. Locally, more and more businesses are not only online but also have apps for your mobile devices that you can use to communicate with them and buy from them with ease. Many have online-only offers and discounts - Biscuit anybody?
The social networks have evolved and become huge behemoths that are difficult to control but provide services that you feel that you cannot do without, like sharing your life with your friends and family, giving and getting recommendations and reviews of products and services. I will be looking into these and letting you know what is there and what is coming.
I do not intend to just describe what is on offer from whom and how to use it, I will also delve into reviewing apps, social platforms, local services and so on. My aim is to let you know about the good things and the not so good things about the online technology available for you to use, whether it is on your computer, smartphone, tablet or any other Internet-enabled device.
If you have any topics, apps, websites, gripes and moans that you want me to have a look at and let the wider world discover, then let us know through the usual channels.