Code, nerd culture and humor from Greg Knauss.

The trouble with social networks is that there’s always people on the other end, and people are a problem.

I recently put an old jogging stroller — jogging… stroller, jogging stroller, jumbo shrimp — up on Craigslist and had a completely wonderful experience: creating the ad was fast, easy, secure, anonymous and free. I was contacted by several interested local parties over the next day. I schedule a time with the first, great, and they would stop by after work.

And that, of course, was where things went wrong. The system breaks down as soon contact with other people is required.

They poked it and prodded it and wheeled it around and put their children in it and took them out and put them back in and fretted that it was too wide and wondered if the tires were still any good despite all the poking and prodding and wheeling and took their children out. And then they started over. Twice. And then they hemmed and hawed about how their third child — yet unconceived — would fit into it. And it took them thirty freakin’ minutes to decide if they wanted a perfectly serviceable stroller for less than a third of the retail price. And then they offered $40 instead of the $50 I listed it for. And then they paid in fives and ones and a handful freakin’ Sacajawea dollars.

And come on. This was a beautiful transaction right up until it involved human contact. Is there anybody out there working to fix this problem? With something other than a gun?

Hi there! My name's GREG KNAUSS and I like to make things.

Some of those things are software (like Romantimatic and Buzz Clock), Web sites (like the Webby-nominated Metababy and The American People) and stories (for Web sites like Suck and Fray, print magazines like Worth and Macworld, and books like "Things I Learned About My Dad" and "Rainy Day Fun and Games for Toddler and Total Bastard").

My e-mail address is greg@eod.com. I'd love to hear from you!

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