Tag Archive: phone


What on earth is this?

…was my reaction when I saw an 8-track tape for the first time. It’s so inefficient and outdated! Why would anyone use this?

I also imagine that this will be the reaction of my, now 4 month old son, when he gets older and sees a phone book for the first time.

My wife and I received our beloved phone book in the mail yesterday…and it was trashed in less than 2 minutes. This really got me to thinking…

There are approximately 500 million telephone directories each year in this country (between yellow pages, white pages, grey pages, etc)…the population of the United States is not even estimated to hit 400 million until the year 2042, which means that we print enough phone books for almost every man, woman, and child to own two copies!

Assuming each book was 1.5″ thick (although, I’ve received several that were closer to 3″ thick), they would weigh 2.5lbs each. This brings us to a total of 1.25billion pounds of wasted paper per year.

We’re wasting the paper equivalent of the following:

  • 312,500 Ford F-150 Pick-up Trucks (basic model), or
  • 358,886 Ford Mustangs (V-8 model…because that is the only real model…), or
  • 38,461,538 sets of golf clubs, or
  • 78,125,000 bowling balls (16 lb), or
  • 2,500,000,000 Big Mac Hamburgers (that is 1 Big Mac for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day for 2,283,105 years)

Now, I’ve heard that you can opt-out of receiving a phone book, but, until you change the default, the actions of the majority will remain unchanged.

We do crazy things in the name of conservation and recycling, but sometimes the simplest and most effective victories are right on our doorstep.

This post was inspired by upsidedownturtle – please keep the suggestions and ideas coming everybody! I really appreciate your thoughts/feedback; that’s why I started this blog in the first place!!!

My wife keeps getting phone calls from Western Michigan University’s Alumni Association asking for money; even though she’s asked to be removed from their calling list several times.

Upsidedownturtle’s husband keeps getting phone calls from the University of Michigan’s Alumni Association, first engaging in spurious small talk, and then asking for money (they’ve even gotten these calls on Sunday nights)! They have also asked several times to be removed from the calling list, but to no avail.

There are a couple of trends I’ve noticed when discussing telemarketers with my friends:

  1. No one that I know of has actually taken these folks up on their offers
  2. Everyone has tried to get removed from the associated calling list
  3. Very few folks have actually been successfully removed from said calling lists
  4. Every person feels as if their privacy has been invaded by these phone calls

Now, I understand where telemarketing came from. For a while it was the only option for any sort of “personal” contact with customers, but, with the options available today, why the heck are telemarketers still as prevalent as they are?

Nowadays you can send a custom e-mail to your customers with ads, sales, and features which are custom tailored to their specific interests. When this is done well, your customers will actually thank you and look forward to your e-mails (Etsy does a good job of this; my wife actually looks forward to getting her weekly e-mail from them, and she even makes an event out of going through the e-mail and adding new items to her wishlist).

The mind and expectations of today’s consumer has also changed. We don’t want you to invade our privacy; we want you to work for our attention, and we want to look at your ad on our time (if we look at your ad at all). Yes, this requires more effort on your part; you can’t just read us a script and expect us to invest our  money in you. You need to invest some time and effort into crafting an ad that is tailored to us, as individuals, and design it and deliver it in a way that makes us want to play along.

Yes, you will have fewer views (more people may initially answer their phones than click on your ad), but the customers that you get from this form of advertising will undoubtedly spend more money and time with your company (and not actually be turned off from your company by your mode of advertising)!

…and, just for fun, here’s another blog from Seth Godin about Permission Marketing!

Now, I love my HTC Aria…

It has great battery life, it takes a drop like a champion, it’s small and light weight, and it can actually make a phone call (Wahoo!), but, like most things on this earth, it has one slight flaw…

That dang camera!!!

As you can see in the lower left, the camera is next to the speaker, in the top, center on the back of the phone.

When I bought the phone, I was pleased to see that the camera lens was sunk into the phone (so it would not get scratched easily). What I failed to think about then (but think about every single day now), is about how that “camera hole” is a dust, dirt, and lint trap!

Yes, this problem could be (mostly) alleviated if I didn’t put the phone in my pocket, but I would consider it normal use for someone to carry a phone in their pocket nowadays. I would have considered this use case in my design process.

So, now all of my pictures look fuzzy, blurry, and washed out. Some days I’m able to get a Q-tip in there and kind of push the lint around (so it’s mostly out of the way of the lens), and, when I’m feeling  really adventurous, I take a lens cleaning wipe and smash it into the camera hole, which can clean it out pretty well (temporarily, anyway).

I also have a few friends with iPhones, and they complain about the lens getting scratched all of the time.

It basically comes down to this: if we’re going to keep putting cameras on phones, we’ve got to find a better way to do it.