Please Excuse Typos and I Likely Didn’t Read Your Entire Mail.

June 29, 2010

I love mobile devices. In fact I have a problem with devices, I buy too many. Each time I purchase a new phone I promise myself “this will be the last one for the year…well maybe 6 months.” And before I know it, I’m un-boxing a shiny new device. Case in point: in April I got the iPad and loved it. Told myself I was set. At the end of April, I bought the new HTC Droid Incredible, which is an amazing device. At that point I expressed my love of the device and vowed THIS would be the last new phone I’d buy in 2010. Then came the iPhone 4. I tried – really I did – to not look, but the monkey on my back took over, and I jumped on the pre-order list. In fairness to me, I always carry two phones and I hadn’t upgraded my iPhone from the original – so… Since opening the iPhone 4 last week I said to myself “Howie you’re done – no more – nada mas.” That was all fine until on Boy Genius I spied the soon to be released Droid X – newest phone from Verizon coming in a few weeks. Maybe that will be my last device for the year? Anyway – the reason for my post has nothing to do with my addiction to tech gadgets, rather it’s about another problem – a real problem – that seems to occur far too often: people missing important stuff on the go.

It seems while the mobile phenomenon has brought us all closer together and able to respond almost instantly from anywhere, it has also given birth to a new problem as well – missing important details by not scrolling down. I’m not speaking from personal experience nor is this anything any of our clients have done, but a lot of information gets ignored simply because folks don’t take the time to go a few “swipes, pinches, or scrolls” down to read the entire message. While this may sound like not such a big deal – it can make a big difference especially when scheduling is involved or if a reporter is waiting for an important data-point in order to wrap their story.

Oprah has done a good job promoting her “No Phone Zone” where she has celebrities sign a pledge not to text or use their phone in the car. Yeah – like that’s really NOT going to happen. Anyway – the idea is good and it makes for some great PR. Maybe Oprah needs to incorporate a “I Will Read” pledge whereby people commit to an entire message, not just the part visible on the screen in front of them. And what about typos? They seem to be in vogue again – didn’t they die about the same time as the typewriter – hence the name typo? They’ve made a strong comeback – with no slowing in sight. But it’s okay because people ask for forgiveness at the end of nearly every message sent from their device. I wonder how this would work in other instances: Please excuse my driving, I’ve been drinking. Please excuse my screaming child, he’s spoiled. Please excuse our oil spill, we were drilling. Just saying…

Howie

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