Speaking of email, this solution is so off course that it’s amusing.
Om has written an interesting blurb on email. Email inherits many of the targeting and noise problems inherent in physical mail, only the problem is much worse because the cost of electronic postage is dramatically cheaper.
Folks have been working on aspects of this for a long time. Goodmail is doing a few interesting things in certification. Boxbe is taking the time-honored approach of trying legitimize your inbox as a marketing channel. Others are making a run at validation, electronic postage et al.Google has tried to solve part of the problem with search (presumably Yahoo will through its Bloomba acquisition).
There is no doubt that authentication, categorization, search and relative prioritization are important in email.
Email may need improvements in technology, but it is broken as a consumer product (perhaps it’s a victim of its own moniker). The physical mailbox doesn’t scale. The mailbox metaphor in email doesn’t either. It’s a monolith.
For most people (at least people I know), I would venture to say that email is a firehose of too many kinds of information from too many kinds of sources and relationships. I just logged into a Yahoo account that I don’t even use that often and I have 12,000 unread messages and 1200 messages marked as spam (assuming it takes me 3 seconds to scan, open, and delete an email, I’d spend 10 hours clearing out my inbox). The solution is NOT to automatically push all of these messages into different folders, nor is it to just let me search for what might be important. The solution is build suitable channels for respective kinds of messages and create software that best handles the channels.
As I write this I’m down to 11,999 unread messages. Wish me luck.
If you live in the US, have a happy holiday.
If you don’t live in the US, imagine everyone you know in the US with a beer bottle in one (or both) hand(s) in reasonable proximity to a smoking grill. It might be a good time to send them an email assuming that if you don’t receive a reply within a few hours, you’ll conclude something that enriches you at their expense.
First impressions, in no particular order:
- The device and OS are great.
- The network is not great(no surprise there).
- It pairs seamlessly with the Prius hands free system.
- It lacks MMS.
- The SIM is removable with a paper clip.
- It doesn’t seem to recognize and properly configure GAFYD accounts (at least it did not work with mine).
- Battery life is as claimed- great.
- Irony: the GSM radio interferes with my computer’s sound system. If the rebuttal to this is a suggestion that consumers need to understand RF shielding, it’s a miss (to be fair it’s an age-old issue).
- It represents a huge breakthrough, not in technology but in product. Industry pundits will rightfully suggest that a lot of the technologies in the iPhone have been around for a while. This is true, but Apple has artfully combined them, in conjunction with their own IP, to create something that will have a much more interesting legacy that a Wikipedia article. I recommend that everyone (who reads this blog) spend some time playing with an iPhone.
Walt’s review the the iPhone gives a great assessment while highlighting what we’ve always known to be the issue: Apple is great at what they do and the phone itself is a breakthrough, but ATT’s network leaves something to be desired.
It’s always fascinating to me when accomplished and seemingly collected folks lose it in the face of market realities. At least "The Dean Scream" could have been attributable to a microphone. Via Search engine land and The Register , MacMillan executive Richard Charkin details in his blog how he and a colleague took some laptops from Google’s booth at Book Expo America, waited nearby for an hour until Google folks figured out the laptops had been taken, and, when asked, returned them. Why? To make a point about Google Book Search and intellectual property.
The is from the CEO of MacMillan. Never mind the bizarre nature of the "prank" and that it doesn’t really parallel the IP issues. The guy and a colleague WAITED AN HOUR. Was he tittering uncontrollably while hiding behind a booth wall clutching the laptops against his blazer and shorts? Perhaps they made a fortress behind the modesty panel of a nearby table?
File under "misfire."
Charlie touches upon the situation leading to the renaming of my blog here. The Prius has become a badge of good intent for some who would otherwise not suffer inconvenience for the sake of the environment. It’s also part of a more serious series of life changes for many of us.
Lest we forget, for some it’s a car that gets essentially the same mileage as an ’86 Honda CRX. For others it’s a way to buy into the carpool lane. I’ll take the intent.
I’m a loyal Amazon customer, and with the free trial of Prime, I’m now a more frequent customer as well. The LA Times recently carried a story on Amazon’s "dynamic" pricing scheme. I read the story with some interest, and, while it was intriguing, I assumed the issue was a minor annoyance because Amazon was notifying customers if the price of anything in their respective carts had changed since they added it. At least that was my position before this weekend. I purchased a DVD from Amazon last week, so when I returned to the site this weekend, I was not surprised that they recommended the soundtrack. At ~15 dollars it seemed like a deal. So I clicked on the item to view the description, scanned it briefly and had to leave for dinner. When I returned and added it to my cart it was…..~19 dollars. Would I have paid 19 dollars for the soundtrack at the outset? I might have. But the fact that the price had changed so quickly was a bit disconcerting. My response- I went to iTunes and bought the soundtrack for ~10 dollars. Perhaps the transparency into pricing increases is supposed to reduce time to transaction (and across many consumers over time it might), but for this consumer, it’s been a reminder to compare prices before I consummate a purchase with Amazon.
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