Obsolete? or not Obsolete? That is the question

In a recent online article I read by by Mike Elgan, Computerworld, entitled 10 Obsolete Technologies to Kill in 2010, I came across two items that I found debatable that directly pertain to design and advertising, so I felt like talking about them.

Item # 3 – KILL WWW. I think I would agree with. I have a lot of discussion with clients about “http://” and “www.” I’m of the opinion that these ARE obsolete. As Mr. Elgan says, one’s browser fills that material in anyway. Why clutter up one’s brand with that additional “www?” It reads better without it. Think of your favorite major brand TV commercial – they don’t mention it. Some don’t even mention the “.com.” (ie: eHarmony ) I confess, I added it to my own business cards and now am wondering why? Thoughts? Any reason to keep the infamous “WWW?”

“3. WWW

The original idea with Internet addresses is that a prefix would identify the type of service provided. So, for example, http://www.apple.com identifies Apple’s “World-Wide Web” servers, and ftp.apple.com points to the company’s offerings available via the “File Transfer Protocol.”

Network administrators get to choose whether an address technically requires a “www.” But browsers fill it in for you even when you don’t type it.

That’s why saying “www” as part of an address, printing it on business cards or typing it into your browser address box is always unnecessary. We stopped using “http://” years ago, and it’s time to stop using “www” as well.”
– from the article by Mr. Elgan –

Item #4 – Business Cards. On this point, Mr. Elgan and I disagree. While the technology to trade info electronically exists, I don’t think it’s in widespread use, yet. For instance, being season tix holders at the Dallas Stars’ games, I was trying to trade info with the season ticket holders who sit next to my guy and I. She had an iPhone. I, having completely drunk the Apple Kool-aid, am an addict for anything with an Apple logo and have had an iPhone for a couple of years now.  When I suggested that we “Bump” (a third-party app that just exchanges info), she didn’t have the app. What if she didn’t have an iPhone… do the apps still work on different phone platforms?  I can enter her number manually, but what happens if I’m at a networking luncheon and have only a brief moment of about 30 peoples’ time? Do I stop and enter all those numbers manually? “Wait just one more minute potential customer, while I finish typing in this last persons info…” Yikes! AND, do I want to scroll through all those numbers in my phone’s database every time I want to call my book club buddies? Not!

I think business cards, which originated as a way to introduce oneself as one arrived at another’s home, are here to stay. Simple, inexpensive, FAST advertising. As easy as shaking hands.

Talk to me… Business cards… Thumbs up? or down?

“4. Business cards

Speaking of business cards, why do we still carry around 19th-century “calling cards”? When someone gives you a business card, they’re giving you a tedious data entry job, one that most people never complete.

There are several alternatives to business cards, all superior. If the meeting is arranged by e-mail, include contact information in the invitation and reply as e-mail signatures, attached vCards, links to contact Web pages or some other electronic form.

Besides, you should always learn in advance what you can about people you’re going to meet, and that’s a good time to enter their contact information. And if you just run into someone, and exchange contact information, it’s best to do it by e-mail or some other means on the spot, with cell phones.

Adding someone to your contacts should involve double clicking or, at most, copying and pasting—not data entry.” – from the article by Mr. Elgan –

To see the rest of Mr. Elgan’s article go to http://www.macworld.com/article/145309/2009/12/10_technologies.html?lsrc=rss_news


2 Responses to “Obsolete? or not Obsolete? That is the question”

  1. smallcreative Says:

    In a virtual world, business cards are perhaps the one remaining opportunity you have to communicate who you are as a company through tactile expression. How the card feels, the texture, the shape, the thickness, the color, the type, are all means to express what makes your company distinct in a way that your potential customer can actually touch.

    In a virtual world, don’t discard this important opportunity to communicate your brand to your client.

  2. Caren Says:

    Excellent comment! I think the touch and feel of business cards is something I may have taken for granted in my initial post! I totally agree!

    There’s nothing like getting a well-designed BC on a terrific paper to get my attention. Although I’m partial, being a designer, I’m convinced that these luxuries really sell one’s brand. I know I look over a good BC many times, while the cheap ones usually hit the recycling bin.

    I’m sure there are hordes of Psychologists and neuro-scientists who would confirm that memories are further etched into one’s psyche and more easily recalled when several senses are involved in the writing of that memory. And what is branding, but etching one’s brand into the customer’s memory?

    If only we could add smells…..

    Great point! Thanks for the post!

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