2016-03-18 — Boy, was I wrong about this one. In my defense, though, it was pretty awful to read email on your phone in the year 2001.
“It’s the interface, stupid!”
I got in a discussion recently about text messaging on mobile phones. I don’t understand why so much money is being pumped into this concept. Even those nifty little thumb-keyboards are not going to get people to start sending eMail over their mobile phones en masse. Y’know why? BECAUSE IT’S A MOBILE PHONE!
Why do we have eMail?
- To transfer files
- To send spam
- To communicate with someone who cannot or will not allow us to reach him on a telephone
That’s it, really. What else is the point of eMail? Can you think of another purpose?
Now, I don’t know about you, but I am pretty much never going to want to receive files on my mobile phone. Check it out: That spreadsheet? You eMail it to me and I will check it out when I get home or to the office.
The spam? Do I really need to tell you that I don’t want spam on my mobile phone?
And the last reason? You want to reach me, but I won’t give you my phone number. If that’s the case, then I don’t give a crap about reading whatever it is you have to tell me right now, on my phone. Trust me. It can wait until I get back to a desk. Not just because I am trying to avoid you, but also because I have a problem if I am going to respond to you. The problem is this: If I don’t care enough about you to simply TALK to you on my PHONE, that means that in order to reply to you I’m going to have to TYPE something. And there is just no simple way of typing into anything small enough for me to want to use as a mobile phone.
“But,” you say, “what if I could call a messaging service, speak my message, and they would type it to send as an eMail to the recipient?” Genius? I don’t think so. If I’m going to call someone and speak my response, why don’t I just call the damn fool who’s trying to talk to me in the first place?
It just doesn’t make sense to me. Phones and eMail are not supposed to go together. It’s kind of like the whole WebTV concept. I don’t want to browse the web on my television. Why would anyone want to do that? The web is (at heart) a textual medium. You can’t read a TV!
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