Dear ‘Web Directory’ Company

Don’t waste your time or mine by calling me on the phone, asking me for my company’s name, address and such like.  Everything you need to know (and a thousand times more) to list my company in your ‘directory’ is right there on my web site.  If you haven’t looked at my web site, you don’t really care at all, and in that case I don’t understand what you think you’re doing.  You make no sense.  You’re phony.  Go away.

On a not altogether unsimilar note; Dear customer; I continue to fail to understand why you get on your computer, find our web site, and then e-mail us from the web site asking for a catalog.  There has never, in the history of retail been a print catalog that has as much information and imagery (including moving and talking pictures) as you have right now in front of you on the web site.  It’s always there, you can’t lose it in a stack of magazines and mail, you can access it from anywhere in the developed and semi-developed worlds, it won’t get damaged by your kids and pets, it won’t sit around getting in your family’s way, and your spouse won’t have to ask you six months from now if it can finally be thrown out.  I know that you, as the customer, are always right, and I appriciate your interest.  I just don’t understand some of your aspects.

Dear computer, computer software company, mobile device manufacturer or sellers and ISPs.  I frequently talk with people who do not have internet access.  I was told just today by a customer, for example, that he didn’t have a computer because he though he’d have to take a computer class and he just didn’t have that much interest or willingness to undergo what he believed would be a pain in the neck.  There are thousands and thousands of these people out there.  Maybe you don;t care about them one teeny tiny bit and that’s why you’re njot making any effort to get their business.  Instead all I can remember from any comercials is; “Spam, Malware, Viruses, SPY WARE!!!!  You could lose all your personal data!!!  Identity theft!!!  Your hard drive Will Crash, FOR SURE!!  Subscribe to our backup service or you’ll LOSE EVERYTHING!!!”  That’s your industry’s image in the minds of the people who represent the pieces of the pie you’re not going after.  They’re afraid, and for some good reasons.  It’s fine and understandable going after your competition’s customers, but there are a whole bunch of other potential customers no one’s going after.  Grow the pie, Man.

Yes I know; paragraphs two and three are closely related and both apply to my own business.  Yes, I’m being slightly hypocritical.

7 thoughts on “Dear ‘Web Directory’ Company

  1. ” I just don’t understand some of your aspects”

    There are times when a web site is better, times when a paper catalog is better. Catalogs are easy to carry, easily replaced, can be placed and used in places where computers cannot, can tear pages out and give away or store in envelopes for filing. When I am buying something expensive (>$100.00) I like to think about the purchase over least several days. I use both and each has their uses, advantages and disadvantages. I can understand why a business would prefer a web site only, please understand from the consumer viewpoint there are advantages of both.

    As to the computer service providers, it is to their economic advantage to scare people and require frequent updates/new services/apps or whatever. Excluding gamers for what probably 95% of the people using computers use them for i.e. net access, word processing, basic photography there is no need for a new physical system every5 years and new software system every 2-3 years, and new services for monthly charges. ( This may be changing with online streaming of movies). It is simply the way the market is set up to be most profitable to the companies not to the benefit of the consumer. Don’t have to like it or think that I can change it to realize it how it works.

    I would love to be able to buy a computer where the system is on a chip (think EPROM or a chip that is hardwired to be the system), no it would not be as flexible but it would be invulnerable to viruses, start up quickly and would be need replacement except when my needs change. I am not holding my breath however, there is not enough money in it to be made so it will not be made.

    PS Sorry Joe, I do know what field you work it and am not blaming individuals, this system was set up a long time ago. NJ

  2. @NukemJim, Lyle made this post not me.

    It’s possible to create a virus that resides in any executed code that is writable. For example if the BIOS of your computer can be updated without replacing the chip then a virus can be inserted into it. Such a virus could not be removed by reinstalling the O/S or even replacing the hard drive.

    I wrote such a “virus” (for demonstration purposes only to prove the concept, it was not capable of replicating without human assistance) once for a government agency. I later tried to obtain it via FOIA (it wasn’t classified at the time I did it). They then claimed it was classified and would be not be made public. I still have some resentment over that. I could recreated it (written in assembly language the executable code was only about 200 bytes) but I don’t really have a use for such a thing.

  3. I have a desktop PC and a laptop. Neither is comfortable to use in the bathroom while bathing or while crapping. The old deadtree copies of HandGuns and Guns and Ammo store easily in a cabinet drawer, cost little if dropped in the tub, and can be re-read time and again for entertainment purposes.

    Other than that, I agree with your first point about websites being better. And if I were awash in money, I would likely upgrade both tub and crapper with wall-mounted laptops and large flat screen monitors.

  4. Yep as awesome as the Midway and Brownells catalogs are for leafing through while I wait for my wife to “Get Ready” (Quotes, because I know what I do when I get ready, and it wouldn’t take me that long if one of my legs was in a cast) I don’t do any shopping off of it because the website is more up-to-date, alerts me to new specials, and lets me know if item X is in stock currently.

  5. “It’s possible to create a virus that resides in any executed code that is writable. For example if the BIOS of your computer can be updated without replacing the chip then a virus can be inserted into it.”

    Bingo. So use ROMs only. If I could get a computer that couldn’t be updated without replacing a chip, if executable files could only be run from physical ROMs due to the hard archetecture, I’d buy it. That way if I have a problem, at least I know exactly where it came from. Sure it would be a logistics nightmare for the software companies, the user’s access to new apps would be diminished, but I for one would jump on it. Most of the updates we get on-line are for security anyway.

    But the post was about marketing. Microsoft did a series of TV adds a few years ago that I thought was superb. It was about the great capabilities of ordinary folks– envision it and you can do it. Still, it was directed more to the existing users, I felt, and not so much to the non-users who represent a significant market.

  6. I’ve used my Sharp Zaurus, which has a flashable ROM, until the projects for it were no longer being updated. I could understand the attraction of a ROM system, except for one thing: I want a small, portable computer that I can program to my heart’s content. A ROM device is going to interfere with that somewhat.

    Indeed, perhaps the biggest struggle I had was getting either an on-device compiler, or a cross-compiler, working for it. I never got it working, so I was never able to write a device driver for a keyboard I liked. Without a keyboard, I couldn’t use the device effectively any more!

    Currently I’m interested in Lisp, which is a highly dynamic language. Short of keeping the “core” on ROM, I think having a ROM-only device would interfere with my desire to program.

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