Monday, March 11, 2013

Get On Your Front Porch

In the old days, neighborhoods were set up with large front porches, really close to the side walk.  It was inviting.  Sitting on your front porch each night invited neighbors and even strangers to come by and carry on a conversation.
You would never know who you'd meet, and what new friends you'd make (some for a lifetime).
That's all changed now.  Some neighborhoods don't even have side walks.  You might as well post a "Don't Come Up To Me" sign on every home.  I'm not a big fan of those neighborhoods.  In fact, I'd never live in one myself, but many people today like it just fine.  I think the thought of a large sidewalk and porch would be too much for them.
I thought of that the other day when I was browsing some Internet sites.  It seems to be a trend on sites where users can't access an email to send a direct message.  Instead, users are asked to fill out a form with the exact reason why they'd like to be contacted. 
For example, if I had just a short question.  I just couldn't email it.  I'd have to fill out their forms with all my information and let them decide if they should return my message.  Maybe I don't want to be part of the database.  What if I just had a quick question.
Sounds strange to me.  We've been told that the great thing about this technology age is that we can communicate easily with companies.  But many of the websites don't seem to like it when we (the user) gain control of sending a message.  Some don't even post a physical address.
Just like with our neighborhoods, I would think the more inviting we make our sites and the easier we make it for people to approach us, the more lifelong clients we will earn.
-Ron Ameln, SBM

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