Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Communication between Old and New
I was away last week visiting my parents, who are in their 80's and assisting an uncle who is in a nursing home. For one week, my fingertips fell away from the pulse of ecommerce onto the frailer, paler, pulse of elderly wrists.
When these people pass away, I will miss them; but this trip I was also struck by how much I will miss their modes of communication. For example, my dad loves to give me informative clippings. He gives them at the start of a visit, rifles through the manila folder for more at the end and mails them in thick packets in between, often with a handwritten note: "You probably already know this stuff. All's well here. Dad"
Compare this with the communication I received from a 20-something customer. She had bought our kit and had a question but didn't know how to get hold of me, so she posted a query on our You Tube account.
Repeat: This young woman had my kit and therefore also had my website URL and email address but she didn't know how to contact me. I've heard that to someone of her generation email = snail mail. But I hadn't really realized that my email is as useless to her as my twitter address is to my elderly uncle.
It reminded me of 12 years ago, when I started my business and would get 100 phone calls a day. Now I get about 20. Five years ago, I used to be flooded with emails, now not so much. This despite the fact that sales are up.
At that moment I finally GOT it. Social Networking IS the revolution, and I gotta get with the program. No point in resisting any longer.