Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Hey Verizon - It isn't the money!

In case you're wondering where I've been the past few days, please allow me to explain. I'm a bit of a pack rat, which annoys Bocona to no end. Over the last year I've collected a fairly large pile of magazines, most of which I have no use for, but never took the time to read. When Bocona decided to do some holiday cleaning, she targeted the magazine stack, and shifted the stack to my desk... right on top of my trusty notebook computer.

"You don't even think about using that computer until you deal with those magazines!" Bocona can be persuasive.

So, for the last few days, while suffering the pain of computer withdrawal, I was sorting through my magazine stack - a task consisting mostly of shifting the stack from point A to point B one magazine at a time, discarding enough to show serious thought had gone through the culling.

Somewhere in there I encountered a statistic I felt worth sharing. It seems 38% of American Internet users choose to exclusively use dial-up access. Please note the word choose. These aren't necessarily financially disadvantaged people. These people don't cite cost as the reason. No, within the United States, price is not why people aren't using broadband. And yet AOL, NetZero, and PeoplePC all market their dial-up service as if that were the case, and Verizon markets its DSL the same way.

No, 38% of American Internet users choose to use dial-up because they don't see why they should upgrade. They don't use any Internet service that is so speed sensitive that they can't simply be a little patient and wait for dial-up. As marketers, the web developers have been so sensitive to the needs of the dial-up users that they are literally removing the incentive for the dial-up user to upgrade.

Remarkable. Even more so that some folks have talked about pushing the US government to subsidize broadband access to help the lower classes join the fast set. Look at the stats, people! It's not the money!

Now, if someone needs subsidizing, turn to the Internet users outside the US. I've heard stories about speed/billing issues that would have kept me offline had I been forced to use them. But if you're building content for American visitors, do them a favor. Don't over-optimize the site. Give them the reason to join the rest of us!

And hope I don't have any more housecleaning chores lined up for the near future.

On Rudeness...

Add to my list people who set appointments, then fail to keep them. Rude! Don't build a candidate's hopes then avoid the contact when you change your mind. If you intend to be a boss, be one, and start with getting up the backbone to call the candidate and explain that you changed your mind, and you no longer wish the interview. Candidates will be less likely to hold a grudge if you cancel the appointment than if you stand them up!

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