I was on a flight the other day, and happen to see this guy with a really cool PDA phone. I wasn’t sure of the make, and being the gadget hound that I am, I had to know, so I asked. He replied that it was the new Blackberry 8800. It was incredibly cool, and he was obviously pleased to own it. I asked him if he loved it, and what all it did, any new features, etc. His reply… “Oh to me it is just a phone.” I am sure I got a confused/dumbfounded look on my face, and then I followed up with another question of “you don’t use it for anything else?” His reply was essentially he only used it as a phone, he “didn’t need all the other stuff.” I swear my head started to spin, and I felt faint. He won the dipstick of the day award. Here is a really great tool, I mean the PDA phone has functionality out the wazoo, we are talking email, calendar, instant messaging, a to do list, Internet browser, maps, GPS, multi-media player, all this amazing stuff, and this guy only uses it as a phone? He may be the dipstick of the year award winner (especially if I exclude the politicians). First off, there are many cheaper ways to go if you just want a phone, and secondly, I think the status of an item plays a little too big a role in this guy’s purchase decisions. I sure wish I was his car salesman, I mean realtor. 🙂
Obviously I was frustrated by this guy’s admission of absolute inefficiency, I mean what a waste of a perfectly good piece of equipment. All the potential to do great things on the go, and it just exists as a lowly phone, not much better than those massive Motorola brick phone of the 80s. It still freaks me out to think about it.
However, the whole experience got me thinking about the similar situation with websites. There are many business people out there who don’t have websites yet, which is just a real shame, they are missing out on ever-increasing online opportunities. Then there are others who have websites, but are only using the site as essentially an online brochure. They are not taking advantage of all the options open to them, or attempting to propel the site and firm’s message up the SERPs, and ultimately in front of potential clients. That too is a waste, a major waste. If you have a website, then you have taken an important step, at least you have something to work with, but just as the Blackberry 8800 was just this guy’s phone, there is much more to a site than just being a brochure. By using SEO tools the power of a site can be released, either by site owners, or through SEO professionals. A site, which is optimized, can take advantage of all the online opportunities available, and becomes an efficient business tool. As a business owner, not having a site is a poor business decision, however, not optimizing a site makes the decision to create the site in the first place questionable. A site not properly optimized is nothing more than a dream not pursued, and opportunity lost.
As for the Blackberry 8800, I was very tempted. But I have decided to hold out. I will go with what I have (miserable Treo700p anyway) until the glorious month of June, where I shall be thereby christened “iPhone Aaron, Mobile Boy.”