Wednesday, August 10, 2011

No Social Media Required

An Invasion of Privacy

I have been observing a trend that people want to reclaim some privacy that Facebook and other websites have seemingly taken. Spin offs like Google+,, and Path (now, ironically, part of Facebook) are all giving us options to be more selective with whom we share our online lives with. I'm glad we have options, because I stopped using Facebook about a year ago. It became more about making money with advertising and promotion than about sharing your life with friends.

While Facebook might not be high on my list there are plenty of social media websites that I use on a daily basis to connect and communicate with people. I have a Twitter page, YouTubeFlickr, you name it. All of these websites have options to reach out to people (hence the social part). But I am a strong believer in making an effort in relationships that matter. Texting and tweeting are okay for people I don't have a strong relationship with, but I want to have actual conversations with people I care about. That means a phone call.

When someone takes time out of their day for a phone call it is more personal than any text or tweet could ever be. On the extreme, My Grandma still sends me a handwritten letter in the mail, at least twice a year. Now that's personal. But for most of us a phone call is the new snail mail. Anecdotally, with the increasing popularity of texting, I've noticed people are more apt to text than to call. Sure, it's quick and effective. But when has building relationships ever been about those two words?

Building Relationships

Phone calls are one way to drive healthy and sustainable relationships. This was the core idea behind my Android App - Phone Tracks. Being two years out of college, I was having trouble keeping up with people from various social groups. I had friends from high school, friends from college, distant relatives, and various business contacts. To make matters worse, when using Facebook and Twitter my true friends often got lost in the crowd. My solution was to have a phone app that would keep track of a small group of people. That way I could focus on building relationships with people that matter.

Four months later, I published Phone Tracks to the Android market (sorry iPhone users). Simply put: You add five contacts, and the app remind you to call them and tell you how long it's been since you last spoke.

It can work for:
- Immediate/extended family members
- College/high school buddies
- New romantic interests
- Potential sales leads or financial donors
- Existing clients
- Or whoever you wish and have the digits for

Feedback Rocks

It has been an exciting journey to see this app go from conception to market. In the past few months, I have had the privilege of working with two very talented freelancers. One is a developer from Germany named Martin, and the other is a Designer from Romania named Mihai.

As Summer ends and Fall begins I want to continue improving this application. If you use it please give me some feedback: what did you like? what did you hate? or anything in between. If you have any suggestions at all please email I'd love to hear what you think.

Thanks for stopping by,