Kevin Rose Can’t Keep Up With E-mail; Blaine Cook Can’t Wait To Speak With a Human: "On Friday, I moderated a fun panel at the Future of Web Apps conference in Miami. The basic premise was to try to come up with a compelling web app in 40 minutes. There were a lot of good ideas, but the best ones centered around communications and how to use technology to get around the frustrations of e-mail and phone calls.
It was clear that the panelists think these communication modes that we rely on every day may very well be in the process of breaking down. (CNet’s Caroline McCarthy, who was covering the conference, notes this as well).
Helge: Email and the Phone is what I feel has to change. We don't need to talk all the time. Email is a garbage sink.
A lot of the ideas were about getting around current communications bottlenecks. Leah Culver of Pownce came up with a white pages service that uses SMS text messages to look up phone numbers.
Helge: I'd like to see more people writing, blogging. The idea of having things documented is better than cold calls in the air.
Blaine Cook of Twitter suggested creating a call-back service that would, in effect, allow you call companies and put them on hold until a human answered.
Helge: Humans are avoiding phone calls?
In other words, you would specify what department you want to speak with at a company, and the software would call and go through the phone tree, and digitally push all the right buttons until it got to a human operator, at which point it would ring your phone. I thought this was brilliant.
Helge: Why not Twitter? I know why not, because there want be a response.
Leah Culver is the lead programmer for the messaging service Pownce. Previously she had worked at Instructables and gained internet notoriety from her laser-etched laptop project.