You've Got Mail!

I’ve been thinking about these interesting comments on mobile recruiting. And, Ron Bower’s post. Again, I’m not anti-mobile (and in fact am right on track for a french-fried brain) but I’m wondering whether sometimes we use a more complicated piece of technology than we need to, perhaps often out of insecurity that we’ll be seen as uncool or behind the times.

I still have AOL. I kept my old screen name and a negotiated low payment so that my grandparents, ages 94ish and 89ish, can use a secondary screen name associated with it, and believe me, they’re sure as hell not switching to Gmail when they’ve got a dial-up connection and ask me questions like “Is the Internet open today?”

So I kept my AOL account for now, and check it once in a blue moon, and, yep, I hear a voice say “You’ve Got Mail!” and then read on Twitter on elsewhere that if you’ve still got AOL, you might as well lie on top of a Minneapolis stadium on a snowy day, your life is worth nothing, and so on. 

My AOL address is a good place for semi-spam newsletters, for my grandparents, for corresponding with people if I’m selling something on Craigslist, as well as for handing out to a handful of my most nuts relatives. It works. Obviously, I could set up a free Yahoo or other address for all this sort of thing, but again, remember grandma. 

I have a little radio, about $15 from RadioShack, that’s good for the beach or other places where something more expensive could get stolen, lost, or muddy. Someone saw it recently, antenna and all, and cracked up — even offering to buy me a more updated radio. 

Now, between my wife and I, we have three Mac computers, a flat screen TV, two iPods, a video camera, digital cameras, and maybe soon an iToaster, but, yes, there are occasions where for me as a consumer, the low-tech radio beats high tech.  

In business, and in recruiting specifically, that can be true too. The newest and the coolest tool usually is the best. Once in a while, though, the older tool, the less hip, the almost-embarrassing one — it’ll do the trick.

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