Melody Kramer

Personalize the Push

21 Apr 2015 by melodyjoykramer

We’ve tackled push notifications before, but we haven’t talked about voice. Every push notification sounds like a headline. What if:

  • You could sign up for push notifications from a particular editor? Or a friend? Or in a particular voice?
  • You could opt to receive 10 delightful pushes over the course of a month, the way people opt in to wine-of-the-month clubs? We won’t send more than 10 pushes to you in a month, and they will all make you smile (or learn something…or feel like part of a larger cohort…)
  • You could respond to a push and know it went directly to an editor?

We have only tapped the surface of a push. You might say to yourself, “But I have turned off all pushes.” Find a 14-year-old. Ask that 14-year-old if he/she minds pushes. The answer is likely different than your own.

Pushing and pulling, Mel


Push Notification Responses:

Ryan writes, “Send me a push notification whenever Dan Barry writes something narrative that’s not about sports. I guess that’s more IFTTTy than about voice, but still.”

Brian writes, “Push notifications are huge in my house (14-yr old and 12-yr old). Mostly sports scores & news. I get CNN, which I like, and Facebook, which I don’t hate enough to turn off, but is usually not important enough to demand my immediate attention. Voice push would be a loser for me, because I’m often in places where I don’t want my phone/iPad talking to me. Maybe if the push contained a link to a voice file, but then it’s just a text message (or email), right? To your point, my kids might disagree with me, but at least at this age, I’d have to insist. Appropriate social conventions about when to use (and when to put away) their phones is a big topic of conversation in my house. My experience is that, left to their own devices (ha!), teenage kids will sit in the same room and stare at their phones for hours without ever speaking or even looking at each other. Perhaps fodder for another newsletter?”

From Sarah: “I read the message below and realized I’m already signed up for something like you describe: texts from one of my favorite authors, Kelly Sue DeConnick. And I really, really love getting these texts. Sometimes they’re curiously well timed - I’ll pick up my phone to unnecessarily check Facebook or Instagram and there will be a message from Kelly Sue, reminding me that bitches get shit done (#bgsd). And I get back to work.”

From Sonya: “I really like the idea of ten enjoyable push notifications. What about more visual ones, as opposed to the standard text? Like a photo of a bunny pushed onto the notification screen. That would make me happy. The tricky thing about push notifications is interruption. Even if 14-year-olds don’t mind being frequently prompted to drop everything and look at their phones, is that a good habit to encourage as the default? I guess it’s a moot point because app makers are (usually) incentivized to try and get you to open the app as frequently as possible.”

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