Evolution of Contact Information

Ever notice that, today, when you ask an email correspondent for their contact information (those who don't include it in their e-signature), what one gets is different than a few years ago.

Today, one gets:

  • one or more email addresses,
  • cell phone #,
  • Twitter handle,
  • various URL's to information on the web (usually LinkedIn, Facebook, the person's blog/tumblr, et al.); and

What one doesn't get:

  • a physical address
  • IM name
  • landline phone #


  • Service providers (e.g., lawyers, accountants, consultants), who, no surprise, give reams of contact information
  • Executives in large companies with executive assistants (who, increasingly and humorously in many cases, have their own elaborate e-signatures)
  • Folks outside the tech/media startup world

Interesting how address book technology hasn't kept up.  In the version of Outlook I use, there's no field for one's Twitter handle (one can still enter one's IM address/name), only space for one "web site", and no recognition in any of the "database fields" of the rise of social networks as a part of one's identity and "address".

And, in typical MSFT style, none of the fields is editable by the user.  In a play on WYSIWYG, I call it WMWIWYG ("What Microsoft Wants Is What You Get").