Notifications are incredibly useful but only when the information is important. You wouldn't want the bat phone on silent, but you also don't want it ringing to be sold insurance.

I realised how badly my notifications were configured when a comment on Facebook caused my phone to ping and two computers to make a noise. Thats a lot of attention. So that's an email sent an a push notification to my phone.

I've started to reconfigure all of this because of the level of annoyance. The problem is that the levers that I have to use are all a bit unsubtle. Email or not, notify or not.

What about importance and engagement? I'm not talking about AI a few simple rules would do it, they actually manage it pretty well with the feed. Can't be hard to detect if I'm actively engaged in a conversation or just chiming in to cause trouble.

The intelligence doesn't actually have to be in the service that your interacting with there could easily be a middle man service that you forward everything to. I would have to work out two things, the importance of the message (hard) and where you are.

If its important sent a push and have it make a noise, make of note of whether I have seen it. If I havent make sure that it shows up when I move to a different device. For less important information queue it up into a feed that can be looked at later.

This isn't a spam filter, its something more I think. Google are getting there with voice which does part of the job, maybe of Apple could come up with a similar service and roll their push notification into it that might get half way there.




This is a rant, sorry, but not totally content free.

Any email or communication that I get that isn't interesting to me is spam. Because I'm a hypocrite that includes the email I specifically asked to see, boring is still spam. I want a check box that says only send me stuff I'll be interested in, and then it had better still be amazing.

So how does this affect a company or individual? Don't send email. Unless you can guarantee that the recipient will be interested in what you have to say, Just don't. This includes deal of the frigging day.

All companies that you and I deal with have masses of information about us, they are just being lazy.  I'm a bloke, sending me lazer hair removal offers is not going to make me want to spend my money. You are now an annoyance, the hole is only going to get deeper and yet you stil seem to be digging.

Facebook knows everything about me, so why the hell do I see un-targeted adverts. If they charged by impression adverts would get targeted really quickly. Targeting population segments based on loads of information is supposed to be a Marketing wet dream so whats going on. In fact i think that is the definition of a Market.

There are companies that can do this and do it well, unfortunately the cost of over communication isn't measured only the conversion.

Assume that you get to communicate with an individual once a year. As an example take 50k customers (nice to have) and segment them into fifty groups. So you're compiling one email a week, leave them alone at christmas please. For that thousand people find something that they will want to see. That is not hard. Please bear in mind though that you don't get to talk to them again for a year so make it good. Or better still don't send the email at all.

And don't ever call me after 6, just don't. There's a reason that I'm available then, and it's not for you.