Save the trees – send an email

Al DiGuido writes in ClickZ this week about how traditional businesses could benefit from thinking about how ned media technologies can be used in their day-to-day business. DiGuido commutes into New York from the suburbs ad describes how, when there are train delays in the morning, the transit authority prints explanations of the delay and places them on train seats for the afternoon return. As DiGuido writes: “Here we are, in the media capital of the world. The year is 2008, not 1878. And the mass transit organization hasn’t figured out how to send breaking news alerts and apology notifications via e-mail? Can you imagine how many hours it took the department to format this printed notification, then put it on the seats in every car of every train leaving Grand Central Station during rush hour? It’s absurd! Especially in light of the fact that all this work was done for one day’s train delay.

“Trains are delayed all the time. This practice gets replayed hundreds of times a year. What part of the e-mail and Internet movement has the transit authority missed? If it started looking at the technology that its customers use each day, it would figure out that the best way to communicate – the essential way to communicate with customers – is real-time e-mail.”

This is a really practical example of how online technology can save serious money every day. Mind you, he doesn’t talk about the cost of obtaining email addresses for those thousands of commuters…