With the memory of OpenWorld fading, I wanted to riff on one thing I noticed and found interesting last week.
Stickers, or rather the lack of them.
Rich and and I whipped up a last-minute plan to produce some stickers right before OpenWorld, and many of you were the beneficiaries last week. I added the AppsLab sticker to my Macbook, which is getting crowded pretty fast. Rich, Matt and Raimonds were among the others who had sticker-adorned laptops, but we were in the minority.
Most people at the conference had naked laptops, or if a sticker appeared, it was an asset tag, natch. Not at all surprising because most people had their work computers with them, but also because the conference was a serious business conference and not the place for childish stickers.
Or so my wife would have me believe. She teased me for putting stickers on my Macbook, but how else can I tell our otherwise identical Macbooks apart when they’re sitting on the table? I tend to have that problem when I go to other geeky meetups or conferences because, well, Macbooks are common among geeks.
The lack of stickers on laptops and as giveaway chochkies on the show floors got me thinking about why we adorn our laptops. I think for me and other geeks, the laptop is another appendage, and beyond the ability to find it in a crowded room, it’s a great place to show your support for your favorite geeky tool or cause or hobby or whatever.
We love our computers, and stickers provide tattoos to personalize them. The comparison to tattoos fits because my guess is it’s pretty hard to get rid of a sticker you don’t want any more.
Stickers seem to be marginalized now, but I think that like Web 2.0, the next year will bring them into the mainstream as must-haves for your favorite appendage, erm your laptop.
I did get some funny looks at OpenWorld while sporting my stickered-out Macbook. It does stand out in the crowd of gray Dells and Thinkpads and, dare I say, the undecorated, silver Macbook Pros? That’s fine by me, and I’m betting next year, there will be more Macs and more stickers at OpenWorld. The question is how much real estate for new ones I’ll have by then.
I’ve also noticed the sticker is becoming a replacement for the business card, at least in some circles. People have noticed the trend toward stickering the laptop and have taken advantage. What better way to show your support for your favorite Open Source project or company? Anyone else want a Twitter sticker?
Another reason the sticker beats the business card for me is because I can’t keep a current business card. I move or change jobs too often to keep it current. I still have 450 or so of the 500-card box I got several years ago; since I got them, about 75% of the information has changed. And yet I still have them because if I were wasteful, I’d have about 2,000 useless cards.
The sticker, on the other hand, forces brevity. It provides the essential information and a logo. Maybe a URL. Ever see a fax number on a sticker? Me neither.
I’m not saying the sticker will replace the business card. I just think it’s a viable competitor, especially with people like me, who are likely to stick it somewhere useful versus in a drawer, in a laptop bag, etc.
Ever lose a business card? Those suckers are small, and I’m constantly fishing them out from under my desk. Sure the same can be said for a sticker, unless it’s stuck to something.
What do you think? My guess is most of you who read here and comment will be pro-sticker. Prove me wrong in the comments.