Birthday Greetings – How things have changed

Like most people, I’m used to the annual barrage of birthday cards, phone calls, e-mails, instant messages, etc. on my birthday.  It’s remarkable how times have changed in just the last few years.

In years past, we’d all get cards in the mail and phone calls.  This year, I got just one card in the mail, a few calls on the phone, a few text messages, a few instant messages, a few emails, and nearly a dozen Facebook wall posts. 

My favorite greeting of the year was from my grandparents in Norway, but not for reasons you’d expect.  They called me on my cell phone while I was in a meeting at work, and the caller ID didn’t show up (which is odd, because it usually does).  Since I had an "Unknown" call and I was in a meeting, I sent it to my voicemail.

When I got out of my meeting, I listed to my voicemail.  My grandparents don’t speak english, and were apparently a bit unsure of what to do with the english voicemail system.  They didn’t realize they were leaving a message, and all I heard was them debating on whether they needed to push any touch-tone buttons on the phone or whether they should just hang up and try again later.  The message definitely gave me a laugh and put a smile on my face!

Technical aside:

I wasn’t on Facebook last year, and it’s amazing how quickly that becomes the primary place for everyone to send their annual greetings.  The amount of ways that people can communicate now is approaching an overwhelming state.

There’s been a ton of talk the past few weeks in the blogging community about social graphs and aggregation of social network (I think Dare Obasanjo has great commentary about that here), but I’d love an aggregator of incoming messages from these sites that’s better than e-mail. I don’t know what that solution looks like, and that’s why I’m not a product planner! 

(Interesting: two more wall posts on Facebook arrived in the time it took me to write this blog post)