Monetize Our Tweetclicks

Son, now that your mother and I have relocated to Happy Valley and you are in charge of the business, I want to talk to you about the Internet.

Yes, the Internet. I've taken a two-week crash course in the subject, taught by one of the other residents here, despite the stroke he suffered last month. Such a generous fellow!

Anyway, as you manage  Reynolds Heating and Cooling Maintenance,  it's not enough that you know all about compressors and evaporator coils. I may be a little gray in the tooth, but I've done some hard work these last two weeks studying the future, and talking to other folks here about it. Now I need to share some of it with you.

I know that you're already a bit of a computer guy--I've seen you speedmailing on your Apple Phone--but bear with me.  You need to make Reynolds HCM the biggest thing on the web since Phil Gates. I need you to monetize our tweetclicks, and I need you to do it fast.

Last week, I talked to Manny, over in Assisted Living. He showed me his iBlog, I think he called it. It's basically a newspaper, but with hyper-roads to other news articles he finds while he's digiSurfing. "Great," I thought, "but who's going to find this?" Then he shows me his stats. He has over thirty people per day coming to read his NewsBlogSheet, from coast to border. How many maintenance calls do we get per day? About ten. Meanwhile, Manny is getting three times that number of people! And he says that's not even a lot!

Newsblast: Manny gets thirty customers per day and he's not even a licensed HVAC specialist with thirty years of experience in the business. He's not a licensed anything--not even a driver, as of last Monday. Therefore, I think you can safely assume that a new webfront will get one thousand people per hour, and at least half of those surfers may  need major heating and cooling repairs. It should now be clear that we are losing business every minute that we are not in the cyber-area.

So how do we scroll to a new window and out of this pickle? Easy.  First, I need you to fix up our webpage (I think the AOL passcode is in my desk). Correct the phone number on the contact page and build a FaceLook-like web system with frequently updated original content. Manny said that's how to get repeat customers. Then I need you to find out what  Second Life  is and how we get our phone number up there. Finally, hook our vans up to the internet so customers can track our position from their TVs.

Once that's done, make it viral. Real viral. I want people riding in, screen-capturing our information, then sharing it with other people over e-letters and MiniDisc. I want every visitor to have their desktop shelfpaper changed to our logo. I want every person in America to have to go to our website before they can do anything about being warmer or cooler.  I want us to be the  Yoohoo 2.0 of HVAC repair and maintenance. And make sure we don't get Napstered.

I know you've got a lot of other work right now, so I don't expect this to be done until the end of the week. But do you have an extra phone cord so I can get googled up?

Michael Lacher is a writer and designer in Chicago. You can find more of his work at

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