This hanging pen/notepad assemblage can be found at a beauty salon in my neighborhood. Interestingly, the notepad is meant to be used by customers to note their contact information so that the owner (when busy) can phone them back. What is important here is that:
- This notepad features contact information in some sort of transitional artifact: people write down their particulars, the owner tear up the sheets of paper and phone people back. It's only a temporary inscription.
- For some time, contact information (and sometimes customers' requests) are in a semi-public display (that curious person can observe when passing by). The private/public boundaries are somewhat blurred.
- This shop has a phone number BUT it seems important for the owner to provide its customers with a specific interface when people are passing by. In this case, the notepad acts as just-in-time just-in-place interface.
- The fact that people can write with a pen (a costly mean of communication in these days of 140-characters messages) and that someone may peruse the requests and contact people back has an important value: a direct and specific relationship between customers and the shop owner.
Why do I blog this? observing rituals in my neighborhood when heading to the local baker to refill my stack of croissant this morning.