When Calling Someone, a Name is All You Need

Why remember a number or an email address when you need to contact someone, when all you need to remember is a name?

TechIsrael Staff ,

Ariel Efrati
Ariel Efrati

Email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, SMS, chat services, and of course the good old-fashioned telephone numbers – we're more available now than ever before. Some, of course, think it's awful – but if you're in business, or looking for a job, you want to be as available as possible to potential customers or employers.

There are now so many ways to communicate, and we use them all – guaranteeing a plethora of noise and data. Our attention spans were never something to write home about (that's why they run TV commercials every 10 minutes or so!) but now, with all the distractions, it's much more difficult to get the attention of “significant others” whom you need to move ahead. If the average working person has, say, 200 or 300 contacts in their cellphone's address book, and there are 4 or 5 ways to reach those contacts, that means a lot of record keeping and updating when a contact changes a job, cellphone number, or signs up for a new email service. Who's got time?

Nobody, says Ariel Efrati of Israeli startup CallMyName (also known as DialMyName). People remember a name much more than they remember a number or an email address – and more specifically, they remember an identity. “In the internet era, everyone – business or individual – is a 'brand name,' and the easier you make it for others to remember and reach that brand, the more success you'll have,” he says.

To help with that branding effort, CallMyName has opened the Call Name Registry – a sort of domain name system for where users can claim a name and use it as their “contact address,” allowing people to reach them by phone, SMS, email, Facebook, website, etc. Let's say you're hankering for a pizza – a Pizza Hut pizza, no less. Using the “old way,” you'd have to go to the refrigerator and search for the magnet with the Pizza Hut delivery number, or look it up on the web, or even (heaven spare us!) look it up in the phone book. But if you've got the free CallMyName or DialMyName app installed on your cellphone (there's a version for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Symbian devices; currently the wbe page is in Hebrew, but the app works fine in English), you just type “Pizza Hut” in the search box, and you get a list of all the ways available to order a Hut slice.

The same goes for any business, and in Israel, thousands have already registered, while tens of thousands have downloaded the free app that lets them connect with the businesses. Right now, the service is available in Israel, Germany, and the UK, and is geared towards businesses (registering a name in Israel costs NIS 1,276 a year, far less than a Yellow Pages listing, Efrati says). However, the company recently raised a significant amount of money in a funding round, and plans to use it to take the app worldwide. “Individuals will be able to sign up for free, if they get an invitation from a user, so we expect it to go viral in the next few months,” Efrati says. Never again will those who need to find you be able to excuse themselves by saying they “couldn't find your number.” All they will need to remember is your name!