Monday, January 15, 2007
Call Luke Johnson at: 602-435-3694
I've decided to go ahead and post this interview I wrote because I like the story. Can anyone tell me in the comments how to include YouTube video on Blogger posts? Anyhoo, here's the article:
Who are we to stand in the way of a man and his dream? Gilbert, Arizona resident Luke Johnson is on a quest to get as many people to call him on his cell phone as he possibly can. The 27-year-old kicked the experiment off three months ago with a YouTube video. In the video, he stands in front of a white background and launches into what his experiment is about:
"My name is Luke Johnson, and this is my Phone Experiment. The idea behind the experiment is to find out how many people will call me if I post my cell phone number on the Internet for the whole world to see. Here's how it works: My cell phone number is 602-435-3694. I want you to call my cell phone right now. I don't care why you call, and I don't care what you say, but I'll answer as many calls as I can. Meanwhile, I'm gonna keep track of how many calls I receive, to find out how many strangers will call someone they've never met before in their entire life. My goal is to have my phone ringing off the hook day and night and to receive calls from people all over the world. But I can't do it without your help. I need you to pass this video link along to everyone you know. Email it to your family and friends."
There's more, but he had us at "my goal is to have my phone ringing off the hook day and night". And on Monday, January 15, we gave Luke a call around lunchtime (PST). To our surprise, he actually picked up, so we interviewed him:
(Q) How many calls have you received so far?
(A) So far about 13,099.
(Q) How many countries have you received calls from?
(A) I think around 21. Just off the top of my head, I've gotten calls from France, Japan, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, UK, Canada and Australia. I just did a radio interview in Australia.
(Q) It's a little after 1pm right now. How many calls have you received just today?
(A) I don't keep track of how many calls I get a day, but over 100.
(Q) What ringtone is on your phone?
(A) It's a very annoying ringtone, not anything custom. It drives me crazy.
(Q) Aren't you going to have an astronomical cell phone bill?
(A) I went with a provider that offered unlimited incoming calls.
(Q) When will you end the experiment?
(A) I don't know. I've wanted to cancel it many times, but I haven't. I guess we'll keep going until it dies. Every time i think it's going to die off, I get another interview.
(Q) What major press have you done so far?
(A) When I started out a few months ago, I got front page of Digg.com, and the local news picked it up. But ABC just did a story on it and they sent it to all of their affiliates nationwide, and CNN covered it as well. Today I got calls from Ontario, Canada and the story was picked up over there. The press comes and goes in waves. I've done 30 radio interviews and web, magazine and newspapers.
(Q) What do you do for a living?
(A) I work in a cubicle. I manage a team of people for a university.
(Q) Are you at work right now?
(A) No, because of the holiday (MLK).
(Q) How do your employers feel about this?
(A) They saw the news segment. The first week I hid a lot in my cube, but I've managed to stay off their radar. If I'm too busy I won't answer the phone.
(Q) Do you ever call people back?
(A) Sometimes. If they're really persistent and it's a slow time I'll call them back. And if it's someone calling to do an interview I call back.
(Q) Do you listen to all the messages.
(A) Yes. I listen to all of them.
(Q) Well, Luke, we wish you the best of luck with this experiment. Thanks for talking to us.
Thanks. So there you have it. If you want to help Luke realize his goal of, uh, having a lot of people call him, here's his number: 602-435-3694. Maybe he'll answer your call too.