The InfoCenter Story
One sunny afternoon in August 1991, a group of Julian business owners
gathered to discuss a common problem. Julian is a small town: population
1,500. Our lifeblood are visitors from the surrounding Southern California
area who come to see this historic mining town for the day or a
Because of our size, the Julian Chamber of Commerce could only employ
one part-time employee, who answered all visitor inquiries. We needed a
better solution, and we needed it fast.
A local B&B owner asked, "Couldn't we use a voice-mail system
to answer the phone?" I investigated many systems, and came to learn
the limitations of voice mail systems. Voice mail creates a wall - a
barrier - between you and the person or information you are trying to
reach. The messages are too long, the menus too confusing. Some systems
even make you memorize keys, and nearly everyone has experience
"Voice Mail Limbo" and had to call again - in order to finally
As much as I searched, I couldn't find a single system that fit our
needs. But the search sparked my imagination and I offered to invent
a different sort of information system for our community: an information
bridge. This InfoCenter would be both simple and easy to use. It would
answer up to forty-eight lines, twenty-four hours a day. The menus and
messages would be brief and to the point. It would prompt you again I
missed a selection. You would never hear information you didn't request.
But most important, when you found the information you wanted, the system
would transfer your call directly to a REAL HUMAN BEING!
We completed the InfoCenter by January; it was an instant success. We
followed this up with systems in many diverse communities, including: Las
Vegas, San Francisco, Hollywood, San Antonio, Monterey, Reno, and Santa
Cruz. We have continued to improve the InfoCenter, adding random rotation,
message forwarding and many other unique features. But our development
program maintains one primary goal: TO OFFER INFORMATION...WITH A HUMAN
We hope you like it!