Phoneblok: Gathering Social Support

Written by 5ivecanons Staff

When it comes to technology, the ‘next best thing‘ always seems just around the corner – unreachable in fact, because by the time you get it, something else, a brand new, shinier and more powerful version is out.

Manufacturers know this; they engineer their tech this way. It’s called ‘planned obsolescence,’ and it means your tech was made to have limited usefulness.

Designer and visionary Dave Hakken is looking to change this accepted paradigm by introducing the Phonebloks concept: a modular phone made of ‘bloks,’ which contain a phone’s major components such as a processor, camera and memory.

The bloks are what make the phone easily upgradeable, and is as simple as swapping out outdated bloks with new, more desirable ones. However, the most impressive aspect of this all is how Dave is amassing support: he’s using social media platforms, website design and branding to create the buzz necessary to make his popular vision a reality.

A Popular Vision

The message has caught on. Just search the words ‘Phonebloks, Dave Hakken,’ or visit and you’ll see how hundreds of thousands of people have joined together via great websites to support an upgradable, customizable phone.

The key to Phonebloks’ popularity is simple – it’s all about great websites. is simple, informative and easy to use. Specifically, the site has great images, very specific, well written copy and an imaginative video which engages different users with one unified message.

Unity, it’s what brings the message together and creates powerful branding. From the site’s colors, images, headlines and copy, every element works seamlessly to give the reader a complete picture of the future direction of Phonebloks. It’s that unified voice and tone which extends to every other social channel that makes phonebloks search friendly.


In today’s social age, however, even a single, super awesome stand-alone site is not enough to create digital buzz. Likes, retweets and mentions are all needed to get an idea trending. This is were thunderclap comes in. The site claims to be the first ever ‘crowdspeaking’ site, which means that a whole lot of users join together to say the same thing.

Thunderclap is the first crowd-speaking platform that helps people be heard by saying something together.

Phonebloks currently has a social reach of over 246,407,126 users and 673,395 supporters, thunderclap awards ‘landmarks’ after a cause has reached a certain number of supporting users. Once the goal is reached, a mass message is sent out on every supporter’s social page to spread the word to the world.

The site’s premise is founded on the idea that while it is easy to say a whole lot on social media, it is so much more difficult to be heard on social channels.

It’s a good message

You can have a beautiful site, be on every social venue and use the best images and copy in the world, but if your message isn’t important or significant, there will never by any true, lasting support. Ultimately, Phonebloks isn’t an initiative set on making money or trying to stick it to the current way of doing things, the message is about improving our society and optimizing the way things are done.

Raising money wouldn’t bring it further, setting up this platform is too big for one company. We need to gather partners to work together with us.

There are bigger problem than not having the latest and greatest. Many discarded phones are fully functioning, with components that can be reused or re purposed. Planned obsolescence encourages the disposal of many perfectly working phones that could be reused to alleviate pollution, specifically rare Earth mining – one fastest growing pollutants of the epoch.

Phonebloks is a great example of what a focused promotion should look like. With a great website, social media support and a great message, it proves that important things still capture the attention of the general public.