Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dangerous Emails: Are people reading it the way you wrote it?


Every time we come up with a new way of communicating with each other, we also develop new and interesting ways to really offend each other. A quote that is sometimes attributed to Oscar Wilde goes something like: "I'm sorry I wrote such a long letter, I didn't have time to write a shorter one." It is very difficult to maintain any sense of tone when we condense our words. The shorter the communication, the more tone we tend to leave out, for the sake of information. With fewer tonal clues put in by the writer, the more the reader tends to put in. Thus the easier it is to misinterpret the intent behind the message.

With email, texting, Twitter, Facebook and instant messaging, our means of communicating is getting shorter and shorter.

And a lot of people are getting really pissed off.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Your Choice: Digital Privacy or Ads that Don't Suck

What would you rather have, a plethora of door-to-door salesmen that continually push their way into your house, trying to sell you things you don't need? Or a close, trusted friend overhearing you muttering about needing a specific widget and giving you a tip on where they got theirs? This is basically the continuum of advertising. An onslaught of messages about everything you need and everything you don't at all times, vs. a valuable pointer to a specific product that fits your needs, when - and only when - you need it. I'd vote for the latter. I think most people would. Most advertisers would prefer to offer the latter approach. Everybody wins, right?

Sure, but you'll have to kiss your digital privacy goodbye.