News ways to engage people.
You’d have to be living in a cave for the last decade or so not to be aware that current communication technologies and communication trends have evolved enormously in the last 10-15 years. We have transitioned from lengthy snail mail to brisk emails to multitasked chats to blogs that invite open commentary to social networks and more recently to Twitter, and that’s not even talking about mobile technologies that provide access to all of those, minus snail mail... We are carrying within our breast pockets mini-supercomputers with CPUs that would make NASA weep, all of which boast numerous apps, games, online capabilities and of course varying communication features that make James Bonds gadgets seem passé.
Some people are admittedly slow to grasp these benefits wholeheartedly for a series of reasons. Beyond economic factors, some simply fear the unknown, fearing they might break something or they simply just can’t comprehend the technology and or they just refuse to learn. There will always be a large portion of people that still hold true to the ‘old school’ era where they would prefer to handwrite letters, have face to face communications or use landline telephones rather than exist in a world where most of our interrelation communications is passed via intermittent posting in real-time on a Facebook walls or through the disassociated minimalist phone text messages.
Either way for most of us who are fully acclimated to the ‘new and ever-evolving age of communications’ have come to perceive it as a part of our daily lives. To take it for granted. In fact, it has become so integral that for some, the very thought of not having two or three mobiles surgically attached or not posting whatever they want, whenever they feel like it, and not caring if we are interested or not on their twitter / Facebook pages might cause dire emotional effects.
Of course, people will still be using email, for the time being, it is still the most broadly used form of digital communication, especially in businesses, It’s instant, you don’t have to pay per message, due to that people are also tending to write less while they are receiving more... The natural step would be to head towards what Facebook Is doing… Merging varying communication methodologies into one place, instant messaging, emails, news, post, chats, blogs video etc.
Long before we had Internet capabilities, phones allowed us instant reach. Then as the world went online, Instant Messaging was created - which, unlike email, allowed people to reach each other immediately. Despite the differences, though, being that phones allow for a richer more in-depth ability to communicate while messaging allowed us to communicate while on the move, multitasking without offending at least that’s the hope. Ever gone out with friends to find yourself surrounded by people who are constantly texting, it makes the term antisocial become ironic in itself? The key attribute though between a phone call and an instant message is essentially immediate reach-ability.
Then you have newspapers, radio and online blogs… Tv, radio and newspapers are older forms of traditional one-to-many communications. Over the last few decades, blogs have arisen. The reason for their success of recent past is that blogs offer something newspapers and to some degree, radio can’t. Blogs made feedback open to all. Anyone can comment on a post. The ability for people to get to express their opinions in a group environment created a completely different dynamic. Interestingly enough, because blogs are typically lengthy, there was an opportunity to break them down into what has become Twitter. As the result, information can be delivered faster, processed faster at a greater quantity. As prevalent in the overall evolution of communications, the interplay between speed and quantity created a qualitatively and highly different experience.
What’s around the corner? Some companies are starting to push the existing tech to make the experience just that bit more engaging for their customers. It’s aided by mobile, and harnessing the location, social and camera features of the phone and inviting their customers to interact and to voice their experience online through a multitude of mediums. Will we start to see people walking around with cameras on their foreheads in the near future? Can’t discount it. Since it’s already happening.
We are witnessing the evolution of communications, we are facilitating it. Half the time we don’t even realize it. We just find ourselves merging into the next trend and take it for granted. Take a moment to consider, what exciting new method of communications is around the corner? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
FIrst Published in Sindo Magazine - 2011