Blog post

The Transformation of Communication

By Jack Santos | December 07, 2010 | 0 Comments

The last 15 years of the evolution of online communication mimics the transformation of advertising over the past 60 years.  Advertising seems to have gone from 2 minute commercials to 60 second to 30 second, to 5-10 second.   Online, we seem to be emphasizing documents less (long form), email is on the outs (its for the older generation – regardless of the continued increase in volume), and moving toward Facebook status messages, SMS, and then Twitter.  The key entry measure for both is “impressions”.

Those aren’t bad things, necessarily.  Probably reflects the information explosion (no doubt we are all feeling especially harried this particular time of year).

This continued truncation of communication is reflective of  a set of  “rules  of engagement” – Books (>2 hr),  Reports (such as Gartner IT1 Docs) for in depth, lengthy, detailed exposure (i.e. > 30 min), magazines/web-zine articles for medium length overviews (>60 sec), blog posts (>30 sec), and SMS, status messages, twitter for quickies/imprints (5-10 sec);  the volume of communication is beginning to be heavily slanted toward the smaller/faster formats.

What is particularly intriguing to me is how we synthesize and analyze these smaller pieces (ala Google “trends”), and how we archive them in such a way that they can still be historical artifacts that document our society for future generations – although that may be somewhat of an uphill battle; kind of like capturing the audio of Latin conversations 2000 years ago.

The impact on database technology, storage, and archiving are enormous.  The implications on our human ways of exchanging ideas and thoughts have yet to be felt.

I once worked for a CEO that insisted on any communication (email, memos, reports) to be no less than 3 sentences/ 3 succinct points, and never, ever more than a few paragraphs (less than a page).  That modus operandi extended to hallway conversations which would often be staccato in nature.  Want a more heartfelt sharing of ideas?  Get on her schedule for a lunchtime walk, and be prepared to talk about everything from bird watching to politics – and maybe work in your concern, if possible.

She was (and is) ahead of her time.

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