So what exactly IS pervasive communications?
I get that question a lot these days. I am starting a new series here dedicated to fleshing out what it means to me and, more important, what it could mean for you.
One aspect of pervasive communications is considering the types of communications that take place on the sprawl of communication options available to us. Marshall McLuhan famously said “the medium is the message” and never has that been more true. Today, communication decisions don’t only involve what you are going to say but on what medium you’ll say it.
I recently tweeted:
Thinking of updating my voicemail to say “Just hang up and send me a text msg”
— Alan Berkson (@berkson0) January 8, 2012
The implication: “Why are you leaving me a message?”
Voice communication has a value. It’s synchronous. Multiple “iterations” of a dialogue can be completed in rapid succession. If you are leaving me a voice mail, it’s asynchronous. You are leaving the message at your convenience, and I am listening to it at my convenience. However, let’s consider the limitations of voice mail:
- Listening to the message requires accessing my voicemail and investing the same amount of time to listen to it as you spent to record it
- Most likely I will need to take action as a result of the message e.g. jot down the information you’re giving me or make a note to follow up with you.
- For most people the voice mail communications is a dead end. Saving, forwarding, replying are all difficult (in most circumstances).
- Voicemails contain data that is not easily indexed and search
In this case, perhaps another medium may be more appropriate?
This is not a new challenge. We’ve always had a wide variety of communication channel options. However, we are seeing the impact of this aspect of pervasive communication becoming more acute. What do you think?
- Let’s Call It What It Is: Pervasive Communication (intelligistgroup.com)