Another great post from my comments from the other day’s post. This time from Mike Sachleben :
How are we Helping MEANINGFUL Communication Evolve
Long ago, in a storied time, people gave over to the machines the art of conversation. Through first BBS services then the World Wide Web we began to cast aside face to face or voice to voice conversation and put text in itsâ€™ place. We did this for the luxury of participating in pieces of conversations whenever WE wanted them – not when the other person in the conversation wanted them. This was freeing – especially to those pioneers who more thoroughly enjoyed talking without talk and interacting with another person while alone.
Then there was the great online gold rush of the â€™90s. Everyone started to experience the unique joys that come with disconnected conversation. But those joys came with a price: we eliminated most of the emotion from our discourse and let our minds play tricks on us. Through email and IM (and later blogs) messages meant as positive became more neutral. Messages meant as neutral became negative in our heads. And negativity devolved (in thought and deed) into flaming. We had given our conversation over to the machines and they were changing us.
Today we are taking conversation back. We are learning how to have the best of disconnected conversations while leaving the worst behind. We are figuring out how to have connected conversations in an online space. We are striving to build a community through more than text; through voice and the way people look as they speak. We are wresting conversation back from the structures imposed by the initial limitations of the machines.
I think that we are learning that text-based conversation is but one way to communicate – and often the poorer one. The advent of video in both blogging and web site messaging is letting us bring nuance back to our conversation through the subtle ways we sound and look as we speak. Audio tools let us bring passion and excitement to our online discourse. Yes, text will remain important (as this blog post shows) but text should serve the conversation – not BE the conversation.
That is what weâ€™re doing today to help MEANINGFUL communication evolve. Weâ€™re bringing conversation to the web.
Mike Sachleben blogs at Blitz Time