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The Oldest Problem: Communication in a Digital Age

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“The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings, and in the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem, of what to say and how to say it.”
- Edward R. Murrow

Murrow was writing in an age that had not yet imagined the multitude of communication tools that are available today. Despite this he is uncannily prescient as to the impact of all of the tools that the information age has given birth to; they compound, at speed, the oldest problem of what to say and how to say it.

Beyond some broad categories of types of communications, the question of what to say is beyond the scope of this conversation. There is a vast array of literature, courses, and online advice on how to be a more effective communicator. What is lacking are good guides for how to effectively choose the right tool for your communications.

This presentation proposes a set of key characteristics to consider when choosing how, when, or where to communication. It also rates the most common methods of communicating based on them.

The notes pages contain additional information from the presentation.

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The Oldest Problem: Communication in a Digital Age

  1. 1. THE OLDEST PROBLEM Communication in a Digital Age
  2. 2. The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings In the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem, of what to say and how to say it
  3. 3. SYNCHRONICITY Coincidence in time; contemporaneousness; simultaneousness
  4. 4. IMMEDIACY The state, condition, or quality of being immediate
  5. 5. EFFECTIVENESS Producing the intended or expected result
  6. 6. PERSISTENCE Continued existence or occurrence
  7. 7. EFFICIENCY The ability to accomplish a job with a minimum expenditure of time or effort
  8. 8. ACCESSIBILITY Easy to approach, reach, speak with, or use
  9. 9. RELEVANCE Having direct bearing on the matter at hand
  10. 10. COMMUNICATION SCORECARD Synchronicity Immediacy Effectiveness Persistence Efficiency Accessibility Face to face   Most Telephone    IM       Chat       Groups/ Forums     Blogs     Email Least  

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