Sections:Blog, Just Apes

Tangled Telegram Communications ChannelsThanks to SNL's Norm McDonald's Twitter stream and dozen's of our customers use cases I've given up on a unified platform for messaging and for file storage.

Theoretically this is both annoying and heartbreaking becuase the ideal of all your messages and all your data in once place is not just appealing, it actually feels necessary for any sense of sanity.

How in Dickens can you keep track of 5 or more inboxes and looking for your digital data in 5 or more different places? It sounds like insanity and like no one should ever do it.  That's certainly how I felt about it years ago and when we started SureTech.

And if you're a lucky person that does one thing with one set of people, it's a terrific neat and clean model.

But if you interract with different groups and work on more than one project, I've realized, most people probably need to reconcile using fragmented channels and buckets.

Think of it this way perhaps - would you have all your associates come to your living room and put all of your work on your fireplace mantle?  If the answer is yes, then God Bless You especially if you don't even need a computer.  I would love to imagine myself with a world lived simply in one place with only people that can visit me in that place.  In the world of ideas, collaboration and innovation, however, that simple model might be too limiting from a standoint of quality and diversity of inputs.  Maybe I'll come around to understand how to do it more simply one day - but for now I don't see how to accomplish it.

So just like I'd expect to go to different venues to meet different groups of people, and just like I"d need to use a different language and different customs if I traveled to different locaitons - different groups of people and different topics of conversation work best through different communications channels including email, sms, message boards, twitter, facebook, facetime, linkedIn, telephone and even snail mail.  Not only that, the same applies to data you store for any work with different groups and projects including storage locations like box, dropbox, sharepoint, private file server shares, basecamp and even paper.  Each bucket servies its purpose and no one bucket serves all purposes, sadly.

Understanding that every medium has it's strengths and limitations is the first challenge to accepting the learning curve to develop muli-media competency.

The next challenge is developing an understanding of tone, nuance and most importantly workflow for your work habits.  The key to all this is that every technical medium requires specific concious technical specifications to recreate what we do naturally and intuitively in the biological world.  For example when you gossip vs teach vs plan a strategy vs coach a sport you are usually in very different contexts and doing a different activity in a non-optimal context has a significant effect on the success of the activity.  For example sitting at two writing desks 3 feet apart is ideal for listening ot a lecture but not as good for gossiping about last night's hot date.  An athletic field works great for shouting encouragement but the coffee room, not so well.

Similarly, reading Norm McDonalds' twitter feed, I finally understood twitter is like talking in a plaza (or the school yard) - to yourself or others.  A place where you know you might be overheard.  A place you might want to be overheard.   You can speak, pontificate or theaticalize to non one in particular and to everyone at the same time.

Maybe this is a mode that doesn't serve you.  Great.  If it does serve, then even better, thanks Biz & co for providing! The necesary pickle, is that Twitter is not good for private convos, planning, coaching or a dozen other modes we need.  Email serves a specific different purpose but not others, just like perfumed stationary has an optimal purpose and great limitations as well.



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