I got the invite to chill with someone. And that’s when it hit me: there’s just too much information, too many content curation tools, too many sharing tools, too many communications tools that don’t really help me communicate. Whirlwind. Zoom. Zis-boom-ba. Turn the fire hose off and get me a real drink.
Sure, early adopters are compelled by their very nature to keep the fire hose on their hip next to their smart phones — like six-shooters ready for action. We want to experiment with innovative ideas, build on them and launch our own.
But do we really need this much action and interaction? Or is it creating a lack thereof? For me personally, I probably experimented with over 10 new “communications” tools in 2011, 9 of which I’ll never use again. I’m sure there are dozens more I’ve never even heard of.
When you ask the question, “How many communication tools/services do you use daily both in business and pleasure?,” my answer is, “Too many and not well enough.” I would argue that’s the case for most of us — tasting and playing and using less than 5%-10% of the communications tool capacity no better than an email see-saw. New and old services alike need utilization that sticks, because if you don’t use it regularly, you kill it, and that’s not what the founders of new tools want to hear. That’s why it’s highly subjective and contextual, finding the right daily communication tools that help move life along and not hinder it.
Facebook doesn’t have to worry about that. Neither does Twitter or LinkedIn. But all are anchored in email, the long-standing messy message moving tool. Not a communications tool, a messy message moving tool. The novelty wore off for me in the early 1990s when I worked at San Jose State University and we used email to push messages back and forth. Because it was fun and we could do it. Woot.
Have you ever tried to have a collaborative conversation via email? I know you have. It’s painfully disruptive and a time sink. Back and forth. Wait. Back and forth. Wait. Back and forth.
Hold the friggin’ phone. Literally — hold the phone and call me. It’s easier that way and more productive. Three others that I’ve found for all my iterative work worlds are Yammer and Skype and SocialEars. I’m sure you have your favorites as well. If you’re in a bigger company, your HR software might even have social communication functionality.
Let’s kill email like I want to kill the resume. Please. And no, I’m not a big texter either since I always text in complete English sentences like critical thinking homies. Word.
The good news is that the #TChat collaborative communication car pool fast lane is one that has remained open for over a year now, and the sharing and comparing and contrasting and venting and networking and catching up every week about all things world of work has made the information superhighway a little easier to traverse.
Then again, another value of virtual collaboration and online communication is that I can turn it off and actually get some real creative work done.
Don’t look at me that way. Get back to work. We’ve got communication innovations to invent.
Thank you to everyone who joined us last night! Welcome to 2012 #TChat! If you missed the preview, you can read it here.