Sunday, June 04, 2006

How the Internet changed the way we communicate

Email, Messenger, ICQ, Skype, IRC, Blogs, Newsgroups, Chats. What do all these have in common? They are all tools we use over the Internet to communicate with other people.
One of the major changes made by the Internet revolution is that it made the world feel kind of small. Sitting at home, I can email a few of my partners at work about a project of ours, chat with friends whom I haven't seen face to face in a long time using MSN's Messenger, while writing a post about Google's newset ad format. Later, I might open my favourite VOIP software Skype and call a friend overseas (as soon as he wakes up first). I can't help but feel that somehow communication technology has taken control of our lives. Let's see what changed...

Communicating at work
My primary tool at work is... Email. The email changed the way we communicate at work. Is that good or bad?

Why is it good?

  • It allows me to track my communications with other people.
  • It allows me to get and send task status reports.
  • I can send an email to someone who might not be at work at this time.
  • I can CC the email to more senior employees just to make sure that task gets done.
Why is it bad?

  • Email messages are sometimes misinterperted by the receiver which might not happen if the same message was conveyed over the phone.
  • People tend to ping-pong the email, sending one liners back and forth.
  • Most emails in a company are not business oriented but personal and spam.
  • People tend to CC a lot more then actually nessecary, causing a waste of time reading and sorting the emails.

Communicating with friends and family
Skype, Messenger and email are the 3 most common tools I use on a daily basis to communicate with my friends and family. I use Skype's text chat mode to chat with my wife during work, MSN's Messenger for the rest of my family and some friends. Email is used only when I want to send messages that don't need immediate responses or to friends who don't use either Skype or Messenger.

Telephony communication
Need I say more then Skype?

Video communication
Not really using any tool for this.
I have no good reason to video chat

What's next?
You tell me

Related posts:
CoComment - track your comments
Email subscription to Ohad's Internet News
VOIP - using the internet to make calls
BlackBerry - access your email from anywhere

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