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Online communication tools: designed for a group, experienced by an individual

Nancy White on something we discussed at CPsquare meeting last month:

There is insufficient experience and practice to slap labels around and make claims that completely ignore a key factor of online interaction technologies.

  • They are designed for a group experience.
  • They are almost always experienced by an individual in the isolation in interaction with their computer.

My experience is not your experience. Further more, it is hard to even describe OUR experience. We romanticize the concept of group interaction, but in truth, it is imperfect, online and offline. And online we don’t see the consequences as quickly nor are our communication antennae, trained for millennium to F2F communication, as attuned to online communication. I think we are getting better. I see changes. But I can’t see if you are smiling, frowning, curious or pissed off as you read this. And if I want to communicate and engage with you, that matters to me. (If I just want to spout and publish, well, you are out of luck!)

A simple example: smileys look different in all IM tools I use and I never know what is used on another side… It keeps me wondering how my 😉 looks at your end…

Archived version of this entry is available at http://blog.mathemagenic.com/2004/07/12.html#a1279; comments are here.

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