Why? As the below article indicates email is spam heaven, text messaging, Iming, all good, but phone,the quickest most reliable, AND, no written records.
Hmmm, what do you think?
July 12, 2007
Let’s Talk. Let Me Outline the Ways.
By LISA BELKIN
AT a planning meeting I attended earlier this summer, a legal pad was passed and we were each asked to write our name and our “communication preference.”
Some people prefer e-mail, some prefer cellphones, some want to be sent a text message on their cellphones,” the leader of the meeting said. “We want to reach you the way you want to be reached.”
Time was when making contact meant finding someone’s phone number and dialing. You might connect with your party; you might leave a message. But you had done all you could.
Now contact means decoding the quirks of the person in question, the better to predict how to actually get your message through. And if you misread your target, it means the risk of a frosty response, or sometimes deafening silence.
Does he or she hate e-mail, letting it build up in the inbox, but quick to answer the cellphone on the first ring? Does the person refuse to carry a cellphone, but grab the office line through the Bluetooth that is literally attached to one ear? Is it solicitous or stalkerish to send an e-mail message, then leave an office message, then try the cellphone just to be sure?
Would it be better just to text the person’s assistant instead?
“It’s reached the point of absurdity,” said Olivia Fox Cabane of Spitfire Communications, an executive coaching business in New York. “We have become a culture where we expect everything to be done our way. We go to Starbucks and order the half caff, two shots, extra hot, low foam, whatever, and that makes us feel entitled to leave a message on our voice mail saying, ‘You can call between 8 a.m. and 8:05 a.m., but only if you speak in a soothing tone of voice.’ ”
There are no shortage of pushy messages out there stating exactly what the caller should do.
“I typically check this voice mail less frequently than I do my office number,” says the cellphone message of David Goldsmith, president of the MetaMatrix Consulting Group, who refuses to give out the number to clients and is piqued when they lift it from caller ID. The message instructs callers to try his office.
The office line of Ellen Kassoff Gray, an owner of the Equinox restaurant in Washington, D.C., in turn warns callers, “I don’t check messages here too often, so if you want to reach me in a timely fashion please e-mail me.”
While such messages may be gauche, at least they provide clues. The alternative is a game of communication concentration — trying to keep track of all your contacts as well as how they wish to be reached.
“I prefer to be contacted on my cellphone,” said Jeni Hatter, the director of media relations for Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla. “It is immediate, and it is always with me.”
Then again, not everybody packs a cellphone. “Don’t have one, don’t want one,” said Trudy Schuett, a librarian in Yuma, Ariz. “I would do everything by e-mail if I could.”
E-mail “can be blocked by spam filters,” countered Jon Mazzocchi, a partner in the New York office of the Winter, Wyman Companies, a staffing firm. “Phone is the only way to go.”
The phone works only if you don’t “allow yourself to be interrupted,” said Alan Weiss, president of the Summit Consulting Group in East Greenwich, R.I. So he does not actually answer the device when it rings, but has a message promising he will return all calls within 90 minutes “during regular business hours, Eastern time, in the United States.”
A game once limited to cellphone versus office line versus e-mail has exploded exponentially as texting has gone mainstream. And while cellphones are at least experientially related to the land line, and e-mail feels tangentially related to the fax, texting is simultaneously a throwback to the telegraph and a harbinger of a new age.
In other words, you either love it or hate it.
Ms. Gray, on the one hand, sees texting as the purest form of communication: “short, sweet sentences, just business,” she cooed. Ms. Schuett, on the other, sees it as a threat to civilization: “Sentences should have punctuation and rules of grammar,” she said.
Texting also seems above and beyond in its ability to offend. Cory A. Booker, the mayor of Newark, learned this firsthand. Apparently thinking that instant access would please his constituents, he gave out his number fairly freely, only to learn that one critic took the offering as a slap. The previous mayor could be reached with a phone call, the critic complained to a newspaper reporter, so what was this texting about?
I too learned how a preference can ruffle feathers. My office voice mail explains: “I only check this voice mail sporadically. The best way to actually contact me is by sending an e-mail to email@example.com.”
I do this for the efficiency. And yet, like drivers parked under the No Parking sign, callers regularly leave me messages on the same tape that asks them not to.
Most sound diligent, or perhaps apologetic, but a good number sound cranky. A percentage of the annoyed say they don’t have easy access to e-mail, and to that I am sympathetic; in fact they are the reason I make it a point to check my voice mail in the first place. Many others, though, are just plain insulted by my taped advice.
“That is so rude,” one caller said. “Who do you think you are?”
He failed to leave a name or a phone number, which means I can’t call to tell him that I am thinking of rerecording my message. Not only because I really hate being seen as impolite, but also because I am weary of e-mail. There are 118 messages sitting in my inbox as I write this. If I had just picked up the phone when it rang, many of these bits of business would have been finished within moments.
That is another unpredictable factor in the what’s-the-best-way-to-reach-you game: we all tend to change our minds.
“It used to be e-mail,” said Shel Horowitz, an author who writes books about business marketing. But thanks to spam filters, e-mail “has gotten so unreliable.” He has to follow each message with a phone call to make sure it arrived.
“I’m back to the phone,” he said.
At least for now.
The future of social networks
Posted by Dan Farber @ 2:26 pm Categories: General, MySpace, Social networking, Facebook, AlwaysOn Tags: Social Networking, Facebook, Network, Dan Farber
0 votes Worthwhile?
What will social networking be like in ten years? Who knows, but we won’t be having panels about it. At the AlwaysOn Stanford Summit 07, there was such a panel, titled “Social Networking 3.0,” led by Charlene Li, a senior analyst Forrester Research.
The panelists (below) included representatives from some of the more prominent social networks: Travis Katz, senior vice president and general manager of MySpace International; Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Facebook; Rich Rosenblatt, CEO of Demand Media and former MySpace executive; Gina Bianchini, CEO of Ning; and Karl Jacob, CEO of Wallop.
Jacob dealt with the ten year question: “If we are here in ten years talking about profiles, web sites or social networks, something is really wrong. Social networks will be woven into every product and thing we touch,” he said.
One of the big questions is whether social network would be more open, especially in terms of allowing profiles to be shared among users of different social networks.
“We are pushing boundaries of what closed and open mean. It’s very necessary for people to take identities with them and supplement with content from elsewhere,” Facebook’s Moskovitz said. At this point Facebook users cannot export their social graph or profile to another service–nor do any of their competitors with large populations offer an API for sharing the data.
Facebook’s definition of open is allow external developers to tap into the social graph so that users can maintain their identity and graph of friends across apps build on the Facebook platform.
MySpace’s Katz waffled on the question. “I’m not sure if it will happen or not. It’s fairly complicated and there are privacy issues, but interesting concept,” he said.
Rosenblatt said the Demand Media is developing a portable profile for its users that allows them to have a single log-on and to pick and choose what to expose on different social nets.
Bianchini’s service allows users to create their own social networks. “In ten years we’ll see millions of social networks for every niche, need, language, location and passion,” she said. “I disagree that people want a single profile–they want to have identities for different social networks.”
That may be true, but users will want to manage their identities in a unified manner and to have the kind of openness that would allow them to map friends list across different services.
The application of social networks like MySpace and Facebook in a business context has been an issue of late. Many corporations are turning off access to social networks as productivity wasters.
Katz cited one to many communication and sharing files as tools that can be interesting for businesses, with a caveat: “I shudder to think how addicting and how much time is spent on social networking. I can imagine it going terribly wrong,” he said.
The panelists put targeted ads at the top of the list for how they will make money. Moskovitz noted how businesses that integrate with social networks, such as Netflix, could surface better recommendations from the social graph and generate more revenue.
A question was asked about the MySpace, Facebook and a few others owning the social networking space in the long term. “The lesson from the Internet is that it’s never game over,” Katz said. Indeed, looking back over the last decade you can see the leapfrogging that went on in the search arena.