Email? Phone? IM?

TheIndyChannel.com - Money - How About An E-Mail On That?:

"Cell phone users spend lots of time talking into their devices, but they generally communicate with very few people. Just how few? Would you believe four?

It's one of the surprising recent findings of a study carried out in Switzerland. In the last few years our communication environment has been expanding at a very fast pace. The lone fixed-line telephone has given way to multiple fixed and mobile phones, e-mail, instant messaging [IM], text messaging, voice-over-Internet-protocol [VoIP] free [or near-free] telephony and videoconferencing, and other interactive channels such as blogs and wikis."

Along time ago, I once got, ah, really mad at someone, who is a good guy, actually, but what he did was send an email to a whole bunch of people that I thought should have gone to just a few people.

I gave a big lecture to the staff about thinking hard about which communication channel you use should depend on what you are trying to communicate. Always think - is this best as a phone call? In person? Email? Now we have IM and SMS and the little used MMS as choices too.

Or you can communicate with someone by writing about them in your blog. And they can communicate with you by posting to your comments section. Sometimes, you're writing in your blog about generalized software engineering practices and someone takes it as a personal insult. This shows up in the comments, sometimes.

Another communication choice is to communicate with someone only through your lawyer or some other intermediary.

It's a big confusing landscape of choices but making the right communications medium choice can have a big impact on your message. "The Medium is the Message" is half right or even 3/4s right - but you still need an actual message. A television just displaying static doesn't say much at all. The X-Files on TV was really good. The X-Files movie, made by the same people, was not so good.

This is something Scott Wallin kept hammering into me when we were talking about virtual worlds. I wanted to do something pretty realistic but his view, which was correct at the time, was that the medium didn't support it, and that the virtual world design had better be very stylized, because realistic wouldn't look realistic at all. His specific example at the time was Lara Croft - if she had been properly proportioned she would have looked strange, because of the limitations of the 3D medium. I guess the same is true of Barbie dolls - yes, the proportions are crazy, but, ah, guess what? They're dolls, not real people!

I was watching The Island on TiVo last night with my kids and so we just skipped ahead to the action sequences, which are great. But my 11 year old son said, "Hey, this is just like a cartoon!" And he was right. The violence was crazy-over-the-top and would fit right into a cartoon without trouble.

Speaking of TiVo, ours was crapping out, and WeaKnees said the most likely trouble was a bad hard drive. So I ordered a replacement and managed to get it installed in about 1/2 hour. So far things are great, plus we have 120 hours more recording time than we had before.

The next day I upgraded the MoBo, RAM, and processor on my wife's PC. That took about 9 hours. Eight of those hours was reinstalled Windows, which took out SP2, and then reinstalling SP2. I am pleased to say though, that I did not have to resort to a clean install.

Speaking of PCs, HD-DVD is supported by most of the PC companies. It's compatible with DVD and CD and it's cheaper both for the drive and manufacturing disks. Fully 1/2 the market for DVD drives is in PCs now. The argument that Blu-Ray will win because of PS3 is not a compelling argument.

Neither HD-DVD or Blu-Ray are selling - some people say that neither will take off until multi-players come out. Which would be another reason to avoid PS3 - it won't be a multiplayer.

More likely is that Blu-Ray will be the format used to distribute PS3 games and for little else. This would be consistent with any other format which Sony has tried to introduce and get broad industry support.

Over and out.