A Scenic Tour of the Online World

Improving Communication Tools

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Seth Godin’s post, Toward resilience in communication (the end of cc), struck a chord as we’ve dealt recently with some project management issues. He’s talking about communication more broadly, but communication is what project management is all about when you get down to it.

And he points out we’ve created communications tools that are at once more convenient and less effective. The issue is in the asynchronous nature of email, blogs, and pretty much every social network out there. You can reach more people in part because they don’t have to be “listening” when you “speak.” They can catch up later.

That’s great if you’re sharing what you had for breakfast. (Though, really, who cares.) But not so great if you’re trying to organize a get-together in a few hours. The problem’s worse in the business world. One example from the blog:

Your boss initiates a digital thread about an upcoming meeting. While two of the people are busy working on the agenda, a third ends up cancelling the meeting, wasting tons of effort because people are out of sync.

So what’s the answer? The post winds up flogging a new service being launched, but plenty of others, including the ever popular Basecamp already exist. The question is, is there any tool that really solves the problem?

Is there a tool that is as easy to use as your own email, but that as the resiliency and redundancy built in to eliminate all (or most) of the fragility in our most convenient tools?

If you’ve got an answer, I’m all ears. It would certainly make project management a lot easier. It would make just about everything a lot easier, including marketing and content marketing.


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