Communication

I noticed an interesting phenomenon the other day.  The amount you communicate is
proportionate to the number of different avenues you have for communication.  Right now, I can:

-email
-IM
-Skype
-blog
-text
-phone
-MySpace mail
-MySpace comment
-tag something in del.icio.us for: someone
-poke in the Facebook
-write on a Facebook wall
-email in Facebook
-Flickr mail
-Flickr comment
-Gchat in Gmail

...and I'm sure I'm forgetting some...  Oh yeah..talk in person.

The interesting thing to me is that new forms of communication don't necessarily replace the other.  I comment on Flickr to people whose email addresses I have.  Its not just getting the message across from point a to point b..its the way in which it was sent...the packaging.  Packaging allows expression through an infinately more diverse set of variables, like context, media, volume (degree of publicness).  An avatar message to someone on a blog post is a very different message than a text from one person to another, even if the worlds are the same.

Having all of these means of communication available allows for very nuanced interaction with the world.  Some people I will never get on the phone with...others I only talk on the phone to.  When I got texts, I didn't call less...  I called differently.  Less short phone calls....but then I had more longer ones because texting kept more relationships fresher in a more efficient way...  So I just had exposure to more stuff that warrented a call because I had a little bit of texting
to fill the quiet times.

Hopefully, social networks, wireless carriers, Web 2.0 companies realize that and keep their communication as open as possible.  The model for many web applications, like dating, used to be "pay to contact this person".  Instead of standing on the way of communication, I think the best strategy is to encourage as much commuication as possible.  These services don't own my ability to communicate, and there's lots of competition.  Keeping the room silient isn't  the best way to create a party.