There was what I thought was a rather annoying commercial a few years ago from a cellular company “Can you hear me now?” It was of course about cell reception. But I think today people are wondering if they are being heard at all, especially in this e-communication era. I had dinner with Adam Shames last night who writes an excellent blog, Innovation on my Mind. Adam has posed some questions lately and hasn’t heard back. http://innovationonmymind.blogspot.com/ Why, he wondered? Do people need individual calls? Are they not interested? Are they even reading this? One-way communication may be “fun” to do (ask the girl at Duke University this week about her powerpoint presentation of dating and rating athletes at Duke), but the danger is 1) not knowing where it will go, and 2) wondering if anyone is even reading and reacting to it. As learners we need feedback. As people, we crave feedback. In F2F communication, that feedback can be an expression, a look, a smile, or a nod. No such luck virtually. Occasionally I’ll get a comment about my blog so I know that some people are appreciating these thoughts. Are we still learning if we’re publishing thoughts and opinions and not engaging in any feedback or discussion? What can we do to ensure that what is being put out there is heard? There are several options that come to mind.
1) Ask some specific people for feedback – if asked directly vs. in the masses, I always try and respond
2) Link it to a poll or survey that people need to take or sign onto, and that you can count the responses
3) Refer people elsewhere and ask them to find out how many people came as a result of your reference
4) Learn to live with less direct feedback. That means changing the wiring we have, but may also be some of the rules in this “new age” of publishing communication.
What do you think? What would you add? How are you living in this era of publishing one-way communication? Let’s see if there’s a dialog out there about this!