Friday, November 23, 2007

Effective Communication on the Internet

I came across a couple of articles at SCIAM and TechCrunch about Zlango, a new Israeli company that created a new linguistic communication and associated application for samariums (short message sending) or, what we name text-messaging. The linguistic communication is based on icons like Yahoo! smilies where each icon stand ups for a word so you can constitute image sentences and direct them to people via cell phones. Zlango have now created online image messaging. Zlango Composer is a Flash based transcriber that translates what you type on your keyboard into the image language. Your messages can be sent to an electronic mail computer address or shared via community sites. It also allows you share your image messages on your private blog or the public blog at the site.

Anyway, this new linguistic communication got me wondering, how make we effectively pass on on the web? The SCIAM article mentioned Zlango was not yet as rich as Esperanto, a cosmopolitan linguistic communication that is apparently spoken by over two million people across the human race and was founded by a Polish doctor in 1887. Rich Person you heard of this? Where have got I been? Anyway, this Esperanto got me thinking even more than about the job of effectual communicating online. What problem? We take for given that Internet users have got the same wonts off line that they make online. Seriously, we do. As advanced as web applications and publication chopine have got become, Internet users are still humans. Our behaviours are not necessarily different because the medium is more than blink of an eye than off line manners of communicating like books, mags and, dare I say, face-to-face interactions.

We still have got to procedure all the words, letters and characteristics of the letters into significances we see and hear, forming a large image and connecting them with what we already cognize so we can understand what we're looking at or what we hear, then react accordingly. No substance how simple a image or icon, a image states a thousand words for every individual who looks at it. So, it's more likely than not that an icon can be misinterpreted than a word, provided you talk the language.

Case in point. Some calendar months back I read an article in the San Francisco History about the icons on prescription medical specialties printed on labels to assist non-English speaking common people to understand the possible side personal effects of the medical specialties they take. Some of the images were completely ridiculous. One mental image seemed to connote that exposure to sun while taking this medical specialty would be hazardous, but you really had to take a leaping to construe the image correctly. It looked more than like person being electrocuted. Anyway, unlike Zlango, it is more than of import that these icons be read correctly or serious injury might come up to these patients. Given the cultural differences, why would the pharmaceutical industry believe that these indeterminate symbols would be understood universally? How about investing in label printing linguistic communication interlingual rendition programmes instead? What's wrong with letters, words and sentences set in an order that brands sense?

The job with communicating is that people don't take clip to communicate. I believe you have got to take clip to understand what you're looking at and take clip to translate, and most importantly, guarantee you are reaching your mark audience. Reminds me of those bloody imbeciles who talk loudly and in English Language to people who don't talk English as if they are either mentally retarded or difficult of hearing rather foreign linguistic communication speakers. Communication is all about context. If you cognize who you're talking to (if you have got any sense, you would), you can calculate out how to do them understand you without making an buttocks of yourself or talking down to them.

Zlango and similar efforts of simplified web communication, on some degree is a dumbing down of language. I believe a cosmopolitan pictograph "language" for the Internet is a voguish thought and on some degree it might make sense if these symbols, like smilies, gave your authorship a small poke or sense of wit rather than replacing perfectly utile words with cockamamie small fictional characters that don't necessarily interpret well. Of course, these icons are marketed to teens whose attending spans are already retarded by other word forms of instant, abbreviated manners of communications. But, we're grownups and should desire to pass on as substance how hard it can be at times.

The most astonishing thing about the Internet is its convenience of sharing choice morsels of information and being able to compose your ain content to share. I like to believe that authorship was a lost fine art that the Internet have establish and redefined. You don't have got to compose long fulminations (nor should you!) and research document about any given subject to convert your readers that you cognize what you're talking about, or that whatever you're saying matters. Use field language, be brief, be focused, be personal and people will read. Considering the 100s of pieces of ocular stimuli we have everyday, we desire to take information in little bites. Even information based sites, the good 1s anyway (like SCIAM and, cut up their information into dainty morsels so that we really pay attending to what's being said and our eyes don't glaze over and axial rotation back in our heads, or gun trigger an aneurysm.

Once upon a clip the Internet was all about text. Long, long, oh so long, text. Now, it's calm about text. But, short, engaging text. Or rather, the short piquant textual matter that's to the point and relevant is the sort of content we look for, or we just travel on. I cognize my attending span is quite short because I'm an artist, a swot and a geek. But, without fail, I'll halt dead in my tracks, base up and pay attending if I read sententious content that aftermaths me rather than brings on a coma.

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