Communications media decision tree


On his blog How to Save the World, Dave Pollard offers a great “Communications Media Decision Tree.”

In this post, Dave also offers a somewhat rambling (but heartfelt and insightful) meditation upon various aspects of conversation, communication and groupthink. I like his summary of why we engage in conversations.

So why do we converse, using any of the tools in the chart? Let’s start from the writer’s perspective, or the perspective of the initiator of the conversation. They’re trying to do some of these things:

* Organize and save our thoughts and information and stories.
* Improve our language skills.
* Think out loud to reach a conclusion.
* Find people with similar ideas, interests or ambitions.
* Sell ourselves, our ideas, our writing.
* Help others.
* Get help.
* Overcome boredom, loneliness, shyness, low self-esteem.
* Debate.
* Entertain.
* Learn something.
* Express ourselves.

From the reader’s perspective, or that of the respondent to the communication, they’re trying to do some of these things:

* Learn something.
* Understand something better.
* Be entertained, excited, incited.
* Find something interesting to talk about with others.
* Find useful information and tools.
* Find people with similar ideas, interests or ambitions.
* Get different perspectives.
* Help answer deep, personal questions.
* Be seduced.
* Escape.
* Overcome boredom, loneliness, shyness, low self-esteem.