The Internet has revolutionized how we communicate both in business and on a personal level. There are vast amounts of information available to anyone immediately. Entire communities have been created based on people with common business and personal interests around the globe. With this in mind, we asked colleagues, friends and family for their opinions about whether .com has increased communication. Here are their responses:

 



Accessibility is the Key
Information on any organization around the world is now accessible in minutes. Whether itís a bed-and-breakfast in South Australia or a massive group company in Japan, information about their products and services is available around the clock.

Our main contact is with Sydney, Australia. With the recent time changes on both ends we now have a 16-hour time difference. When itís 4:00 p.m. in Calgary itís 8:00 a.m. the next day down under. With e-mail capability we can function much more efficiently and effectively on a daily basis.

 A Greater Connection
There is no doubt that .com has increased communication. Huge numbers of people are spending large portions of their lives online in virtual communities such as chat rooms or multiplayer gaming sites. E-mail and the Internet have fundamentally transformed the way we communicate with other people. The informality of e-mail makes it perfect for quick informal exchanges. It doesn't require the time and effort of a letter, and it is not as invasive as a telephone call.




People Matter
We consider it amazing that we can instantly send a message to someone we never met in Australia (though we rarely do), and yet do we know our neighbors on our street? I think the end result can be we become more detached from the people that we should be having REAL relationships with. The guy in the chat room could be... a girl? a serial killer? a total phony? A personal visit is worth twenty phone calls, and one phone call, actually hearing a person's voice, is worth fifty e-mails.  

There is an energy and sense of creativity that comes from communicating face to face that in my opinion will never be captured by technology.

Information  Communication
I think Web sites definitely generate more information, but that's not the same as more communication. It only becomes communication when the information is taken in and understood by a real human being.  

I think it has increased the amount of information that can be accessed or communicated. Unfortunately, I think it has not found a way to effectively organize the information, causing information overload for some of the simplest queries.  



Fence Sitter
.com has increased the amount, speed, and the flow of communication. However, it has caused some loss of the human touch and quality of communication.

Humorous Quips
It wasn't long ago when being well connected meant having a wide range of personal contacts. Now it means having a fast connection to the network.

.com has indeed increased .communication. Unfortunately, it has also increased .confusion and along the way caused a lot of .consternation. On the other hand, I hear that .consultants are pretty happy about the whole thing!

1. Fast Company Magazine, January/February 2000 issue


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