Thursday, June 02, 2005

Long week...

Well, - it has been another long week. On Tuesday we were up at 4AM EST to fly to California for a series of meetings that began in N. CA and ended on Wednesday evening in S. CA. With the time change – it could have been possible that on Tuesday I worked more than 24 hours! It was an unbelievably busy day. Then, back up at 4AM PST this morning to fly home to Boston. I’ll tell you one thing, our folks from Product to Support to Marketing to Sales and so on are working harder than ever right now and it is a time to be proud to work for such a productive company.

An interesting question came up in a casual discussion with friend this week: How were people successful in communicating 15 years ago without e-mail? I guess the argument could go two ways.

One outlook is that often times we get bogged down in e-mail chains that stem 20-30 messages long on a single topic that could have been solved in a 20 minute conference call or meeting. We sometimes spend far more time administrating e-mail than actually performing other job functions. Sometimes e-mail is used more in an “instant messaging” like format, creating far more messages to administrate than necessary. E-mail can also be very dangerous as it takes away or sometimes muddles tone, context and intent – for example, an e-mail can imply a tone that was not intended by the author and cause many issues.

On the other hand, if used properly, e-mail enables near instant communication when necessary. It takes away the “presence” factor – you can be just about anywhere in the world and communicate via e-mail. It also enables convenience – I can respond at my convenience to your note, and as long as I do it in a timely fashion for your requirement, it meets your needs. It can enable effective group communication and collaboration. It sometimes helps one effectively communicate an idea in writing that it may have been hard to communicate in person. And there are probably others that I am missing!

I’d have to say that I am a big fan of new age communications (IM, Blackberry, etc.) – but sometimes the administrative headaches of them do drag into the late parts of the evening!

Well, that is about it for now. I am off to the Adirondack’s (in New York state) this weekend for a little R&R, and also going over to Perry, NY to visit my girlfriend’s family. If you are ever looking for a fantastic getaway, there is a Bed & Breakfast that we stay at in Beaver Falls, NY called Hidden Comfort B&B (www.hiddencomforbb.com) and the hospitality and food there are second to none!

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