Monday, January 12, 2004

Email Lists and Web Communication

One of my communities email list has had a sudden influx of emails about the bible and questions that the Old Testament raises about the character of God and that kind of thing - which has then prompted a discussion about the usage of the email list and about email/web communication - all good stuff actually.
One of the questions has been around the fact (?) that you don't have body language etc to mitigate and filter what you say in email/web communication. I have been thinking about that and the various forums in which I am part of web communities of sorts. In my experience, where you have some experience of the person, or knowledge of the person, then you read what is written in email or discussion through your knowledge of them - and that picture builds over time and interaction, however that interaction is. I do think that physical interaction is important but that is where the strength of the kind of email forum I am talking about comes in - it is one of many interactions possible within the given community, with plenty of other types of interaction possible.
Within all this I've been thinking about the difference in the way people view things like web communication and have blinkers on the types of communications they consider "normal" - even though the questions raised about web communication are perfectly valid and helpful too.
I have also been thinking about emotion, tone and freedom in such communication.
Just small issues!

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