Technology has enabled new conversations across time and space. Yet e-mail, for example, has become a formal medium, subjected to some of the same rules of consensus that prevail in other formal spaces for dialogue. It can be argued that reading and responding to e-mail requires stopping our (other) work. We also have to figure out how to apply what we learn from e-mail to your work – the applicability problem. (The fact that it is equivalent to a postcard in terms of security is a different issue). Etiquette for a new medium must be negotiated over time, and confusion persists as different people apply differing assumptions about what can be said and how to say it.
Photo: Express (Darien Law/flickr.com).