I learned today it’s possible to add a free button to your blog or other website that shows your current Skype status. I’ve added this code to my personal “contact” webpage. The code to create this sort of personalized status Skype button is available from the Skype website. This is a feature that’s been included in the private directory of Apple Distinguished Educators for each person’s iChat/AIM status, and I think it is really powerful. I’m glad to see this is available (and I suppose has been for some time) to anyone who uses Skype.
This is certainly NOT something I think minors should be using and putting on their personal MySpace or other webspaces, but as an adult and a professional I think this will be interesting to try. In the late 1990s when I was teaching elementary school in Lubbock, Texas, we experimented a bit with ICQ as an instant messaging client for communications between teachers in the building– and the experiment was a failure because of unsolicited spam messages that were sent to different teachers by others outside the building. Since then I’ve been quite wary of sharing any of my instant messaging addresses publicly, and haven’t experimented to see if things are different as far as spam IM goes. My experiences with blog spam as well as email spam have been (of course) very negative, but I’m cautiously hopeful that adding this Skype button to my contact page will prove helpful rather than distracting and negative.
Over the past several months, I have become increasingly overwhelmed by personal email and honestly have not dedicated enough time to wade through, process and act on all of it. Thanks to the persistence of several individuals (who also contacted me over the phone, and not just via email) I’ve been able to respond to some remarkable offers to present internationally as well as elsewhere in the United States. I have found myself increasingly relying on phone and instant messaging communication technologies to get my work done and communicate both professionally and personally. I am still using email, but my preference for communication methods has noticeably shifted this past fall. I wouldn’t say I am “anti-email,” but I am increasingly pro-IM and pro-blog commenting.
It is important for people to recognize which communication modality is most appropriate for a particular message, its context, and its timeline. I’ve noticed some people frequently use email when they want an immediate response. Instead of email, because of their personal timeline perceptions, they should use a synchronous communication modality like the telephone or IM. The assumption that “I sent him the email, so surely he knows so and so” is often not the case with me. Again, I am not wanting to discourage anyone from emailing me, I do answer email but frequently am behind and overwhelmed with more than I have time to process and respond to on a daily basis. If anything, my encouragement to others is to consider several key factors when sending a message and choosing an asynchronous (like email or a blog comment) or synchronous (like IM or the telephone) communications modality:
- What is the timeline for a needed response on this subject?
- Has this person been previously unresponsive to email inquiries?
- Is this something simple that could be handled with a quick IM conversation?
- Is this a potentially contentious or sensitive topic that would be best handled through a face to face or phone conversation?
I am not making any type of formal “resolution” for next year with regard to these topics, but I think it will be interesting to see if I end up doing more productive communication via Skype and IM in the year to come as a result of my Skype status (and ID) being listed online.
I know that just as IM has become more preferred, communicating with others via blog comments as well as Technorati links has become a regular communication mode for me. I am interested to know if others have had similar experiences with email, where it has become less of a preferred communication modality in the past few months or year?
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On this day..
- Photos of our Ice Storm in Oklahoma City (Dec 2013) - 2013
- Setting Up a Skype Home Phone - 2012
- Podcast386: Implementing 1:1 Classrooms in Grand View Schools, Oklahoma - 2011
- The HDR Photo Difference - 2010
- Clever Operation Chokehold Spoof Video - 2009
- Terrorist groups are recruiting online - What about your school, club or organization? - 2009
- Podcast297: An Oklahoma One to One Fairy Tale Obstructed By The School Secretary - 2008
- Understanding the way forward for copyright reformers - 2007
- Walled garden DSN apps - 2006
- Kudos to all K-12 Online presenters and participants - 2006