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Communicating With Technology Plus Humanity

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It’s fascinating: how humans use new technology to communicate. When humanity meets technology, there’s a lot to learn.

Communicating With Technology Plus Humanity – Magic and Surprises

The purpose of this weekly blog is to explore what happens where technology, communications, and human behavior intersect. What unexpected behaviors pop up? How do we balance technology with human needs? What’s working, what’s failing and why?

For consumers and businesses, technology transforms how we connect, learn and buy. For marketers and communicators, technology transforms how we sell and what we say.

When Martin Cooper placed the first mobile call with a 2-pound “brick” 40 years ago, no one knew how big (or small) mobility would get. No one imagined a phone as tiny and powerful as an iPhone. Even the communicators on Star Trek were bigger.

Now billions of us rely on tiny smartphones and handy tablets. We see them as extensions of ourselves. In surveys, people say they would give up coffee or sex before giving up a smartphone. We love our smartphones so much that we will even risk our lives to get a smartphone back.

Magic moments happen in telecom and tech every day. Yet most of us take all the magic for granted until a device or network or app fails. Then we get mad; we expect it all to work all the time. We each learn to adapt to new technologies in our own ways.

Until recently, people learned new technologies at work. We discovered new tools such as email, broadband Internet, and teleconferencing at work, then brought them home.

The IT department set the agenda. We followed.

We gained radical information access, 24X7 connectivity, and nearly limitless mobility. Along the way, we sacrificed call quality, privacy, clear boundaries between work and life, perhaps even a bit of humanity.

Today, people drive the adoption of new technology. Employees who brought smartphones to work changed the game. IT departments learned to cope with what they couldn’t stop: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).

Now, IT departments follow agendas set by employees and customers. This change, just beginning, will affect communicators, marketers, and technologists profoundly for years to come.

New technology spawned new buying behaviors. Today we search the web before buying a new car, camera, or book. We compare retail prices with Amazon prices. We check user reviews. We hear what peers say on social media. All of this activity is out in the open.

Consumers now set the agenda for communicators and marketers, just as they do for IT. That’s why communicators and marketers need to adopt new technologies and adapt to the new buying behaviors they enable.

Applying new technologies is vital for communicators and marketers. But by itself, it’s insufficient for success.

Buyers are gaining increasing control of markets through growing access to information. So we need to better understand the human side of the equation – what really happens when new communications technology meets real people.

This blog will continue to pose questions, present ideas, and offer insights for communicators, marketers, and people who love telecom and tech. I hope you’ll enjoy the blog … and share it vigorously!

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