Wonderful post titled “What does mobile productivity look like?” by Marc Orchant in ZDNet Blogs.
“I watch my daughter (21) use her cell phone primarily as a text device. Her SMS units outnumber voice units on our monthly bill by a 10:1 ratio. When I ask her about this, she explains that you can have a phone conversation with one or maybe two people. SMS allows her to chat, coordinate, and collaborate with as many of her friends and co-workers as she likes in pretty much real time. Because her preference has become clear, I find that I send her text messages far more frequently and phone her less.
I don’t call my son (14) when he gets home from school on latch-key days when my wife is at her gallery. I send him a Skype instant message. Why? Because he won’t always run to grab the phone but he always responds to the incoming IM chime. There’s a certain geek Pavlovian thing going on there.
I do as much communicating using VoIP and IM as I can. Economics plays a big role in this choice but presence is almost as important. I know in advance whether the person I want to communicate is available when I use Skype, Google Talk/Gmail Chat, or Windows Live Messenger. If they are, we chat using voice or IM. If they’re not, I send an e-mail. I can make a discrete decision about the most effective way to get in touch with them instantly. The phone only tells me the party I want to reach is unavailable after I’ve dialed, waited for the requisite number of rings, and left a voice mail message which might or might not be listened to soon enough to matter. E-mail, IM, and VoIP are simply more immediate and more effective for me and the people I communicate with.
Except for my wife – who turns her Mac on when she has time to check e-mail and much prefers I call her using my Treo so she knows it’s me on the Caller ID.
Different strokes for different folks.
Communication, collaboration, and productvity are all being prfoundly influenced by the technological tides we’re experiencing. Take a look around at how the people in your life – younger and older – in your business and out of it – use technology to connect. It’s an eye-opening experience. “