Friday, July 8, 2011


i just got out of a very long meeting. we had to do a lot of talking and a lot of presenting. i had to convince some people of something. then afterwards (that word is so much fun to type) i had to lead a conference call. and after that i had to leave a voicemail with an exec. then it hit me.

voicemail is a last of its kind.

think about it, all of the modern communication consists of text and images and video. hardly ever do people record something that they want to say and post that on their blog instead of writing it out. i know that about six months ago there was a social network that was built off of the idea of posting pure audio, but i'm pretty sure it's not around anymore.

when we want to communicate through email, texting, posting, commenting, we always have the comfort of undoing. we can change what we just said, and no one would know any better. you can shape your thoughts and massage them into a certain flow because time is on your side. you can spend two hours writing out something that will only take two minutes to read.

this is not the case with voicemail. the second you hear the beep, time is on a one:one ratio. there is no time to brainstorm; to try out this word here or that word there. everything you say is set. you can't undo your last three words. so get it right, or it'll stay wrong.

i love that.

voicemail is a last of its kind. it's a digital representation of actual communication. it's our voice, our inflections, our imperfections- all stored inside of a tiny audio waveform. it embraces the old, and promotes the new. it's still a one sided, or turn-by-turn, type of communication, but it still holds true to the sounds of real life.

leave your message after the beep.


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