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Communications is Fragmenting

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

The next time you use Phweet I’d like you to consider how it improves communications in a world that is rapidly fragmenting.

  • We want Multiple Identities: Our directory listings are increasingly fragmented, outdated and dispersed. Where once a white pages or yellow pages listing was enough we now have profiles on social networks, corporate profiles, personal websites and more. Each serves a different purpose, each a different share and a different way of revealing ourselves. No one wants one identity for all communications anymore!
  • We use Multiple Channels: Communications channels are often not synchronized or updated. It’s a guessing game where you will find me. This results in lost opportunities and failures. The fact is you don’t know my number anymore anyways. You click on a name in your address book or an IM handle and we talk. The end point doesn’t matter. What matters is that the communication channel is a good connection and that it costs nothing or almost nothing. More importantly why should you have to judge or guess where to send the message or make the call.
  • We want privacy without Interruptions: Sharing your mobile number may result in unwanted interruptions. Routing all calls to your mobile is the future. The problem is interruptions. If I give you my mobile number and you share it there is no way for me to ‘expire’ that connection and I may suffer further breaches of privacy. As a result, we are often highly protective of our mobile numbers. When it gets really bad people get a new mobile number. That’s not a solution.
  • Desire control over access: Callers dictate when the calls happen without context and often without identification. It’s even worse as I wrote yesterday when it is an unknown number calling. We send those to voice mail and then may later have to listen to it or clear it. Let’s face it SMS is more and more popular for setting up calls and the “Available”, “Away” etc. that we have seen on IM accounts has become almost irrelevant.
  • Broadcast and escalate conversations: It is hard to spontaneously escalate calls to conferences particularly if people are on different networks. This is one of the things that has always impressed me most about Skype and moving Skype multichats to conference calls with three to five people. We’ve enabled this with Phweet without number exchanges in multiple formats. You can even broadcast what you are talking about in real time. The future where you control the bridge and determine the services on the bridge is here. It’s a key differentiator. There’s more controls and power we will be offering to users.
  • Communications on-the-move: Location based services are limited by access to numbers and concerns about sharing proximity info. The future is not going to be limited by the cost of the call or the need to know the communications channel. It should be about whether or not I want to allow access to me and under what circumstances and context I am willing to share. I feel I will share different profiles / directory listings and broadcast them to different destinations. The status update is key and so are my public profiles. At the end of the day it is my directory listing that will put you in touch with me. My listings on the move may be many and varied. They may or may not relate to each other. That’s fine by me.

I beleive Phweet addresses communications in a fragmenting world. We still have a way to go. Let me know which of these items are important to you. Which one’s you think really make a difference. If you were Phweet how would you use these attributes to move forward? Look forward to your comments.