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malevolent design weblog

This blog is now defunct, but you can find more stuff over at my personal site

Subject: Ring, Ring

Why do we treat email differently than a phone call? proposes deleting emails ruthlessly, and questions whether we’d keep phone call transcripts if we could. Looking at what’s going on all around, Jason Fried is way off on this one, particularly where businesses are concerned.

Search software is covering a broader range of file formats, a lot of work’s being done on automatic transcription of audio and video (which doesn’t need to be perfect to be useful), and VoIP telephony is taking off partly because it integrates better with computers. Within a few years we’ll probably start seeing people recording absolutely everything they do for private reference (and/or public broadcast; the exhibitionists will love it), computers are becoming our memory extensions.

Email is popular largely because everything gets logged effortlessly by default, so you don’t have to take notes and argue later over who said what. I reckon most email users would love their phone conversations to do the same (except perhaps the people at the Cabinet Office).


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