From the amazing Axletree Media Blog!
A few random facts to start your day. In the communication world we refer to the different ways we connect with each other as channels. And by ways I mean things like: talking face to face, text messaging, e-mail, etc. These very often get lumped into a very similar grouping called media. Media is actually the plural form of the word medium. So for all practical purposes, the term multimedia is actually redundant. It’s like saying multiple-multiple medium. A medium and a channel aren’t exactly the same thing, but there is crossover in areas such as blogging and online video.
This is all great information to share with random strangers waiting in line at the coffee shop. They’ll think you’re brilliant… really.
The thing to keep in mind is that all channels aren’t created equal. They all have advantages and disadvantages. One of the measurements is called channel richness. This refers to how much information can be communicated through a specific channel. The immediate error here is that when many first hear about channel richness, they think in terms of sheer word count, but that’s not correct. As human beings we communicate with each other far more through body language and tone of voice than with the words we actually use. In fact, research has shown that words only account for around 30% of the information we absorb to establish our actual understanding of meaning. The richness of a channel establishes how effectively it can carry this additional information.
Take for example the four-letter word that is the bane of all men when spoken to them by their significant other.
Q – Honey, is everything ok?
A – I’m fine.
Even though the word “fine” technically means everything is perfectly…well… fine, every guy knows that it can have more meanings than we can possibly count, depending on how it was said. I’m going to have to let you rely on your own experience to sift through that one, because without posting a video of someone using that four-letter word, it’s next to impossible to describe. And right there is a shining example of a limitation of this particular channel. Tone of voice and body language are difficult to relate in written form.
Next week, we’ll dive into the different channels and talk about the different advantages and disadvantages of each. Have a great week!