The title I picked for this week's FC Expert blog sounds like something you'd want to say instead of having a break up. There is a reason why we disconnect from brands, companies, neighbors, friends, colleagues -- we stop talking. And by talking I mean communicating, taking the time to hear and be heard. Talk is not cheap, the tools are. Today there is an array of them at your fingertips.
While none will completely replace face to face conversations, the phone comes pretty close to it. If you talk with intent and focused attention, you can transmit warmth and share a smile over the wire. Regardless of what The Boston Post wrote in 1865 in an editorial, "Well-informed people know it is impossible to transmit the voice over wires and that were it possible to do so, the thing would be of no practical value," it's possible to do what used to be thought of as impossible [thanks, Andy].
We realized how dependent on technology we are, especially of the VoIP kind, this past week. As I wrote on my post at the MarketingProfs:Daily Fix, Skype did extremely well on the reliability scale for many years. If you work in technology and IT infrastructure you know that it is a small miracle, given the company's growth. It may have done better on the communications side of things. They could have used their blog more effectively to avoid speculations early on. Open the conversation up, assign someone to talk to customers on your blog, real time. For another bit of trivia, see the etymology of Skype at The Name Inspector blog.
One company has decided that it will use talk as its competitive advantage. Netflix is keeping its phone lines open for you. Standing by are a number of customer service professionals who are ready to listen, inform, and make decisions on the spot. See what it's all about at Fast Company Expert blogs.
This week was all about people and talk -- customer loyalty programs, companies opening up their devices so developers can experiment, and working on getting customers to talk about a product. What's the story of the future? The Institute for the Future tells us that it will continue to be about participation and commons.
We're already there. Thanks to our thinking that we can do the impossible, we have projected what this new age means in the future and set out to present many stories -- 103 of them to be precise. What's the difference between those books and these media? They are all about publishing content, those are portable. This is what this is about. Talk can change everything -- it can change our lives.