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27 April 2008

What's Your Internet Communication Language (ICL)?

If you hang out with other Christians, there's a good chance you'll be asked the question, "What's your love language?"

This from the best selling book by Dr. Gary Chapman on the ways we accept love and show love to others.

It's popular and it isn't going away - probably because there is a high level of validity to his claims. So it got me thinking this week.

Could similar claims be made about the way people communicate on the Internet?
For the sake of argument, I'll say there is. I'll offer up a few examples to get people talking. We'll call them the 7 Internet Communication Languages (ICL's) to completely copy Dr. Chapman. But please don't get too hung up on the fact that I thought of 7 (the minute I hit 'publish' someone will comment that I missed a very important one...). So here we go:

The 7 Internet Communication Languages:
  • The Electromailer: This person would still be using the US Postal Service for all its worth of email wasn't around. They realized the power of electronic mail and made the switch. This person chooses to send an email before communicating any other way. They would also be comfortable joining online message boards or forums that require you post questions and then wait for a response.
  • The Realtimer: This person doesn't have the patience to wait on the dreaded send/receive cycle of an email. They are looking for an immediate contact or immediate answers to their questions. This person probably uses the phone a lot so they find similar speed when they use IM clients like AIM, Yahoo Messenger or Live Messenger. They may also take advantage of video conferencing solutions, IM with video cams or live chat on websites so they are interacting in real time.
  • The Statusupdater: This person just wants to let everyone in the world know what they are doing at any given time. Tweets, Powncers and the like throw out little bits of information that others can either absorb or react to in limited ways. These people are often hard core texters. In fact many of these people actually update their status from their cellular phones and receive updates from others right on their phones as text messages.
  • The Blogger: Bloggers, Typers, Spacers and Pressers live to write. They are most likely writers at heart, plan on writing books someday or just love to journal. They've found the perfect solution to take their passion to the next level and share it with the world. Communication is one way until people comment or connect with you via the contact information you provide.
  • The J-Pegger: This person loves photography. Because of this they communicate by showing others the pictures they take (most often in JPEG format). Communication occurs when people comment on the picture or request to have or use them. J-Peggers like to Flickr, act Smug and kick the Bucket when it comes to uploading great images to the web.
  • The Flasher: Something akin to the J-Pegger, but this person feels more comfortable with a camcorder. They take video footage or create media experiences and then share them with others (often in flash video format). These Tubers, Googlers, Vimeots and vSocialites make us laugh, cry, fight and yes blush... Communication happens in the form of text comments, video commenting and embedding.
  • The Socializer: This person loves to network. It isn't enough to go out, meet people and add them to your Blackberry. No, you need to be connected online so you have complete access to the person. Facers, Spacers and qLifers do it all. They are quite possibly the masters of the black art of Internet communication. These social networkers may blog, update statuses, upload pictures/video, engage in live chat or IM and email all from within their application of choice.
I know it's just a start. But think about it. What is your Internet Communication Language? What Language do your friends speak?