PART I: HOW DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY IS CHANGING COMMUNICATION
Words, pictures, graphics, and symbols—the very shape of content—
is evolving before our eyes. The written word isn’t going away,
but it is being transformed. The days of straight running text on
paper as our principal means of expressing ideas and delivering infor-
mation are numbered as new digital tools change our communication
landscape. For some, this transformation is liberating . . . for others,
For communicators—anyone with information or ideas to share—
today is a period of transition. We can now show audiences insights
that previously could only be explained with words. Tools born of the
Internet allow us to manipulate data into forms that can bring us
deeper understanding. The ease of multimedia grants even the tech-
nologically challenged the power to communicate with video, audio, and
images to deliver a fuller communication experience. All good stuff,
but these changes aren’t likely to come easily after centuries of thinking
print. Flipping the switch from print to digital requires effort on
If you communicate, take note: Failure to understand new media
forms and how they impact the way we write, speak, and think could
leave you at a disadvantage. Conversely, embracing new digital tools—
and the philosophy that drives them—can help you thrive in our
THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION CHANGES EVERYTHING IN COMMUNICATIONS.
We can no longer think in terms of paper documents as our
end product. The Internet is increasingly pushing more dynamic
modes of communication—not just functioning as a mechanism to
deliver pdf files. Multimedia engages users in a way print cannot—
offering them greater insights.
THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION CHANGES NOTHING IN COMMUNICATIONS.
Solid, time-tested communication skills are still an imperative.
“Old school” ways to develop content are, and will always be, essential
to information sharing.
THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION CHANGES EVERYTHING IN COMMUNICATIONS, YET NOTHING AT ALL.
Communications is about delivering meaning. Multimedia can help us
grab someone’s attention. It can also enable us to deliver a more
powerful learning experience by “showing” rather than “telling.”
But we can’t depend on killer applications alone to express thoughts
and share information. There has to be substance behind the style
to breathe new life into content. Technology can enhance our under-
standing of content, but there must be solid ground beneath the
gadgets and gizmos.
You may already know about some of the technologies described
in the coming pages, but read with an open mind. The introductory
chapters aren’t so much about new tools as they’re about developing
the frame-of-mind to seamlessly incorporate new devices into your
communication efforts. We’ve been busy adopting new communication
tools, but have we taken the time to think about how they can
best serve us?