Hierarchy of communication

If you wanted to contact someone asynchronously, you sent them an email. If you wanted to chat with messaging, you both needed to be online simultaneously. Modern messaging is like a cross between email and instant messaging: you can chat, live, just like with instant messaging, but you can send a new message any time you want. There is no distinction between your being “online” or “offline”. You are just an identity with modern messaging, not a presence.

From Gruber’s fantastic post on ICQ shutting down. 

When I first started using the internet for communication I dove into ICQ, AIM, Messenger, and the likes. These were ways for me to find and stay connected with friends. I also used email to compose long letters to penpals.

I’d forgotten about the requirement of being online with these tools, somehow my brain imagined I could just send messages offline. 

Now I have a preference for hierarchy of communication. My favorite tool is iMessage. I can send voice messages, type from any device, and trust the service to show what I need when I need it. It’s the most reliable (although not always perfect) and the blue messages remind me of ease of communication. 

Next up are tools like Slack. I don’t love them, necessarily; but they are such a large part of my work life that they’re critical for getting things done. 

Beyond that I love using things like blogs, Mastodon, Threads, to bounce ideas around over time and space. Email is my least favorite since 95% of it is not personal.