In the last few years we have seen an increase in digital communication activity – both in the business environment and online. It seems that people everywhere have access to phones with video capabilities, instant messaging tools, and social networking websites which allow them to interact on a very intimate scale. This has created what is called a ‘social context’ – a shared virtual environment which is not only experienced by users within the same organisation, but by users across different organisations, and even across different communities and countries. This has great implications for businesses, both in how they conduct their businesses, and how they interact with their customers.
For any communication environment to be successful it needs to be both efficient and effective. To achieve this, one needs to not only think about how communications are carried out within the organisation, but also in wider contexts outside the organisation. Why is this important? Simply by considering how communication happens in digital communication context, you can begin to understand how it differs from more traditional forms of communication. After all, the world we live in is quite different from the one that was imagined by philosophers over two thousand years ago – it is much more connected, far more connected physically and socially, and even more reliant on networks and technology than ever before.
The fact that there are two forms of communication is the beginning of the explanation. But beyond this, another aspect of the digital revolution should be considered. This is the impact that mobile technology has had on how we communicate. This has meant that the way we communicate, the way in which we do it, and the manner in which we store our communications has all changed. So why activate your digital communication context and stakes?
Firstly, it is important to consider the fact that when you access your email, you are accessing your computer’s memory. It is this very digital communication context which is responsible for the storing of your email data on your computer and for the preservation of the information therein. Therefore, you will want to make sure that you use a secure server (e.g. SSL) to connect to your email provider, as well as to the networks that you plan to access when communicating over the internet.
Secondly, there are actually two ways to access your digital communication context and stakes. The first is to have access to a computer with a web browser, and to read and write emails that have been stored on your computer (the traditional method), and the second is to access your email using a software utility (such as POP3 inbox or email client). These methods essentially provide two different means of accessing your electronic data over the course of your day.
Accessing your digital communication context and stakes via the traditional methods of web browsing and email reading basically ensures that anyone who has physical access to your computer can read your messages. As well as this, other unscrupulous individuals who may be interested in intercepting your electronic data can also read this data. Therefore, unless you have secure encrypted connections to the network where your email data is stored, unless you have password protected the files you are working on (which may be impossible given the widespread use of the internet for many activities these days), and unless you have a secure storage facility for your email files, unless you have an offline backup of all your files for the times when you might experience problems with your network connection (which is not always available) then you need to consider how to activate your digital communication context and stakes. The time to activate your digital communication context and stakes is before the problem becomes serious.