Bright Stove

Reflecting information risk journey

Two-way communication

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Conferences, in general, is a one-way communication platform, where a series of speakers get up to the stage and deliver their messages. While there are often opportunities for Q&A, they are mostly limited to a few minutes for very few questions. The setup therefore remains mostly one-way, i.e., unilateral. To achieve two-way communications, it should be with “s”, i.e., plural form of communication, which should be interactive, or in the form of a dialogue. Those are limited to roundtable types of setup. 

Today, at the China Software Security Summit in Beijing, the setup is rather interesting. While the speakers present their slides on one screen, there’s another screen on the other side presenting a scrolling list of live messages received from the participants thru’ mobile SMS. Speakers could not see, and therefore couldn’t read what’s on the scrolling list of SMS text. Some of the messages were commenting on the speaker’s slides and messages, asking related questions relating, and others ranged from asking for general information to spam messages advertising the presence of some companies in the conference. It is uniquely two-way communication, without “s”, i.e., two unilateral channels of messaging in a conference setting. While the setting was interesting, it was rather distracting when reading the SMS text scrolling on one side, the speaker’s slides on the other sides, and then listening to the speaker’s speech in between. 

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This reminds me of the many meetings that we thought were two-way communications, but were actually two-unilateral communication as in this conference setting. You speak yours, and I speak mine. Let the audience decides which he/she wants to tune-in.

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Written by mengchow

November 5, 2008 at 10:41 am

Posted in Misc

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