Archive - Feb 3, 2005

What are your communication goals?

I am on a mailing list of people interested in using technology for not for profits. On this mailing list a discussion erupted concerning when to post to the mailing list, when to put information on a blog and whether it is appropriate to post some of the information on the mailing list with a pointer back to the blog for a more detailed discussion.

I think the emails going back and forth bring us back to an important underlying concept. Whatever you write, think about the goals you have is what you are sending out and question whether the content and the medium effectively serve these goals.

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A Frame for Framing

(Originally published in Greater Democracy)

Recently, progressives have discovered ‘framing’, or how to talk about their beliefs in a way that other people will listen and respond. Granted, there are all kinds of bells and whistles about how to do this effectively, however, a friend recently wrote down these thoughts (with a little minor editing of my own) about what we really need to be doing.

Get in touch with your own values; know them well. Engage in respectful discussions with people with different viewpoints. Do not argue. Do not be vitriolic. Express your values and find common ground with the person you’ve been talking with. Shake hands over your newfound friend; go buy him or her a beer. Participate in the local culture. Watch a Sitcom, go to a little league game, attend a PTA meeting, and chat at a beauty salon. Embrace and smile, knowing we are all Americans after all.