Which signal?

We have far more than five senses, and people communicate with us using many of them.

You can receive a message via visual inputs, sound, text, smell, taste, touch, temperature, pheromones, sub-sonic rumbling and/or subtle facial gestures. You can feel comforted or jostled, part of a trusted circle or all alone. You can absorb the confidence radiated by a professional or feel the insecurity in someone who is overwhelmed.

You don’t have to know how to read Finnish to be able to make a judgment about the quality of a product or its instructions–all you need to do is glance at it. And you decide if you’re going to like a restaurant long before the food arrives.

Words on paper were a magical interregnum, a low-cost, editable, permanent way to tell a story as completely as we could while limiting ourselves to nothing but a keyboard. But people have always been hungry for more inputs than this, hence the race to deliver content that moves on its own accord, that spreads more quickly and that activates more visceral reactions than a static book or blog post can.

Some overlooked factors to consider when crafting and delivering your message:

  1. How much effort does the recipient have to put into engagement in order to receive this message?
  2. Which overlooked senses are out of sync with the change I’m trying to make?
  3. What would make this easier to share?

Bonus: Check out thisten.co. They’re doing groundbreaking work in turning audio into text in real-time, a boon for conferences, as well as for people who have difficulty hearing. We’re experimenting with transcribing my podcast, Akimbo, and you can check out some recent episodes in text with their free app.