Links for 17 May 2006

It's all about me: Why e-mails are so easily misunderstood: Though e-mail is a powerful and convenient medium, researchers have identified three major problems. First and foremost, e-mail lacks cues like facial expression and tone of voice. That makes it difficult for recipients to decode meaning well. Second, the prospect of instantaneous communication creates an urgency that pressures e-mailers to think and write quickly, which can lead to carelessness. Finally, the inability to develop personal rapport over e-mail makes relationships fragile in the face of conflict.. None of this is new, there have been studies on the effects and consequences of electronic discourse since the 1980s. What has changed is the number and type of people who are using email (blogs, newsgroups, etc.).

To avoid miscommunication, e-mailers need to look at what they write from the recipient's perspective, Epley says. One strategy: Read it aloud in the opposite way you intend, whether serious or sarcastic. If it makes sense either way, revise. Or, don't rely so heavily on e-mail. Because e-mails can be ambiguous, "criticism, subtle intentions, emotions are better carried over the phone," he says.

Via Dealbreaker

Creative filed suit against Apple Computer over patent infringement (FT: Creative seeks to halt US sale of iPods) going for the jugular: Creative asked for an exclusion order and cease-and-desist order against Apple that would prohibit it from selling, marketing or importing iPods in the US. Creative file suit after losing $114 million (unclear if that's USD or not).

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