High Five – Full Circle

From Bob GilesHigh Five from Handshake 2.0:

Cavemen probably used gestures to communicate.  Then appeared song and spoken word.  Then came the written word and words off the presses.  The computer words flashed next.  Then it was noted that fewer and fewer words are spoken by aging TV-watchers.

In her captivating The Age of American Unreason, Susan Jacoby reported Kiku Adatto’s study that found between 1968 and 1988, the average sound bite for a presidential candidate dropped from 42.3 seconds to 9.8 seconds.

By 2000, the daily candidate bite was down to just 7.8 seconds. Jacoby examined the many reasons for this and tried to suppress her fear that "…the scales of American history have shifted heavily against the vibrant and varied intellectual life so essential to functional democracy."

Her book shares her pain in thinking “…about what the cultural landscape will look like a generation from now.”

David Catalano of Modea and others discussed the essentials of an elevator pitch and seemed to settle on 21 seconds for a business summary while going up a few flights.

Tweets on Twitter are limited to 140 characters (averaging about 10 words).

My daughter, Anne Clelland, founder of Handshake 2.0, said to me that people now rarely read blog posts over 300 words. I usually fail in my posting limit for High Five.

Jacoby is highly critical of blogs  as "…crude observations of people who are often unable to express themselves coherently in writing and are as inept at the virtual conversational skills required for online exchanges as they must be at face-to-face communication."  She adds, "The point of blogging is self-expression, not dialogue."

Not dialogue?  Back to gestures?  Perhaps to waving a sign bearing forgotten symbols? 

Have computer. Will work for food.

Total:  284 words.


Robert H. Giles, Jr. writes High Five for Handshake 2.0, a business news and Web 2.0 public relations services enterprise of Handshake Media, Incorporated, a member company of business acceleration center VT KnowledgeWorks. 

The opinions Robert Giles expresses are solely his own and are not necessarily shared by Handshake 2.0 or its clients. 

Feel free to follow Robert H. Giles, Jr. on Twitter @Bob_Giles

Robert H. Giles, Jr. is a Virginia Tech Professor Emeritus with a vision for a rural land management system.  He writes two blogs, The Survivalists and Faunal Force

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