Should we teach diplomats how to ping?
Think of how we send messages to each other in the flesh-and-blood world. We smile, we hold onto eye contact for split second longer, we barely stifle a yawn. These signals are subtle, but important (and they provoke lots of cross-border misunderstandings).
The question these days is how to send subtle signals electronically. (And no, I'm not talking about emoticoms, though I guess they count :)) Jason Kottke proposes quick keys on a cell phone to "ping" people--just to get on their radar. A more subtle method, as discussed last week, is simply to stop by someone's profile at Friendster. Any other tricks out there?