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Jeremy Wagstaff on incomplete calls

Jeremy Wagstaffs weekly email send this time is a brilliant post about the use of incomplete calls as a signal where completed calls are a significant cost.

Heres a snippet:

…the missed call is not some reflection of not having enough credit. Its a medium of exchange of complex messages that has become surprisingly refined in a short period. Much of it is not communication at all, at least in terms of actual information. The interaction is the motivation, not the content of the message itself. Or, as a Filipino professor, Adrian Remodo put it to a language conference in Manila in 2007 at which they voted to make miscall, or miskol in Tagalog, the word of the year: A miskol is often used as “an alternative way to make someone’s presence felt.”

Indeed, the fact that the message itself has no content is part of its beauty

One bit of data. But, in its context — Jeremy points out that the message depends upon the time of day its sent, signaling perhaps that one is leaving work — so overflowing with human meaning.

One Response to “Jeremy Wagstaff on incomplete calls”

  1. As the Master said, “the medium is the message; the user is the content.”

    In my wife’s family (among others), when long distance charges were prohibitive, there was a practice to make a long-distance collect call to Lola Kabel, which in Hebrew means, “don’t receive” as a way of signalling that the person at a distance is alright, and that an explicit conversation wasn’t necessary.

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