This page is a documentation of my preferred contact methods, as well as a compilation of protocols for various communication media. I hope to document what works and what doesn't work, in the hopes of gaining a better understanding of the ways communication is evolving.
Publicly documenting the communication protocols will hopefully allow errors to be found and improvements to be made quicker. Feel free to leave a comment on this page.
This is a list of direct communication methods in order of preference.
Instant Messaging, IRC and Slack
- On IRC: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
- On Slack: I am regularly in the XOXO and pdxstartups Slack rooms
- Google Chat: email@example.com (Note: Jabber does not work with Google anymore)
Slack and IRC are great for public conversations that others may find interesting. Additionally, the channel provides additional context for the conversation, and others may chime in as well.
Slack, IM and IRC are great for synchronous conversations while not demanding complete attention from either party. If I am at my computer, I will most likely respond quickly. The nature of an IM conversation compared to a phone conversation means that I am more likely to respond since I will be able to continue whatever task I was doing when interrupted by the IM.
- SMS: 503-567-8642
- iMessage: firstname.lastname@example.org
Since I began using Google Voice, and now that iMessage on OS X works seamlessly between my phone and computer, it has freed me from the limitation of requiring the use of my phone to reply to texts. If you send me a text, I can reply from my computer. It is silly to have to use a tiny keyboard to reply when I have a full-size keyboard in front of me.
Twitter @'s or DMs
- I will read all @ replies and DMs
- Contacting me via Twitter allows both of us to use our preferred medium for the communication. For example,
- You may be Twittering from your iPhone/Blackberry/Laptop
- I can receive the message at my work computer and respond on a full-size keyboard
- If I am on the road, I can respond from my phone
- Neither of us need to know how the other is actually receiving the message. Contrast this with text messaging or phone calls, both of which require a phone device to be used
- You can sign your email with your GPG key.
- I prefer to look up your GPG key from your website rather than from a keyserver.
- You can encrypt your email to me with GPG, my key is available here.
- Please don't call me unless it is extremely urgent. Examples:
- Something is on fire.
- If you are absolutely unable to contact me via other means and you need a response from me right now, call me.
- Realtime communication is required
- In some cases, a single back-and-forth text exchange is not sufficient
- If the conversation will require several quick back-and-forths, then a phone call may be quicker. I hope I can trust your judgment
- If I don't answer your call, it may be because:
- I am in a loud environment and I will not be able to hear you nor you me. Instead, text me.
- The call will be an intrusion into whatever I am doing realtime, i.e. I am talking with people in real life or concentrating on a project. In this case answering the phone will cause me to lose focus, and you will get a less-than-optimal response from me since my mind will have been deeply involved in something else a mere 3 seconds ago.
- There is almost never a reason to leave a voicemail. Instead, send a text or instant message.
- If you leave me a voicemail, I will probably not listen to it. If you call my Google number, it will be transcribed and send it to me in an SMS and email. However, the transcription usually only conveys 50% of the message content accurately. If I determine, after skimming the transcription, that the message is very important I will go back and listen to the audio.
- Absolutely avoid leaving voicemails consisting only of "can you please give me a call back". This is a waste time for both of us. If you really need to get me on the phone, send me a text saying "call me back" instead.
There are also several indirect methods to contact me.
The best way to respond to something I've written is to post on your own site. Own your comments.
However, I will also read comments left on
I will probably ignore comments left on
- Post flattering photos of people. Everybody likes to see good photos of themselves
- Send takedown notices if someone posts a photo of you that you don't want online
- Promptly respect takedown notices from people
- Post unflattering photos
- Post photos that may compromise someone's expectation of privacy. Note, this may be quite different depending on the person
Instant Messaging and IRC
- Don't ask to ask, just ask. Too often I will receive a message like "are you there?" or "can I ask you a question?" Please ask your question in the opening message, and if I can respond I will.
- Note: This may not be the best solution. For example, if I have something to ask someone that would be easily answered over IM, I want to get a hold of them that way. However if they are not available via IM, I would want to email it to them instead. In this case, an "are you there?" message may be appropriate since if the answer is "no," I would send an email instead.
Others' Communication Protocols
I have drawn inspiration for this page from other similar pages below.