This blog looks at how messages are made, delivered, and used.

I like to think out loud about communication—to theorize about trends in messaging, to comment on what works (and what doesn’t), and explore strategies that build on traditional and emerging technologies. Because people will always need to talk to each other.

costa rica

A self portrait I took in San Jose, Costa Rica. I love technology but have a rustic sensibility. Old wooden doors speak to me.

I’m a communications consultant with a background in hard and social science (see my LinkedIn profile), and my approach to understanding how and why people talk to each other takes into account how content, delivery, sender and recipient are all variables in the “communication equation”. I’m especially interested in media and comms theory, data, storytelling, leadership messaging, advertising and hailing (ideology), and interpersonal and technical communication. Here I’ll draw on my experience and interest in bioethics, networked global philanthropy, techno-progressivism, journalism, genetics, and popular culture. But don’t worry, it’s not as dry as it seems. Breaking down messages can be exciting, fulfilling, even frightening, depending on, well, lots of things. That’s something I hope to uncover here.

I’m inspired by the phrase, “the medium is the message”, coined by media theorist Marshall McLuhan, where the mode of delivery (medium) shapes the meaning and trajectory of a message, and vice versa. Our messages define us, individually and collectively. The resulting relationship between technology and messaging continues to shed more light on the intricacies of human relations and motivation, and with any luck we’ll use this knowledge to master the messages that bring us all together and move society forward.

I hope you find my posts thought-provoking, and that you’ll join me in sharing your stories and asking some serious questions! Until then -

See you on campus,
Chris

4 responses to This blog looks at how messages are made, delivered, and used.

  1. Chris Delatorre – Author

    H&J – great question. First some context. Ten years ago, digital rhetorician Carolyn Miller positioned blogging as a genre, which basically means it represents a unique form of discourse, in that it has a common name and operates by its own set of rules (e.g. first person style, timestamps, latest entries first).

    Blogging is a result of the Internet, where the real-time, “one-to-many”, permanent nature of what we say implies a certain degree of authority and accountability, but where the basic tenets of journal writing are observed. We might entertain conjecture as fact, but our sources either check out or they don’t. Blogging as CMC (computer-mediated communication) assumes that what we put out is there forever and for everyone to see. Comms expert Clay Calvert says the three main motivations behind “mediated voyeurism” are (and these are reduced): 1. the pursuit of truth; 2. the desire for excitement; and 3. the need for involvement. This is what readers typically want.

    Calvert also talks about “mediated exhibitionism”, which bloggers use for social validation, relationship development and social control. The more personal information we offer our readers, the more we expect in return, or something like that. Going a step further, commenting, sharing and paraphrasing build on original thoughts, creating new contexts through collaboration. Bloggers and their readers engage in voyeurism and exhibitionism simultaneously as they drop in and out of comment strings and social media posts. We share opinions from our own experiences, and by shaping the world through our blogs, we enrich the worldviews of others.

    So. Within the context of blogging, the message is fluid and impressionable, taking on the identities of others, becoming less a personal effort and more a community practice. That’s the idea, at least. Check out Miller’s “Blogging as Social Action: A Genre Analysis of the Weblog” and let me know what you think!

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  2. Chris, I appreciate the time and effort you expend on creating substantive messages/posts. I’ve only now visited your blog and look forward to returning to read more. Your thoughts and words are meaningful, thought-provoking and inspiring. Thank you.

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    • Chris Delatorre – Author

      Eric, thanks for the kind words. I’m still shaping the blog and your input is always welcome. Let me know if you’d ever like for me to write on a specific topic, and let’s connect on Twitter if you’re there (@urbanmolecule) – I’m updating that feed more frequently these days. Looking forward to more of your posts!

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