Note. This will be important to you in your work and your personal life. When dealing with your family, customers, colleagues, strangers or anyone else, you will need to communicate effectively. It would help you to remember that writing is one of the ways to communicate. What happens with writing can happen with speaking, or singing or painting. Likewise, reading could be listening or watching. Whether you need to share information or you have a question, know that often times those who know write, but those who need to know don’t read.
Consider this scenario. When a certain mobile money company introduced a new system, it left its customers open to a scam. This is because a good number of the company’s customers didn’t know about this new system. The scammers would call the customer, pretending to be a company representative. “We have reset your password for security reasons, please give us the OTP you have received”, the scammers would say. Unaware that there was another way to access their accounts the customers would gladly give the scammers their one-time password (OTP). With that OTP the scammer could access the user’s account, and you can guess the rest. The mobile money company tried to warn its subscribers through text messages. Unfortunately, sometimes those who know write but those who really need to know don’t read. And it doesn’t help anyone.
A gap exist, not because of unavailable information, but because communication did not effectively happen.
There are times when keeping secrets is beneficial. Then there are times when knowledge has to be shared. In any case, knowledge is potential. What we will do with it can save or destroy lives. Come to think of it, with so much information being discovered and shared every day the world could have been a better place by now. Or a worse place, as information can still be used to harm. To narrow it down to our specific issue; even though we have so much knowledge as a group, individuals and separate subgroups have limited knowledge. This is not just because of secrecy. Even though information is widely shared, those who know write, but those who need to know don’t read. This article is a starting point, a premise so to speak, for those who want to close the gap in their own community.
Why those who know write?
Writing expresses thoughts. We do this for ourselves and for others. Taking notes, analyzing, journalizing and other reasons for writing have their benefits. However, our focus here is on writing to share information. It is this form of writing that has helped to preserve loads of information from generation to generation. Which in turn led to development. If writing is just putting things down, then it is effective. We still know of the Sumerian archaic writing and Egyptian hieroglyphs which have endured for thousands of years. Regrettably, writing is more involving. As it happens, writing should stimulate the reader’s interest and inspire certain action. The reader has to read, and has to understand and respond to the shared information.
Those who don’t read know something else.
Those who know things would have gone through a path that led them to know things. At the same time, those who don’t know will also have gone through another path that led them to know other things. It is this difference in what’s known that necessitates proper communication design. For effective communication you need to enter the reader’s space and grab his/her attention, impress your perspective to them and hopefully inspire them to act. As an information seeker, you have to enter into the information resources with a learner’s mind and grab the information you need.
As previously mentioned, this is a premise. Now define your communication problem. Which gap do you want to close?