Just a short (research) note, this article by Daniel Goleman in the New York Times sheds more light on the issue of communication problems and mistakes: “E-Mail Is Easy to Write (and to Misread)“, namely by stressing the growing importance of social neuroscience in explaining all the shortcomings. This is a neat update to my past ponderings (in german) on communication via social software in the enterprise, so I recommend that you check it out:
[…] social neuroscience, the study of what happens in the brains of people as they interact. New findings have uncovered a design flaw at the interface where the brain encounters a computer screen: there are no online channels for the multiple signals the brain uses to calibrate emotions.
And pay attention to Clay Shirky:
[…] put down little roots of face-to-face contact everywhere, to strategically augment electronic communications.