While writing this blog post I’ve managed to check my email several times, respond to a new wave, carry on 3 separate Twitter based conversations, update my Facebook status, and play a move in Lexulous against my girlfriend (she’s beating me quite handily). In short, I think I’m a pretty able communicator; but if that’s the case, then why has it been so hard to communicate within my own team, and with the rest of you.

If there’s one thing that has characterised this course so far it’s probably been the lack of inter- and intra- team communication. I don’t think it’s a problem local to my own team, either. So why is it that in a world of plentiful real-time and asynchronous communication channels we’re nearly all having this issue?

I think it is due to, in part, the fact that we’re being graded largely based on our communication. If you treat every email, blog post, RSS feed, and IRC channel as though it’s an assignment to be handed in, you’ll be really guarded about what you say and how you say it. In an effort to not look foolish, you end up muting yourself. Subconsciously you might feel like every question asked results in marks being deducted, but that’s really not the case. A paper trail filled with questions is a million times better than no paper trail at all.

In the Real World™ you’re expected to ask questions, seek clarification and look for explanations when need be. No one is looking over your shoulder, scrutinising your every move. This course is probably as close to real world experience as we can expect to get as undergrads, so we should try to take advantage of it.