It is ironic that it is difficult to convey the meaning of the word communication. As we explained the subject to our writers, designers, advertisers and proof-readers we kept getting questions about what exactly we meant with the word ’communication’? Was it about the future of email and other forms of digital information? Was it about exchanging information in any shape or form? Was it about how publishers are communicating with their audience through different channels?
We didn’t really know the answers to these questions. And maybe that is the most interesting part of the subject.
I ended up looking the term up on WikiPedia and found the introduction paragraph so well written I decided to just copy and paste it here:
“Communication is the exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, as by speech, signals, writing, or behavior. Derived from the Latin word ”communis”, meaning to share. Communication requires a sender, a message, and a recipient, although the receiver need not be present or aware of the sender’s intent to communicate at the time of communication; thus communication can occur across vast distances in time and space. Communication requires that the communicating parties share an area of communicative commonality. The communication process is complete once the receiver has understood the message of the sender. Feedback is critical to effective communication between participants.”
My answer to the question ‘what is communication?’ is that as usual the question is more important and interesting than the answer.