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Human Communication Patterns
Updated 3,030 Days AgoPublic

Human Communication Patterns

This article attempts to outline different ways human beings interact.

This does include electronic systems performing communications (seemingly autonomously), but is still (mostly?) on another human being's behalf.


Face-to-face communication can span any sort of subject -- business and pleasure if you will -- without the specific pattern changing too much.

This communication pattern is difficult to improve. The bandwidth available, the gestures, the stance, the tone.

Mail (Snail)

This is the bank letting you know they made an error in your favour -- or not.

This is mostly a one-way communication in that the pattern is so much synchronous, and that there is significant delays in the turn-around.

Mail (Electronic)

One-to-One Electronic Mail

Think: Yo, how you doin'?

This is more direct communication than snail mail is, but may mostly contain a personal message or some direct business relation (employee / manager?).

One-to-Many Electronic Mail

Think: I need to let $x people know about (...)

Many-to-Many Electronic Mail

Think mailing list.

The "many" as such may in fact include the general public.


This is separated from Instant Messaging because not only has it been around for longer, a chat protocol like IRC establish a completely different communication pattern than say, Snapchat or WhatsApp.

In many ways, it is more like XMPP/Jabber, but without the presence information. (???)


From land-line to SIP, one-to-one or conference.


peer-to-peer, in groups/conference.

Instant Messaging

Different from chat in that instant messaging describes exactly what the expectation is of the user.


You letting the world read an article you wrote.

GitHub Pull Request

A user has found, is using, and otherwise engaged with a software development project, forked off this project in order to enable one-self to scratch itch, scratched, and now proposes no other consumer of the software development project's product will ever have to feel the same itch in the same way again.

A use-case may need to be articulated, a scenario described, and as such amounts to a piece of text almost qualifying as an article.

Notification via email or in the browser when navigating to GitHub.

Deserves a response, negative or positive.

Build and test results may be interjected.

A conversation may need to have been had before the final response is issued.


In the space of electronic mail, includes a lot of various types of notifications, but usually "something happened, go here to (...)"

In the space of web sites, includes iconography to draw attention, go some place and view lists of things having happened.

Collaborative Editing

This can be writing a document together while sitting next to each other, or via some tool over the internet.

Other Types

  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • WhatsApp
  • SnapChat
  • LinkedIn
  • Weibo
  • Xing
  • Google+
  • etc.
Last Author
Last Edited
Feb 8 2016, 2:15 PM