From: Craig Phillips <>

Sent: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 10:17 AM


Subject: Cocktail Talk - 160 Characters in 7 Seconds



Cocktail Talk

November 2014

Cocktail Talk

Dear Craig:   

Welcome to CN Consulting's "Cocktail Talk".


Cocktail Talk is a casual monthly newsletter intended to arm you with amusing bits and bytes of information on whats happening in the computer world. Topics sure to break the ice and capture an audience at many a social or business event.


Cocktail Talk is archived on


Currently, on Cocktail Talk - Mind Games


Every encounter, from conferences to meetings to training sessions to business lunches, presents an opportunity to meet people, network, and expand your professional contacts by making a positive first impression. You've got just seven seconds - but if you handle it well, seven seconds are all you need! 


Seven seconds is all you get, that's what Forbes magazine says anyway.


We may have been like that all the way back to the cave when frustrated man smacked the object of his desire over the head with a stick and dragged her off by the hair. I don't know about that, but I do know about this, it's been seven seconds for a long, long time.


Mark (not his real name), who is now a respected business and family man living in California had it all figured out. When he saw the object of his desire he would walk right up to her and say: "Hi!  My name is Mark. How do you like me so far?". Less than seven seconds. You'd be surprised at the results. 


I'm beginning to think seven seconds is all we've got in correspondence too. If I send an email asking three questions I'll get an answer to the first one, something ridiculously off base concerning the second, and nothing at all pertaining to the third. If I email three answers the first will be understood, the second will be misunderstood, and the recipient will angrily accuse me of not giving the third. 


At first I thought it was me but too many people say they're getting the same thing. Maybe you've run into it too, I don't know, but it made me wonder why and I think it's SMS.


SMS, Small Message Services, started out as 128 characters we could send to a pager. Most people only knew you could send a phone number but you could send text messages as well.


SMS is now 160 characters and is the basis for all those Tweets and TXTs we live on. Oddly enough it's only 160 because a character named Friedhelm Hillebrand argued that 160 characters was "sufficient to express most messages succinctly".


Are we so used to SMS messages that we don't read more complete messages? It sure seems like the emails I send longer than 160 characters get truncated by the recipient. That would explain the responses I get anyway. 



Seven seconds, 160 characters, or not, that's your call, and that's Cocktail Talk.




Thank you for reading,



Craig Phillips

CN Consulting, Inc.





CN Consulting, Inc -
Computer Consulting for Business!



CN Consulting Inc. (CNCI) is an independent consulting company formed in 1990 and located within easy reach of both Chicago and Milwaukee.


CNCI maintains a select client base providing consulting services concerning the use of information technology. We persistently look for advantage to our clients in added value and reduced cost made available by advancing technology.


CNCI does not have financial interest in any given product or product line. We evaluate current and emerging technologies solely based on their benefit to our clients. CNCI implements the solutions it recommends and readily partners with companies that offer products and services to the advantage of our clients. CNCI offers complete client support with singular accountability.


We maximize the benefit of our clients' existing technology, systems, and platforms while integrating the benefits provided by new technology.


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