Re: What is “Open”
From: R Philip Dowds (
Date: Fri, 5 Feb 2016 08:10:44 -0800 (PST)
Some communications experts believe in redundant messaging through multiple 
media — but this may be overkill for cohousing communities.

But your post does raise a fundamental, communitarian question:  Does the 
community have a duty to express itself via that mode most preferred by each 
member … simultaneously ensuring that no member is ever confronted by a medium 
disfavored?  Or … does each member have a duty to stay in touch with that 
medium of which the community has agreed is favored for the conduct of communal 

Philip Dowds
Cornerstone Village Cohousing
Cambridge, MA

> On Feb 5, 2016, at 10:21 AM, Jude Foster <foster.jude [at]> wrote:
> Sharon and all, 
> Thank you for writing this post (thank you for all your writing….)  Open 
> communication is a challenging, shifting subject, and it has gotten more 
> complicated rather than less, as the media/communication possibilities 
> multiply, and as people’s lives are ever more complex as a result.
> I am just finishing a thorough survey of our community members to gather info 
> on everyone’s communication preferences OUTSIDE of F2F and our shared, 
> organized  e-bulletin board and server.
> I took it on after several personal game-changing realizations - for 
> instance: "oh, he’ll read it if I text, but not if I email.”  
> For ordinary community business and connections, some people want to be 
> texted, some prefer phone calls, some email.  Some use texts for family but 
> don’t want it complicated by community, some would rather never speak on the 
> phone, many but not most are still committed email users, a few still have 
> land lines.   And so on.    Then it changes for day-of or more urgent 
> communication:  what does each person use there, what will work best?   My 
> inventory of preferences shows quite a range of differences among us, it’s 
> been very interesting to explore.
> Even doctor’s offices and such are jumping on this bandwagon, aren’t they?  I 
> had a dentist appointment recently, and I received several emails and texts 
> to remind me - geesh!  I had to tell them to back off. 
> It is not just generational, at least within our community, though that is 
> certainly a big factor.  My own Millenial sons have now trained me to message 
> them via Facebook or text rather than email.    Sharon refers to extroverts 
> as still loving bulletin boards, which had never occurred to me.    Some 
> older Boomers keep up with the latest, texting and Facetime and beyond, 
> others choose not to.
> Anyway, back to “what is ‘open’” - I am about to report out to our community: 
>  these people prefer texts, these prefer email, and so on.  And then good 
> luck to us all to notice the preferences, to make it work, and to keep up 
> with continuing change.  
> Cheers from the computer,
> Jude, Trillium Hollow, Portland Oregon

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