Response Hierarchy

Taking a queue from Rands Response Hierarchy I wanted to create a prioritized hierarchy to how likely I will respond to a piece of communication. This list is sorted from least to most likely.

Spam < LinkedIn < Phone < Twitter < Chat < Email < Video < SMS < Slack < Face to Face

Spam

I will never respond. Especially if it’s Github related and you just saw my email because I starred a repo.

LinkedIn

I will never respond. 99% of what I receive here is recruiter pam. I even received a LinkedIn request from a LinkedIn recruiter who was inquiring about a job opening at LinkedIn which I read on LinkedIn. Nothing can ever top that so I stopped checking them.

Phone

I’ll respond eventually if you leave a voice message. For every real phone call, I receive fifty+ robocalls. I now use Nomorobo to take the edge off but I mostly ignore my phone unless we have an appointment.

Twitter

I’ll respond eventually. I don’t always get DM notifications, but when eventually see it, I will reply.

Chat (Facebook or GChat)

I’ll respond eventually.

If you message me on Facebook Chat, then if you aren’t in my “other inbox”, I’ll reply. I have missed seeing messages for 9 to 16 months at a time because of this “feature”.

Email

I will most likely respond. I get hundreds of emails a week and I aggressively filter these messages.

Video

I am pretty accessible by appointment to talk on GChat or Talky. The only limiting factor is that video chat works some days and does not on other days.

SMS

I’ll respond unless I think the conversation thread has ended. With SMS, that’s easier said than done sometimes.

Slack

I’ll respond as long as I have the slack organization installed. I only stay logged in on my laptop to about a dozen orgs. I only keep about three to five on my phone.

Face to Face

I’ll respond because you are right there.


To summarize, digital communication is still the best way to get a hold of me. I am a “social introvert” who enjoys talking to people but I also appreciate async communication because I can reply on my own time and schedule.