I stumbled upon this fascinating article by Terry Jones on synchronous and asynchronous communication. What fascinated me was the breadth of examples he gave for a/synchronous communications.
Here are some for synchronous communication:
telephone calls, in-person meetings, a parent teaching a child a song, an audience listening to a public lecture or a live concert, buyers and sellers negotiating prices at a market
And here, for asynchronous communication:
the invention of writing, Post-it Notes, blog-posts, and what’s more dog pissing on lamp posts. 🙂
Anything that does not involve the source of the communication directly is asynchronous in nature. For example, a bill-board tells us about something that the source (say the ad-owner) wants to say. And technology is playing a very big and prominent role in facilitating the absence of source of the communication. In a sense, this is a revolution.
Synchronous communication is expensive (in terms of the time consumed, energy spent etc.) when compared to asynchronous communication. Moreover, synchronous communication is more centralized. Asynchronous communication is scalable as it is not centralized by its very nature.
The author talks about some FluidDB that embodies this asynchronous notion and how it benefits us all, I am eager to know more about it.