One way that communication on the web is different…

How do you use the telephone to communicate? I know, silly question. You just pick up the phone, dial a number, and speak.

Now, how do you use the web to communicate?

You can send an email, use Google chat, make a video call with Skype, write a blog post, write a comment on a blog post, tweet, write on someone’s Facebook wall, update a wiki page, post a slidecast, post a video, or use countless other web-based applications.

You don’t just use the web, so the answer is not as straightforward. You use one of any number of applications made for the web. Each and every one is different, a mishmash of communication tools.

The difference is that you can’t just learn to communicate effectively on the web the same way you once learned to use a telephone. It’s tougher now. Effective web communication starts by understanding the tools, determining how they are different, and knowing when you should use each tool. Once you know the basics, you’ll be able to do more than you ever could have before.