This blog post is not submitted as evidence for any of our missions. It is just something I want to think about and maybe it is something you have been thinking about, too.
The way we communicate with others is not, specifically, awarded any points in Evoke. In some ways, that is good, because there are many who are communicating in different languages, and it would be unfair to discredit someone who is making an effort in English, when it is not their first language. On the other hand, it is unfortunate that it is not specifically valued, because there is a big range in communication style out there, and some of it is not pretty.
There are a few tools we can use, in order to speak directly to the people we are trying to reach, so I will just go through a few of them. If there are others I am missing, let me know.
a) Blog - if you have something to say, which you think warrants more than a line or two, and is suitable for mass consumption, this is the right place to make your point. You can put tags at the bottom to help people find your work when they do a search.
b) Message - You can send a message directly to a person once you have made them your friend. Send them a friend request, then wait a short time for them to accept you. Once that has happened, you can send them a message, and it won't be public. If you have something to discuss which is of a private nature - a complaint specifically directed at them, or something you two are collaborating on, then this is the most appropriate way to do that.
c) Comment - Without going through the process of making an agent your friend, you can send them a comment directly.
d) Email - Your Inbox includes the friends you have made. You can send emails to one or more of them in a single go. This is good, because you can highlight which people you want to send messages to. It's not
the right place to send out a flame about a person (see all of the other ways to communicate with them, above). The big problem, at present, is that you can't tell WHY they are your friend. Did you list them because they were from Toronto? Were they the ones who wanted to work with you on the Arctic? Maybe? I suggest that you keep a list somewhere. However, this is something which could be improved in the future.
e) Evoke Help Forum - If you have a problem which you need sorted out, you can try the Evoke Help Forum. This is public, but it really works. http://www.urgentevoke.com/forum/topics/official-help-forum-evoke
f) Twitter -googlewaveyour has started a list of all Evoke agents. You can send a tweet to find out how to add yourself to the list. Be warned - there are a lot of us on the list!
g) Discussion Boards - There are literally hundreds of discussions going on in the discussion boards. That is the place for questions, opinions, answers to problems, etc. You can probably find the answer to many questions there before even posting yours.
And finally, a story about how I got my account disabled by choosing the wrong one of the communication tools above:
I wanted everyone in Toronto to know about the food security opportunity available to them at Community Gardens called The Stop (you can read about this in my blog). However, I could not manage to send an email to people without making them all my friends first, and the ACT2 mission was not going to be timely in a week. So... I sent Toronto Evocateurs a comment. Well, somehow this was mistaken for spam, and my account was disabled. Nice. It's back up again now, thanks to the helpful people at the Help Forum and thanks to the evoke agents on Twitter.
So my advice is that you will have to go through the painful process of step d) if you want to reach people from your region. This is also an area which could be improved in the future. I would like to befriend a code-writer who thinks they could make it possible to do a search and send an email to people from your city without being disabled by Ning (I imagine that they look like Monty Python's Knights of Ni).
May all your communications be fruitful ones. Peace.