I chose an old floppy disk as my piece of communication technology.
The other day I stumbled upon a colored plastic square sitting in an old filing cabinet with 20 other plastic objects similar in shape in size but different in color. Upon further examination I have found a black round flimsy piece of plastic encased inside the plastic. There is another round piece of metal in the middle of it and two white pieces of paper on either side protecting it from the plastic. The round piece of plastic on the inside has absolutely no inscriptions or groves, it is completely smooth with no writing. On the top of the outside of the object is a metal clip which slides back and forth but springs back in place as soon as it is moved.
After initial examination of the object I have determined that this piece of plastic was meant to encase messages that were written on black round pieces of plastic. After the message was written on the round piece of plastic it was then placed inside the harder piece of plastic for protection. I assume the object was then mailed or stored in order to communicate messages. I also believe the metal clip on the top that slides back and forth was meant to reveal some type of label that was written on the inside of the plastic. This helped organize the square pieces of plastic that were used to protect written messages. Unfortunately this plastic piece has no inscription on it that I can see. I think this was a new message that had not been written on yet and can only suspect that the people who used the round pieces of plastic scratched a message on the piece of plastic, encased in it in the harder plastic and then delivered the message to whoever the recipient of the message was.
Unfortunately this communication concept failed and was not used again by any other civilization. If I am correct in my assumptions about how the object was used I can also use some concepts in communication technology to explain why it failed. According to Everett Rogers there are 5 factors that define how fast innovation can spread: relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability and observability. Unfortunately I think this means of communication ultimately failed because it had no relative advantage and was not compatible with pervious communication technology. In terms of compatibility, it wasn’t very effective because most other civilizations used parchment or paper to write messages. This new plastic disk probably confused people and required an entirely new form of writing. It also offered few advantages. Compared to other forms of writing and devices used to store the writings, the plastic encasing was probably more expensive and hardly more effective in protecting the words written inside on the round piece of plastic.