Those 140 little characters, perfect for getting to the point. Perfect for sharing. Perfect in this time of bullet point explanations in our mile a minute society.
Yep, for those of you that know me, you know I’m a big fan of the micro-blogging site Twitter. As soon as I saw it in action in 2008, I knew it would grow and attract millions.
I’m an information junkie, a resource sharing, technology and society learning, walking talking encyclopedia of facts and knowledge about the use of technology and society’s future. Let me translate in TwitterSpeak: “Early Adopter, who is passionate about learning and sharing information about technology, society and our future.”
While I love it for all those reasons and more, I also knew about the dark side that would soon appear when it reached critical mass. Human nature has a way of showing its dark side with or without accountability for its actions. Always has and I think it always will.
When you live, work and breathe technology for decades like I have, you see the stuff that is not always public to the masses. You see the virtual fights that start up over a difference of opinion and you see the nasty behavior of those who feel shielded behind a keyboard. Years ago it was almost always done behind an alias that would take a while to track to a person’s name.
So along comes Facebook, and they required “real” names and “real” email accounts. Once that started to become the norm you could see the shift hitting the web. People started using real names and real connections to themselves.
Now we have virtual fights happening everywhere, but more and more frequently on Twitter. It starts as simply as one person who says the mildest things about a celebrity, and are attacked by folks who believe these celebrities to be demi-gods of our society. I mention this due to the crazy event that has happened over the last few days on Twitter.
Stephen Fry is a celebrity in Europe and throughout the World. He is also one of the most celebrated godfather’s of British twitters. Finally, he is a self-admitted individual who suffers from a bipolar disorder.
And so it started. What appear to be mild exchanges between a celebrity and a fan; turned into several internationally reported articles from the mainstream world press. While also tumbling out of control with anger, hatred and bile in the Tweetesphere for days.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/8335793.stm – Fry ponders leaving Twitter sitehttp://newsforums.bbc.co.uk/nol/thread.jspa?forumID=7178&edition=2&ttl=20091101134401
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/8336425.stm – Fry ends row with Twitter critic
STEPHEN FRY: @brumplum whereas yours are so fascinating I can barely contain my fluids.
RICHARD: @stephenfry I shall have to put more effort into fluid-extraction! *blushes at the thought of S.F. reading my wibbles*
RICHARD: My life is complete, @stephenfry has @ replied me, rapidly followed by blocking me. My previous comment clearly hit him hard. Sorry.
STEPHEN FRY: @brumplum You’ve convinced me. I’m obviously not good enough. I retire from Twitter henceforward. Bye everyone.
STEPHEN FRY: Think I may have to give up on Twitter. Too much aggression and unkindness around. Pity. Well, it’s been fun.
Richard was besieged on his blog, twitter and email from fans of Stephen’s worldwide. The BBC picked up the story, radio stations and talk stations picked it up. Stephen was going to quit Twitter and it was all due to one comment.
Hours went by and Twitter was awash with the shock and anger generally used during a mob rush over human right infractions. A Twitter Storm erupted and it appeared folks couldn’t be meaner or nastier if they were screaming at each other at a KKK rally in the Deep South.
Two days later and people are still adding comments about the incident, releasing steady streams of anger, frustration and bile. The two primary individuals involved however, have apologized and moved on. It’s only the captive audience of folks out there that can’t move on.
It’s official in my mind; the lid is officially off our ids. What is the id you might ask? It’s one of the parts of how our personalities develop according to Freud; “ The id wants whatever feels good at the time, with no consideration for the reality of the situation.”
You can expect to see more and more virtual exchanges that have mobfeed mentality erupt. Only in the future, you will also see someone who doesn’t have any self-control or control of their own disorder, eventually harm another person over it. Someone who will combine their internal conflicts with the mobfeed mentality and will track down the person who they perceive did them harm. As we continue to live our lives in public, expect all aspects of the dark side within to start to surface as we continue evolving with the use of technology.
I guarantee it. Laws haven’t kept up, social etiquette hasn’t kept up, foundation building in our youth hasn’t kept up and the organizations leading the way haven’t done so with any morale compass. Why would society as a whole when the foundation needs such drastic repair?
We are reaching a tipping point in society, a point in which it might be too late to turn it around. What are you going to do about it? Who are you going to start the conversation with to start turning it around? Do you even notice or care?
“Re-Industrialize the Planet”. A quick summary:
* The web is creating a global infrastructure for collaboration (which leads to disruption and confusion)
* As a result, all of our institutions have come to the end of their life-cycle
* The current recession is a crucial punctuation point in human history – the point where we said that we need to reset, the point where the industrial economy has finally run out of gas
* This paradigm shift is creating a crisis of leadership
* The Digital Natives are inheriting this situation – and they think very differently
* Kids are now the authority on many issues
* We have 40 years to re-industrialize the planet
This concept allows to you to experience immersion and effortless navigation in an Augmented Reality environment. New types of interactions involving near-to-eye displays, gaze direction tracking, 3D audio, 3D video, gesture and touch.
Through these new types of social linkages people will be connected in innovative ways between the physical and digital worlds.It’s hands-free and weightless compared to a tablet, no small screen problem as you have on a mobile phone – but is it truly useful?
Unlike most other AR apps we’ve seen lately, where the physical world is referenced by the AR – the two seem unrelated here. It takes all kinds, though, and who’s to say how AR will be used?(Also, isn’t this music a little creepy? It sounds bittersweet about the inevitable and yet slightly frightening future.)None the less, we’d love to get our hands on a prototype of this technology to test it – just as soon as it becomes real.
“When I look at books, I see an outdated technology, like scrolls before books,’’ said headmaster James Tracy. (Mark Wilson for The Boston Globe)
There are rolling hills and ivy-covered brick buildings. There are small classrooms, high-tech labs, and well-manicured fields. There’s even a clock tower with a massive bell that rings for special events.
Cushing Academy has all the hallmarks of a New England prep school, with one exception.
This year, after having amassed a collection of more than 20,000 books, officials at the pristine campus about 90 minutes west of Boston have decided the 144-year-old school no longer needs a traditional library. The academy’s administrators have decided to discard all their books and have given away half of what stocked their sprawling stacks – the classics, novels, poetry, biographies, tomes on every subject from the humanities to the sciences. The future, they believe, is digital.
“When I look at books, I see an outdated technology, like scrolls before books,’’ said James Tracy, headmaster of Cushing and chief promoter of the bookless campus. “This isn’t ‘Fahrenheit 451’ [the 1953 Ray Bradbury novel in which books are banned]. We’re not discouraging students from reading. We see this as a natural way to shape emerging trends and optimize technology.’’
Instead of a library, the academy is spending nearly $500,000 to create a “learning center,’’ though that is only one of the names in contention for the new space. In place of the stacks, they are spending $42,000 on three large flat-screen TVs that will project data from the Internet and $20,000 on special laptop-friendly study carrels. Where the reference desk was, they are building a $50,000 coffee shop that will include a $12,000 cappuccino machine.
Check out Peek – a great simple device to get your email anywhere.
Peek was born on a walk in the park when Amol Sarva and his wife, Ursula, were expecting their first child. At six months pregnant, Ursula couldn’t sit still and found comfort in taking long walks. But planning for a new arrival and a busy life besides, Amol saw that Ursula would return feeling behind. Emails were piling up. She had inbox anxiety.
A seasoned wireless industry entrepreneur, Amol had long been using smartphones for mobile email. With smartphone in hand, their long walks were actually a great way for him to stay on top of things at the office. Amol tried to get Ursula to use one, describing the many features: email, texting, voice calling, Internet, etc. But the bells and whistles are exactly what turned her off. She didn’t want a complicated smartphone with extras she didn’t need.
What she really wanted was a simple, nifty device that would let her do email on the go since email was how everyone she knew made plans, caught up, and shared news.
Amol thought a simple, fun, and attractive mobile email device had to exist. He asked his contacts at the cell phone companies, but they were dismissive. Nobody wants “simple”, they want “more”, they said. But Amol saw an opportunity, which he discussed with a few colleagues from earlier ventures. They explored the idea in the “real world”, closely observing real people using email at their desks and on the go.
Amol’s hunch was right; people really want a device that simply does email.
via Peek – About Peek.
As an idea person, I’m constantly amazed at the speed of which new ones seem to be entering the main stream. If ideas use to be “a dime a dozen“, they are more like “penny for a pound” today.
From tweeting stuff your older father says to discussing the life of a squirrel, these ideas seem to be finding an audience and gaining sucess in short timeframes. Today the New York Times released an article that showcased the case of a Twitter account named “shitmydadsays”. Less than 30 days after launch, this young man has over 200,000 followers, media coverage, market appeal, an agent and multiple book offers.
So here’s to the speed of ideas and to hitting that sweet spot that only the world can tell you about.
The health-care debate entered a “new phase” this morning, as news leaked that President Obama was re-tooling his plans for reform. But while pundits wait for him to make a major health-care speech next week, millions of Americans are turning to the Web to self-diagnose aches and pains.
Web sites such as WebMD and Discovery Health have long served this audience–inundating them ads in the process. Luckily, those of us that can’t make it to a doctor (or can’t afford to) now have another option. It’s called HealthBase, and it was launched this morning by a semantic Web company called NetBase. The concept of “semantic Web” is a truly amazing evolution of the Web as we know it now: It allows your computer to “read” Web sites and know their content, instead of blindly presenting you with data it can’t understand. That means smarter searching and more relevant content. Here’s how it works.
When you search a condition, treatment or drug on HealthBase, it performs a semantic search of all the other health-related sites on the Web. That means it doesn’t just look at the titles of the articles and spit back a result, it reads into the actual text to deliver you really useful content. (If this sounds like a technology that would have great implications for your business, you’re right; check out Oracle’s semantic databases. It has also done wonderful things for social networking, people-search engines, and other services.) Thankfully, the brilliance of the backend of this site comes without any of the 90s-Web-portal sensory overload of other sites; it’s simple, easy to navigate and transparent. When you navigate to HealthBase, you’re met with just a search box, and four simple tabs.
Doing a search for “neck pain” led me to a plethora of confusing links and materials on WebMD. It’s hard to tell what’s advertising and what is content; even if you can parse the two, there are still an overwhelming number of options.
Semantic web in action – expect to see more and more of these centralized semantic searches for niche markets
lately i’ve been educated by the younger people i work with on my day job, on the way that language is changing “in the wild” (my tags for real life)
LolCats (http://icanhascheezburger.com/) was one of the first to start using it, but not the only one and twitter hit it out of the ballpark with the micro text portion
not only are these sites and adoptees changing the spelling of words, they are also changing the quantity and style of the written word
i do it
for my personal taste i forgo the limits enforced by punctuation and proper grammar
do i know them
yes, i do - i just chose to not worry about them while i am expressing my thoughts on my personal blog
so knowing that change is evident and closing in fast, i started searching and found a wonderful discovery – the guide below
http://www.140characters.com – while going through the site, i discovered the history page
The original post “How Twitter Was Born” follows.
Twitter was born about three years ago, when @Jack, @Biz, @Noah, @Crystal, @Jeremy, @Adam, @TonyStubblebine, @Ev, me (@Dom), @Rabble, @RayReadyRay, @Florian, @TimRoberts, and @Blaine worked at a podcasting company called Odeo, Inc. in South Park, San Francisco. The company had just contributed a major chunk of code to Rails 1.0 and had just shipped Odeo Studio, but we were facing tremendous competition from Apple and other heavyweights. Our board was not feeling optimistic, and we were forced to reinvent ourselves.
“Rebooting” or reinventing the company started with a daylong brainstorming session where we broke up into teams to talk about our best ideas. I was lucky enough to be in @Jack’s group, where he first described a service that uses SMS to tell small groups what you are doing. We happened to be on top of the slide on the north end of South Park. It was sunny and brisk. We were eating Mexican food. His idea made us stop eating and start talking.
I remember that @Jack’s first use case was city-related: telling people that the club he’s at is happening. “I want to have a dispatch service that connects us on our phones using text.” His idea was to make it so simple that you don’t even think about what you’re doing, you just type something and send it. Typing something on your phone in those days meant you were probably messing with T9 text input, unless you were sporting a relatively rare smartphone. Even so, everyone in our group got the idea instantly and wanted it.
Later, each group presented their ideas, and a few of them were selected for prototyping. Demos ensued. @Jack’s idea rose to the top as a combination of status-type ideas. @Jack, @Biz, and @Florian were assigned to build version 0.1, managed by @Noah. The rest of the company focused on maintaining Odeo.com, so that if this new thing flopped we’d have something to fall back upon.
The first version of @Jack’s idea was entirely web-based. It was created on March 21st, 2006. My first substantive message is #38:
Read more and preorder the book - “140 Characters – A Style Guide for the Short Form”