David Phillips posted this insightful insight into minding the gaps of social media.
Mind the gaps
I’ve been thinking a lot about gaps recently. Gaps as in things not there, left out, held back.I think gaps are crucial in relationships as well, in the sense of what’s not said. There’s a great section in ‘Me Talk Pretty One Day’ by David Sedaris (one of my favourite ever books) about his partner restraining himself from making a cutting remark. Sedaris says that he thinks that’s what love is: not saying hurtful things that you could say.I have a theory that you begin to appreciate gaps more as you get older. Maybe you become less capable of dealing with constant inputs, or maybe it’s a question of greater discernment through experience, I don’t know.
I wonder whether we’re in danger of filling our space with things like Twitter, texting, camera phones, iPods, etc. When faced with a gap, we tend to lunge to fill it, and those things fill gaps really well. But I wonder whether we should instead be holding ourselves back, minding the gaps.
Michael Malone wrote a detailed backgrounder on the emergence of Twitter and the backstories of both Biz Stone and Evan Williams. Well worth reading the entire article.
“Twitter is the side project that took,” says company co-founder Biz Stone, 35. “Now it’s our chance to do something transformative.”Ismael Roldan
Biz Stone (left) and Evan Williams.
The company itself seems calm and casual. The employees drift in, grab some free food and eventually make their way to their desks. It’s located in an anonymous warehouse just a couple blocks from South Park, the once-frenzied environs of the dot-com companies of the first Internet boom. In his sports shirt and slacks, sipping a bottle of apple juice, Mr. Williams exhibits indifference to the trappings of success. So does Mr. Stone, who last year won an Oxfor d Union debate wearing a borrowed bow tie and a pair of black sneakers.
Even faster than Google, Amazon and eBay in their days, the three-year-old Twitter has become deeply embedded in the culture. President Barack Obama twittered the words, “We just made history,” on the night of his election. It was a twittered image that first captured the forced landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River. Scores of people trapped in the Mumbai terrorist attack twittered desperately for help. And in a much discussed event, a San Francisco technology writer twittered his surprise to discover his home was being broken into.
Strictly speaking, Twitter is a social networking application that enables users to post short text messages — called “tweets” — of no more than 140 characters on their personal feed. These real-time diary entries can then be read by other users, called “followers,” who have subscribed to that page.
Under the guise of a fun communications tool, Twitter is building one of the world’s most valuable real-time information caches. And as Twitter’s profile continues to explode — Oprah just sent her first tweet on yesterday’s show — many wonder whether the company will ever find a revenue model. Others speculate about who will buy the young company (Google seems to be the leading candidate). “We know there are a lot of people looking at Twitter right now,” says Mr. Stone.
Mr. Malone’s new book on protean corporations, “The Future Arrived Yesterday” will be published next month by Crown Business.
Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page A11via online.wsj.com
On Apr 7, 2009 @ 18:39, I posted “Twitter as a Micro-Internet: How Twitter is providing the necessary framework to grow the GSM/SMS network worldwide“.
In the immortal words of Canadian professor of English literature Marshal McLuhan, “the medium is the message”. Back in the 60s, McLuhan put forward the notion that the method of communication employed has a profound impact on the message and ourselves. He further went on to say “We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.” If only Marshall had lived to fully see the evolution
of his “Global Village.” The Internet among other technological advancements have truly redefined our culture and our use of technology. Technological innovation is often defined by its ability to be more portable, faster, and accessible. From Smartphones to NetBooks to HotZones, we have at our fingertips devices and an infrastructure that have forever enhanced our ability to access information and each other regardless of where we are.
There has been many articles written about the impact of the Internet and its growth over decades to become the infrastructure that we see it as today. This post is not one of these for I want to discuss what I believe is the evolution of a smaller network which is again redefining our interactions and thus ourselves. I am talking about the GSM network and its communication standard SMS.
In the last couple of months, numerous people have been asking me what the big deal is about Twitter. My comments and responses have varied based on the audience, but fundamentally my answers have captured one key aspect that many seem to be ignoring or not fully understanding. Like many other applications, it is not always the application that is the product.
Twitter as a micro-blogging application is truly ingenious in both its simplicity and its features. How the creators of Twitter have made use of an existing standard (SMS) and imbedded its own command set into the 160 char SMS message (20 char for username and 140 for message) is quite ingenious. When you think about the simplicity of Twitter, you can imagine a few programmers just playing around with SMS and stumbling on this idea over a weekend and getting it coded in their spare time.
Simply put, Twitter has provided or is the process of providing very much the same elements required that made the Internet work on a Global scale. It is focusing, if you will, on a micro-Internet model that of the GSM Network. By leveraging off of SMS, Twitter has provided what has been desperately needed to truly grow GSM/SMS to the next level. Currently, SMS is a standard used by all GSM networks. This represents pretty much every cell user on the planet and could actually rival the web population (no stats on this, just a personal statement). The infrastructure to operate SMS across providers has been around for a while and is now more or less stable and reliable (with the exception of delayed messages and duplicate messages).
So what is the role of the Twitter micro-blogging application outside of its obvious features? Twitter as an application is driving the population growth of this new network. The Internet really didn’t start growing until there were enough people on it and enough content to keep them browsing. As the content grew, so did the audience and thus a social network was formed on top of a technological network. This, if managed successfully, can provide the world the much needed software infrastructure to fully make use of the GSM/SMS network across the world just like the Internet did. Based on the Google/Twitter dialogues currently underway, we may actually see this succeed.
I see Twitter not just as a social experiment and micro-blogging resource, I see Twitter as the first to market in providing the fundamental software infrastructure to integrate and deciminate content across a whole new network using a proven underlying framework to route its messages. While the messages and content being sent across this network may be limited to 140 characters, anybody who has ever had to squeeze data into a limited memory space will know that limitations breeds innovation. When you have no limits, you tend to not feel the need to innovate. We are already seeing a huge increase in the number of URL shorteners on the Internet and it is no surprise to see this innovation grow from applications such as Twitter. Now we just need to have the same level of evolution that DNS servers had on URL shorteners to ensure the required redundancy and failover needed for mission critical uses.
April 7, 2009 in The @RLavigne42 Tweet Round-Up
Twitter as a Micro-Internet: How Twitter is providing the necessary framework to grow the GSM/SMS network worldwide
April 8, 2009 in The @RLavigne42 Tweet Round-Up
April 10, 2009 in The @RLavigne42 Tweet Round-Up
April 17, 2009 in The @RLavigne42 Tweet Round-Up
April 18, 2009 in The @RLavigne42 Tweet Round-Up
April 19, 2009 in The @RLavigne42 Tweet Round-Up
April 21, 2009 in The @RLavigne42 Tweet Round-Up
April 22, 2009 in The @RLavigne42 Tweet Round-Up
April 25, 2009 in The @RLavigne42 Tweet Round-Up
April 27, 2009 in The @RLavigne42 Tweet Round-Up