Wednesday, February 24, 2010

social broadcasting

I rather like social interaction online. for many years my peers, co-workers and friends have mostly been in different timezones and an expensive phone call away, regardless of who was actually paying the bill. there's nothing like the direct connection of, say, IM, or chat, or IRC (oops), or nearly-connected twitter, or even asynchronous email, or, at a push, facebook status (excuse the pun. actually, don't, I put it in on purpose. its supposed to be there), to connect with people I really can't be with in person. I can pretend to myself that because we still interact directly on a mostly 1-1 basis, that we're still kind of friends and that we're actually having a conversation. it works for me.

however, and I don't usually begin a paragraph with a however, however, in this case, its appropriate, in recent months, nay, years, the increasing market for social networking technology across multiple platforms and devices has driven things into a bizarre self-fulfilling adoption-fest whereby its no longer the interaction that sustains the apparent connectedness but the dissemination and aggregation of the message that appears to matter. in others words, its no longer about what you say, its about how something else distributes it. and how someone else embeds it into their own personal social network architecture. where it festers. and dies. in a soup of loosely related social media artefacts which are abstracted from their original content types and dumped like a mahoosive bucket of unrecognisable old fruit in a shiny new bin round the back of Tescos, which coincidentally, you chose to shop at. its not interaction, its broadcasting. and now you've lost me.

oh, hang on, my phone's ringing.

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