Posts Tagged twitter
A recent article in the Economist discusses the impact of social networking applications on an individual’s circle of intimacy. The article posits that while tools such as Facebook and Twitter might increase the number of people that active networkers interact with, the majority of these exchanges are casual in nature. Most folks have a small core of friends with whom they feel comfortable discussing important matters, and the availability of large numbers of social contacts doesn’t seem to affect that.
Makes sense to me. It takes hard work to maintain true friendships. Even the most comfortable relationships, the ones that seem effortless and timeless, require maintenance by both parties to remain viable. Online social networking tools might help us keep track of a large number of social contacts, but there’s only so much emotional investment capital available.
Still, it’s funny how people are casually sharing increasingly intimate details of their lives with a circle of contacts who are, despite being named a friend on Facebook, effectively strangers. Social networking seems to bring out a bit of the exhibitionist in people. In a comment about Internet voyeurism, Seth Finkelstein insightfully called Twitter “low-level celebrity for the chattering class.”
What embarrasing detail about an acquaintance do you wish you could unlearn?
Jeff Pulver talks about the marriage of twitter and television this week, and describes how the fan community has embraced twitter as a complementary technology to further increase the social depth of broadcast television. This is made possible by the number of connected fans of several popular series such as House, American Idol and Heroes reaching critical mass, and the increasing desire of the media consumer to become more socially active in their entertainment experiences.
Henry Jenkins described the depth of potential that such media convergence offers in his book Convergence Culture, Where Old and New Media Collide. When people feel that they are actively participating in a transmedia experience their overall satisfaction and loyalty skyrocket. This makes them much more valuable to the franchise. While Henry tends to discuss the media creators’ potential to influence the market, it is clear that the consumer is beginning to create an independent and complementary component of the ecosystem that is very powerful as well.
A few years ago Blake Krikorian, the founder and CEO of Sling Media, described a trend that had caught him by surprise. Whereas most older purchasers of SlingBox, the location-shifting television appliance, tended to use their device the way in which Blake intended — to watch their regular local programs while out of the house — the majority of younger, under 25, purchasers were using their device to shift television no farther than their bedroom.
The younger users simply wanted a convenient way to merge their television and PC experiences more seamlessly so that they could use IM, the web and email to enrich the broadcast experience.
Social media continues to evolve, and indeed the convergence of media is clearly accelerating. I think it will be very interesting to see how the various components converge as the process continues.
What do you think of this trend? Are there any programs that you twitter about or follow using other social tools? How does that change your experience?