Monday, April 16, 2007

Twitter, Dodgeball, Mashups, Web 2.0 and the Ecstacy of Communication

Until I read the post "Map-O-Mania" by Erhard Wimmmer I had no idea what on earth "twitter" meant as far as Web 2.0 goes. I had missed this!



The oxford dictionary defines it as follows:



• verb

1 (of a bird) make a series of light tremulous sounds.

2 talk rapidly in a nervous or trivial way.









Twitter.com concerns itself with one question: What are you doing right now? You can use the phone, IM or the web to submit SMS-length messages that will be broadcasted to your "friends" (all friend receive the twitter SMS). In additional - if I understand correctly - these messages go public on the twitter site. It's like a constant stream of disembodied ramblings that people can chose to contact. What gives?



It gets interesting when Twitter is being used in mashups sites like twittervision.com. The human need to communicate is relentless and we are right smack in the middle of a giant exstacy of communication.



In 2001 Han Gene Paik and I embarked on a project called "Guerillofitti". The concept was different, but the method was the same. This is from our original project proposal:



["...Using cell phones and other handheld devices that are meant to enhance "private" communications, participants instead publicize their opinions (read: twitter) on a censor free message board installed in a "public" space. This conversion of a "private-to-private" communication to a "private-to-public"..."]



We intended to have a projection or video wall installed in public that would display the messages. It seems now that Web 2.0 and our devices have become the public board. We are public with absolutely everything. I can only presume that anonymity and privacy don't concern people. On twittervision.com you even get to see where people are located, since it is mashed with google maps. Other services like Google's Dodgeball also function to locate your friends, - if they happen to be in your vicinity. The purpose is once again social interaction. Personally I find it alarming to be so locatable, but it might be naive to think that I couldn't be found, only because I don't "twitter" or "dodgeball".

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