Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It’s Like a Blog, Only Smaller!

Over the last two or three weeks, I have been investigating the phenomena of micro-blogging – the concept of using digital technologies (web, email, sms, mobile) to post regular, small insights about what you are doing / seeing / thinking / feeling. I have tried a couple of sites; Twitter and Plurk and am finding strengths and weaknesses in both.


I am interested to see where this goes. My first experience is that there are some people who are phenomenally prolific in their digital postings. Some people post tens or hundreds of things per day. The second thing I notice is that much of what is posted by these people is pretty inane. Spur of the moment ramblings which often lack the benefit of supporting information and context. Perhaps this is a sign of the nascent nature of this activity – some of these people clearly feel that if they have nothings to post, then they should post, well, nothing. I also feel that some of this is driven by massive egos in a micro sense – these people WANT celebrity, but only from a circle of friends and perhaps their friends. Maybe posting constantly will help them to achieve this….


On the other hand, there seems to be a pervasive sense of community in all of this. There are lots of people who "touch" each other many times a day, maybe a bit like the chatter that happens amongst families; the regular comments, observations, snappy remarks, and banter which goes on amongst the familiar. I have already seen many instances of members of these communities reaching out for information, opinions and help – and the community responds quickly. This is a good thing, it happens in the background and takes very little time to check, comment, or post. As we all move around quickly (and for some of us, widely), this can be a nice "touchpoint" for our friends and colleagues.


I think that this is another of those emerging trends which we will see find its way into the corporate environment. I can foresee teams, irrespective of their locations, engaging with their peers using this sort of micro-blogging constantly throughout the day. Many teams are doing this already through chat clients, but micro-blogging offers the benefit of creating a permanent record and all the functionality of the web (linking, syndicating, programmability and so on).


The current iterations of the technology are a bit klutzy, but like most things on the web, these move fast and the latest release offer some cool features. You can update via email, chat clients, and SMS and there are emerging services which will syndicate your postings to all your personal and social sites (check out as an example). I think this an emerging technology trend worth keeping an eye on.

1 comment:

Thomas James John Burford said...

Check this out..
This is just eye candy but shows how micro blogging and a whole bunch of other web 2.0 tools and gadgets could be aggregated into something more immersive/engaging/useful/productive/fun than its original incarnation.
This could be a map of your office..