Monday, December 1, 2008

Ambient Awareness

I am seeing an increase in blog posts related to 'ambient awareness' based on the recent discussions between Facebook and Twitter. John Batelle just did a good post on the topic here

Here is an excerpt from the NYT article where I first learned about ambient awareness. Keep in mind this was Sept of 2006.

This is the paradox of ambient awareness. Each little update — each individual bit of social information — is insignificant on its own, even supremely mundane. But taken together, over time, the little snippets coalesce into a surprisingly sophisticated portrait of your friends’ and family members’ lives, like thousands of dots making a pointillist painting. This was never before possible, because in the real world, no friend would bother to call you up and detail the sandwiches she was eating. The ambient information becomes like “a type of E.S.P.,” as Haley described it to me, an invisible dimension floating over everyday life.

As I sift back through the articles and related discussions, it appears that Facebook really pioneered the effort with its with its status update capability. However, Twitter has really trumped Facebook's capability (which John Battelle equates to 'batch processing'), with real time tweets.

This is a funny post on Cat Blogging from Mashable from Sept 2007 ... it leaves out Facebook but, using Blogger, Flickr, Youtube and Twitter, describes the evolution to microblogging (ambient awareness) in a fun way. The only difference is that we now microblog ourselves, not just our pets.