From Telephone To Tweetup - A Brief History of Technosocial Development and Exchange

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  • Inverge 08 From Telephone To Tweetup - Presentation Transcript
  • Every bullet point in this presentation is less than 140 characters.
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  • To one audience here at Inverge.
  • And also to 600+ followers on Twitter. [@Inverge] [#Inverge]
  • You can follow @caseorganic to see it in action.
  • [this is a waiting period because the Internet connection here is probably slow] @caseorganic
  • Hello.
  • My Name is Amber Case.
  • I am a Cyborg Anthropologist.
  • I study the symbiotic relationship between humans and computers…
  • And the psychology of space that is created by online environments.
  • Or, how the online experience is “experienced”.
  • In Anthropology, one could call this a Digital Phenomenology

We live in a community that increasingly transcends time and space.

  • It is our relationship with technology that allows us extended capabilities.

Right now, search engines and people are interacting with your social profiles and websites.

  • While you aren’t there.
  • And with social networking sites like Twitter, you can watch many conversations at once.

… Consider Letter Writing, the first Internet.

  • The message to response ratio was very slow, but it was social.

Enter the Telephone.

  • Thus began the era of ‘On Demand’ social communication.
  • This made the world very small.
  • You could stand on one side of the world, whisper something, and be heard on the other.
  • But to those who had never experienced a telephone, the device was as foreign as the Internet once was in 1993.
  • The fact that a human could speak into a machine and hear a voice on the other side gave the appearance of schizophrenia.
  • Over time, the strangeness of the new dissolved into formal society and the landline telephone started to get along with humans.
  • Those living in suburban communities were less capable of reaching actual members of society on a daily basis.
  • … and the telephone allowed them an escape from the isolation of industrial modernity.
  • But the telephone was limited by the length of its cord and its proximity to a phone jack.

So along came the cordless phone.

  • It was free! {yay!}
  • … to run around the house…

So then the Cell Phone arrived on the scene. {take that!}

  • While it was the least rooted to place,
  • The Cell Phone did not offer information transparency.
  • It only allowed one conversation at a time (excluding 3-way).
  • Cell Phone + Text allowed decentralized message access and multiple recipients, but limited message transparency.

Then Twitter happened.

  • It was not rooted to place and time.
  • It allowed multiple communication channels and recipients.
  • Users were praised for contribution and helpfulness to those in their network.

Why does it work?

  • Twitter is a centralized technosocial hybrid that asks a single question that can never be fully answered.

  • What
  • Are
  • You
  • Doing?
  • The question is asked by all, to all. Socialization is aided by machine.
  • The time and space it takes to absorb and disperse information is compressed.
  • Twitter takes advantage of the 4th Dimensionality of the Internet.
  • [Analog] [Demonstration]
  • Lets look at some Architectural Theory
  • “ Our daily existence is normally filled with short walks and passing through interfaces. It is not the number that we remember but rather the poor quality of them and the time spent in moving through them."
  • “ It is not the number that we remember but rather the poor quality of them and the time spent in moving through them."
  • “ Interference interchanges must be fast, convenient, comfortable, without undue effort in a controlled environment.”
  • The General Theory of Relativity
  • The shape of space makes people more, and people create the shape of space.
  • The Analog World is full of Friction
  • The level of Friction in the Digital world has far less.
  • Online, we are capable of innovating in a frictionless atmosphere.
  • There are dangers to this.
  • Frictionless development becomes cancerous if not restrained.
  • Too many features/innovations reduce overall value.
  • Now, lets talk about highways.
  • Highways are giant projects requiring high levels of funding and cooperation.
  • To dig up a highway and move it costs millions of dollars.
  • But rerouting a path online takes a few minutes with a 301 redirect.
  • People, when compressed, can do more in less time and less space.
  • Actions flow to spaces with reduced activation energy and barriers to entry.
  • Humans and Technology Co-create each other through an Actor/Network of technosocial interaction.
  • “ In the search for itself and an affectionate sociality, it easily gets lost in the jungle of the self…”
  • “ Someone who is poking around in the fog of his of his or her own self is no longer capable of noticing that this isolation,
  • “ This 'solitary-confinement of the ego’ is a mass sentence. [Ulrich Beck, 40 in Bauman’s Liquid Modernity 2000:37]”
  • [So Technosocial Interaction is about Transcending the silos of Mental Isolation]
  • The key to the semantic web is to always reduce the steps in user action.
  • Twitter engages the user in ways that do not decay.