Tuesday, December 15, 2009


No! Not those awful designed "emoticons" that were "popular" but seem to have become less so, at least on the services I choose to use.

Services like Twitter, where 140 chars or less is supposed to support a "conversation" seems to support something else - and its name is the clue. It is supposed to be a place where a meme can spread due to its inherent usefulness. It is promoted as "a place for conversation" but that is a bit like saying the training wheels on a kids bike are useful for transportation.

Treating Twitter like it is a conversation opens up its doors to its world of water cooler comments and useful links that you can respond to with your own links.

It is also a far better way to get curious eyeball traffic to websites. So all the mad marketeers love it, and get quietly unfollowed by most of the saavy accounts. I keep a few pet marketeers just to remind me not to fall into the squawking insistent enthusiasm that seems to be their art.

The limiting of the line to just text, just 140 chars constrains language to such an extend as to reduce meaningfulness. Conveyance of emotion by reaction is confined to ReTweets - repeating or supporting a view. It is designed as a cool medium, so that a real meme can only take off due to its inherency. Trending topics is an attempt to identify memes but it actually is a guide to being rather dull. Twitter is not a popularity context, more a voyage of tepid discovery and wonderful surprises like discovering Read Write Web.

See also:
Read Write Web

Saturday, December 12, 2009


There are alternative models for thought storage and retrieval.

Knowledge is language based and can be stored as historic documents with providence, both electronically and physically. What we know about specific objects is enhanced when viewed historically, the artifact and the digital study of the artifact, plus all the collected strands of human experience, thought and academic reasoning that can be attributed to it, all available wherever and whenever required.

This is the model of the universe envisioned at first by Encyclopedias, which Microsoft modeled digitally as Encarta, available on CD, now discontinued. Along came the new model of shared information: collaboration. Wikipedia revised the printing press revolution that produced forests of expensive books of knowledge. The internet supercedes printing. The economics were turned inside out, and properly so. Advertising brochures are great, but we all throw them away.

Mobile phones hooked into storage retrieval is a far better personal model than lumbering PCs, even laptops are almost redundant around the truncated reality of a 3x2 screen. iPhones are the most perfect expression of the paradigm. Yet the majority of gadget-ware is like the almost magical Twitter application - it is functionality, not substance.

They provide vehicles for the carriage of knowledge. All these companies competing to tweet, it is really just a function. Google Wave is a smarter expression of a more in depth paradigm. Very few get it yet. As a programming development tool, it is far better than twitter which is universally distracting.

The sharing of information is a new model of commerce, espoused mainly by google and the Open Source movement.