12 October 2009

Our ever evolving online communication patterns

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Both the Wall Street Journal and Techcrunch devote extensive space today to our ever evolving online communication patterns.

The Wall Street Journal looks at how a shift towards a new generation of services like Twitter and Facebook “promises to profoundly rewrite the way we communicate—in ways we can only begin to imagine.”

“We all still use email, of course. But email was better suited to the way we used to use the Internet—logging off and on, checking our messages in bursts. Now, we are always connected, whether we are sitting at a desk or on a mobile phone. The always-on connection, in turn, has created a host of new ways to communicate that are much faster than email, and more fun.”

Techcrunch has a few posts today. MG Siegler concentrates on Google Wave.

“Google Wave is not just a service, it is perhaps the most complete example yet of a desire to shift the way we communicate once again. […]

I think we want the option to communicate in real-time at will, but also the ability to communicate at our leisure at times. I would consider this to be a desire for a “passive-agressive” method of communication. Perhaps it would be better stated as a “passive/active” method of communication, but passive-aggressive sounds better, so we’ll go with that. […]

Google Wave is attempting to be a passive-agressive form of communication. You can actively (aggressively) engage in threads in real-time, or you can sit back and let messages come to you at your leisure (passively).”

Nik Cubrilovic, also on Techcrunch, takes a wider angle and contrasts the old paradigm of chronology with the newer one of relevance:

“Chronological order needs to be abandoned in favor of relevance. Without relevance, our ability to manage large sets of information is inefficient. The technology for relevance exist today, for eg. spam filters are able to tell us what we definitely don’t want to read. Real world information retrieval and organization is based on relevance, either what somebody else believes is relevant to us, or what we decide is relevant. Newspaper stories are not laid out in the order that events took place and libraries do not catalog their books in the order they were published.

Web applications that present relevance over chronological have proven to be popular.”

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