Posts filed under ‘Web 2.0’
Tumblr always seemed interesting but still essentially pointless. Twitter had miniblogging covered, especially since you could get instant feedback for whatever you posted (since Tumblr lacks comments unless you add Disqus) and for anything more involved, there were blogs.
However, since the advent of the iPhone and a fantastic app called Tumblrette, tumblogging is appealing again because now (with the exception of video from the iPhone) it’s truly mobile. I mean you don’t have to fight with it. Tumblrette makes it fast and simple. It’s lifeblogging, scrapbook-style, not necessarily to inundate your friends with or to cover absolutely everything, but just the choicest bits, a kind of stream-of-consciousness flow of the best scraps of your ideas and inspirations without demanding or expecting a response from anyone, that may make sense as a whole only to yourself.
Of course you can assemble your tumblog for an audience as well, and turn it into “blogging lite” by adding all sorts of categories, feeds, and hacks. But that seems to make its purpose somewhat moot again, and the question arises, if you’re filling your tumblog with all your feeds from everywhere, aren’t you just fluffing up your meager content, the online equivalent of padding an essay with fat margins and triple spacing? I say keep tumblogs lean and meaty in order to retain their potential use and impact. This also allows you to feed them into other services without annoying repeats of other feeds.
In any case, I’ll be trying this for a while. We’ll see how it goes.
Twitter is like standing in a room with all your friends in it, screaming out what you’re doing every now and then so everyone can hear it. Sometimes it’s useful, as in “Beer, anyone?” and sometimes it’s annoying, as in “I just fed my cat!”.
You can also hear your friends’ side of conversations they are having with other friends, which is like sitting beside someone while they talk on the phone. So in addition to the above, you get messages like “Wednesday is fine” with no context, or even “Beer, anyone?” not directed at you, but still landing in your SMS inbox.
This falls into a category my friend calls social noise. Like zoning out in a crowded restaurant, you hear lots of people talking, but without context it’s just buzz. You might as well be at home alone–it doesn’t make me feel connected, it makes me feel like I’m missing things all the time. Compound this with the fact that each above message represents an SMS to be deleted, and it quickly becomes a chore.
Twitter SMS messages all have the same level of importance, and they are relentless. You can’t tell from the beep in your pocket whether it’s your girlfriend asking you to pick up some milk before you come home(useful), or Joe telling some stranger he’ll be “there” soon(pointless). And the beeps just keep coming.
My text message inbox also serves as a loose to-do list, so general statements of la-la are somewhat unwelcome in bulk quantities. I like knowing what my friends are up to though. What next?
Enter Jaiku. Jaiku is developing passive presence. I only see what my friends are doing if I feel like it. And I don’t have to tell them what I’m doing all the time–my phone does that for me, automatically reporting my general location as I move around. My friends can go look at my “presence” in a kind of address book on my phone, but my status reports won’t be filling their inbox.