Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Micro Blog Streaming and Awareness
Micro blogs (Twitter), social networks (Facebook) and rich media posts (Flckr and YouTube) give us the ability to receive streams of events as they occur in near real-time about unfolding events or just answer our curiosity needs to know what’s happening in our communities of interests. Events such as Obama’s rise to the presidency, and today the protest against the election in Iran, have been fueled and benefit from this Web movement. What was seen as an ingenious way for the Obama campaign to spread it’s message, is now seen as the instrument of free speech and media control disruption in Iran. When an event is that important, and being watched by so many, we can count on the news to leverage and filter these sources for most of us. The reality is that unless your are passionate about a given topic or your social network, you would not think of going to micro blogs to be informed about what is going on. And the reason is simple... Why would you waste your time reading through hundreds of insignificant and chronologically sorted posts from people you don’t know? Even Connan O’Brian, as the new host of the Tonight Show, now has a satirical skit about how meaningless celebrity Twitts are in contrast to the hype made about Twitter. Who really cares if Angelina Jolie Twits “I am having a terrible coffee in Malibou”? So why the hype and when does it matter? The hype is there because many media have learned to use Twitter to reach a larger audience at no cost... that is why every media talks about Twitter. This basically gave all the media a way to do what they could not do with phone text messages... so they promote Twitter every time they can! Now why does micro blogging matters? It matters because it is the voice of the people (although fading quickly thanks to those mega-media spammers). This is where an important distinction must be made; the voice of the people is not the same as the words of every one. This is why no one who values his/her free time will read the chronological stream of 140 characters statements from people waiting in line to buy the new iPhone or complain about Junior High’s principal.
Micro blogs are chaotic in nature and increase our information overload, unless someone who cares about a given topic, observes, searches, filters, selects and delivers the valuable nuggets for us to pay attention. To this day the micro blogging phenomena has been focusing on self-promotion, community awareness, and used for people-reporting. Now how do we make sense of the information overload we all love to create and share? In contrast from today’s iteration with micro-blogs, DARWIN a WikiGazette LLC awareness and discovery engine, take a different approach by acknowledging the chaotic nature of this information, and focusing its model on the emergence of correlated themes coming from all even-driven sources.
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