This is yet another follow up to my own post: Is Twitter an Approximation of Team Room Osmotic Chatter?. It seems that there is a related phenomenon with the name “ambient awareness”, background knowledge of what is going on with people in your greater sphere at any one time. Here is a description: If you don’t “get” Facebook and Twitter, read this NY Times article.
I have not used FaceBook but I am envious of my kids’ use of it to keep track of their friends. At that age I knew what was up with people I hung out with or went to school with or wrote me letters from far away (like Viet Nam). But the news was not always up to date and didn’t have the same width of connectedness. And when I was on the road, well everyone was out of touch. (Not always a bad thing).
In the Days of Usenet, we had something simlar – those of us who were regular users. It was more formal and tended toward larger text chunks. I am not all that hanny with our “talking points”, “sound bytes” society but I am getting better at being able to scan Twitter quickly and still finding nuggets.
I recently noticed the absence of someone I enjoyed from my twitter-sphere. I get a probably false sense of technical confidence from following and chasing links from people whose technical prowess I respect. Since I am not coding much right now, that helps fill in a techno-emotional gap. So this person went dark on the channel and I am feeling a loss. I went dark recently to tend to important, fun family matters. Likely no one missed me. But I continued to read the twitter stream so I still felt connected.
So, right now, thanks to Twitter, I have ambient awareness of the people that I have chosen to follow, some of who follow me back, some of who I feel like I know a little and some I don’t really know at all – except what they reveal of themselves in 140 character chunks.
This is my first post since signing up for TwitterFeed. Sort of a unit test with people watching. If it works, a link to the post will show up as a tweet.