Sunday, September 7, 2008

Ambient Awareness

If you haven't seen it yet, sit down and read Clive Thompson's provocative article in today's NY Times magazine, Brave New World of Digital Intimacy on the social realities of Twitter and Facebook. Thompson focuses on the relationships of loose ties that are now possible with the communities.  He describes how we deal with incessant online contact, using a term that you will hear for awhile, ambient awareness

As you'd expect, the world of Twitter has been abuzz.  For the last two days, the conversation about the article has been robust as it seemed that everyone had something to say about ambient awareness. And of course, there were some great pieces written about the article.  Alan Wolk wrote an amazing piece, Social Media's Defining Moment, identifying the importance of the article "because it's outside the usual geekosphere bubble and has the imprimatur of social science. The placement in the Times means that it should be getting a lot of traction since it's the first place many non-tech journos will go for insight into "that whole Twitter thing."

Laura Fitton also had a great analysis on her beautiful, newly redesigned blog, What's the Value? My comment on Brave New World of Digital Intimacy. As we've come to expect from Pistachio, she provides a personal response, demonstrating how Twitter has changed her life,
"In March 2007 I was a mom of two kids under two rebuilding my consultancy in a new city with no business network to speak of.
Today I wrapped up a business trip to NYC where I met with six c-level media and agency executives, two well-known journalists, my book agent and dozens of respected friends, contacts and colleagues. All of these contacts were made and cultivated via Twitter. Most logistical coordination for the trip was handled via Twitter. And yes, many of us combine the time-saving and reach-extending leverage of networking online with the substance of connecting in person."

The conversation also occurred on other communities like LinkedIn.  On LinkedIn, Melanie Notkin gave an inspiring account of how the ambient awareness of Twitter helped her start her business and become "active awareness". Jackie Huba expressed the reaction that many of us had and felt:

What is your reaction to this important article and description of your Twitter community?

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