Posted by: Ben | August 16, 2009

Interpreting Your Activities

I was reading this blog post about what makes Twitter so interesting:

The key to Twitter is that it is phatic – full of social gestures that are like apes grooming each other. Both Google and Twitter have little boxes for you to type into, but on Google you’re looking for information, and expecting a machine response, whereas on Twitter you’re declaring an emotion and expecting a human response.

I think it would be kind of cool on Galapag.us if, since Galapag.us will be more data collection and analysis than networking and interaction, it could tell people what it THINKS you’re doing.  So you might not even be updating your status like you would on Facebook or Twitter, but Galapag.us, when your profile page is viewed, might tell the viewer that “Ben Turner seems to be analyzing the relative importance of hours worked against productivity and happiness,” sort of like how Track Your Happiness does based on the results of your survey answers.

It is interesting to me to think of something like Twitter (which as a developer is FAR more fun to work with than Facebook is) as ambient awareness, or lifestreaming, or, as the blog post intimates, social grooming.  The same way we take facial expressions, body language, intonation, etc. as cues in real life, Twitter sort of lets us do (but not fully) through its platform.

What if we could really bring this out in more meaningful ways than just letting you foul up a web page with dumb wallpapers and icons like myspace did?

[Final note:  I thought the phrase ‘tragedy of the comments’ was funny, referring to how useless comments on posts usually are, unless curated/rated.]

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