Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sixth Sense About Twitter

Marriage proposals.

Suicide interventions.

Words from the womb.

Just several of the Ten Most Extraordinary Twitter updates generated thus far by the hypersocial media app that has given birth to a new way for humans to do what we have done for centuries.


But, is it possible Twitter is merely foreshadowing an even bigger revolution on the horizon for real-time communication?

Perhaps it depends on how close we want those encounters to be.

Pattie Maes is an associate professor in MIT's Program in Media Arts and Sciences. Her areas of expertise are human-computer interaction, intelligent interfaces and ubiquitous computing and her work has been noticed. Newsweek selected Pattie as one of the "100 Americans to watch for" in the year 2000; TIME Digital selected her as a member of the Cyber-Elite, the top 50 technological pioneers of the high-tech world and the World Economic Forum honored her with the title "Global Leader for Tomorrow".

Some will take a look at Pattie's concept and decide it's impossible. However, innovators like Pattie and Jack Dorsey have heard arguments that have been waged for centuries about why their ideas won't work. Every creative genius from Einstein to Edison has heard why things will never work from people too afraid to have faith in an idea that extends beyond their current capacity to comprehend. The caveman who invented fire probably had naysayers as well. As Nobel Prize winner Max Planck once observed, "An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents: What does happen is that the opponents gradually die out".

Twitter has become an app that many love to hate, often without fully understanding why. But, any web-based application that connects us in a way you and I could never have imagined, should be given the benefit of time and first-hand usage before fully forming an opinion on its long-term merits.

"Social Media" is going to disappear someday as a stand alone entity.

And so will social media "experts"

Sooner rather than later, "social media"will lose its new-kid-in-town status and evolve into just another normal way we seamlessly connect with those around us. As easily as millions once listened to the radio or talked on the telephone.

We will all become "experts".

At some point, enough human light bulbs will switch to the "ON" position. People will realize "social media" is far more than it's tools; that it reaches beyond the apps allowing us to blog, Twitter, Facebook and upload videos.

It will be the nameless, seamless, ubiquitous way we connect.

"I cannot help fearing that men may reach a point where they look on every new theory as a danger, every innovation as a toilsome trouble, every social advance as a first step toward revolution, and that they may absolutely refuse to move at all"

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