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Searching for beauty in the dissonance

Tagged: twitter

The Temporary Web and Digital Histories

Jeff Jarvis recently voiced some concerns about the temporary web:

Twitter is temporary. Streams are fleeting. If the future of the web after the page and the site and SEO is streams – and I believe at least part of it will be – then we risk losing information, ideas, and the permanent points – the permalinks – around which we used to coalesce. In this regard, Twitter is to web pages what web pages are to old media. Our experience of information is once again about to become fragmented and dispersed.

My own worry is that I’m twittering more and blogging less. Twitter satisfies my desire to share. That’s mostly why I blog – and that’s what makes the best blog posts, I’ve learned. I also want to store information like nuts underground; once it’s on the blog, I can find it. But when I share links on Twitter, they’ll soon disappear. I also use my blog to think through ideas and get reaction; Twitter’s flawed at that – well, I guess Einstein could have tweeted his theory of relativity but many ideas and discussions are too big for the form – yet I now use Twitter to do that now more than this blog.

I don’t relate very much to the idea that the temporary web destroys the ability to read and write in longer form. Maybe it’s because I started blogging only shortly before I started microblogging, but I can still be pretty long-winded. Jarvis notes that Twitter conversations have the “half-life of a gnat,” and that they “go up in smoke.” Sure, that’s a limitation, but it’s also a lot like regular in-person conversation. I think it has just as much to do with the nature of informal conversation as it does with the fact that Twitter lends itself towards that type of communication, yet we don’t worry about day to day conversations going up in smoke. That’s why we have other types of communication. I get Jarvis’ point, and it’s important and useful to be aware of the nature of the medium, but it doesn’t bother me too much.

What does bother me about “streams” is memory. I’m a digital pack-rat. I have important MSN conversations saved from the past 8 years (which is nearly forever for someone who hit the age of reason 10 years ago). I have tons of long emails with close friends filed away (and backed up) for safekeeping. I don’t take the ease of record-keeping with digital communication for granted. Memories of important and meaningful phone conversations fade, but I take advantage of the fact that I can revisit a conversation that happens online.

Except, Twitter is lousy at that. Ever try digging for a message you posted a year ago? Facebook has become the same way since it adopted a stream-like interface. I get the focus on real-time, but it drives me nuts that results disappear from Twitter’s search engine after only a few months. Real-time can be the default, but what about offering a sort of search that taps into the history of conversation, rather than solely what’s trending?

I welcome the move to a more stream-like web, but what about taking advantage of our ability to store and access our history? Real-time is cool, but sometimes I’d like to search the past.

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The Sad State Of Mobile Competition in Canada, As Evidenced By Twitter SMS Support

You know things are pretty pathetic when an announcement from Rogers that SMS updates are re-enabled for Twitter (after 7 months of downtime), without any pricing trickery, is a cause for rejoicing. Update: I spoke too soon

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#Twuneup Covers Edition

Last week, I attended the February #Twuneup — Covers Edition. #Twuneup is basically a monthly listening party (this was the second) run by a group of people in the Toronto Twitter community who share a love of music. There’s also lots of music sharing that happens on Twitter.

I found out about it too late to get a spot at the first one (space is limited), but this time I was quick to sign up. I was happy to learn that live performances were encouraged, so I busted out the T-Qualizer (perfect event) and played my cover of The Patient (Tool):

There were a couple other fun live performances too!

I also met lots of cool people. I first noticed @photojunkie last summer and I’d met him at #hohoTO, but the rest were new faces. @modernmod and @nicopop were the other organizers. I had a chance to meet @johnpapa, @alkerton, @rlangdon, @3rdparty, @pageby_paige, @zachaysan and lots of other cool people.

I had a great chat with @leilaboujnane (from Idée) and she gave me a Creative Commons sticker, before she even knew that I’m a CC BY-SA artist! I was going to put the sticker on my guitar case, but then I realized it had a clear background (black-on-black wouldn’t work to well). So… I put it on my guitar!

CC sticker on guitar

Rannie (@photojunkie) has photos on his site and Bev (@bev_w) has a Flickr set.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bevw/3329118749/in/set-72157614745156847/
(Photo by bevw)

Lots of fun! I hope to make it back in March.

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Hired via Facebook? Fired via Facebook

This article originally appeared on Techdirt.

We’ve seen stories of people being fired over email and even text message before, but now there’s a story of a Canadian spa worker fired via Facebook (via Michael Geist). The woman still got dressed and went to into work that day because she thought it was a joke. Using Facebook seems rather harsh, though she admits to being hired over Facebook and the firing was done via private message (as opposed to a wall post…), but it’s no real surprise that a common method of communication eventually gets used this way. That doesn’t mean it’s not cruel, but I wouldn’t expect it to be an isolated case (we’ve already seen legal papers served via Facebook). It’s got to make you wonder what’s next though, fired via Twitter? “@unfortunatesoul btw you’re #fired sry”

Read the comments on Techdirt.

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Australia: Keeping tabs on us

I’m posting this quickly from the Vancouver airport. I’ve thrown together a page at http://blaise.ca/australia as a home base for updates from my trip to Australia over the next month. There’s nothing really there yet, but there will be soon.

I’ll be blogging intermittently and updating Twitter throughout the trip and uploading photos to my Flickr australia photo stream. I’ll probably upload some photos to Facebook too, and a lot of the other activity will show up on my mini-feed or FriendFeed Facebook profile box. I’m not using Rogers for the month, so I won’t be checking voicemail or SMS messages until the end of July.

Anyways, blaise.ca/australia will have links most of that content, so if you’re actually curious about what we’re doing (hi mom), that’s the best place to start!

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Twitter, where art thou?

Where art thou, Twitter?

I was just developing an addiction…

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