Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Will you be my friend?

Twitter's tagline used to be "what are you doing now?". But a recent look at their site reveals a change in posture. Now it's "what are your friends doing?". It's a subtle but telling shift. Twitter used to be about broadcasting yourself, becoming an overnight star in the web 2.o microcosm. Micro blogging to massage the ego. The experience was also rather like playing with fireworks; many have regretted that 3am tweet from the bar in a 'lucid' moment read by thousands of their 'followers'. Although you can still play with rockets in the street if you want to, Twitter now seems to be advocating that you hold a more sensible bonfire party in the garden with your mates instead. I wondered if this new tack was because their bulk sms bill had started to arrive on a trolley. Certainly there were too many inane comments addressed to nobody in particular; tweets probably best kept within a circle of friends. But I think the real reason is because friendship is naturally viral and self-sustaining whereas broadcasting to strangers is not. And that's one thing that Jaiku got right - they were a Twitter for friends. The Twitter team may be breathing a sigh of relief right now...

And it's no coincidence that MobiLuck is all about friends too, hence our tagline 'Closer to my friends'. People benefit most from MobiLuck when their friends use it too. Recommendations are usually made to friends, who in turn trust the information. And at the heart of it all is the human desire to be admired and respected by others and their friends in particular. So all these types of services should give users the means to express themselves - and show off!

Of course the concept of a 'friend' is being redefined by social networks and by Facebook in particular, where any contact is called a friend. Will we have to start making a distinction between 'real' and 'online' friends? I think it's inevitable.

2 commentaires:

UriL said...

great post and sharp analysis on the importance of "lifestreams" or "activity streams" between friends.

Filip said...

What about version for iPAQ 2210?!