Ambient Socialization

Until recently, the vast majority of socialization has been direct.  If I wanted to find out what my friend was listening to, or reading, I would ask.  Instant messaging and e-mail facilitated this model – requiring someone to directly engage with a person via a platform to begin and track conversation. Well, things are ch-ch-changing.

With the rise of feed-centric applications like Facebook and Twitter, a new form of communication has emerged – ambient socialization.  Ambient socialization is communication initiated simply by being.  I alluded to this concept in a post last August discussing (content) consumption as self-expression.  The idea is simple – by conducting my normal online activities, I generate ‘content’ describing those activities that is posted into my feed.  People know if I am listening to a song, made a new friend, or what news item I am reading.  My actions, in turn, can trigger conversations and other actions from my peers.

This is a drastic shift in human communication.  As the capture and dissemination of our actions and micro-comments by services like JS-Kit Echo become more automated, easily categorized and searchable, we now emit a new high-fidelity and coherent stream of information for people to socialize around and with.  The best part, we will never have said a word.  It is an ambient cloud of data that surrounds my online presence and – increasingly – will be available to 3rd party applications as we traverse the web.

Today, this stream is subject to simple observation and reaction by other people in our network.  Tomorrow, this stream will be mined, studied, and leveraged by web services in order to create new advertising, marketing, and other information services  based on both historical and real-time data.  As closed networked systems like TV and phone move to IP and as mobile services continue to explode in popularity, nearly every aspect of our existence will become part of this stream.This will open up amazing possibilities, but is also and incredibly terrifying prospect.  There will undoubtedly be problems along the way as people test the limits of using and – unfortunately – abusing the information we each generate.

I guess actions can speak louder than words. 🙂

hoomanradfar Written by:

  • LD

    Acquiring JS-Kit perhaps?

  • Skippy

    "Drastic shift in human communication"? No, it's just an extension of the communication that's existed for eons. Originally we could only communicate with those within eyesight or earshot of us. Through smoke signals and writing, telegraph and telephone and the internet we increased the range and fidelity of the information conveyed. Those were dramatic shifts in communication. Currently if I sit down to watch a TV show, those in the room with me know what I'm doing. When I'm fully tethered to a "feed", I'll be broadcasting the same information to friends outside my local area. A dramatic shift in communication itself? No, but it makes good ad copy if you stand to profit from the new information streams.

  • Alexander Ainslie

    Another bit of brilliant insight. Keep connecting the dots!

  • Lou Kerner

    Hooman writes about it, and than 9 months later it becomes a reality #hoomantellsthefuture