God…so here’s another one. Google Buzz.
The short version is that it’s a nice mix of Twitter’s open broadcast and Facebook’s closer, intimate, networking all wrapped up in a lovely lovely Gmail platform. With a pink ribbon tied around it.
The long version is, frankly, much less intersting than the short and far too depressing to contemplate. Social Media is just getting silly.
As it is I look after 2 (sometimes 3) Twitter accounts, several email inboxes, a reasonably active Google Wave account – cos, y’know, I don’t require spoonfeeding to figure these things out – and a Facebook page. I do not want another social media tool making a grand entrance and getting a huge uptake.
But I’ll check it out anyway. Yup. Because I’m a drone – part of the social media collective. That rather sad self-admission led me to a revelation, dear reader; a vision, if you will. I now believe that social media will bring about the end of man kind as we know it.
Drastic? Certainly. Dramatic? No doubt. Possible? Possibly…read on.
Marshall McLuhan taked about a vast electronic information loop to which we will one day all be connected and interdepenent. It has been argued that this loop is the internet, and yes, that argument was probably right on the money. But social media is Internet 2.0, isn’t it. Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, Digg, Buzz and all these things that keep us talking and connected to one another all day every day, I believe that these are the real loop that McLuhan foresaw.
We’re all connected to that loop with PCs, mobiles and laptops right now – but think of this…
…what about 20, maybe 30 years from now when ultra-powerful computers are implanted in our brains? Our social media interfaces will be wetware applications! We’ll be one step closer to a collective online consciousness. I’m only half joking!
Science fiction is full of collective or hive minds, all sharing information and living in harmony. I’ve already mentioned Haldeman’s Man, and Star Trek’s Borg (they sound Swedish) and those are terminal examples. But there are others.
Alasdair Reynolds’ Conjoiners are perhaps a more realistic vision of our future. They retain individuality but their mental capacity and abilities are augmented by neural implants that can be used for information sharing and communication. They are, in effect, a living, breathing social network.
Of course the Conjoiners were feared and persecuted by the rest of humanity and after losing a viscious war they were forced to flee across the stars – that would never happen to us, the Blogging, Facebooking, Buzzing, Digging Twitterati would it?
Wouldn’t it? Think of it! The Social Media Collective vs the Twitter’s For Twats Brigade. I reckon we’d win. Our social media would keep us connected to the troops on the ground and give us a massive strategic advantage. Once victorious we could run the non-conformists off the planet and start a whole new hive mind utopia right here on planet Earth.
Hmm. That’s probably how the Borg got started.
Ah well. It’s coming and it’s time to start picking sides. Tweet you on the front lines! Qaplah!