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Unbound Spiral: Social Tools + Mobility

June 9, 2004 10:16 PM

Stowe Boyd has a nice post in DarwinMag this month on "The State of Social Tools". I like the tone and was great to learn that Stowe is now at Corante. Congratulations Stowe! There is a nice clear structure and set of points in the article. Let me share a couple of lines before adding my two cents.

The big story is that the global computer network is an enormous chat room, enabling us to collaborate in unexpected, complex and novel ways. We are experimenting with new social systems, systems that to an unprecedented degree involve software and hardware.

The State of Social Tools - Darwin Magazine

My issue is where is the thinking about mobility and conversation velocity. I infer from the article that this convergence will take place on laptops and desktops although I think the real impact will be felt in mobility devices. Current demos show capability and potential for the social revolution to come. How those handheld / wearable devices work with everything will be key.

The element that bothers me more and more is that the focus in these discussions on social tools without stepping back and looking at the environment in which we work. The State of Social Tools contains a reference to “voice” yet reads text and desktop centric. The most socialized tool in the workspace after the pen and paper is the telephone. Somehow it isn’t mentioned. Then neither is the cellphone. Are we assuming too much or not looking at where the real revolution must start?




Comments (1)

Hear hear ;-) See, see !

I think what may come to be the issue is how we make meaning when we are interacting in a flow-like environment with aural and textual and image-based symbols in front of us all at the same time, all the time - on small mobile phone-like computers that are also the phone, or our means of aural transmission of information.

Posted by: Jon Husband at June 14, 2004 10:25 AM