Sunday, October 12, 2008

Will anybody care ?

Marc Davis , "Social Media Guru" from Yahoo, was in town last week. He gave a talk at Helsinki's MobileMonday and later on Wednesday at MindTrek. And today the paper published an interview. Marc Davis represents an "optimistic" view of social media where the clever use of technology allows him to stay up-to-date about his friends. And, more importantly, for his family and friends to stay-up-to date about him. He explained that his mom knows that he's in Helsinki, Finland and what he's doing and seeing, thanks to the status updates he sent to Facebook and photos uploaded to Flickr. So he "doesn't have to call her".

That statement screams for somebody looking for a thesis subject. Does this fashion of publishing your life lead to truly compassionate behavior ? A simple metric would be to time how long it takes before one of your friends calls you once you stop updating your status. I mean, you might be dying in the gutter of the street, fallen from the stairs, or in bed with a flu and to tired to type. Or simply be without connectivity, or decided that the pressure to think of a funny status update message at least twice a day was simply too much.
It would also be interesting to research if this "true response time" of your social network depends on the size of it. In a larger network all your friends may assume that some other friend already has contacted you. Should social media have better support for rumor? That is for one of your friends to talk about you with another friend ?
Another factor could be the type of the social network. I suspect nobody gets worried any time soon if you stop uploading pictures. On the other end you'd think that somebody at least notices quickly when your twitter or jaiku stream goes silent. But the essential question remains: will anybody care ?

1 comment:

Helene Auramo said...

Reminded me somehow of this lonely bear: http://www.flickr.com/photos/heleneauramo/2897781477/in/set-72157607467927060/