Friday, January 25, 2008

Incompatability of TiVo and Twitter and the ownership of time

Stephen Baker of BusinessWeek and the Blogspotting blog in a post entitled "Twitter and TiVo: a bad combo" opines about the real-time immediacy of Twitter being incompatible with the desire to time shift sporting events with TiVo and the inability to time shift all of the suspense as well when using Twitter since all the good parts would have been spoiled by the real-time twttering.

I had a comment related to one of his points:

"The safest thing to do while the game is brewing is take shelter in the 19th century, and read a book or a magazine."

I would add to that list "or write a blog post on some long-tail topic which is more likely to have significant long-term social value than the most popular twitter topics of the moment."

Maybe that is a measure of how far blogs have sunk is the social networking hierarchy... they feel so "19th century", like reading books or using a typewriter or writing letters in longhand ("Blogging -- the 'longhand' of the social networking universe!") or licking postage stamps.

I gather that you are one of those people who would prefer not to "know" the future. How odd to be willing to speculate about the future but not be passionate about actually knowing it. Maybe there is a gene that is predisposed to preferring surprise. Maybe it is simply an addiction to the adrenaline rush that results from observing possibility become fact.

A later commenter (Jon Garfunkel) made a reference to "your time", which got me thinking and led me to make another comment:

"... watch the game on your time."
"Your" time? "My" time? Huh? That seems to suggest a belief that time is proprietary and "owned" by individuals.
I thought that in the (idealistic) Internet we weren't really supposed to "own" anything and that everything would be shared in "the commons."
I would surmise that the unstated goal of tools such as Twitter is to tear down such "walls" that seem to have the misguided purpose of giving the illusion that time is something that any of us could "own."
In the community of the commons, my time is your time is our time. It is all "open source time."
If the community were to permit or tolerate proprietary ownership of time, the next thing you know people would start asserting that they own their minds! Obviously that is completely incompatible with "the commons" of a socially-networked online world.
After all, aren't we supposed to believe that "information wants to be free"? Is time so different from information? How can any of us legitimately attempt to hold time a prisoner to our own narrow demands when its freedom is of so much greater value to "the community"?
That said, I do sincerely apologize for taking up so much of "your" time.
Back to the game!

It does seem as if the real-world sense of time is not particularly compatible with time in the online world. Something to think about. When I have the time.

-- Jack Krupansky


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