Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Social Proprioception

WordNet defines Proprioception as " the ability to sense the position, location, orientation and movement of the body and it's parts" - ?????- let's keep this in perspective and talk of something more mundane subject 'microblogging' ...la. 'Twitter'.

Since it's launch in mid 2006, Twitter user base has grown exponentially, surpassing the industry benchmark of 1 million users in first year of operation. Looking at the success of Twitter, Microblogging space is seeing a number of new entrants, with notables such as Plurk , Yammer and Pownce...and some newbies such as "Quix" developed by Web 2.0 lab in Tata consultancy services. Most of the social networking sites (like Facebook and Orkut) have added Microblogging component in their sites (e.g as Status bar on user profile).

For the uninitiated..they always wonder ..what's the buzz all about? What is that anybody can achieve by posting or reading all those seemingly incoherent snippets (Twiiter limits your post to 140 characters) describing what people are doing or have been doing?...

As Clive Thompson puts it in his seminal article on Microblogging "Individually, most Twitter messages are stupefyingly trivial. But the true value of Twitter — and the similarly mundane Dodgeball, a tool for reporting your real-time location to friends — is cumulative."

The beauty of microblogging is to limit each post to a certain number of characters. This encourages people to blurt out what they think..or rather helps capturing the current state of mind without any sanitizing. Individually these messages may not mean much, but collectively over a period of time, these posts can give a better understanding of the state of mind or experiences of the person you are following. When you meet such person next time, knowing his/her state of mind through the postings, will automatically create an emotional map of the person and help you adjust your responses in your personal dealings. Being humans, I guess certain traits are hard-wired in our brain...

Putting thing in context, this helps in creating a Social Proprioception..which will play a bigger role in social networking space in coming times. Now the question is how to leverage this concept in the enterprise? Any thoughts?

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