Clive Thompson has a terrific feature in the International Herald Tribune about social networks and “ambient intimacy”, which is the phenomenon of sustaining relationships through casual awareness of what others are doing. Twitter and the Facebook News Feed are bringing new breadth to this concept, enabling people to glimpse others’ lives through occasional insights into their everyday activities. This intimacy becomes addictive. People who initially reject the News Feed as too intrusive or the constant stream of Twitter chatter as too overwhelming often find themselves drawn in to the point that monitoring the stream becomes addictive. There are also downsides to this phenomenon, in particular the lack of privacy and control over one’s own persona. The Internet was supposed to liberate people to reinvent themselves, but the arrival of tools that let anyone publish information about anyone else has actually done the opposite: it has given us less control over our own image.
Laura Fitton invited me to post an item from my newsletter about speaking to an audience that was Twittering about my presentation. The article I posted kicked off an interesting round of discussion about the pros and cons of real-time feedback. Check out the comments.
This service lets you create up to nine windows in a browser, each running a different Twitter query. It’s an interesting approach to bringing order to the wonderful chaos that is the tweetsphere.
Search Engine Land confirms that Google will soon make search results available as RSS feeds. You’ll have to set up a Google Alert first, though. Standard Web search results won’t be RSS-able. Google is currently the only major search engine not offering RSS feeds of web search results.
Jenny Cisney, who’s got the nice title of Chief Blogger for Kodak.com, lists all the ways to contact the company via social media. And there are quite a few!