If you haven’t already experienced it, you should try twitter out for a few days. Follow everyone you think is interesting, and get connected. Or if you’re in a hurry, check out Twitterfall, and you can watch the ENTIRE conversation in real time. It is important you understand what twitter is before reading any further.
For the moment the twitter population is small, but soon it’s going to take off big, and watching it live will mean seeing hundreds of thousands of tweets per second! For the moment, it’s not entirely accurate to call it a conversation, as most tweets are one-way, and there is not yet a clients capable of threading or filtering your tweets. Also you only see the tweets of people you follow, and your tweets are only seen by those who follow you.
Now fast-forward a few years. Add in sophisticated clients capable of semantic web 3.0 filtering and threading. This convergence adds an entirely new layer of communication, functionality and possibility. So much so, that when it first occurred to me, after watching Twitterfall, my head exploded. I think Nova’s did too, when I pointed it out to him. He should know as he is leading the development of a web 3.0 service called Twine. Nova Spivack does an outstanding job of describing this convergence in his Twitter + Twine post.
So in a few years everyone’s twitter client will have the ability to sort/search through the entire twitter flood in real time bringing you threads of conversations happening right NOW on what most interests you. You in turn can respond to those tweets and everyone who wants to can in turn respond to you. If the client is smart enough, it will filter and display all of this real-time streaming conversation with very colorful and soothing visualizations to maximize your relevant connections at any given time. This is really difficult to imagine, precisely because nothing like it has ever been possible before. It would like be like mingling at a very large cocktail party, but in this case you just happen to be listening and in tuning into in to any conversation that interests you at just the right time, with the option of jumping in. In turn you could start a new conversation, and in less than a minute you have dozens of responses all coming in at light speed. Except this time the cocktail party is the whole planet! Or at least everyone tweeting at that moment. That’s what makes twitter + semantic intelligence different, is it becomes a real-time global conversation – a global mind running at light speed. Thousands, and soon millions of conversations all happening simultaneously – all of them co-mingling with each other via real-time semantic filtering, threading, cross-connecting. Each person being a node, or neuron in the global brain. The future is coming awfully fast, and twitter is making that possible. Given sufficient visualization and semantic intelligence you could surf and trace the history of all of these conversations going back to the very beginning of twitter’s existence.
As Spivack pointed out, Twitter + Twine = Smarter Collective Intelligence:
- In the 1980’s the fax machine made snailmail almost obsolete. Faxing was faster.
- In the 1990’s email made faxing almost obsolete. Email was faster.
- In the 2000’s social media rose to challenge email’s dominance. The blogosphere became the center of focus.Blogging about something was often a faster way to get attention (to oneself, or to the topic) than emailing people. And you could more easily reach a larger audience.
- In the 2010’s it looks like Twitter (and other real-time messaging systems) may become more important than email and even blogging. Twitter is simply faster. And you can reach more people in less time, more interactively, in Twitter than via email.Twitter may overcome the asynchronous nature of the Web. Even search may go “real-time.
This is revolutionary enough that it may just undermine Google’s current dominance (See Mining the Thought Stream). As more people will want to do real-time searches, rather than sifting though Google’s archive of already documented past information. They are really two different things. The web won’t become irrelevant, but the real action will be the conversations happening right NOW. You can do twitter searches right now, including an advanced search based on things like attitude.
But when you add semantic intelligence running automatically in the background, your conversation flows and is updated in real-time to connect with those most interested in hearing and responding to it, and on it goes forever. In other words the conversations begin taking on lives of their own. With very well designed clients and intuitive graphical interfaces you could get an entirely new way to communicate than humans have ever had before. It’s not just way faster, it’s also more paradigm busting and disruptive than any previous communication technology that came before it.
Welcome to the future, it is now.