Sunday, April 6, 2008

a new food chain

What with Twitter and FriendFeed and all the blogging and facebook-ing and orkut-ing, we are learning to lead public lives. I doubt any of us would really mind the attention and the paparazzi if we were to ever become celebrities. We like to upload our photos on Flickr and make them accessible to all and we like tag them and make them organizable by anyone's computers. That's not all - we like to thrust these photos into the faces of everyone we have ever been acquainted with (or sometimes not even that) through Mini-feeds and FriendFeeds and a dozen other mutli-million dollar company evaluations being sold to VCs right now.

Flickr is just a case in point. Would you like to know what my favourite videos on YouTube are? What I had for dinner yesterday? What I am doing "right now"? Which parties I am attending this month? Who are my friends? What chances I have of becoming a millionaire? What my personality type is? What I read and like? What my friends think of me?

Perhaps we are an attention starved generation.

And we like to hold conversations in public.

Tastes in books, music or movies suddenly seem inadequate information about a person. And how well you know someone depends not on how much time you spend with them, but on how much time you spend trawling the web. Sometimes it can be quite a conversation killer. Perhaps catching up with friends will become scheduling time on each other's calendars to read each other blogs or mini-feeds. "Google me up, next time you're in town!".

But for all my satire, I do think it is a great and powerful thing.
I am on FriendFeed here (feed). It has a lot many things I want to share on the web. But it can be an information overload of sorts; I wish I could customize what I read from the people I have subscribed to. And then there is a little green box to the left (on this blog) that has some of the articles I have liked from my RSS subscriptions (feed).

Someday I think my feed reader will become more valuable to me than my email mailbox.

p.s.: If you are new to RSS/Atom feeds or feed-readers, go here and here.

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