I pretty much ignored work, blogs, and Twitter over the holidays to be more present with my family and to give my brain a break from thinking about work all the time. (By-product of a work-a-holic practice.) I did go through my Twitter contacts and accept all the requests to follow. Then I made my feed public. It was the “Return of the Plankton.” The convergence of those two things put me over the edge. The flow from Twitter was more than I could digest. I lost the feeling of intimacy of connecting with friends and friendly strangers.
Then I read Jim Benson’s recent post on Twitter, Seeds of a Meme. And I started nodding.
Twitter has been called a conversation ecosystem. It is actually part of a larger conversation ecosystem that includes .. well .. everything. Blogging, Facebook, email, chats at a coffee shop, daydreams.I see Twitter as a plankton layer-level of the ecosystem. Every animal on earth does not need to eat plankton, but without plankton we’d all be in a world of hurt. “Everyone twittering” seems like an absolute nightmare.
Everyone will not be twittering. Everyone will not be blogging.
But conversations will start in one medium and move to another and then another. From Twitter to blogs to mainstream media to public discourse. Twitter and its successors will seed the conversations of the future.
Spot on, Jim.
From a practice perspective, I have to trim back down the number of people who follow me. I’m not sure I care if my feed is public or not, but it does act as a filter on requests to follow and discovery of new people. It’s not that I’m against discovery, I just can’t handle the volume.
I am not a whale, a filter feeding white anemone, damselfish, nor a basking shark. I do not eat plankton as my primary diet. My form does not have enough of those feathery things, with large surface areas to filter in all the phytoplankton. For my phytoplankton (Twitter) is seasoning to the rest.