Future Shifts from Within

“…many signs indicate that the future enters us… in order to be transformed in us, long before it happens.” – Rainier Maria Rilke

future shifts
Photo by Trey Ratcliff, shared via Creative Commons license.

I think our newfound access to information and communication via increasingly usable devices is still so fresh and exciting that any judgment, survey, or even NYT article on the subject cannot be taken too literally.

We’re humans. Creatures of comfort bound to act irrationally in a wide open yet unfamiliar place of such inebriating possibilities as the digital world. Attention, Stimulation, Information… we’re multitasking and we want more!

But how can we be the same if everything around us is changing?

You can break it down to the 0’s and 1’s. For business, society, government… this is a revolution. But I think it’s just a “shift” for interpersonal communication and the way we relate, react, co-create, and respond.

All of this info is ours at last and it’s still incredible to just suck it up and share it. We have instant audiences and can solicit instant feedback yet for the most part our tweets do nobody more good than ourselves. Sometimes you’ve gotta say it out loud to realize it. But for the hundreds of blogs in our RSS readers how many posts are we commenting on or better yet taking personally as invitations for feedback / collaboration.

In IMs and status updates and quick emails, much comes across out-of-context and is open to interpretation — even guessing. What does he/she mean exactly? But it’s a shift – we still “learn” each other in much the same way we might (or might not) in an extended face-to-face.

Everyday we know the future will be here tomorrow and that’s not to be taken for granted. But some things stay the same.

It’s easier than ever to make connections but it’s nothing compared to being “there” and making it all connect.

Part 1 in an series of posts and cross-published comments inspired by friends’ recent blog posts. This in response to “The Messages We Receive,” by Nicole Cifani.

Real-time case study in generating comments. Is timing everything?

Hidden Los Angeles posted a simple “what are you doing” query to its fan page in the 5 o’clock hour on a Friday and started an avalanche of commenting from like-minded people who were likely wondering the same thing.

“Hidden Los Angeles wants to hear all about he awesome local LA stuff you’re doing this weekend! Do tell…”

153 comments in 43 minutes. Of course, HLA is an exceptionally well run Facebook page. I seem to remember it only having 1,000 or so fans about a month ago. Today it’s up over 140,000. That’s a lot of Facebook News Feeds to capitalize on.

What we see here is just how vital Facebook is to building a following and creating a community. The HiddenLA website is only 8 months old and up until January, only attracted 1-3,000 unique visitors per month. Will be interesting to see how the growth of its fan page affected it’s web traffic in February.