The Mobile Twitter Effect

17 Mar 2008 - 4:44pm
6 years ago
7 replies
403 reads
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

So, not sure how many of you tracked the Zuckerberg keynote last week
at SXSW, but while I was there in Austin, an odd thing happened.

It seemed to me to be the first time I saw Twitter used in a way that
had a negative impact. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but the
anger of the crowd at Zuckerberg's keynote interview seemed to be
fueled further by the fact people were venting in Twitter at the same
time. In this instance, Twitter seemed to be like pouring gasoline on
a fire, making the reaction to a poor interview far worse than it was
in reality.

(IMHO of course.)

Further, I have to say... the whole use of Twitter and mobile devices
at the conference really depressed me. It seemed like every ten
seconds no matter who you were with, they all kept looking down at
their iPhones and basically taking themselves out of whatever was
going on. I know I'm becoming a Luddite and all, but honestly... put
down the damn iPhone, Blackberry or whatever it is you use already!
It's really becoming beyond annoying.

Getting too old before my time I guess.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

Comments

17 Mar 2008 - 4:50pm
Mark Schraad
2006

Handset induce ADHD?

On Mar 17, 2008, at 5:44 PM, Andrei Herasimchuk wrote:
>
>
> Further, I have to say... the whole use of Twitter and mobile devices
> at the conference really depressed me. It seemed like every ten
> seconds no matter who you were with, they all kept looking down at
> their iPhones and basically taking themselves out of whatever was
> going on. I know I'm becoming a Luddite and all, but honestly... put
> down the damn iPhone, Blackberry or whatever it is you use already!
> It's really becoming beyond annoying.
>
> Getting too old before my time I guess.
>

17 Mar 2008 - 4:56pm
SemanticWill
2007

If there was a quiz at the end of the interview - what percentage of Twits
would have utterly failed because only 50% of their attention (if that) was
on the interview.....

This reminds me completely of an article a while back about people's
"mediated" experience of reality - for instance the dad that goes to Disney
world - and observes the entire experience through his camcorders
viewfinder. Yoda would not be please at all. If you are twittering - chances
are you are not listening. By mediating your experience of reality - you
only get to actually percieve (qualia), a significantly smaller about of
what is happening.

I realize Andre you were speaking more to the Mob mentality of the
twittering going on during the interview - which of course runs counter to
the "wisdom of crowds," but i still think back to even Interactions08 - and
the number of people sitting in the audience "listening" to a speaker - when
in fact they were writing blogs (unrelated to the speaker) and reading blogs
(again - unrelated to the speaker) - which is why I don't bring my laptop to
conference speeches and seminars. 1. I learn less; 2. it's F*&%ing rude to
the speaker.

My humber 2 cents.

On Mon, Mar 17, 2008 at 5:44 PM, Andrei Herasimchuk <
andrei at involutionstudios.com> wrote:

> So, not sure how many of you tracked the Zuckerberg keynote last week
> at SXSW, but while I was there in Austin, an odd thing happened.
>
> It seemed to me to be the first time I saw Twitter used in a way that
> had a negative impact. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but the
> anger of the crowd at Zuckerberg's keynote interview seemed to be
> fueled further by the fact people were venting in Twitter at the same
> time. In this instance, Twitter seemed to be like pouring gasoline on
> a fire, making the reaction to a poor interview far worse than it was
> in reality.
>
> (IMHO of course.)
>
> Further, I have to say... the whole use of Twitter and mobile devices
> at the conference really depressed me. It seemed like every ten
> seconds no matter who you were with, they all kept looking down at
> their iPhones and basically taking themselves out of whatever was
> going on. I know I'm becoming a Luddite and all, but honestly... put
> down the damn iPhone, Blackberry or whatever it is you use already!
> It's really becoming beyond annoying.
>
> Getting too old before my time I guess.
>
> --
> Andrei Herasimchuk
>
> Principal, Involution Studios
> innovating the digital world
>
> e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
> c. +1 408 306 6422
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
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--
~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | CrowdSprout
tel +1.617.281.1281 | fax +1.617.507.6016 | will at crowdsprout.com

17 Mar 2008 - 4:55pm
Angel Anderson
2010

I agree. As Interaction Designers, communication is critical to our work,
but too often we forget that the most important part of being a good
communicator is to listen. Just listen and be completely present. If we're
constantly allowing our focus to be diluted by twitter an other minutia, we
do ourselves and each other a disservice.

17 Mar 2008 - 6:50pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

> which is why I don't bring my laptop to
> conference speeches and seminars. 1. I learn less; 2. it's F*&%ing rude to
> the speaker.

I can't speak for others, obviously, but I for one expect it. For better or
worse, this is how people sit through presentations these days. The trick is
to adapt to it as a presenter. I try to include lots of little unexpected
surprise moments, so that the people who aren't paying attention feel left
out when everyone laughs at a joke or has an "A-ha" moment and remember to
pay attention.

And besides, live-blogging is really just another form of note-taking. If
someone isn't live-blogging my session, it means I'm saying something
terribly boring.

-r-

17 Mar 2008 - 7:20pm
timoni
2008

"And besides, live-blogging is really just another form of note-taking. If
someone isn't live-blogging my session, it means I'm saying something
terribly boring."

I have to agree. I keep my laptop out for notes and researching the speaker
or the speaker's references during panels. If it gets the point that my
mind wanders and I feel like checking my email, it's because I don't find
the speaker terribly interesting.

When you pay to go to a conference and learn things, a bum panel is a real
waste of time *and* money. (I tried to avoid that feeling this year at
SXSWi by actively leaving panels that weren't what I expected or were
otherwise not up to par.)

17 Mar 2008 - 7:04pm
Uday Gajendar
2007

Sounds like SXSW needs a Nannybot! :-)

A couple thoughts from a design POV:

a) culturally (and perhaps more true for the younger generation of
today's "tweens" or Gen Y+ who literally never knew a life before
mobile devices, like, seriously) it seems there's a willing acceptance
by those who do this stuff, to place yourself into a state of ongoing
"distraction and dispersion" (as John Dewey would say), as some
twisted evolution of "multitasking" with multiple devices and comm
exchanges simultaneously, but to those not used to it comes out as a
series of inchoate, malformed, inconclusive communication moments...

b) which is rude and inconsiderate, and anti-humanistic as a "design
value": such usage negates any dignity and respect for the other
person trying to speak and communicate and have a dialogue with you.
The device becomes interfering, not mediating.

Malcolm McCullough's Digital Ground goes into this a bit, as does
Richard Lanham's Economics of Human Attention (and related essay in
The Electronic Word). All those wonderful ethical/social challenges of
pervasive computing or ubi-comp--meshing culture, place, technology,
communication, with humanistic values of balance and respect.

-uday

On Mar 17, 2008, at 2:44 PM, Andrei Herasimchuk wrote:

> So, not sure how many of you tracked the Zuckerberg keynote last week
> at SXSW, but while I was there in Austin, an odd thing happened.
>
> It seemed to me to be the first time I saw Twitter used in a way that
> had a negative impact. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but the
> anger of the crowd at Zuckerberg's keynote interview seemed to be
> fueled further by the fact people were venting in Twitter at the same
> time. In this instance, Twitter seemed to be like pouring gasoline on
> a fire, making the reaction to a poor interview far worse than it was
> in reality.
>
> (IMHO of course.)
>
> Further, I have to say... the whole use of Twitter and mobile devices
> at the conference really depressed me. It seemed like every ten
> seconds no matter who you were with, they all kept looking down at
> their iPhones and basically taking themselves out of whatever was
> going on. I know I'm becoming a Luddite and all, but honestly... put
> down the damn iPhone, Blackberry or whatever it is you use already!
> It's really becoming beyond annoying.
>
> Getting too old before my time I guess.
>
> --
> Andrei Herasimchuk

18 Mar 2008 - 2:44am
Jonas Löwgren
2003

Speaking of laptops in auditorium-style presentations: In my job as a
university teacher, I tend to see it the other way round.

My responsibility is to help create a situation where people learn as
much as possible and as relevantly as possible.

For interaction design, that entails staying in constant contact with
the web, with peer networks, with databases and galleries and
portfolios and encyclopedias and blog rings and a thousand other
sources while you are in the studio (or classroom), off the streets.

Cutting all those connections and sitting silently for hours among
hundreds of other people sitting silently for hours is both
inefficient and irrelevant in terms of learning.

Personally, I find lecturing less rewarding and useful than studio
teaching. Much less rewarding and useful.

Sometimes, I still have to do it. I have to say that I prefer
lecturing to a roomful of students with connected laptops -- it even
happens on occasion that students raise their hands in the auditorium
to ask a question or share a finding based on some browsing while I
am talking. Nearly always good questions and comments, which I may be
able to use in the rest of the lecture.

(On a related note, I wouldn't dream of testing students in written
exams without books, Internet and other resources either. But that is
another story.)

However, this thread started with people's inability to engage in f2f
conversation at conference breaks without allowing themselves to be
distracted by handheld devices. That is a different topic, which
seems to have everything to do with civil behavior and politeness,
nothing to do with learning. So I guess I am digressing here.

/Jonas Löwgren

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