I live in Sonoma County in California near the ocean. It’s a remote outpost. Almost no one lives in my neighborhood. There are lots of raptors and you can hear the sea lions barking at night. But, it’s a long way to anywhere.
Periodically, I go out into the world to collaborate. (That’s sort of a play date for grownups who work at home.) These days, I am working on some projects with an old friend who lives in Napa.
It’s a 90 minute ride across wine country through hills and valleys laced with vineyards and dairies. There is one sort of big town about halfway there (Petaluma). But for the most part, it’s two lanes, light traffic and astonishing beauty. Sometime, take highway 116 across Northern California
The last time I drove to Napa, I came upon a construction crew. They were fixing pot holes. There were six men, a truckload of asphalt and one of those signs with its own generator. You know the ones. They use lightbulbs to make messages. They were the origination of the idea of an LCD.
This time the sign said “Expect delays. Roadside construction May 22 to 30.” then it flashed and said “To see where we’ll be next, follow us on twitter @sonoma116“
It got me to thinking that we haven’t begun to explore the real utility of the various emerging forms of new media. Short status messages about a variety of things are exactly what I want. There are a ton of questions that I’d like short answers to:
- Is the mail in?
- Does the Fish Bank have Fresh Halibut today?
- Did the funds clear?
- Is baseball practice still on?
- Can I expect traffic on the way to Sebastopol?
- What’s the delay at the Doctor’s office?
- Did you meet your deadline?
- Is everyone on time for the meeting?
- When is dinner?
- Did the shipment arrive?
- When is high tide?
- What’s the weather in Cleveland?
- Did we hire the candidate?
- Did you get my resume?
- Did I get the job?
- What’s the phone number and login for the conference call?
- When is the next interview?
Email is too much and grunting is too little.
These short questions are all the sub strata of the news. There’s an endless flow of status that could, if I had predictable access to it, make me more productive and predictable.
My bet is that so called ‘social media’ will be quickly dominated by information like this that is essentially provided by a machine for a machine over the twitter transport mechanism. That means that I’ll have channels of tweets that tell me about my traffic environment, my workplace, my projects, my shopping requirements.
My refrigerator will have a Twitter account.
My view, for the time being, is that we’re working out the kinks in a global status system?
What do you thnk?