Ambient Intimacy – I love it.

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Leisa Reichelt has coined the term Ambient Intimacy to describe the value of Twittter. For some reason, this turn of phrase really resonates with me. [So, yet another RedMonk recommended blogger enters the 30 day evaluation folder in NetNewsWire...]

I’ve definitely benefitted from the Twitter experience — it feels a bit like my early days of blogging and feed reading: discovering new people and getting to know them through a new medium. The RIA flap of the last week or so introduced me to Ryan Stewart via Twitter. Well, actually via a combination of a RedMonk recommendation via the Twitter backchannel at Engage, but I think it’s true that I probably would have spent a bunch more time ignorant of Ryan without the events of the last week. Even more, I learned via a stray Twitter @message that Ryan is located somewhere in the Seattle area, which makes us neighbors, and outside the lush tech/social environment of the Bay Area, that’s a precious thing. Doubly so when you work at home.

Leisa thinks that the simplicity of Twitter is what has made it successful. But you can sort of imagine a Twitter-like situation coalescing via existing channels of communiations, IRC (via bots),, IM of various flavors, and the cell text messaging network. One thing that attracted me to Twitter was that it was a one stop shop. Web view, RSS view, IM integration, Text Message integration, and a REST based API for additional integration (I can’t wait until Bear gets done hacking Twitter support into supybot). There’s going to be a bunch more experimentation with Twitter, both via technology hacks, but also via social hacks. I think that this is going to be an interested playground to be a part of. The top thing on my list is the ability to have subgroups (both dynamically and statically) formed inside Twitter.

5 Responses to “Ambient Intimacy – I love it.”


  • So funny — when I saw you and Ryan begin to cross post last week I thought — I need to introduce these guys — I think they would dig each other.

    We should all grab lunch sometime if you are ever over in the city Ted.

    And yes, you have egg’d me into trying twitter – I think I’m starting to grok it.

  • FYI – I ditched supybot because it was very unfriendly to the xmpp side of the link. Now I have a standalone app that is both bot and xmpp client to enable bridging.

    Working on some little details like authentication (which IRC sucks at) and waiting for Twitter’s IM bot to reappear.

  • Awww. I liked the idea of one bot to rule them all…

  • Bryan,
    I am not usually over there, but I could come over for dinner if we planned ahead.

  • Have just started using Twitter and still not sure… I’ve been getting my ambient intimacy from gchat. I have a small community of contacts and we all keep our status bar active with stuff (ranging from “getting sleepy” to “I just broke my wrist!”).

    Have you guys worked out a way to have gchat sent the status field as a twitter with twitter chat enabled?

    Also, a friend of mine describe this as “oh, you mean like a mood indicator” and I had to pause. Well, yeah I guess, but a shared mood-indicator you can manage subscriptions to etc…

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