Defrag Blog

Ambient Intimacy

by Eric Norlin on May.03, 2007, under defrag "theory"

Leisa Reichelt has applied an interesting new term to all of the “twitterness” going on in the valley as of late — “ambient intimacy.” Quoting her:

“Ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible. Flickr lets me see what friends are eating for lunch, how they’ve redecorated their bedroom, their latest haircut. Twitter tells me when they’re hungry, what technology is currently frustrating them, who they’re having drinks with tonight.”

This word “ambient” seems to be surfacing over and over again as I deal with “defrag topics” — collaboration tools seek to harness “ambient knowledge”; social peripheral discovery tools (me.dium, twitter, jaiku) harness “ambient activity”; and on and on…

Does all of this ambient-ness matter? Maybe not yet, but someday. I remember the early days of blogging, when none of what we wrote on-line seemed to matter (to those that weren’t doing the writing). Now, there are search engines and tagging and software companies and media organizations and entire PR firms devoted to figuring out how to deal with all of that (what was once) seemingly “meaningless” stuff.

So, I’m betting that all of this ambient-ness opens up new doorways to next-level discovery and new ways of assembling and leveraging information.

And I’m betting that Defrag will keep a finger on the pulse of that innovation…

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