Archive for facebook

Open messaging

Posted in Wikipedia with tags , , , , , , , on July 29, 2008 by Pete Forsyth

It seems to me that the most exciting new form of communication is “open messaging.” (If somebody’s coined a better term, let me know.) I’m talking about messages and notes that are directed at a specific person, but are posted publicly, inviting input from anyone else who might be interested.

For instance:

  • A wiki “user page”: This is a page associated with a certain member of a wiki community, but (usually) viewable and editable by anyone. People can be contacted without disclosing any personal information; and the public nature of discussions enhances collaboration. This works really well on Wikipedia, where editors working closely together often chime in on one another’s projects.
  • A MySpace “comment”: Often used for comments like “happy birthday” or “sorry your cat died.” It’s a nice way to keep up to date on what’s going on in your friends’ lives.
  • The Facebook “wall”: essentially the same thing as a MySpace comment.
  • Twitter messages directed “@” somebody: This is distinct from a “direct message,” which is private. If I type “@BobSamplename Have a nice hike!” it will be visible to Bob, but to anyone else, as well. If I type “d BobSamplename Sorry to hear about the genital warts”, nobody else sees it (oops.) Having the easy choice between public and private is very convenient. Continue reading