Friday, February 8, 2008

Does the planet have a collective narrative?

The problem with Twitter is that the ability to microblog passing thoughts discourages you from ever assembling them into narrative. Take my my caucus-night tweet:

Wow. Over fire code. Running out of sign in sheets. This is best caucus ever.

Just one little tweet. Probably meaningless. Probably should've come home and blogged about the whole night.

But maybe not. Because maybe individual narratives mean less than the collective narrative of our planet.

There is a raft of new services that attempt to compile tweets into memes that reflect America's collective consciousness. Like TwitterLinkr. And Twemes. And the Google Maps/Twitter mashup that broadcast tweets in real time throughout Super Tuesday. (The map is here and a story is here.)

Most of these services have the word alpha or beta attached to them, so they're claiming permission to screw up early and often. But I'm dying to know what it'll be like to search a term like "climate change" and pour through the world's ideas.

We are all in this together. And maybe our collective whispers will become something more interesting than synthesized recollections could ever be.

Cross-posted on the agency blog.

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