Social Media has revolutionised the way we interact with our family, friends, contacts and acquaintances. We now have tools at our finger tips that help us to socialise, connect and share.
However, I feel the system has become a little flawed – because it doesn’t seem to work when we start to combine our on-line and off-line worlds. Let me explain.
I was at an excellent conference the other week at Battersea Power Station – The Power of One. The speakers were great – and one triggered an issue I have been trying to get my head around for a while.
Jason Calacanis talked about the challenges of future work. One of the key themes was social isolation. He said that the iPad works against social isolation. He made the point that you can easily share what is on the screen of the iPad with others close to you. A smartphone screen is too small – and a computer is too clumsy. The way we use the iPad means we can consume in more intimate places – like when we are going to bed or waking up. Most importantly it’s the first computer tool that you can use to socially engage with off-line.
He is right – and I have seen it happening in my family environment – and it prompts me to demand a joint account. Here is the example.
I love an iPad app called Fancy. It probably pips Flipboard to the post as being my No. 1 app. If you’ve not had a play – then you should have a look on the web, but it’s a whole new experience on the tablet. The App simply displays pages of 4 images of attractive products, designs, places, gizmos, accessories, gifts, etc. The idea is you “Fancy” a picture – and it is stored against your profile.
That works fine – but in the real world (as my wife will tell you) it is shared by going “oh, look at this” as I turn around and show the iPad screen to anyone passing by/sitting near.
The other element – and here is my key point – is that my daughter, Millie (who is 12) loves it too. She will sometimes sit with me – and we will “fancy together” … and sometimes she will pick it up and “fancy” her own stuff. So, if you look at MY profile on Fancy – you can often see a mixture of the latest super car/gadget…. and something pretty, fluffy, in pink!
The iPad gives us the first device that can be shared off-line easily (and there will be more to come). How do we make it that we can have a joint account and to reflect what we do together?
I wrote a while ago about my belief that the individual is the new group. That new services based on the principle of Soloware would replace corporate Groupware. I still believe that our technology and personal network will be based around individuals in the future – with the corporate group effectively bringing those individual units together. What I think is missing is something in between.
I’m just researching a possible venture using mobile devices in the heritage sector with a friend. The same challenge exists there. How do you make a couple or family group share an experience in the real world – but not define them as a group or individual in the on-line world. There are elements that we want to keep individual – but there is a lot that we want to automatically share (using the same device).
Anyway, there’s the challenge. Facebook, Google, Twitter – and especially Fancy … ‘I’d like to open a joint account, please”.