Tuesday, October 14, 2008

on texting, talking, and tweeting

There's an article about Jamie Pennebaker in today's Times-- how he's "breaking new linguistic ground and leading a resurgent interest in text analysis." True story. Jamie's a genius. And the timing is impeccable: with the proliferation of 'conversational technology,' there are so many more ways we can glean information about who people are and how they relate to themselves and others, simply by analyzing words. 

Another interesting opportunity is the ability to learn about the role of the medium: Twitter, Facebook, blogging, commenting, communities... Do we vary our style across medium-- do you come across differently as a blogger vs. an emailer? Does each channel fulfill a different need-- do you feel more supported participating in a community than commenting on a blog? Do you feel like you can get your point across better IMing than stopping by your colleague's cube?  

Start amassing data about your conversations, and if you're so motivated as to archive your every word, I'll happily do the text analysis and send you your results to see how your style varies with your self reports. 

Think about things like: how 'good' was the conversation? How connected did you feel to the person you were talking to? Did you communicate effectively? Why did you choose that form? I could go on... but it will become more interesting to hear what type of metadata you choose to archive. Please, let me know...

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