- April
Posted By : Adrian Chan
The Not Being here of Twitter, and No Being here of Friendfeed

People are again afoot, around the world, in protest. Protesting against (Iraq, Paris, Haiti), protesting for (China, South Korea, Irvine, CA). Pro-tests by Chinese students at American universities for Chinese pride. Con-tests in Iraq against American “occupiers.” Marching, gathering, mobbing, to launch waves of protest, or encircling, rioting, stalking, to counter and disrupt. Protesters united, in expressions of support, or opposition. What binds them is a commonality of purpose, and commonality of identity.

Tribal, institutional, chaotic, swelling, faltering, people in numbers large and small, inspired, desperate, at the brink of panic and rising to their feet, humanity in motion propelled forward by the high-pressure flux of frustration that screams between the rock and the hard place, a river of individual intensities brought together by historical necessity and the collective inevitability of a shared insistence that the future not be what it’s becoming to so many, suddenly and at once: a void, and elsewhere.

Where else but in the river of information and flow of collective consciousnesses does culture form by dint of link and aggregate through disintermediation? Presence that is absence, being there where there is no there there. Feeds fed into rivers and yet each of us stands in his own stream. That curious crowd that can be seen but cannot be seen looking back. The propagation of messages that only rarely circulate and loop, falling into runs and rounds, and which more often than not fade out as a trail does when it’s tail is long.

Audiences — the reason we’re here, and for why we speak, in front of or alongside, amongst and in between. Gaps are hard to fill online, though they are what our media paper over and interconnect. Echoes in a chamber of webbing, ribbons of time coming undone, discontinuous, cut, deferred, and delayed. The Self, interrupted.

Friendfeed, aggregation of disaggregated talk, confuses me. I don’t feel in the river, as I do with Twitter. With Twitter, while it flows too strongly and loud, I feel as if I’m standing in the same stream as everyone else. And while I know this is false, it’s an illusion that twitter’s display successfully maintains. Friendfeed is not all of the river, and not all of those who stand in the river that I know flows through twitter. It remarks to me that my friends have posted, which is impersonal and distant, and though I holler like all others to tweet on twitter, I’d rather hear the hollering than read a report.

Crowds do according to how they are moved. Markets make as they are made. Production produces by how it is produced. We live in the communication age. Talk is our production, the communicating self informs. Information is our market. Meaning is the means of our production. Disrupted and disaggregated, we go social to re-mediate our meaning.

Bound no longer to the earth, it is up to us to bind with one another.

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