Sunday, December 12, 2010

@papabear this is @babybear. What's your 20?

I was listening to a piece on All Tech Considered about the hackathon Random Hacks of Kindness and was  duly impressed, not only by the presenter's brave effort to rescue the original meaning of "hack" from the dustbin, but of course by the whole idea of hacking together apps to make it easier to save lives and otherwise make the world a better place.  Well done, all.

One of the hacks was an app that would use Twitter traffic during disasters to help pinpoint where aid workers were needed most or could generally do the most good.  Again, very cool stuff.  Then it hit me: Twitter is the new citizen's band.  Think about it.  A populist medium allowing people to converse with strangers and broadcast to (a portion of) the world at large.  Users of the medium go by handles.  Traffic is subdivided into channels.  And, what led me to the conclusion in the first place, the traffic itself is a fascinating combination of pure drivel and vital information (with a fair bit in between).

Not that CB itself has gone away.  Not only is the technology still in use, evidently so is most of the slang I recall from the 70s or so.


earl said...

exactly what I thought when I first heard of twitter. Well, almost exactly. I thought that t. would be a ephemeral as cb, and maybe it will. And if it fades, something just about like it will come along to fill the gap.

David Hull said...

Well, CB as a massive cultural phenomenon was ephemeral, though not quite as ephemeral as, say, pet rocks. CB as a technology or even a subculture is still going. It will be interesting to see if Twitter lasts as long.

earl said...

Sooo. Maybe not so ephemeral.