I've been talking a lot about the Full-Time Intimate Community lately. I comes from work that Misa Matsuda is doing at her lab and I heard about this from my sister who is doing a lot of work in this area. It's a study about the mobile phone email communications of people in Japan and how people seem to keep in close contact with four or five people using a constant stream of messages. The point is that the content of the messages aren't as important as the fact that the people in this "Full-Time Intimate Community" are aware of the current state (awake, in bus, at school, happy, sad) of each other. It's a Granovetter "strong tie" community. Granovetter talks about how more valuable content flowed over "weak ties" and talked about the "strength of weak ties", but in the FTIC, it's not the "content" but rather the intimacy that is being transmitted. (Help me out here academics. I'm getting in a bit over my head. ;-p ) It's very much part of my "context vs content" rant about how presence and context is, in ways, more interesting than content and that content is just the carrier signal or substrate upon which community is built.

The fact that Glenn picked up "Full-Time Intimacy" as his title for the blog entry about the NPR SXSW audio postcard by Mary Bridges and Benjamen Walker makes me think that this word/meme has legs. ;-)

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So what about the impact of economic/class variables in this kind of intimacy. SMS isn't free. And despite the rhetoric I heard at ETech ("100% of Japanese children have cell phones!"), I wonder what kind of effect this will have on existing and future social structures.

As to trasmitting intimacy, that's the subtext of many (if not most) interactions, so that's not unique to this medium. Think about how much time we spend talking to people without actually communicating content--the protocol, the process, are major drivers in all of our communications with people we value (and even those we don't).

Well, presence/state transmission will have value and have a price and I think markets will determine the price. (Is this what you mean?)

I agree. Many other modes transmit intimacy, but I guess my point is that many network carriers and content providers are focusing on the value of the content instead of the fact that much of the stuff is really about relationships and connection and I think they need to keep their eye on the ball/value/actual use.

Remember Delphi?

Very neat stuff... indeed, one of the strong conjectures in our BuddySpace work, for which Yanna Vogiazou, Martin Dzbor, Jiri Komzak and I are now gathering evidence, is that presence is largely a state of mind. What's controversial about this (to those who think it's totally obvious) is that 'state information', and knowing what others know about you, is much more important than (say) totally immersive VR worlds, which is what used to be thought of as the most important defining characteristic of 'presence'!

The FTIC you talk about is a very interesting manifestation of this new 'state-centric' (rather than 'VR-centric' presence!

"...in the FTIC, it's not the "content" but rather the intimacy that is being transmitted. (Help me out here academics. I'm getting in a bit over my head. ;-p )"

The most obviously relevant idea is 'phatic' communication, which is communication used as a social cue or synchronizer, rather than as a vehicle for linguistic meaning. (e.g. " 'Sup?", "Not much, 'sup with you?")

Phatic communication corresponds roughly to aizuchi for interjections like "hai" as a cue meaning "I'm listening" or "Got it."

A related idea, 'shared situation awareness', comes from the military, and is typically reserved for physical battlespace, but may be relevant: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Situation_awareness#Shared_SA

Shared situation awareness refers to each member of a group being a) aware of the relevant aspects of his or her situation and b) understanding what other people in their group also understand. It makes synchronized but undirected action easier.

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[Cross-posted to: Misbehaving.net.] With social networks all the rage in places like Silicon Valley and the DoD, most of the focus has been on how social networks can help you access information, find jobs, track terrorists and, all to often, abuse you... Read More

Yet another blogquote from Joi. This time the topic is full-time intimate community. For materials on the subject take a look at the links below; most of the material is in Japanese though. Anyway, what really interests me is the fact that people, give... Read More

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...according to an article in Danish newspaper Jyllandsposten. Overuse of sms can increase the amount of dopamine in the brain. This can in turn lead the person into addiction, making the addicted person suffer from fixated thoughts, change of mind... Read More

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