The first time I heard about Tiny URL some moons ago, I laughed. I couldn’t understand why someone would take the pain of creating a programme that apparently serves no purpose. But then eventually when I started Twittering more often than I did a few months back, I realized what a boon it is. But the thought of someone making a living making words (OK, links) tinier is way weird, when you come to think of it. As I explore social media tools more, I find myself slaving to communicate in 140 characters or less and find increasingly that the world is rules by the power of the link!!! I suppose this is no different than how people in a bygone era got a high using applications like WinZip of StuffIt that allowed files to compress and fit into a “floppy disk”. I am struggling to even remember how it looked like- the floppy disk, I mean!! In a world that is ruled by communicating in the shortest possible phrase, and one where prepositions and conjunctions are almost defunct…I dnt no whts coming nxt but’ll b intrstng 2 c!!
Getting a (second) life…
At a recent talk I gave on using social media for effective communications, one of the participants asked me if I could share how they could use Second Life to position their brand. While waxed eloquent about this 3-D virtual world created online by its users who buy land, build houses, go to parties, and otherwise “live” a virtual life, it set me thinking. When you join Second Life (http://www.secondlife.com), the first thing you do is create an avatar, your personal virtual representation. Not too different than a “Tiny Url” really. I don’t have an avatar and the first time I meandered around the Second Life labyrinth along with a friend who had one, I must admit I couldnt figure the head or tail of what one is supposed to do there. I mean, when I am such a poor shopper in real life, why would I want my avatar to buy stuff online? And I definitely wasn’t interested in seeing a virtual art gallery or go on a virtual picnic, when I could have so much fun doing it in real life feeling the sun on my back and a group of chattering kids around me.
But what I realized was that chatting up with “art critics” on Second Life was much less overbearing than one has to go through with nose-up-in-the air types, who make no sense whatsoever in their critique of art, at least to me. I am warming up to the thought that I could find fellow social entrepreneurs and social media officianados like me with whom I can have a discussion without moving out of my house. Maybe its time to create an avatar. Besides, Philip Rosedale is really cute!! J