in social & community

Ambient Intimacy

LastFM IRC

I find myself talking about Twitter quite a lot. I’m not the only one. The behaviours that Twitter has made more visible are tremendously interesting.

I’ve been using a term to describe my experience of Twitter (and also Flickr and reading blog posts and Upcoming). I call it Ambient Intimacy.

Ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible. Flickr lets me see what friends are eating for lunch, how they’ve redecorated their bedroom, their latest haircut. Twitter tells me when they’re hungry, what technology is currently frustrating them, who they’re having drinks with tonight.

Who cares? Who wants this level of detail? Isn’t this all just annoying noise? There are certainly many people who think this, but they tend to be not so noisy themselves. It seems to me that there are lots of people for who being social is very much a ‘real life’ activity and technology is about getting stuff done.

There are a lot of us, though, who find great value in this ongoing noise. It helps us get to know people who would otherwise be just acquaintances. It makes us feel closer to people we care for but in whose lives we’re not able to participate as closely as we’d like.

Knowing these details creates intimacy. (It also saves a lot of time when you finally do get to catchup with these people in real life!) It’s not so much about meaning, it’s just about being in touch. 

As Ian Curry at Frog Design writes: 

It’s basically blogging reduced to what the Russian linguist Mikhail Bakhtin called “the phatic function.” Like saying “what’s up?” as you pass someone in the hall when you have no intention of finding out what is actually up, the phatic function is communication simply to indicate that communication can occur. It made me think of the light, low-content text message circles Mizuko Ito described existing among Japanese teens – it’s not so important what gets said as that it’s nice to stay in contact with people. These light exchanges typify the kind of communication that arises among people who are saturated with other forms of communication.

I came across this research when I was doing my Masters a few years back and it’s continued to fascinate me (and yes, I’ve been thinking about it quite a bit whilst considering, and defending, Twitter).

Here’s an observation from some Japanese ethnographic research into the use of camera phones by young people undertaken by Daisuke Okabe (2004):

intimate sharing / presence – sharing intimate photos on the handset when talking face to face with people. Photos that fall into this category would be photos of partners, family, pets, etc. However, this can also be very every day stuff… eg. what I’m having for dinner. It is sharing ongoing mundane visual information with intimates, creating a sense of presence in other peoples lives without needing to talk or be physically present.

I think that the simplicity of Twitter is key to it’s success. The messages must be short and they’re simple text.  I’m starting to think that the level of stimulation is key to the success of these ‘osmotic’ communications (as the guys from LastFM referred to the IRC channel they use internally).

We’ve been trialling some options for a similar kind of osmotic backchannel to use at Flow. One of the first things we roadtested was Skype Public Chat. Amongst some other problems (including that there is no Mac version of the current release which supports the Public Chat function), it seemed that the flashing and noises and animated emoticons were too stimulating… the conversation wanted to leap to the front of the screen continually demanded attention.

IRC on the other hand (ah, what a flash back to open up mIRC again after all these years!) reminds me a lot more of Twitter. There’s none of the flashing and animating and carrying on. The humour is in the text (it took about 30 seconds for the first trout related comment to emerge… old habits…). To me, IRC seems to be a much more effective tool for a back channel, for supporting this osmotic communication within a company. (Assuming we can reduce the barrier to ‘log on’… it’s not a friendly experience for not-geeks).

What does seems clear is that, for a lot of people, this ambient intimacy adds value to people’s lives and their relationships with others. I think we can expect to see a lot more of it… but if I was building a tool to support it, I’d be keeping it very simple and unobtrusive. Osmosis is one thing, hyper-stimulation is quite another!

Twitter Me

Image credit: Slide used by LastFM in their presentation at FOWA

Reference: Okabe, Daisuke 2004, Emergent Social Practices, Situations and Relations through everyday camera phone use, presented at Mobile Communication and Social Change, the 2004 International Conference on Mobile Communication in Seoul, Korea, October 18-19 2004

34 Comments

  1. Interesting post. I have lately been trying to recall in great detail what life was like before all this technology, even before mobile phones, and although perhaps I was too young at the time to make a proper analysis here, I do know that my circle of acquaintances was dramatically lower, because there is only so much time in the day for phone calls and letter writing, which is what we used to depend on. So these technologies have certainly broadened my circle of contacts, although it has also increased the burden of responsibility to keep them relatively close to my life. As you say, this can be quite an enjoyable pastime, and its interesting to observe the growth in tools that facilitate this ‘feeding of acquaintances’.

  2. For me, Twitter is excessive. A real Big Brother. I don’t care if a friend is taking a shower or eating sushi. But I care of what he thinks about my interests and I appreciate if he likes what I’m writing on my blog. So, I prefer MyBlogLog. With it, I know when my australian friend comes to read my thoughts on the last movie I have seen, and I’m in touch with all people I like worldwide and all their friends sharing common interests. :-)

  3. Leisa – nice post. Anil from last.fm here. wrt getting non-technical people using irc – it’s not been a problem for us. We have all our business/labels/design people on the channel too and they can all absorb information from it.

  4. Yuh! Sounds good to me ;) I’m glad more and more people are doing ambient intimacy things, it’s so much fun to consume, publish, and swirl around in.

    With respect to IRC, I really wish it was more widely used. Part of the problem is installing a whole new app, but the bigger problem is that many corporate networks block IRC, which totally sucks.

    Not to mention that IRC doesn’t work over SMS as Twitter does. I don’t use the txt updates or digests (by sending “get” to Twitter) most of the time, but I love having them when I’m out, about, and bored. A little update to 40404, and I’ve got my fix for producing content!

  5. “Ambient Intimacy” … I expect to see it gain ground as a catch phrase.

    (I also gather, by reading, that it’s not the relationship I was seeking at the bar in town during my college years…)

  6. I love the Ambient Intimacy (beautifully put) of Twitter (and flickr for that matter). I was quite sure that it would annoy me and just be another web thing that I would sign up for and ignore – but it isn’t. There is something charming about little messages from people you know popping up during the day that you are not compelled to respond to. Like the difference between doing a horrible chore all on your or have someone sit with you while you do it – just knowing they are there somehow makes it better.

  7. I really like the term “ambient intimacy” since I believe that in the future people will share more intimate details of their life with smaller closed groups of friends, family members, etc, as opposed to the public nature of current “lifestream sharing” services.

    At Jaiku, we are aiming towards this with an approach that is slightly different from and complementary to Twitter (quite a few Twitter users have added their Twitter feeds to Jaiku’s lifestreams). We emphasize the ability to ignore the “ongoing noise”, but every now and then there will be a short discussion around a particular update (such as in Stowe Boyd’s lifestream here).

  8. Oh, perfect. I’ve been thinking a lot about this too, and I keep writing long posts about how people are treating Twitter and what it exposes, & that strange intimacy. Blogging functions that way, which is why we all have of “blog-friends” who are closer to us in many ways than people we see regularly in daily life. Twitter does that on another scale, very beautifully.

  9. the peeps over at 30boxes have described their hope for connectedness among “buddies” as “situational awareness”. i like the term…it’s not exactly the same as “ambient intimacy” or how myspace has redefined the word “friend,” but it’s along the same lines.

    i’m fully on board with the lifestream concept, and like the ideas you bring up in your post. kudos.

  10. I love it when a blog post captures a concept I had never thought of, yet is all around me. Love the term Ambient Intimacy. I just wonder if as a society we are starting to favor Ambient Intimacy over the deeper, more traditional intimacy that we have had with family and friends. (How old and stodgy do I sound now?)

    Marc :-)

  11. It’s been proposed (sorry that I can’t dig up the reference) that we humans in our earlier days formed bonds amongst ourselves through mutual grooming and that these grooming circles were limited in size to about 50.

    It’s also said that, as we evolved, our hands became far too, well, handy, to fritter away in grooming. So, our ancestors came to maintain their social bonds by inventing speech and yammering at each other whilst they were using their hands to make tools, stir pots, change diapers, whatever.

    It turns out, in fact, (again, sorry I can’t dig up the reference) that our conversations are still dominated by inconsequential blather, what some might call “noise.” This noise, as you point out, is ideally suited to maintaining social bonds.

    What is interesting about all this is that what with all the twitter posts from mobile phones and keyboards is that we apparently have returned to using our hands to maintain social bonds. Perhaps its because we don’t want to waste our voices on such mundanities.

    Last, I would like to know about the numbers of friends that active tweeters follow. How many follow more than 50?

  12. LOL @ Twitter as mutual grooming… it certainly is a lot like that isn’t it!

    I’ve just noticed that I can’t tell how many people I’m actually following on Twitter at the moment. I have 64 friends at the moment, but that includes things like BBC news and Twitter status updates, which uses Twitter in a slightly different way. And I have some ‘friends’ who I don’t follow (meaning I don’t get their messages via IM or SMS, but still follow on web), in my case either because I don’t know them so well or don’t have so much in common with them, so their updates are less interesting to me, or because they Twitter to much and too often and I can’t handle the noise.

    I reckon I probably have about 50 people who I do follow at the moment, and I definitely feel as though I’m at a kind of threshold where I couldn’t really handle much more.

    So, that’s a survey of one that fits your hypothesis… anyone else want to share some numbers?

  13. Leisa,

    I heart this post. Thanks for all of your great information on Ambient Intimacy. I always felt that way about Flickr, too. I could glean my friends’ current state of mind and activities by their uploaded photos. I think Twitter lowers the barrier to entry even more! :)

  14. Since I asked the question concerning the number followed, I suppose I’d better answer for myself. I beleive that my count is three (3).

  15. That’s such a great phrase, Leisa. I’d been using hive mind, as that is what it felt like to me, however it fails to capture the emotional aspect that ambient intimacy captures. I hope that becomes a permanent term.

  16. You’ve coined a great phrase, Leisa – best description for Twitter I managed to come up with was “picking lice” – meant in a positive ape-grooming kind of way, just like Henry’s take on it, but it’s not likely to catch on is it? “The latest trend in virtual lice-picking…” ;-)

  17. Hi, there is a similar concept in the HCI research field. It is called Intimate Social Networks, many interesting papers have been published on this topic. I participated in a workshop two years ago at CHI about mediated intimacy and ambient awareness systems. The position papers are not available unfortunately but mine is still online http://insitu.lri.fr/~labrune/web.jb/CHI2005_MackayRicheLaBrune.pdf , also about intimate social networks, interesting works done by the interliving project http://interliving.kth.se/

  18. It isn’t quite ambient, it isn’t utilising an otherwise vacant information stream. It doesn’t quite replicate the bustle and noise of an room where you cue in on conversations that interest you without requiring you to glance at another window or grab a phone. It should stream in without conscious effort. Twitter requires some effort.

    Having said that the level of intimacy itself is proportional to the number of updates that your friends make. Situational awareness ( as one poster mentioned ) relies upon regular updates. I do care what friends are up to but it takes context and timeliness for those twitters to be relevant. And often it requires following a stream of thought as well.
    osmotic is another good word already used, if we could absorb voice twitters in such a way that we don’t disturb the rest of our environment ( workplace party etc ) then it would truly be ambient.

    What it does do is foster the shared cultural awareness and shared experiential memories that bonds friends together.

  19. Excellent post, Leisa, one of many…
    (Just came here from Stowe Boyd’s feed and I’m impressed)

    Can’t resist giving you and Henry the footnote you are looking for, in comments 20 and 24. It’s a fantastic book on the evolutionary origins of language – quite useful for people who value things like storytelling in design, etc. By the way, the ‘number’ is not 50 but around 150.

    Grooming, Gossip and the Evolution of Language, Robin Dunbar. Faber and Faber, 1996. ISBN: 0571173977

    For background, see also: http://www.guardian.co.uk/life/interview/story/0,12982,955709,00.html

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  • Wow Pare! » Blog Archive » How We Are Becoming Intimate Thru Twitter May 17, 2007

    […] This is a nice slide show on Ambient Intimacy. Ambient intimacy is … …about being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible. Flickr lets me see what friends are eating for lunch, how they’ve redecorated their bedroom, their latest haircut. Twitter tells me when they’re hungry, what technology is currently frustrating them, who they’re having drinks with tonight. […]

  • kybernetikos.com » Blog Archive » Intimacy May 17, 2007

    […] I’ve been taking part in discussing ‘ambient intimacy’ over on the disambiguity blog. […]

  • links for 2007-12-10 « David Black May 17, 2007

    […] Ambient Intimacy – disambiguity “Ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible.” [via Strange Attractor] (tags: internet socialmedia socialnetworking blogging twitter psychology community language neologisms) […]

  • esphères identitaires » Blog Archive » Twitter je ne boirai jamais de ton eau et pourtant… May 17, 2007

    […] …et pourtant je m’amusais déjà avec le mood message de skype que je mets à jour tous les jours. Ensuite j’ai continué à m’amuser avec les status update de Facebook. À suivre mes êtres chers ailleurs, à laisser des pistes sur mon quotidien… Mais depuis Facebook Beacon, j’ai de moins en moins envie de laisser ma trace via Facebook: j’ai vérrouillé mes privacy settings à mort, bloqué Beacon, coupé court aux histoires suscitant le voyeurisme des mini-feeds, éliminé un tas d’applications inutiles juste pour le fun et revisité la signification d’amis de sorte que je suis fière de n’avoir que 10 amis! Ensuite je suis tombée sur The RWW Guide to the World’s Most Popular Twitter Clients ainsi que sur d’autres ressources abordant la notion d’ambient intimacy (i.e. Ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible, Leisa Reichelt) et aussi Video: Twitter and Ambient Intimacy. […]

  • theory.isthereason » Online Lecture: Seduction of the Swarm (Join In: Monday 8am EST) May 17, 2007

    […] Entitled “Seduction of the Swarm: Understanding patterns of online participation“, I chose to build on the collective intelligence series I’ve been working on, helping to flesh out productive ideas on participatory culture. Much like a tour of online-centric ideologies, I’ll be making mentions from books like Wikinomics, Wisdom of the Crowds, as well as concepts of the gift economy, bits vs. atoms, Amy Jo Kim’s Five Game Mechanics, Leisa Reichelt’s Ambient Intimacy, as well as my personal stake: The Return of Walled Gardens. […]

  • SMC-DC Recap » The Buzz Bin May 17, 2007

    […] The presentation of “best practices” took some different twists and turns due to a very interactive audience (which was great), but the one section that I enjoyed was the idea of Twitter providing “ambient intimacy” between users. As said by Lisa Reichelt: It makes us feel closer to people we care for but in whose lives we’re not able to participate as closely as we’d like. […]

  • Ambient Intimacy « Cogitations of a PR Student May 17, 2007

    […] Ambient Intimacy This. is. freaking. awesome. No, seriously it is. I think we have our an entire generation that will enter its adulthood on this concept. It is; however, hard for me to be entirely sure since I am a fogey of this generation. Born in at the very, very end of 1979 — I am very close to the generational cusp. I have been finding this to be more and more true as I get older and enter the workplace but I digress. […]

  • Where is my continuous partial attention? | acidlabs May 17, 2007

    […] Where is my continuous partial attention? If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!Those of us involved in social media spend a good deal of our time rabbiting on about continuous partial attention, the ambient intimacy afforded to us and the social capital generated by use of the tools we leverage such as Facebook and Twitter as well as the real, human communities these actually represent. […]

  • arts & crafts revisited « shot from the hip May 17, 2007

    […] the parallel threads that i see linking that age to this one talk about many of the same issues – cultural responses, enabled by new technologies, seek to extend the role of creative individuals and communities beyond the restrictions of previous media generations. the democracy – or meritocracy – of creative practice and dissemination of ideas, practices and values, and it’s potential impact for transforming g/local economies and communities can more accurately embody the principles of each participant. our media, as of late, has enabled a more ‘human’ representation in communicating remotely – social networks encouraging slivering identity, mobile platforms mapping new topographies of social presence and ambient intimacy, media bricolage creating an emergent expression economy. […]

  • EDITing in the Dark » Bait and Switch? May 17, 2007

    […] It raised some interesting ideas about how Web2.0 – commenting how the “continuous partial attention” or “ambient intimacy” is really changing the way that we have communicated – from the scope of audience to the ephemerality of the message to the latency between sender and receiver – from the basic face to face and print to “print plus (my term)” and “f2f plus” again with technology helping to shape the various elements of how the message exists. […]

  • NYT and The Global Sympathetic Audience « Luca’s Blog May 17, 2007

    […] Nov 3, 2007 in International, Life I am happy to notice that also the New York Times now talks about Twitter and Tumblr as the “global sympathetic audience“. I completely agree and I wrote about it some weeks ago in my Italian blog. […]

  • What do I need Twitter for, anyway? « The lost outpost May 17, 2007

    […] I’m not wondering that. Apart from the very excellent sense of Ambient Intimacy (see Stephen Collins for an excellent recent example), I’ve got a few thoughts of my own as to how Twitter is useful. In fact, I commented recently on a post by Jasmin Tragas about this: […]

  • Shattering barriers | acidlabs May 17, 2007

    […] We talked kids and spouses, social media, continuous partial attention, ambient intimacy, books and a bunch of other subjects of interest. It was fun, but unlike what usually happens when you meet someone for the first time, the complex and challenging social barrier of introduction was missing – we just didn’t need it as our online connectedness through tools like Facebook and Twitter had already done the hard work for us. […]

  • Twitter Essence « wonderwebby May 17, 2007

    […] The effect has been defined as ambient intimacy, the social sixth sense, amongst others. I’ll take a quick turn at trying to define the essence and why I think it works. […]

  • James Governor’s Monkchips » The rise and rise of the social/digital bridgebuilder May 17, 2007

    […] Never mind objects of sociability, I am talking about people of digitally enhanced sociability, people that know how to work ambient intimacy and have enough domain knowledge to really make it count. […]

  • Intimité Ambiante « Titre du blog May 17, 2007

    […] So for this first post, I’d like to refer to a very interesting post from Leisa Reichelt’s blog (one of my personal favorite.) She’s exposing the “Ambient Intimacy” notion or how the intimate communication is stimulated through original and modern web tools. I’m myself very intrigued at the web social network phenomenon. […]

  • James Governor’s Monkchips » The Analyst Business Should Learn From Disambiguity May 17, 2007

    […] With a headline like Why collaborative research analysis rocks out it was no surprise I found Lisa Reichelt’s recent blog made very interesting reading. Leisa, originator of the wonderfully evocative phrase Ambient Intimacy, and all round sticky note queen (3M should sponsor her) argues thusly: These days when I’m doing any kind of user research, rather than going to my secret consultant place and doing that consultant magic that results in a presentation of research findings, I much prefer to get into a big room with clean walls and several hundred sticky notes and my clients/project team, and to work out the research findings collaboratively. […]

  • Conversations with Dina » Social Media - listening better May 17, 2007

    […] In addition to learning how to tell our story well, I do believe that part of the problem is we are so flooded with so much info today, that we are also having to relearn how to listen – and how we learn. Social technologies that foster microblogging like twitter, bookmarking, aggregating news, and even facebook, help me navigate thru’ this more easily.  Much has been written about Continuous Partial Attention (Linda Stone) and Ambient Intimacy (Lisa Reichelt) that apps like Twitter provide – they give us interesting frameworks for examining our own behaviours. […]

  • Naked Yak » Blog Archive » Open Messaging and Ambient Intimacy May 17, 2007

    […] Check the Open Messaging document, updated now with Leisa Reichelt’s concept of Ambient Intimacy, and how Open Messaging would lead to this more human, less invasive, condition of being ‘always on’. […]

  • graphpaper.com - Ambient Intimacy, Collective Musing, Intellectual Doodling May 17, 2007

    […] Leisa Reichelt coined the term “ambient intimacy” to describe the genre of social computing apps led by Twitter, Jaiku, and Pownce. She was interested in the constant sense of closeness users feel with their circle of friends, no matter how far-flung, through technologies that informally reveal us to each other. […]

  • disambiguity - » Ambient Intimacy at the Future of Web Apps May 17, 2007

    […] I was very happy to have the opportunity to hop up and share my thoughts on Ambient Intimacy at the Future of Web Apps conference in London yesterday. The slides are above. […]

  • Naked Yak » Blog Archive » Open Ideas May 17, 2007

    […] While chatting about online intimacy, and the effect that Leisa Reichelt has termed Ambient Intimacy, we got on to the subject of Open Source. Glenn Jones pointed out that “In the Beginning there was View Source, and lo it was good”. […]

  • Facebook is a closed platform, and it should stay that way « Curiouser and Curiouser May 17, 2007

    […] To my surprise and delight, I recently came across a discussion of this very same feeling, where the phenomenon was termed “ambient intimacy”. This beautifully descriptive name illustrates “being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible…It makes us feel closer to people we care for but in whose lives we’re not able to participate as closely as we’d like.” I think that this is the very thing that makes online social networking so addictive for me, as I’m sure it is for many others as well, whose lives have made them too busy, or taken them too far away to be able to keep up with everyone they wish were a daily part of their lives. […]

  • nofi.org » links for 2007-09-19 May 17, 2007

    […] Ambient Intimacy Ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible. (tags: twitter online web social mobile pownce) […]

  • Emil Sit » Privacy, the Internet, and me May 17, 2007

    […] Until then, we experiment with managing our online selves, learning to be careful about what we share and how we share it. We have learned etiquette for using mobile phones and made them the new garden fence. The use of blogs to document and share personal experience and practical knowledge with others is becoming more mainstream. Those on the cutting edge use twitter and campfire to provide ambient intimacy and virtual context. […]

  • From documents to community May 17, 2007

    […] Ambient Intimacy “Ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible.” — Leisa Reichelt (www.disambiguity.com/ambient-intimacy) […]

  • Ambient Intimacy « ditigal ramblings May 17, 2007

    […] I prefer to describe this form of communication as Ambient Intimacy, as coined by Leisa Reichelt on her blog back in March. […]

  • Ambient Intimacy at pixelblog May 17, 2007

    […] I prefer to describe this form of communication as Ambient Intimacy, as coined by Leisa Reichelt on her blog back in March. […]

  • The solution to too much information is more information at Like It Matters May 17, 2007

    […] So I think we need more.  More granular control.  More pivot points for discovery and to flag things we want to watch continually.  Simple on/off flow controls. Design that recognizes the ambient nature of these services and doesn’t pretend that we’re going steady. […]

  • disambiguity - » What’s in it for me? Why people participate in social networking websites May 17, 2007

    […] Of course, I’d add into that the Ambient Intimacy effect which I think is more about being connected and less about identification. […]

  • Library clips :: Roundup : UrbanSeeder, Wizag auto-tag and discovery, RadarFarms, XFruits RSS to Blog, Zentation :: July :: 2007 May 17, 2007

    […] UrbanSeeder – ultimate ambient intimacy, meet someone at a party, sad to see them go, give them your urban seeder so you can continue the conversation online. [via R/WW] […]

  • CommunityNet Aotearoa RSS Archive » Blog Archive » PANUI Issue #64, July 2007. May 17, 2007

    […] “Ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible.” — Leisa Reichelt (http://www.disambiguity.com/ambient-intimacy) […]

  • No Man’s Blog » so long facebook May 17, 2007

    […] interestingly enough the bit i enjoyed most and made me reconsider my opinion was the twitter-like feature where people write what they are doing now. I totally get the appeal in it but i experienced this with very mixed feelings. on the one hand i’m sold to the idea of ambient intimacy – there is indeed something charming in the ways it makes us feel closer to people we somehow care for but in whose lives we’re not able to participate as closely as we’d like. but on the other hand there’s a very very thin line between the charm and wit to the excessive, sticky noise and personally I’m not good with being selective and taking these things in small doses. […]

  • No Man’s Blog » Asi joined the group If this group Reaches 150,000 members I will name my son Batman. May 17, 2007

    […] Don’t get me wrong, I’m all up for connectivity, ambient intimacy and phatic communications etc. but I honestly believe that until the moment that social networking applications will be of a more meaningful value, we will all be hoping from one internet darling to the other. […]

  • Balkan Witch » Blog Archive » Twitter as tech support May 17, 2007

    […] There are some things about this new world of ambient intimacy that I really enjoy. Especially as in offline land I am quite loud and wonder how often people wish they could switch off their alerts! […]

  • Reboot Part II-- bub.blicio.us May 17, 2007

    […] Leisa Reichelt of “ambient intimacy” fame […]

  • James Governor’s Monkchips » ABC, as Easy as 1,2,3: RedMonk Rankings in Analyst Top 50 May 17, 2007

    […] Is it surprising that a firm which set out to be the first blogging analyst company should take the top spots in such a poll? Of course not. But it is a nice validation of our strategy -sure it is. We don’t put information behind a firewall, which dramatically improves our ambient findability. We use social software to benefit from ambient intimacy. We want to be easy to deal with. We want to be fun. We want to be smart. We want to learn from a range of communities, not just one narrow constituency. I think the Top 50 award represents all of that. So that’s a good start to the week. […]

  • ViNT // Vision - Inspiration - Navigation - Trends » Ambient intimacy May 17, 2007

    […] Op het Reboot 9 congres in Denemarken heeft Leisa Rechelt (weblog) eind vorige week een presentatie gegeven over Ambient Intimacy: “It is about being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible.” […]

  • And suddenly everything became clear at Like It Matters May 17, 2007

    […] Leisa Reichelt on ambient intimacy. Her presentation from Reboot. […]

  • Ambient Intimacy « Thoughts on the Ideal May 17, 2007

    […] Ambient Intimacy Lisa Reichelt: “Ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible.” read on! […]

  • M1K3¥’s Blog » Blog Archive » links for 2007-06-04 May 17, 2007

    […] disambiguity – » Ambient Intimacy interesting.. (tags: networking presence twitter ambient-intimacy) […]

  • disambiguity - » Reboot 9.0 - Ambient Intimacy May 17, 2007

    […] I spent some time last week at the fabulous Reboot conference and was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to share some ideas around concept of Ambient Intimacy, which I continue to find fascinating. It was great to have the opportunity to develop and share my thoughts. […]

  • "no sleep til utrecht" « Second Verse May 17, 2007

    […] disambiguity – » Ambient Intimacy “Ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible.” […]

  • Ode to a twitter. « Vendorprisey May 17, 2007

    […] Via James  I found Ted, who links to Leisa Reichelt on Amibent Latency. (two new adds to the feed) Ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible. Flickr lets me see what friends are eating for lunch, how they’ve redecorated their bedroom, their latest haircut. Twitter tells me when they’re hungry, what technology is currently frustrating them, who they’re having drinks with tonight. […]

  • iStalkr and life aggregation « Green Tea Ice Cream May 17, 2007

    […] Anyway, whether you call it ambient intimacy or lifestream or flow (my own catch phrase – we all need a good catch phrase, right? – being the diaspora of you), a number of Web 2.0 start-ups are working to aggregate and mediate the socialisation of this loosely joined stream of personal information. The latest one I’ve stumbled across is iStalkr. I’m not sure about the slightly menacing concept behind the brand but their intent is to provide a visual representation of your lifestream (a little bit like Journal in Outlook, though I’ve admittedly never got the hang of that) through pulling together all your LastFM, twitter, RSS feeds etc into one coherent stream. Here’s mine, which looks a little empty right now. may I should get a life. Tumblr is another, simpler implementation of a similar concept but is less explicitly social. […]

  • Ambient Intimacy « Phone Scoop Blog May 17, 2007

    […] This post on ambient intimacy – even though the second half of the post has nothing to do with mobile phones – got me thinking about the way i, and many other mobile rangers, are sharing our lives. We are using dead simple applications to share tiny bits of our lives very often. We are doing this because these sharing services are both dead simple to use and also because they’re multi-modal. I can add a post, or check the posts of people i care about, in a variety of ways – including from any mobile phone. Both these factors don’t just effect what i share, since my posts are limited to 140 characters or a picture or a video, they effect how often i share things – which is quite often. And most my friends on these services do the same. […]

  • roblef dot com » Blog Archive » links for 2007-05-29 May 17, 2007

    […] disambiguity – » Ambient Intimacy read it. is all I gotta say (tags: intimacy web_2.0 ellis twitter) […]

  • Silent Lucidity » links for 2007-05-28 May 17, 2007

    […] Ambient Intimacy Ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible. (tags: relationships community twitter social-software flickr communication) […]

  • mikevu.com » Blog Archive » Ambient Intimacy May 17, 2007

    […] I came across this interesting article focusing on what the author calls “ambient intimacy.”  Ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible.  Flickr lets me see what friends are eating for lunch, how they’ve redecorated their bedroom, their latest haircut. Twitter tells me when they’re hungry, what technology is currently frustrating them, who they’re having drinks with tonight. […]

  • About Blogging...and ambient intimacy « Otis Toy Design Department May 17, 2007

    […] Read on. […]

  • Identity crises and the Diaspora of You « Green Tea Ice Cream May 17, 2007

    […] Don’t know yet. Once upon a time, remember, this was the norm and now that real villages of one kind or another seem to be forming again – my parenting blog definitely lives in a little village of people I’ve never met but who’s everyday rhythm of life is increasingly familiar to me – being immersed in the flow of other people’s lives (I relate this to the concept of ambient intimacy outlined by Leisa Reichelt) is gradually becoming our default state of existence once again. […]

  • Clunky Flow » Q: What the hell is the point of Twitter? A: Uh, its like sorta Ambient Intimacy? May 17, 2007

    […] Excerpted from a this post by Leisa Reichelt I find myself talking about Twitter quite a lot. I’m not the only one. The behaviours that Twitter has made more visible are tremendously interesting. […]

  • The Exodus from Twitter to Jaiku : UberNoggin: Big Brains - Big Ideas May 17, 2007

    […] ** And yet another: Lisa Reichelt’s theory of Ambient Intimacy for Twitter digg_url=’http://ubernoggin.com/?p=13′; digg_skin = ‘button’; digg_bgcolor = ‘#FFFFFF’; digg_title = ‘The Exodus from Twitter to Jaiku’; digg_bodytext = ”; digg_topic = ”; Powered by Gregarious (42) Share This […]

  • Converge » Using Twitter May 17, 2007

    […] An aside: Leisa Reichelt calls the phenomena Ambient Intimacy – “being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible.” […]

  • disambiguity - » Summertime is for speaking May 17, 2007

    […] Reboot 9.0 – I’m off to Copenhagen at the end of the month to go to Reboot for the first time. I’ve heard rave reviews of this conference and can’t wait to experience it myself. I’m going to be talking about Ambient Intimacy (in the middle of preparing the presentation right now and *really* enjoying it!) […]

  • Pas capté Twitter? at Climb to the Stars (Stephanie Booth) May 17, 2007

    […] Un seul exemple parce que j’ai la flemme de chercher plus loin, mais cet argument est régulièrement avancé par ceux qui visiblement n’ont pas pris le temps (vu ce qui précède, je ne vais pas jeter la pierre) de comprendre comment fonctionnent les relations humaines et l’intimité en particulier. Ce sont “les petites choses de la vie” qui font les gens proches. Et l’intimité ambiante qu’apporte Twitter peut aider à garder vivants ou même renforcer les liens distendus par la distance (c’est moche ou poétique, à vous de choisir). Certains l’ont compris: […]

  • Yoick: Connect, Interact, Create and Share » Blog Archive » Twitter 2.0: tapping the AttentionStream May 17, 2007

    […] Over time we will begin to see these loose wires meld into a seamless AttentionStream. This won’t happen overnight and I expect we will see other ‘wires’ form in the interim. Ruminating on that I extrapolate that we will see Twitter 2.0 some time soon – the question is what will it look like. What other than reducing blogging to the phatic function will resonate and more importantly, will bring us one step closer to a melded AttentionStream. […]

  • Defrag blog » Ambient Intimacy May 17, 2007

    […] Leisa Reichelt has applied an interesting new term to all of the “twitterness” going on in the valley as of late — “ambient intimacy.” Quoting her: […]

  • James Governor’s Monkchips » If Markets Are Conversations Then Twitter Is Money May 17, 2007

    […] With Twitter I can get up to date with my network in less than half an hour – the beauty of the 140 character limit for messages. One of Kathy’s last posts before some thugs scared her off the blogosphere argued that Twitter was Too Good. I am more aligned with Tara Hunt and Lisa Reichelt (Ambient Intimacy). […]

  • Reluctant Blogger » “Ambient intimacy” sounds about right May 17, 2007

    […] From Disambiguity via loose wire. I have a similar post on hallway conversations (not nearly as nicely phrased) that I will port over this week: Ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible. Flickr lets me see what friends are eating for lunch, how they’ve redecorated their bedroom, their latest haircut. Twitter tells me when they’re hungry, what technology is currently frustrating them, who they’re having drinks with tonight. […]

  • Jane’s » Blog Archive » Copresence cropping up again: Ambient intimacy May 17, 2007

    […] Ha, I think I finally found the answer to the question: Why do people like to take pictures of their breakfast and put them online? One Leisa Reichelt talks about what she calls Ambient Intimacy, which can be considered a form of copresence. In a nutshell, ambient intimacy is about sharing mundane, everyday things with people we know, in a casual, unobtrusive way, which can create for the consumer a sense of presence and of “being involved”: Through transmission of information about the producer’s environment (images, sound, textual descriptions), a shared “mental” space is established which both the producer and the consumer can relate to. […]

  • The definition of intimacy exceeds 140 characters.* » melle.ca May 17, 2007

    […] Then today I happened to read this post: Ambient Intimacy, and I really enjoyed it, it really got my brain juiced up… I disagreed with almost every bit of it. The author is one of the “others” — someone who uses it and values it. […]

  • Ambient Intimacy « Lost In Oregon May 17, 2007

    […] April 3, 2007 at 1:25 pm · Filed under Uncategorized Excellent article about how media and communication sharing services like Flickr, and Twitter are breaking down the barriers of formal communication. Read on to understand and link through to the full article: disambiguity – » Ambient Intimacy Ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible. Flickr lets me see what friends are eating for lunch, how they’ve redecorated their bedroom, their latest haircut. Twitter tells me when they’re hungry, what technology is currently frustrating them, who they’re having drinks with tonight. […]

  • links for 2007-03-29 May 17, 2007

    […] Ambient Intimacy (tags: twitter social web2.0 psychology relationships) […]

  • vallery.net » Blog Archive » What is Web 3.0? A review of the ICWSM May 17, 2007

    […] Evan also presented a quote from Lisa Reichelt about ambient intimacy that describes Twitter. Ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible. Flickr lets me see what friends are eating for lunch, how they’ve redecorated their bedroom, their latest haircut. Twitter tells me when they’re hungry, what technology is currently frustrating them, who they’re having drinks with tonight. […]

  • Ambient intimacy May 17, 2007

    […] Twitter’s Evan Williams is giving and invited talk at ICWSM and just sowed a good quote from Leisa Reichelt. Ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible. Flickr lets me see what friends are eating for lunch, how they’ve redecorated their bedroom, their latest haircut. Twitter tells me when they’re hungry, what technology is currently frustrating them, who they’re having drinks with tonight. These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. […]

  • Ted Leung on the Air » Blog Archive » More thoughts on Ambient Intimacy and Twitter May 17, 2007

    […] After several months of Twitter usage, Leisa Reichelt’s characterization of Twitter as Ambient Intimacy still resonates with me. I have some more thoughts on ambient intimacy in the context of Twitter, and I’m going to take them in the reverse order of the catchphrase. […]

  • Design de Interação » Blog Archive » WWAD? May 17, 2007

    […] E não é que, lendo as mensagens sobre o twitter, em uma das listas de discussão que participo, me deparo com um link para um post com um texto sobre o tal Twitter. Depois de ler o post, vou para a página inicial do blog e vejo o que mais parece um presente: um post que nos lembra o que a Apple faz: paper prototyping e user research. […]

  • The primates of Twitter « Factory Joe May 17, 2007

    […] The primates of Twitter Henry Halff, Larry’s dad, makes a very interesting comment: It’s been proposed (sorry that I can’t dig up the reference) that we humans in our earlier days formed bonds amongst ourselves through mutual grooming and that these grooming circles were limited in size to about 50. […]

  • Climb to the Stars (Stephanie Booth) May 17, 2007

    Twitter, c’est quoi? Explications……

    Cet après-midi, je ramasse 20minutes dans le bus, et je vois qu’on y parle de Twitter. Bon sang, il est grand temps que j’écrive le fichu billet en français que je mijote depuis des semaines au sujet de ce service que j’adore (apr….

  • Meriblog: Meri Williams’ Weblog » links for 2007-03-14 May 17, 2007

    […] disambiguity – » Ambient Intimacy “Ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible.” (tags: twitter adoption behaviour ambientintimacy greatterm conversation community social socialsoftware) […]

  • disambiguity - » If it wasn’t for Twitter I wouldn’t be here… May 17, 2007

    […] People ask me what I think of Twitter and whether it’s really important or useful. I’ve already said a bit about it, but here’s a funny story. […]

  • innonate » Blog Archive » links for 2007-03-08 May 17, 2007

    […] disambiguity – » Ambient Intimacy Ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible. Flickr lets me see what friends are eating for lun (tags: twitter social community relationships ambient flickr sociology web2.0) […]

  • sandoz » Blog Archive » Ambient Intimacy May 17, 2007

    […] Leisa has branded this wave of [micro-communication+social openness] as ambient intimacy in this great post. […]

  • Ted Leung on the Air » Blog Archive » Ambient Intimacy - I love it. May 17, 2007

    […] Leisa Reichelt has coined the term Ambient Intimacy to describe the value of Twittter. For some reason, this turn of phrase really resonates with me. [So, yet another RedMonk recommended blogger enters the 30 day evaluation folder in NetNewsWire…] […]

  • Web Worker Daily » Blog Archive Workstreaming: The New Face Time « May 17, 2007

    […] There are a wide variety of tools that might be used for workstreaming, and which ones suit you and your team depend both on what kind of work you do and what tools your coworkers are using. It’s not effective to use an IRC channel if you’re the only one on the team who knows what IRC stands for, but it can be great for a techie crowd. Twitter creates a virtual shared office space that can reproduce the chatter and intimacy of a physical office while allowing team members to share what they’re working on and what they’ve completed. RSS feeds from blogs, message boards, photo sites, and project management apps could all provide useful workstreams—especially if these are aggregated for a whole team. Source code control systems like Subversion can output RSS feeds too so you can make team members aware of new features and bug fixes as they’re checked in. […]

  • People Over Process » Blog Archive » links for 2007-03-03 May 17, 2007

    […] Ambient Intimacy “It helps us get to know people who would otherwise be just acquaintances. It makes us feel closer to people we care for but in whose lives we’re not able to participate as closely as we’d like.” Yuh! (tags: twitter socialsoftware ambientintimacy people via:JamesGovernor) […]

  • James Governor’s Monkchips » links for 2007-03-02 May 17, 2007

    […] disambiguity – » Ambient Intimacy Anne says this is the best post yet on twitter. i still say its telepathy but citing Bakhtin is always a winning strategy. quite the critical theory day with Bakhtin and flaneurs turning up. I think we’ll see more mashups of critical theory and network ar (tags: criticaltheory Twitter telepathy adoption) […]

  • tech decentral » links for 2007-03-02 May 17, 2007

    […] disambiguity – » Ambient Intimacy This is the best post I’ve read yet on Twitter. Leisa: right on. (tags: twitter relationships networking social) […]

  • James Governor’s Monkchips » A Twitter use case: RSVP (Really Simple Voting Poll) May 17, 2007

    […] But I think the app can have some real utility, above and beyond ambient intimacy. So I am looking for 1000 followers to the RedMonkRSVP twitter id. The idea is that we will be able to run instant polls according to our, and your, research ideas. Sort of a lightweight yougov poll. Twitter was never intended for this but I would like to try it and I need your help. Please get people to sign up and lets start twittering the wisdom of the crowds. I don’t have an infrastructure in place to aggregate and query results, but when did that ever stop anyone from achieving cool things? I am hoping that the folks from Adobe will grab the jump ball and build a Flex app to record results from inbound replies (Ted, Duane?) […]