Micro-mediums and ubiquity

October 2011

The other day I posted a link on Facebook, sharing the new website that had just gone up for an app that I'm working on. After an initial comment from a university buddy of mine wondering how I'd gone from psychology to iPhone app development (I zigzag), the thread turned into a trip down memory lane with another very good friend from the same university. It ended with us arranging to meet in about a month.

What just happened?

How do you go from sharing a website link for an in-development iPhone app to arranging a meeting with a close friend in another country, all in the same comment thread on Facebook? Oh and I forgot to mention: at the time he was available to chat both on Facebook's live chat system and on Skype... This isn't banal. If you think about it, this is akin to planning your birthday party on a display on your microwave while your calendar (paper or digital) is in your pocket.

Something's changed, so gradually and subtly that you can't pinpoint the moment of the irrevocable shift. We're no longer talking about mediums. This is about micro-mediums and ubiquity. Cloud and mobile are the industry buzzwords these days, but (or indeed, because of that) it is easy to overlook the implications of introducing technologies which fundamentally alter the way we are able to do certain things.

Edit January '23: 12 years later, this isn't even just normal anymore, but old news and "duh" territory. What will another decade of tech bring?