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Our Relationship To Technology: Is Your Smartphone In Charge, Or You? [en]

Our Relationship To Technology: Is Your Smartphone In Charge, Or You? [en]

[fr] Une réflexion sur notre relation à la technologie. C'est pas aussi simple que "addiction! addiction! au secours!".

Today’s post, again, brought to you by an article of Loïc Le Meur’s: Why are we checking our smartphones 150x a day? (Remember when Loïc was a blogger?) He links to a video with the catchy title “After I saw this, I put down my phone and didn’t pick it up for the rest of the day”.

I have mixed feelings about this kind of discussion.

  • On the one hand, I think we need to strive to be those in charge of our use of devices, and not victims of the operant conditioning of modern technology.
  • On the other hand, I think that framing the issue of our relationship with technology as addiction is counter-productive, as it puts the blame on technology and removes responsibility from users.

It’s also not a new conversation, and it pops up every now and again as “today’s big problem”. Hey, I was afraid I had “internet addiction” back in 1998. I read Silicon Snake Oil and The Psychology of Cyberspace, headed off to my chalet for a week, and stopped worrying.

As far as I’m concerned, I’m online a lot, both on my computer and on my phone, but I still perceive being on your phone when in human company as “impolite”. I try not to do it too much. So, usually, when I’m with other people, I won’t be on my phone, unless:

  • we’re playing with our phones: taking photos, looking at stuff together, etc.
  • there is something I need to attend to (I apologize and try and be quick)
  • I’m looking something up to help us solve a problem or get information we need
  • we’re spending quite some time together and are both having “phone-time”

I’m aware this doesn’t mean much: with the same description I could be glued to my phone all the time. How do you define “something I need to attend to”?

So, some context.

My phone is in silent mode, and I have very few notifications set (same on my computer). It usually lives at the bottom of my bag. When I’m working, there are chances it’s next to me on my desk. It’s often charging or abandoned in another room when I’m at home.

I’ll check it somewhat compulsively when I’m on the bus, or when I’m using it “as a computer” to hang out online. If I’m with other people, as I said, I don’t take it out too much (though they’ll be the best judges about how much — I do take it out).

I suffer from FOMO like almost everyone who is connected today, I guess. But I don’t feel that I’m a slave to it. I read The Paradox of Choice many years ago and it really opened my eyes: today’s world is so full of possibilities. If you don’t want to succumb to the anxiety of too much choice and too many options, you need to be aware of what’s going on, and accept you’ll miss out. I try to be selective. I still struggle, but I know I’m going to miss out and it’s not the end of the world. (It’s in my social media survival kit, by the way.)

Why do we end up compulsively checking our phones and stuff? I think there are many reasons, and that’s why saying it’s an “addiction” is a way to frame the problem in a way that makes it difficult to address.

  • FOMO: with the internet, we have access to everything that is going on, all the time, everywhere. If we want to be “part of it”, hang out with the cool kids, or share the video that’ll get us 20 likes, we feel a pressure to “not miss” what is going on in the real-time stream. So we overload ourselves on the input side. We think we need to consume everything.
  • Operant conditioning: I’m clicker-training one of my cats, Tounsi. He knows that a click means a reward is coming. When I’m reinforcing a behaviour, I use an intermittent reinforcement schedule: he doesn’t get a reward with each click.
    See how this fits with digital interfaces, and even more strongly, social media? I think Kevin Marks is the first one who first pointed out this phenomenon to me, when I was having trouble taking breaks from my computer even though I had bad RSI.
    Suw Charman-Anderson wrote about how it applies to e-mail back in 2008. We check our mail, there might be some candy in there. We check Facebook, there might be a like or a comment. Nothing? It only makes the urge to check again more compelling: the next time could be rewarded!
    Yeah, dopamine plays a role in there. Understand how your brain works so you’re not a slave to your hormones and neurotransmitters.
  • Validation: we want to be loved and appreciated, and some of what we’re looking for online is just that. Oh, somebody responded to my post. Oh, somebody sent me a nice e-mail. Ooh. But people who thinks that this is the only thing in play round down our issue with technology to an “ego problem” (very fashionable). It doesn’t help. But yeah, if you feel that your drive for franticly checking your phone when you’re having dinner with a friend is just that, maybe it’s worth addressing.
  • Work: the other time when I ran off to my chalet to find some peace was in 2008, and it was not to escape technology. It was to escape work. Our relationships to work and technology are very much entwined. Often, when people say they’re “addicted to their email”, and you take the trouble to dig a bit, you realise the problem is not “email” but “work”. They can’t pull away from work. They work during the week-ends, the evenings, their holidays. This is, I believe, a bigger issue than technology. Our relationship to work, as a society, is unhealthy. (And: Americans, you have a way bigger problem here than us Swissies.)
  • Not engaging: people often look at “not engaging” as a consequence of excessive use of technology. It’s the message conveyed by the video Loïc linked to in his post. I think that’s missing the point that “not engaging” can be the objective here. Relationships are difficult. Being present is difficult. Being with oneself is difficult. Being present to life is difficult. We do many things to avoid doing all this. We veg’ in front of the TV. We talk about unimportant stuff to avoid dealing with what matters in our relationship. And, increasingly, we dive into our phones.
    In the past, I used my camera a lot to “find my place” in social gatherings that would otherwise make me feel awkward. If I’m the person taking photos, I have a place. I have a pretext for interacting with others. I can remove myself from what is going on to be the observer snapping pics. It’s much more difficult to find my place and be with others if I’m just me, with no escape.
    So when we look at somebody who has his nose in his phone during a dinner party, I’d also ask “what is he avoiding by not being present?”

I think I have a reasonably healthy relationship to technology — and work. I have my drinking completely under control 😉

So, a wrap-up:

  • I check my phone in the evening before going to bed, and it sleeps on my bedside table, on but mute, and it never wakes me up (except when I ask Siri to do so).
  • I generally keep my phone muted and in my bag and my notifications off (also on my computer!)
  • I understand how FOMO and operant conditioning work, I’m aware of my need for validation and how I react to the infinity of choices in the world around me.
  • I stop working at the end of the day, and on week-ends, and I take holidays. Real holidays, not work-holidays.
  • I “switch off” a couple of times a year, taking a week or a few days off somewhere with no internet, where I don’t work and use my computer mainly for writing and having fun with my photos. This helps me remember what it is like to live more slowly, and makes me want to bring some of that back into my “normal” life.
  • I try and give priority of my attention to the people I’m with offline, without being religious about it. If I do need to attend to my phone or online stuff when in company, I try not to “disconnect” from the person I’m with offline.
  • I consider that I am the one in charge of my relationship with technology, and strive for a healthy balance between my ability to spend time totally immersed and connected and multitasking, and my ability to be completely (as completely as possible) present to the “offline”, be it a book, a person, an activity, or myself.
  • Like so many things in life, it’s about having healthy boundaries.

When I shared Loïc’s post on Facebook, he commented that we seemed to have similar points of interest these days. For some time, I’ve found what Loïc is writing about much more interesting to me. It’s more personal. Less about business, more about life. Life has always been the thing that interests me the most. My interest for the internet and social media comes from my interest in how people connect and relate to each other.

Interestingly, this is also the kind of stuff I’ve decided to shift my work focus to. Labelling myself as a “social media” person doesn’t fit with what I really do and want to do, specially in the Swiss context where “social media = digital marketing”, something I have very little interest in and want to stay the hell away of. So I’m moving towards “I help you use technology better”. Helping people have a healthy relationship with tech, use it to do their work or whatever it is they need to get done better. Some of social media fits in there too, of course. But also stuff like (yes, still in 2013), learning to use and manage email properly. (I’m actually preparing a training proposal for a client on just that these very days.)

So, how’s your relationship to technology? Who is in charge, you or the compulsion to check if there is something more exciting going on?

Note: I wrote this article in one sitting, getting up once to go to the loo (!) and checking my phone’s lock screen on the way back (it’s charging in another room) to see if I had a message from my neighbour, as we had been exchanging messages earlier and made a vague plan yesterday to maybe hang out together and look at cat photos this morning.

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Website Pro Day 3: Results! [en]

Website Pro Day 3: Results! [en]

[fr] Le Website Pro Day 3 a porté ses fruits! Mon site professionnel anglais commence à ressembler à quelque chose. On y arrive!

A quand le WPD4?

After three days of hard work (which resulted, amongst other things, in a [server move](, a [WordPress upgrade](, [plugin hacking](, [updating](, and even [writing from scratch]( I finally got around to the meat: adding content to [my professional site](

I picked a temporary design ([Moo-Point theme]( with a little help from [Carlos]( for the header image) and between yesterday and today I’ve added a little bit of information to my [English-language professional site]( For example, check out the [speaking]( page *(I’m still [looking for a speaking agent](*. In the process, I’m discovering that I really suck at “information architecture” (I think I’m bastardizing the term somewhat to use it for this) — I mean what to put on which page and how to organise content.

It’s far from finished, but at least it’s starting to look like something.

When shall we organize Website Pro Day 4?

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Seesmic Addiction [en]

Seesmic Addiction [en]

After the initial doubts, addiction:

I’ve lost count of the number of videos I recorded. I’m drowning in them. I’m afraid you can’t easily track them down if you’re not the lucky holder of a Seesmic account (it’s still closed, though they’re working on opening it — there are 15’000 people on the waiting list for invites).

I did a short piece on WoWiPAD. I talked about upcoming posts here on CTTS. I spoke against conversation threading. I participated to the collective dissing of the expression “social graph”.

I left a nice message for Loïc, in French, to tell him I liked his service (I usually complain about his stuff more than praise it, so it’s worth noting).

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Seesmic Doubts [en]

Seesmic Doubts [en]

[fr] Le texte et la vidéo sont fondamentalement différents. Je ne pense pas qu'il soit possible de "recréer" un dynamique comme celle de Twitter avec du contenu vidéo.

So, now that I’ve discovered what [Loïc](’s startup, [Seesmic](, is about (thanks to [Ben]( [twittering his tests](, here is my initial reaction to [reading about it on Techcrunch](

> I’m not certain a “video-based Twitter” is a viable concept: the huge difference between video and text is that the latter is scannable, and that’s precisely what allows the presence/flow dimension in Twitter. You can “keep an eye” on a stream of text, but can you “keep an eye” on a stream of videos? Also, it takes much less time to keep up with a stream of text than with a stream of videos.

Me, commenting on Techcrunch

Now, not to say that Seesmic is doomed (that would be a bit pretentious of me) — and I haven’t checked it out directly — but I do want to go on record saying that the dynamics created by Twitter and other flow/presence apps with text cannot simply be transferred to other media.

If it turns out I’m right, I’ll be able to say “I told you so” — and if I’m wrong, nobody will care. 🙂

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FOWA: FireEagle (Tom Coates) [en]

FOWA: FireEagle (Tom Coates) [en]

[fr] Notes prises à l'occasion de la conférence Future of Web Apps (FOWA) à Londres.

*Here are my live notes of this [Future of Web Apps (FOWA)]( session. They are probably incomplete and may contain mistakes, though I do my best to be accurate. Chances are I’ll be adding links to extra material and photos later on, so don’t hesitate to come back and check.*

FOWA 2007 134

Share your location online. Capture and make sense of your location, share it with your friends, share it programmatically.

How Fire Eagle works.

Apps either get your location or use it in some way. Too heavily enmeshed with one another. Flickr is good at using your information, but bad at getting it (you have to enter it by hand). Plazes is good at getting location. So, problem, each time you build such an app you have to work on both sides.

Better model: one brilliant way of capturing location, then a whole bunch of services based on it.

Open APIs mean anyone can build a client and anyone can access the data (with permission). Central repository.

Input: postcode, address, GPS trace, co-ordinates, neighbourhood name, village/town/city…

The service: a way of handling the data in the middle and APIs on the outside. A bit like PayPal, a service in the middle.

You give other services permission to access your information.

Example: Dopplr gives my location (London) to FireEagle. Then, I manually update my location on mobile site (“Victoria Dock Thingy”). Or I could broadcast location from my phone. (The app exists for certain phones already.) Then I can decide to share more or less precisely where I am with various applications. I open my laptop at a café, Plazes sends Fire Eagle my location. Then, I take a picture and send a geotagged picture to the web. Site updates my location.

Twitter maps application: I only want updates from my friends if they’re in London. *steph-note: that would be great!!* Proximizer: know how close your boss is. Friends and family widgets.

Being honorable with your data (privacy, ethics, etc). Because, in fact, why would I want to put that information anywhere? Because it’s profoundly useful and fun to do so. Possible to share location without being invasive. Also, exposing your logs to you. Possibility to purge your data. If you’re doing something naughty (buying your partner a present secretly), “hide me” button. Private places.

Possible problem: people forget they’re sharing. The app can check back and remind them.

FOWA 2007 135

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FOWA: The Future of Presence (Felix Petersen & Jyri Engeström) [en]

FOWA: The Future of Presence (Felix Petersen & Jyri Engeström) [en]

[fr] Notes prises à l'occasion de la conférence Future of Web Apps (FOWA) à Londres.

*Here are my live notes of this [Future of Web Apps (FOWA)]( session. They are probably incomplete and may contain mistakes, though I do my best to be accurate. Chances are I’ll be adding links to extra material and photos later on, so don’t hesitate to come back and check.*

Felix does Plazes. Story: in 2004, original idea to build some location-based service for networks. Geo-annotated database of Wifi networks. At some point, where is the benefit for the everyday user? (Some nerds find it exciting to add data to a database, but not for everybody…) User base strong in certain cities rather than certain countries.

Jyri does Jaiku. Story: in 2006. Help people have a better social peripheral vision. We spend a lot of time physically disconnected from people we care about. Presence or activity stream. What are you doing right now? Not just things that people type, but also items automatically generated by what you’re doing online.

Brian: are Jaiku and Plazes “presence” apps?

FOWA 2007 101

Felix: presence is kind of a by-product of the network, software stuff. You’re connected to the network, and that makes it possible for the tool to broadcast your presence. But at the beginning, could only be somewhere if there was wifi… which is a problem! Need to be able to add small messages. (e.g. “I’m at the airport, leaving for London” — or “just here for another 20 minutes”) Coordinates don’t give you a lot of context.

Jyri: we’re still figuring out the language to talk about these services (e.g. “micro-blogging”). The important part is bringing people together, by enabling them to have this social peripheral vision.

Felix: actually, lots of services have been used like that for a long time, but we didn’t have specific tools for this. E.g. Felix used his blog in 2002 to keep people updated on where he was, and to send links rather than by e-mail. Shift from *push* to *pull*. *steph-note: ditto.* Lots of presence updates all over the place. Now it’s made more explicit by our tools that we’re doing that.

Brian: exciting idea, get all these things to talk together. How are you guys designing your systems to be open?

Jyri: social network portability… importing your friends/buddies from one service to another. Would it make sense for me to import my dog-loving friends from Dogster into my professional network in LinkedIn? *steph-note: I think it could make sense, if there is structure to the network. Maybe your dog-loving friends have great professional opportunities for you, but you’re not aware of it because of the circle in which you interact.* Getting rid of silos (IM, phones, e-mail…). The answer isn’t “everybody go on Facebook”. We want Facebook to be a player in a larger system which is *the internet*.

Felix: more about interoperability. Hard to figure out: harmonisation of the objects.

Brian: [Jeremy Keith’s lifestream]( *steph-note: the colors make it really readable*

Felix: as long as people are able to get their data out, it’s already a good thing.

Brian: Jaiku Mac client allows you to see what your friends are doing in a granular way. *steph-note: need to check it out*

Jyri: the image that comes to mind when you say “social network” is the graph of the relationships. But there’s a problem there: people are connected to one another [through some type of object](, for a reason. In Jaiku: reporting on the actions that people have performed on these objects (tagging a photo, favoriting a video…).

Felix: at the beginning, was just “I’m here now”. What is the “shared object”? In Plazes, I could share the location, but not “me being at FOWA tomorrow”. That’s where it confused people. No way to share or reference it. Blogging was a step forward because you can reference a single post, and do things with it.

Brian: are you building tools that many social networks might use, or are you building communities?

Felix: are we a community or a service? We’re a service, but we’re socially enabled. A service that different people can use in different ways, but it’s a social service.

Jyri: what’s going on on the web has to do with becoming more fluid. e.g. in social science, people are not just talking about social networks, but knots in the social network — transient. Jaiku is based on Jabber, so very different from usual LAMP systems. Creating a load on other servers to pull feeds — unnecessary load, and not real-time. A photo on Flickr has comments on Flickr, but also on Jaiku — not good, we’d like that to be one conversation. But very difficult to do. XMPP protocol to keep conversations in sync, maybe? This is a different approach to what we’re used to when building web pages.

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Manuel de survie Twitter pour francophones [fr]

Manuel de survie Twitter pour francophones [fr]

[en] A survival guide to Twitter in French. If you're an English-speaker, head over to the Twitter support site or fan wiki.

**Mise à jour 03.2010:** Une grande partie de ces instructions (tout ce qui touche aux SMS, en particulier) n’est plus valable aujourd’hui. Par contre, les explications sur la nature de Twitter et son caractère public restent valables.

Cela fait des mois que je veux écrire ce « manuel de survie Twitter pour francophones ». Si vous débarquez (vous êtes pardonnables, ne vous en faites pas), filez vite lire [Twitter, c’est quoi ? Explications…]( ou écouter [la Capsule de Pain consacrée à Twitter]( Si votre première réaction est de l’ordre de « c’est nul, ce truc ! », vous pouvez encore lire [Pas capté Twitter](

En très simple, Twitter est un service qui vous invite à envoyer la réponse à la question “que faites-vous en ce moment?” à vos amis — par internet ou par SMS.

Vous êtes encore là ? Très bien. Voici **trois points importants à retenir** :

– avec Twitter, on ne choisit pas à qui on envoie ses messages ; ce sont les destinataires qui choisissent ce qu’ils veulent recevoir
– Twitter permet de faire la jointure entre le Web et le téléphone mobile ; le service y fonctionne de façon quasi identique
– Twitter ne devient véritablement intéressant que lorsque l’on est connecté à plusieurs personnes. N’hésitez donc pas à convaincre deux ou trois amis de s’inscrire en même temps que vous.

**En pratique**, comment est-ce que ça se passe ? Je vais vous présenter deux façons de vous inscrire (sur le Web et par SMS). Ensuite, je vous apprendrai les quelques commandes importantes pour pouvoir utiliser cet outil de façon agréable.

#### Inscription par SMS

Si vous avez reçu un SMS d’invitation de la part de Twitter, c’est sans doute que l’un de vos amis, déjà utilisateur du service, désire que vous le rejoignez.

Si vous n’avez pas reçu d’invitation, rien n’est perdu! Il vous suffit d’envoyer un SMS au +447624801423 (le numéro de Twitter) avec votre première mise à jour. Twitter vous répondra par un SMS demandant de choisir un nom.

Répondez au SMS de Twitter par un message contenant le nom d’utilisateur que vous aurez choisi. Vos amis utiliseront ce nom pour s’adresser à vous ou vous envoyer des messages directs. Gardez-le simple ! Les messages que vous envoyez à Twitter seront disponibles à l’adresse'Utilisateur (voir plus bas, « C’est public ! »).

Ajoutez également le numéro de Twitter à vos contacts.

**Attendez** le SMS de confirmation de Twitter. (Si vous êtes trop pressés, comme il m’est arrivé, votre deuxième message risque de dépasser le premier, et vous vous retrouverez avec un nom d’utilisateur faisant 15 km de long. On peut le changer par la suite, mais c’est embêtant.) Si le SMS n’arrive pas, je vous suggère de passer directement à l’étape d’inscription sur le Web, que vous devrez faire de toute façon.

Lorsque vous allez finaliser votre inscription sur le site Web et que vous utilisez déjà Twitter, on vous invite à [spécifier d’entrée votre numéro de téléphone](, qui sera ainsi automatiquement relié à votre compte.

Twitter par SMS

Attention, utiliser le format international de votre numéro de téléphone ! (Pour la Suisse, il commencera avec +41…) La suite de la procédure d’inscription à la même que si vous n’aviez pas encore commencé à utiliser votre téléphone avec Twitter.

#### Inscription sur le Web

*Si vous n’avez pas été invité par SMS, et que vous voulez faire tout ça sur le Web, il faut commencer ici.*

Bon, c’est en anglais, mais ce n’est vraiment pas sorcier. Direction [le formulaire d’inscription]( (si vous avez fait l’étape précédente, vous y êtes déjà) :

Twitter / Create an Account

Pas dur, non ? Vous pouvez maintenant vous lancer :


Si le coeur vous en dit, [ajoutez une photo]( pour vous représenter et [quelques informations supplémentaires](

#### Activer les SMS

*Attention, étape inutile si vous avez commencé à utiliser Twitter depuis votre téléphone mobile.*

Pour que tout soit bien, il nous faut ajouter le téléphone mobile. N’ayez crainte, Twitter ne fonctionne pas aux SMS surtaxés. En Suisse en tout cas, recevoir des SMS ne vous coûte rien, et envoyer un SMS à Twitter, même si le numéro de téléphone est anglais, coûte la même chose qu’envoyer un SMS en Suisse.

Twitter: ajouter téléphone

Twitter va vous demander de confirmer votre numéro de téléphone en envoyant un SMS avec un code. Cela évite que des personnes malintentionnées n’utilisent votre numéro de téléphone pour s’inscrire !

#### C’est public !

Prudence ! Rappelez-vous que les messages que vous envoyez avec Twitter apparaissent sur le Web : n’importe qui peut donc les lire. [Même avec un pseudonyme](, quelqu’un pourrait un jour vous reconnaître. Tenez-en donc compte.

Vous avez bien entendu la possibilité de protéger vos messages en cochant la case « Protect my updates » sur la [page des réglages]( Ils ne seront visibles qu’aux personnes qui décident de vous suivre, ce que n’importe qui peut faire sans demander votre autorisation, même si vous avez la possibilité de bloquer certaines personnes après coup et à qui vous aurez donné votre autorisation.

Cela ne rend pas vos messages privés, mais vous donne un peu de discrétion. Gardez à l’esprit que vos mises à jour vont apparaître sur les pages de ceux qui vous suivent, et qu’il est vite fait d’oublier que quelque chose est privé. Une saisie d’écran, c’est si facile!

Comme toujours, donc, les choses « privées » que l’on ne désire pas mettre sous les yeux de tout le monde (inconnus, mais surtout amis) ne devraient pas se mettre sur Internet, sauf dans un espace protégé par un bon mot de passe (et encore…)

#### Inviter des amis

Plus on est de fous, plus on rit, et plus on est d’amis, plus Twitter montre sa valeur. Inviter donc quelques amis à vous rejoindre, surtout s’ils se connaissent ! Envoyez-leur aussi l’adresse de ce guide de survie pour leur faciliter la tâche.

La formule magique, c’est « invite +417xxxxxxxx », sans les guillemets et en remplaçant le numéro de téléphone par celui de votre ami bien entendu, que vous pouvez envoyer par SMS à Twitter ou bien [directement par le Web](

Ils recevront donc un SMS d’invitation de la part de Twitter, auquel ils pourront répondre comme décrit plus haut.

#### Suivre des personnes déjà inscrites

Si vous connaissez des personnes qui sont déjà chez Twitter, demandez-leur leur nom d’utilisateur. Vous pouvez les ajouter soit en envoyant le message « on nomd’utilisateur » à Twitter, soit en vous rendant sur leur page Twitter (’utilisateur) et en cliquant sur le petit bouton « Follow » qui se trouve au-dessous de leur nom :

Twitter -- Follow

Ensuite, cliquer sur le bouton « on » pour activer la réception des messages de cette personne par SMS :

Twitter, SMS on

En cherchant, vous pourrez trouver les [annonces officielles Twitter]( ainsi que les comptes de la joyeuse équipe qui fabrique ce merveilleux outil : [biz](, [ev](, [jack](, [blaine](, [britt](… Moi, je suis [par ici](…

#### Gérer ces satanés SMS

Suivant combien de personnes vous décidez de suivre, vous courez le risque de vous retrouver assez rapidement inondé de SMS — particulièrement si vous comptez parmi vos amis des irrépressibles bavards [comme moi]( En plus, on a tous des seuils de tolérance aux SMS différents.

Heureusement, Twitter nous donne le moyen de gérer tout ça. Ce qu’il faut comprendre, c’est qu’il y a une différence entre les personnes auxquelles vous êtes abonnées et les personnes dont vous recevez les notifications.

– Les messages des personnes auxquelles vous êtes abonnées apparaissent sur votre [page d’accueil](
– Les messages des personnes dont vous recevez les notifications arrivent sur votre téléphone portable.

Il est donc possible de « suivre » ou autrement dit, d’être abonné aux messages de nombreuses personnes, et de garder ainsi un oeil plus ou moins distrait sur leur quotidien ou leurs activités, sans être pour autant noyé sous les SMS. Il est possible de :

– désactiver les notifications par SMS : « off »
– réactiver les notifications par SMS : « on »
– désactiver les SMS de telle heure à telle heure (pendant la nuit par exemple)

De plus, on peut choisir de ne recevoir des notifications que pour certaines personnes. Par exemple, je suis abonnée à près de 200 personnes sur Twitter, mais je ne reçois sur mon téléphone portable que les notifications d’une toute petite dizaine de personnes proches.

On peut donc contrôler, personne par personne, si on veut recevoir leurs notifications par SMS :

– pour arrêter de recevoir les notifications par SMS d’une certaine personne (par exemple quelqu’un qui parle trop !) : « off nomd’utilisateur »
– pour commencer à recevoir les notifications par SMS d’une personne (par exemple quelqu’un dont on a auparavant désactivé les notifications mais que l’on désire de nouveau ajouter, au quelqu’un dont on ne reçoit pas habituellement les notifications mais qu’on veut recevoir sur son téléphone portable pour une raison ou pour une autre en ce moment) : « on nomd’utilisateur »

On peut aussi faire ses réglages depuis le Web :

Twitter : following detail

Un petit truc : si vous êtes en train de recevoir les notifications pour beaucoup de personnes, cela peut être fastidieux d’aller les désactiver une à une. La commande « leave all » permet de faire le nettoyage par le vide et de désactiver les notifications de tout le monde. Vous pouvez ensuite ajouter manuellement les quelques personnes dont vous désirez recevoir les notifications par SMS.

Si vous ne recevez pas les notifications d’une personne, mais que vous désirez tout de même recevoir par SMS le dernier message qu’elle a envoyé à Twitter : « get nomd’utilisateur ».

#### Web, SMS… Et quoi d’autre ?

Que vous utilisiez Mac ou Windows, il y a un petit programme très sympathique que vous pouvez installer (c’est gratuit !) et qui vous donnera directement accès aux messages Twitter des gens auxquels vous êtes abonnés, sans que vous ayez à vous embêter à aller sur leur site Web à chaque fois. Il ressemble un peu aux programmes d’« instant messaging », comme MSN par exemple.

– pour Mac : [Twitterrific](
– pour Windows : [Twitteroo](

#### Et la messagerie instantanée ?

Oui… On peut aussi choisir de recevoir les messages Twitter par messagerie instantanée (Jabber, Google Talk). À mon avis, ce n’est intéressant que si vous recevez la messagerie instantanée sur votre téléphone portable, et si ça vous coûte moins cher que des SMS. En Suisse, ce n’est pas encore vraiment le cas.

Sur l’ordinateur, je dirais que c’est plus dangereux qu’autre chose, surtout si les gens que vous suivez sur Twitter sont des gens avec qui vous chattez : vous risquez de ne pas réaliser que le message vient via Twitter, et d’y répondre comme si vous chattiez (en privé !) avec votre ami. Du coup, risque d’envoyer à toutes les personnes qui sont abonnées à vos messages Twitter un message que vous ne destiniez qu’à une seule personne… Ça peut être embêtant !

En plus, si votre client de messagerie instantanée est réglé pour envoyer une auto-réponse, ces auto-réponses risquent d’être envoyées comme messages Twitter… Pas forcément très embêtant, mais ce n’est pas très classe !

#### Les messages directs

Vous pouvez envoyer à une personne qui vous suit sur Twitter un message direct (privé) : « d nomd’utilisateur texte de votre message ». Attention, vous ne savez pas si cette personne va recevoir votre message sur son téléphone portable ou non !

#### D’autres questions ?

D’autres questions, quelque chose qui n’est pas clair ? Laissez un mot dans les commentaires je me ferai un plaisir d’y répondre.

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Supernova Open Space: Presence [en]

Supernova Open Space: Presence [en]

[fr] Notes de conférence/discussion.

*Random, scattered notes. Not necessarily understandable. Might contain outright mistakes — I don’t always understand everything. No who-said-what either, sorry.*

Classicly, presence comes from IM. Now, more to do with context.

Systems try to define presence for us, but in a way completely broken (“Away”: often not true). Kids: using SMS — just send it, get (or not) a response. Something muddy in the waters, because doesn’t really tell us, from a communications point of view, what we want to know. Can I talk to you? Can we chat? Fragmenting presence (Twitter, Jaiku, Facebook).

Different types of interruptions. Buddy list groups.

*steph-note: damn, really incapable of participating AND taking notes. Really really spotty notes.*

Difference between “conversation” and “communication”.

Jaiku as stream of consciousness of your community. *steph-note: that’s why it feels different (finally nailed it!) — it’s more about thoughts and intellectual/media production than about actual presence. Twitter has a higher ratio of presence. It’s more focused (yes, even though it’s chatty/microbloggy).*

Social etiquette.

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My Twitter Usage Answers [en]

My Twitter Usage Answers [en]

[fr] Voici les réponses que j'ai données à danah boyd (chercheuse dans le domaine des espaces numériques) suite au questionnaire sur Twitter qu'elle a envoyé à ses "Twitter-friends". Le questionnaire est ouvert à tous si vous désirez lui envoyer vos réponses (mais en anglais, elle ne parle pas français!)

Yesterday, [danah]( sent me and a bunch of other Twitter users [a few questions to answer about our Twitter usage]( Here are my answers to her questions.

**1 Why do you use Twitter? What do you like/dislike about it?**

Twitter helps me stay connected to my “tribe”. I get little snippets
from them about what’s going on in their lives or minds, and they get
the same from me. It gives me the same kind of “in touch” feeling as
hanging out in an IRC channel, but with the added bonus that it’s “an
IRC channel populated by my IM buddylist” (well, not exactly of
course, not everybody is on Twitter, but close enough). And it’s IRC
with permalinks.

I can dump thoughts of the moment into it which are two short for a
blog post, and find them again later (micro-blogging). It’s an easy
way to let people know what I’m upto, as I publish my feed on my blog.

I like the people who hang out on Twitter. Most of “my important
online people” (people I like, those who count, in my world) are
there. I like being able to send messages to Twitter whether I’m
online or offline. I like the 140 character limit.

I don’t like the current “all or nothing” way of dealing with people
you follow. It makes getting twitters on my phone impossible, there
are too many of them. I’d like to be able to define groups, and
follow/unfollow certain groups easily on my phone. I don’t really like
the “all or nothing” privacy system: sometimes there is one message
I’d like to show only my friends, and not publish on my website like
the rest of my twitter stream. Or show a group of friends.

Oh, and I don’t like that direct twitters almost systematically come
up as two text messages on my phone.

But these things are are missing are “nice to haves” for me. What I
like most is that twitter sets out to do one thing (let you send short
status messages), and does it (in my opinion) pretty well.

**2 Who do you think is reading your Tweets? Is this the audience you want? Why/why not? Tell me anything you think of relating to the audience for your Tweets.**

At the beginning I kept my twitters/Tweets private. It felt too
IRC-like for me to make public. But then I realised that I wanted to
include the feed on my site, and that for that I had to go public. I
had a good think about this, also because I realised that if I started
out private, I was going to put private stuff in Twitter, and that
would prevent me from going public in future, as it would reveal my
past private twitters. So I decided the “safer” option was to go
public straight away (make sense?)

So, my main, most active audience is the people who are following me
on Twitter. I know many of them (my “friends”) but there are also many
I don’t know (“fans”?!). As my Twitter feed is published on my blog, I
know anybody who reads my blog or lands there can read them.

My attitude towards twittering (what do I twitter? what don’t I?) is
the same as with blogging: I assume everyone and anyone can read my
twitters, or is likely to at some point, whether friend, stranger, or
as-of-today-offline-person. So I make sure I’m reasonably comfortable
with anybody reading what I twitter, and balance risks when I’m saying
things about people. I’m aware that things I send to twitter have less
visibility for the “non 2.0” crowd, so I know I can get away with
certain things, even though the risk of being read is there.

I’m more “personal” in my Facebook status, for example — because I
know that (normally) future clients are not my friends on Facebook.
But I assume future clients read my blog 😉

As I mentioned in reply to your first question, I think selective
privacy would be a great thing for Twitter. Maybe I’d like my twitters
to be public by default, but every once in a while I’d like to send a
twitter which is visible only to my friends, or (if there is some kind
of [grouping feature]( to the group of [people I’ve tagged “my

**3 How do you read others’ Tweets? Do you read all of them? Who do you read/not read and why? Do you know them all?**

I skim twitters of the people I’m following, at regular intervals
during the day. Sometimes, I’ll click on a single person’s Twitter
page and read the last 10-20 they sent. There are a few people I’m
very close to for which I’ll do that a few times a day.

I usually follow people I know (and not strangers), though by the
magic of one-sided conversations on Twitter, I have come to add people
who were friends with a friend of mine (one could say we were
twitter-introduced), and who have since then become “my friends”.
There are a few people I follow “as a fan” — I wouldn’t expect them
to follow me back — but those are not the most important people in my

**4 What content do you think is appropriate for a Tweet? What is inappropriate? Have you ever found yourself wanting to Tweet and then deciding against it? Why?**

I guess my answer to the second question is also relevant here. My
twitters are public, so I’m not going to twitter stuff I would not
generally consider “blog-safe” (ie, I don’t speak about my love life,
I don’t comment on arguments I might be having with people who are
close to me, I’m quite careful when speaking of others in general, and
I don’t usually give details of my last visit at the doctor’s).

So, yes, of course I’ve found myself wanting to send something to
twitter and deciding against it — just like it happens every now and
again with blogging, on IRC, or in a conversation with a friend.
Sometimes I decide it is best not to say what I am tempted to say,
because it is not appropriate for this situation/relationship/medium.
But it’s not an attitude I relate to Twitter as such.

**5 Are your Tweets public? Why/why not? How do you feel about people you don’t know coming across them? What about people you do know?**

They’re public, for the reasons I explained in answer to question 2. I
adapt my twittering so that I’ll be comfortable with the audience it
technically makes available (ie, “everyone”, strangers and friends —
online or off — alike). Just as with my blogging.

**6 What do i need to know about why Twitter is/is not working for you or your friends?**

I’ve heard quite a few complaints about people who twitter a lot
(which can be me, on some days). I think the ability to be more
selective about whose twitters one receives on phone/im could help
with that (it’s already possible to unfollow a person from the phone,
but it’s a rather drastic “general” action, instead of saying “I’m
following him, but don’t give me his twitters on my phone, thanks”.

I think it works because it’s simple.

I think it “doesn’t work” for many people before they ever start using
it because it’s hard to “get”. Many people out there don’t “get it”,
because they reduce it to some kind of totally egocentric
micro-blogging spewing messages which have no value to the world. So
it can be rather hard to bring in people who are not familiar with
online presence.

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Weak Ties [en]

Weak Ties [en]

[fr] Plus que de savoir quels parfaits inconnus sont à l'endroit où je suis, je voudrais savoir quelles personnes avec lesquelles j'ai des liens faibles ("weak ties") sont dans le coin. Quelqu'un qui a commenté sur mon blog, par exemple, ou qui a participé à la même conférence que moi.

Kevin Marks says [we need a Weasley’s clock]( rather than a Marauder’s map. I generally agree with this. Most of the times, I’m more interested in knowing where (and when) the people I know (or the people I have weak ties with) are, than in knowing which complete strangers are where I am (or in letting complete strangers know who I am).

Unfortunately, in most systems, it’s too much work to get people on your “buddy list”. [Stowe](’s [talk at SHiFT]( encouraged me to take a second look at [my Plazes account](, which I had more or less given up on using because it systematically placed me at the other end of the country when I logged on.

I might be very interested in knowing I’m geographically close to somebody who commented on my blog, or on whose blog I commented. Or somebody who was at SHiFT but that I didn’t actually get a chance to talk to. What if a system like [Plazes]( was capable of doing that?

I finally understood at SHiFT what weak ties were, and I think this idea has all to do with them.

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