Life In The Slipstream

It's official then! Facebook is bigger than Google now in the US. The lead is miniscule at the moment but the trend of Facebook's growth over the last couple of months seems to be an undeniable indicator of a further movement in this direction.

But what does this all mean for us? There is a now a battle on between Google and Facebook. Both sites want to be your starting point for the experience of the web. While Google provides a highly efficient way of searching the net more are turning to social recommendations on Facebook. Social media can also put you in more direct contact with experts online where you can gain the information you require

Early guises of the internet were of static sites that did not change but this evolved into more dynamic web-content. It is now going one step further towards a continuous social streams of information. Facebook is currently capitalising on this while Google seems to be still coming up with ideas. Google's first proper venture into Social Networking, Buzz, was met with lots of privacy concerns which they are still trying to iron out.

For us digital life will be case of surfing and manoeuring around the online social slipstream which no-one person can really control or regulate entirely. While this is good for sharing information it can lead to a state of information overload. People may walk around with a smartphone in one hand and iPad in the other in a permanently distracted state. One big problem about all this is that you cannot easily switch off or disconnect easily especially with mobile web. Another is the issue of a growing digital divide between people who can afford the internet and take it for granted and those who do not have access. There may be many that are left behind while others rush ahead.

On the positive side, however, the possiblity for creating new communities that span the globe is immense though this must be handled with responsibility and care. It has implications for all parts of society from politics, to media, to business, to interpersonal relationships. Authenticity, transparency and trust are becoming vital commodities that hold all of this together.

For my part I hope that the sharing and collaborative aspects of online communities will far outweigh any downsides and we are moving from the darkness to a brite new world.

Social communities and the slipstream will be what we make it so we should strive to make it as positive and inclusive as possible.