One-to-one, instant communication in Facebook.

Hmmm…. I thought I had spoken about synchronous and asynchronous communications before? OH well, here goes. Some people like to receive messages and then, y’know, sit and think… so they prefer email to instant messages. And voicemail to phones. To Twitter or not to Twitter, that is the question.

Communication in social networks tend to be one-to-many, one-to one or many-to-many. Instant or delayed.

One-to-one instant would be instant messengers such as ICQ, IMVU, MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk and so on. Lots of investment in one-2-one instants. And yes, it’s possible to run a channel with more people so it’s not limited to 1-on-1.
One-to-one delayed communications would be oh, you know, email and so on.

One-to- many delayed comms is blogs. The blogger sets the agenda, the respondents keep to his/her topic. Bulletin Boards? Whatjathink? Many-to-many – with personal messaging included. So delayed, many-to-many, with one-to-one included. Many message boards include an instant thingie these days. Such as WHIM on

Virtual worlds tend to focus on instant messaging – broadcast IRC channels, and whispers to people online. Some offer internal email in the worlds – World of Warcraft – for example, so you can have delayed comms (one-to-one) as well. What’s the internal auctin house messages in WoW? One to many? I guess so.

I’ll let you work out the rest… play with podcasts, RSS (that one is confusing), listservs and so on – which are 1-2-1, 1-2-many, many-2-many, delayed/instant? Have fun.

Facebook’s version of instant one-2-many is the status update. Instant one-2-one would be the poke. *poke poke* Is that why the poke is so popular? Because it’s the only real instant updates you get – status updates tend to take their time and you can’t respond to a status update easily unless you do a Twitter or IRC and add a @username or 2 slash nick at the person.

EDIT: I forgot to add – Twitter has added the nudge. Which, given Twitter exemplifies the real time broadcast of updates, is an interesting move. It makes me think I should talk more about social texturing – how a ‘poke‘ or a ‘nudge‘ can be a “howdy, I’ve got nothing to say exceptthinking of you“, unlike an impersonal broadcast of “breakfast of champions – bacon and eggs“. Uh oh. Hungry for brekkie now šŸ™

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