Stepping into the Facebook Stream
as we are constructing new socially mediated worlds by linking our analog lives to digital representations, a re-reading of Heraclite’s Fragment 41 becomes necessary: “You could not step twice into the same river; for other waters are ever flowing on to you.“Webmonkey writes:
The Facebook â€œstreamâ€ is the constantly updating river of news that displays whatâ€™s going on with you, your friends and whatever tidbits theyâ€™re talking about or sharing. Facebook defines the stream as the â€œthe core Facebook product experience.â€ Thatâ€™s definitely been the case since last month, when the site changed its default page design to bring the stream front and center.
The Open Stream API gives developers access to that flood of real-time information, and not just to re-publish it elsewhere, but to publish to it and interact with it by leaving comments. Soon, weâ€™ll see specially-built third-party apps for interacting with Facebook, much like FriendFeed and similar sites allow for other social networking services. These apps will be able to let users filter content to see only specific types of posts, comment on items and mark items as favorites. These apps will be able to access Facebook from the desktop, through the browser and via mobile devices.
Now what types of applications would we want to transcend Heraclite’s wisdom? And what would that mean for humanity?