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The future belongs to the emotional Web

Publié le 06 décembre 2009 par Jean-Christophe Capelli
LeWeb09 "The rise of the emotional web" by Yossi Vardi should be a a fascinating session during LeWeb'09.
With Real-Time-Web (most sucessful examples are Twitter and Facebook's newsfeed) users receive information as soon as it is published by its authors.
Due to the Real-Time-Web, "Internet is now all about the emotional layer" says Vardi. This remark echoes some of the concerns about the speed of information and Twitter articulated by Paul Virilio  last summer in this [FR] article. Let's quote Virilio (a French philosopher best known for his writings about technology):

"[Real-Time-Web and Twitter brings immediacy]. Immediacy is the opposite of information. Take Iran. At the very point empathy became real, Michel Jackson died and it was all over. The death of the King of Pop is celebrated universally and instantly. Then Iran is expelled from the realm of the immediate". Translation: TonyMcNeill.

Following this article, there have been reactions against Virilio from some pro-Twitter French bloggers (e.g. Fabrice Epelboin, Martin Lessard and Narvic).

Yes, we all know that Virilio is wrong regarding Twitter. "Twitter is not about information (the nature of tweets are often spontaneous comments quickly sketched that are reflected upon at a later point or are pointers to more developed reflection (e.g. in blog posts) says TonyMcNeill in this essay.

IMHO, these reactions focusing on the Twitter vs Information controversy reveal a misunderstanding about Paul Virilio's work. Virilio has been writing on speed and information since...1995 (get a look at "Cyberspace Alarm") and is still working on it (watch this [FR] interview -in French).

According to Paul Virilio, real time is prevailing over real space. "Today the globalization and universalization of screens promote synchronization across emotions of millions of people. We turn to the synchronization of general affect. That is to say to a community of synchronized emotions, and it's the instantaneity, ubiquity and immediacy of information that has made this possible. We now live in a community of collective emotions ".

I am not a fan of Virilio's techno-pessimism (the main axis of his research) but regarding speed of information I think he is totally right. We are so used to living in our timescale that when we start living in a world that is functioning on a Real-Time-Web- basis we are bound to be disoriented... for a while.

Disoriented ? I hope that Yossi Vardi will give us some clues during LeWeb'09 and his session on "the rise of the emotional web"!

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