Digital Cities: Your neighbourhood is now Facebook Live

by Andrew Blum

….Conventional wisdom says that technology is bad for real-world communities, that we are often alone at home in front of blue screens. This is no doubt true. But we are also out on the street stealing glances at smaller screens, and interacting in more meaningful ways because of it. When it comes to technology and cities, today’s thrilling development – “thrilling”, that is, if you like real cities and corporeal people – is that social networking is enhancing urban places. I may have been only affirming face-to-face the interactions I just had in cyberspace, but that act was significant for the future of our cities.

The bandwidth of urban experience has increased. The ancient ways are still there: the way a place looks, the neighbours we wave at and the hands we shake. But now, there is an electronic conversation overlaid on top of all that: tweets and status updates, neighbourhood online message boards, detailed mobile electronic maps, and nascent applications that broadcast your location to your friends. This is far more interesting than what we were promised a decade ago: the proverbial coupon blinking on your mobile as you walk past Starbucks. (I have yet to experience this.)….

continue reading at: http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2009/11/features/digital-cities-your-neighbourhood-is-now-facebook-live

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