I’ve heard a couple of people talking about the power of Pull, and pull technologies. In one context it was Will Richardson talking about pull, another was through the Twitter feed for NMC 2010. I think all this talk about pull is forgetting that people also have to push for others to pull. So as we end up pulling more, people might push less. With less information being pushed out, popularity becomes a motivator to push – and as we know, popular does not always mean good (sure it’s good sometimes, and certainly entertaining, but not always both).

There will have to be more research into this push-pull dynamic because this flips some of the existing media theory on it’s head. To pull from McLuhan – is the web a “hot” or “cold” media? Using McLuhan’s criteria, it’s both hot and cold. Hot in the sense that it’s engaging the visual sense almost entirely. Hot in that it’s engaging and allows for communication. Cold in that it’s nonlinear. Cold in that it’s a detached medium. Or do we have to segment the web further? Do we have to look at video posting as different than blogging, tweeting or other web 2.0 activities?  I think that might be the case. Certainly, different tasks lead to different goals. Posting a video on YouTube engages people differently than posting a video on Vimeo – which is mostly driven by two things. The first is the aesthetics of the video’s surrounding environment (the context of the video). The second is the immediacy of related videos change the context as well. If we derive meaning from the videos from the “related links” we are relying on the algorithm of the related links – through Google in the case of YouTube (I’m not sure if Vimeo has a hand-rolled relational script, or if it uses Google’s algorithm as well) – to make sense of the video in addition to the video itself.

2 Replies to “Pulling”

  1. Definitely not pushing as much out in terms of blogging, but I definitely find myself sharing more and more stuff on Twitter, delicious, Evernote, etc explicitly motivated by the idea that others will pull it in, much as I do. I think that’s a big way that we add value to the network, but no doubt, you are right to think about the implications. Just for the record, I’m much more drawn to pulling in text since it’s easier to consume/skim/snip etc.

  2. I believe that text is easy, we’ve been dealing with it for 25 years on the web, and have figured out decent ways to pull it in and have figured out other ways to filter etc. Video, and whatever else that comes after that, is going to be another challenge – there’s not a way to pull videos into your browser/reader and to help filter that (yet). I really liked how you use the iPad for consolidating quotes and ideas, certainly made me interested in it as a real tool rather than an oversized iPod Touch and can see how that would be something that could be a game changer.

    All this work that thousands of people do sounds a lot like Communism, and I often think of how essentially a good idea got a bad rap and fear that will happen to the web 2.0 stuff despite people’s best efforts to keep it free and accessible.

    Thanks for your comments.

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