Social software is not about technology, or a use, or even a few uses of technology. It’s about social networking – establishing and developing a presence, a voice: benign/malign, real/avatar, as a creator/circulator (of ideas, techniques, responses), etc. The relationship between writer and text/network changes from a writer in a network supported by texts, to an emergent presence (not a ‘node’) in a dynamic text/s-work.

For starters, ‘social’ software is ‘flexible software’ – it has many affordances.

Heavy/soft-ware still comes with lots of uses, and a few affordances here and there (just some minor ‘work-arounds’).

Light/soft-wear comes with a few basic uses, and lots of affordances. (See also light social structures, in here)

You change from being a ‘user’ to being an actual and potential presence - and you carry with you your own affordances, much like the jazz musician, who still carries a trumpet in her hand, but she no longer carries a ‘score’ in her trumpet case, embodied in a fixed, written, text. Instead, it’s now embodied in her hand/eye/neck/head/mash-ups/clothes/shoes (de jour), as traces and memories of parole, of capabilities realized and dreamt. (She might of course double-up as a concert trumpeter, score and all, too, why not?).

An artist is someone who keeps on being famous for 15 minutes, for being who they are at that (next) moment (“She’s got everything she needs, she’s an artist, she don’t look back”). A celebrity is someone who is continually famous for being some thing else: a brand, dragging its past in front of it.

This is of course just another iteration on primate/hominid socio-genesis, in which we progressed from tool users (using found objects) to tool makers (making the first artefacts). Progress, after all these years!

(cross-posted to here)