I’m happy to report that I’ll be presenting a talk entitled “How Social Technologies Create New Languages” this year at SXSW. If you’re attending the event I hope you’ll join the session and share it with your friends. As the title suggests, the topic explores the idea that language and social technology are in a coevolutionary state. Many of the ideas I’ll be presenting are inspired by Evolutionary Linguistics or Psycholinguistics, a relatively new discipline within linguistics which is being championed by folks like Stephen Pinker. If you haven’t read The Language Instinct it’s a great introduction.
My presentation makes three basic claims that I’ll explore/defend:
- Social technology is a primary driver of language evolution.
- As social technology augments language, it becomes part of the language.
- As language and social technology coevolve expect more intermediation.
That last point, focuses on how social technology has the potential to surface insights in real-time that will affect how/when/what we communicate. Besides Evolutionary Linguistics the other major inspiration is work that companies like Oracle (where I work) are doing in the marketing automation space (via Eloqua and Responsys). Part of what I’m ultimately interested in exploring is what will happen when this technology becomes available via consumer applications.
I hope to see you there! Oh, and if you’re interested in getting a sense of the sessions that I’ll be attending while at SXSW here’s my schedule.