santiago swallow

21 presence

You can follow Santiago Swallow on Twitter.  He has over 8,000 followers and has posted more than 900 tweets.

The main thing you need to know about Santiago is that he doesn’t exist: he’s a social experiment.  At his height he had tens of thousands of followers when Kevin Ashton wrote a glowing article about him, but:

‘As a social experiment, Ashton had created Swallow’s profile a mere three days before, purchased thousands of fake Twitter followers for him and set up a fake WordPress account behind all of it.  The total investment for all these efforts came to a grand total of $68 and two hours of set up time.’*

Santiago Swallow’s complete fabrication presents a quick and cheap possibility for creating our own online personas.

However, real life is far more compelling.

Cheryl Song’s fingerprint art also caught my attention this morning.  The fingerprint is made up of the names of writers and their writings.**  Which made me wonder: what if we each were able to identify the different influences, influencers, values, talents, passions we could create our own unique fingerprint to impress upon the world and leave behind as our legacy.

21 fingerprint

Our persona doesn’t happen in two hours and photoshop but in thousands of hours of unique exploration of life in all its fullness:

‘Read, look to other areas, use different learning mediums, ask better questions, reflect, reopen to ideas, be surrounded by learners, and prioritise learning.^

(*From Rohit Bhargava’s Non-Obvious.  Bhargava tells this story as an example of a trend he predicted for 2015 and named Experimedia; ‘Content creators use social experiments and real life interactions to study human behaviour in unique new ways and build more realistic and entertaining narratives.’)
(**From Laura Damon-Moore and Erinn Batykefer’s The Artist’s Library.)
(^From Michael Heppell’s The Edge.)

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