Interesting article about streams up on Bokardo. Joshua has noticed that the usage of the term "stream" is spreading "into web application vernacular. It is called a "lifestream", "socialstream", "friendstream", "contentstream", among others. … It has come to mean a list of the always-updated items in a system."
He continues on to give examples such as twitter, Facebook status updates and RSS feeds and muses that "it feels like we're really starting to see the emergence of a new interaction paradigm around streams."
Two things occur to me here. One thing is that the "stream" is, of itself, a communicational agent. Part of being transliterate is possibly based on the literacies of the stream and understanding how the stream fits into the communications ecology in which we are immersed.* what I mean by that is that a stream can be seen as source of communication, whether it's a person's updates or a blog's feed. Being able to manipulate these streams, both as producers of them and as consumers of them is becoming increasingly important.
The second point is, as always, to follow the metaphor. Are we seeing some more of the wild surmise here? Why a stream and not a river nor a canal nor a babbling brook? It's all well and good using the word "stream" but what will non-English speakers call it? As a metaphor, will the stream lead us astray or to the shores of bright new dawn?
Answers on a postcard, please.
* Yes. That was deliberate.