Last night, I was waiting for a bus at Shibuya Station listening to the tunes of street musicians playing near the bus stop. After two songs, she folded her score notes and halted. Just then another street musician standing about 20 ft away from here started playing. I've noticed these two were taking turns to play their music.
At first, I wondered why these two don't stand further away so both can be playing at the same time. But then I've noticed the girl has always been playing at the same spot at least on every Thursday. She has her own spot where all her fans gather around. I don't remember seeing the other guy but perhaps, it was his spot.
Seeing these two and imagining how they have made this protocol reminded me of how I've iChatted with my friend over an iSight.
I don't do much voice/video chat these days, but I enjoyed it when it just came out a year ago. It was one of the coolest thing on earth and it has reduced the number of international phone calls significantly.
But iChat AV doesn't work the same way phone does. There is this less-than-a-second-but-still-too-annoying delay which makes conversing difficult.
I tend to nod and answer a lot while someone's speaking. But when I do that over an iChat, I will be nodding and interrputing when the other party has moved over another subject. After experiencing this for several times, I and my buddies have started developing a new protocol for voice iChat which I believe many Mac users have formed by now.
The protocol is one will keep their mouth shut until one party finishes saying what s/he has to say. When the speech is over, the other party will start responding. To make sure one party has finished his/her talking, he could say "over" at the end of his turn. Yes, it is more like the protocol of yeah old half duplex transceiver.
A protocol that younger generation may not find familiar with. But I've developed the same protocol when I connected my 300bps modem to my friends and chatted over dumb terminal.
It is very interesting to see human's talent of developing these protocols. I think it is the smallest scale case of sociological study. I wonder if there is any book or documents that studies this subject.