Fantastic and sweet article about the indicator bubble in chat and text messaging by the guy who invented it. My colleagues and I talk a lot about our students inability to understand tone in writing. Text messaging and instant messaging don’t convey tone or feelings well. Unless you’re the kind of reader who reads emotion into what you’re reading or is adept at reading and hearing voices that aren’t in the voice of your inner monologue–i.e. a lit nerd–then you need emoticons to just understand half of the tones of a text conversation. Not even lit nerds are truly good at this. After all, writers of stories are actively trying to convey emotional states and produce affect. Text conversations do not have the space or time for this kind of nuance. This guy invented one little things to help written conversation flow, at least in the immediacy of this medium. After all, letters used to express a lot of emotion, but the space to think and mediate gave the writer more time to imbue emotionally connection into their missive.