Just Seven Things

Exploring why and how we do what we do, and how we can do it better

The Social and Information Web Drug

Apologies in advance for this, a ‘splurge’ post. I just need to get a lot of stuff down.

World Peoples by Ilker

World Peoples by Ilker

Prompted by the contrast between Luciano’s Litemind post on his one year anniversary – congratulations – and his discussions about increasing the involvement with his readers and a post on the Future of Blogging on ReadWriteWeb. This latter article set a number of things racing in my head which, ironically, had been planted there by just forty eight hours of use of FriendFeed and an article in the FT (similarly as contrastive as my first example)

My apologies for this just being a string of observations with half-formed responses (in only some instances):

  1. There is something incredibly compulsive about social media. Whether blogging, micro-blogging, social recommendation engines – all the way through to ‘attention management engines’ like Particls which weight information feeding according to implicit and explicit factors
  2. This compulsion is often described as ‘internet famous’, but I disagree. There may be an element of that psychology in the initial drives, and to be important (if that enables you to give yourself that label) may work for you. However, I’d argue that there’s something at a more ‘Connected’ level at work (I explored this further in a couple of posts on the Power of Social Recommendation)
  3. The amount of the ‘involvement’ required. The involvement in the technology, the set-up, the linking, the maintenance, the reading, (the thinking), the commenting, the exploring (and loop to the technology). Nicely (to me), it’s as though this becomes a proxy for the offline effort involved in meeting and engaging with people (both friends, acquaintances and strangers)
  4. The time that this involvement translates into. The FriendFeed stream I caught (from Jason Goldberg’s socialmedian in an extra irony….) bemoaned that there wasn’t enough time to keep up/ get involved/ get anything else done if you did get involved. Interestingly, for me one of the underpinnings of the LifeStreaming debate above is that (if you can find the time to read and comment), it can take over most traditional blogging elements….
  5. Is there something about control? The ‘attention management engine’ Particls beta I saw today endeavours to value your attention in order to weight what is fed for you for your future attention. RSS feeders in first principles enable you to control your inputs and information feeds. This takes control to a monumental level
  6. Is there an element of shiny new gizmo/ social media tool snobbery. I will save comment for when more experienced.

To be continued…

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2 thoughts on “The Social and Information Web Drug

  1. Pingback: Laander » Lifestreaming - next generation blogging?

  2. Nice article – I have recently thought about some of the same topics as you discuss. Specifically the issue of involvement is interesting: in a near future, when lifestreaming gets increasingly popular, we will be fed with ALOT of information (some interesting, alot not) that we need to filter and perhaps react upon (commenting). I already think that I use quite amount of time online now – social network sites, reading and writing blog posts and so forth. This could make it even more worse (junk input vs. useful input), or more enlightening, depending on your perspective on the matter…

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