The web has always been about sharing. In the pre web days bulletin boards were among the first attempts to create a spot where one could share and learn from other people. The early websites were means to post and basicly simple ways to point and share. With too many websites to look at and consume, GOOG launched Pagerank, in essence also a tool to share, because it was based upon and inspired by the work that had been done on the citation index. GOOG became the place to be and the race between the rankers and the people who wanted to end up high(er) in the ranking started. The web grew and grew.
People started to find new ways to share. Blogging still is a wonderful way to learn and share. Tools like addthis and sharethis popped up and were embraced by users and publishers alike in no time. And of course there are digg and delicious. Social bookmarking, sharing, adding, liking. Again and again new ways to point to quality content on the web were introduced.
This morning I came across an interesting piece at The Economist about the growth of TV in China. A sentence on the use of internet by the young in Shanghai was interesting enough for me to post a tweet. I pushed the wrong button and entered this list of tools provided to post/share/bookmark/add provided by addthis. An amazing list of 316 tools to spread the news that this interesting article is worthwhile. I know for sure that this is not even the correct number anymore. In my last count addthis provided moren than 350 services and tools.
Boy, we now even need tools to help us decide what tools and services to choose in order to share. Of course some services stand out from the crowd and gather a huge fan base, while others will disappear into oblivion. But that’s not the point I’m trying to make.
The point I am trying to make is that we need to ask ourselves questions while we enter the realm of social content and maybe even the web of people. The last few weeks, as we indeed seem to be moving into a more social web, a few questions came to my mind.
- Will social tools as tweets, retweets and likes really help us find more interesting content?
- Will these tools, useful as I find them now, stay useful or will they be manipulated as other handy tools have been before?
- Will this emerging social world, as some of the thinkers claim, make us more stupid, because we only listen to voices and opinions in the group we have joined?
- Can we learn from people who think the same?
- Will content curation offer better quality, as wordpress is figuring out?
- Is the web threatened by the closed social communities as Tim Berners-Lee stated yesterday?
- Will we see the rise of content stategists?
Just a few questions.
I hope you don’t mind me asking.