Lately I’ve been thinking long and hard about the internet. It’s amazing to be living in an era when knowledge is essentially instantly accessible.
But at the same time, I’ve been thinking about lines that have to be drawn when it comes to the types of knowledge and content that are available. It’s the golden age of Web 2.0, where a typical person is probably subscribe to at least 2 or more social websites. I know that holds true for me.
And there are so many of them. And a lot of them are good and interesting and have neat technology behind them. But I’m reaching a point where it’s all just overload. Dino and I were talking yesterday and he said that he’s been observing an exodus of sorts from Twitter to Plurk. Great.
I’ve been trying hard to only subscribe to a service when I feel it can genuinely be a benefit to me. Flickr is a no-brainer; it’s the best in the biz when it comes to photo sharing. Facebook is excellent for shooting a quick note or comment to somebody, since a huge percentage of my social circle resides there. LinkedIn seemed like a good idea at the time, but I really haven’t reaped any benefits from it. Twitter, for what it is, is decent. When it works.
The services that I’ve given my attention to have typically been of the more mature, widely-used variety. Call it peer pressure, but why use a social service that none of your friends are using?
But when I started using WordPress three years ago, blogging was the standard fare. The question wasn’t “do I want a blog?”; it was “which blogging software do I want?”. Now with services like Plurk, Pownce, and Tumblr it’s not the de facto choice any more. So then what should I do? If nobody reads my writing on andylaub.com, how much do I care? Should I go somewhere else? Do I want to go somewhere else?
And that’s where Web 3.0 comes in. I predict that very shortly, people are going to get tired of all this sharing. Tired of signing up to the service of the month, finding people they know, and then abandoning it when something new (notice I didn’t say “better”) comes along. Tired of reporting on every little experience they have and calling it “content”. I’ll wager that we’ve all had the feeling – that little, niggling impulse that says “Record this! Photograph this! Twitter this!” And that twinge of guilt when you opt not to do so.
I guess it’s because we want to acquire a sort of tangible catalog of experiences and not rely strictly on memories. I respect that. But if you’re too busy documenting something for posterity’s sake to actually experience it, that’s just crazy.