You Won’t Finish This Article Either

Just today, I was having a discussion on ADN about how there’s too much noise on the Internet and if I had the choice of a broadcast medium, I’d go with newspapers. Some time after that, I noticed the link to an interesting article on Slate about how people are not reading entire articles on the Internet and are just skimming through, or even just reading the headline, and tweeting the link if they like the headline or an eye-catching photo.

At this point, it’s my duty to inform you that this is a post about Social media, sharing, reading on the Internet and is a bit of a rant, so if you’re not interested, you’ve already left the article. I’d also like to tell you that I wanted to name the article – “Dealing with loss, of Readers” but that seemed rather grim and I wanted to mimic the Slate headline, because it’s just that good. There’s another reason that I’ll tell you later about. Continue reading

Sharing Apps bring no joy!

I have joined Pinterest. I have also joined Cheers, Instagram, Bufferapp and a whole bunch of other ways to share ‘stuff’. I’m so bogged down with all this sharing that it brought me to think, why all this sharing?

The Internet is a vast resource and it’s been there so long that it has become the lifeline for a lot of people around the world. Thus, it becomes a bit strange that there are so few content creators online and so many content-sharers. Sharing apps such as Pinterest only increase this trend, urging people to simply re-share things they see on the Internet to others, almost as though they were the first to create or discover that nugget of information.

But that in itself doesn’t serve any purpose. Surfing the Internet is easy enough that someone looking for a specific information will find it with a little bit of searching themselves. Thus, the concept of others sharing things your way doesn’t do much for those looking for original content.

Let me give you an example. I read a lot of RSS. I follow blogs all over the spectrum and they all aggregate into my Google Reader. Anyone interested in the list can go here. But since I follow all these blogs, I don’t really need to follow sites like Lifehacker and NetworkWorld on Facebook and Twitter and I don’t need people sharing things from these sites to me. It just beats the purpose of having a social network where I interact with real people instead of bots.

Coming back to Pinterest, I like their iOS app for it’s looks and usability. But I don’t like their idea of a browser bookmarklet or the miriad of ‘Pin it’ apps in the Google Chrome Store. Why would I share something already on the Internet? People looking for those things will definitely find them.

Bufferapp is great if I want to share things from the blogs I read to my friends, but why would I want to buffer a retweet? (Bufferapp is still evolving, they’re trying to focus more on corporate than individuals, or so I think!)

Instagram seems to be the most ‘original post’ friendly app where people post what they see around them, but it all then comes down to sharing those pics around to your social networks. Similar behavior by

I’m not sure what this trend is leading to. There should be a lot many more apps to quickly publish videos to Youtube or post tips to Lifehacker instead of just sharing things already existing on the Internet or elsewhere.

What do you say?