Why is it that …?


“Why is it that we have access to increasingly vast amounts of information, which show amazing amounts of thinking and content creation occurring every single day all around the planet … and we still don’t know what’s going on?”

(Read using your best Andy Rooney voice)

I scan and sometimes read a very large amount of social media every day, including blog posts, news items, and tweets.   My Google Reader has 247 blog subscriptions now and that’s only one source.  I see a lot of online postings. 

Some observations about the current state of information creation and sharing online …  

“Me Too” ~ Multiple Iterations of the Same Thing

Much of the sharing is about the same issue or event and is simply one person’s “take” on that event.  Sharing posts and tweets is okay, because this is part of the value of social media.  However, this benevolent sharing of content also creates a lot of content that is now jamming up our systems.

When you simply repost what another has said, without comment or amplification, you might be accused of engaging in overkill and under valuing.  While much content  is interesting and even profound, the constant repetition does not add much new to the mix.

This is why I do not particularly like the “Like” function found on many webpages these days.  Makes it easy to just click and like, with no further action or interaction needed.

I’m nosy … I want to know WHY you liked my thoughts.

Disclaimer:  I am very guilty of adding my voice, but often no new thinking to the stream of words and thoughts.

Shouting Past Each OTher

I blame the design of online discussion features for this one … in part.    I also blame us.  

Many blogs and social media platforms such as LinkedIn give the ability to respond to posts or questions.  Online responses tend to pile up in reverse chronological order, which means the latest response is the first one you see.

Hard to follow a conversation starting at the end.  Often you needlessly repeat someone else’s contribution or respond without a complete awareness of what has already been discussed.  Either way, the discussion suffers.

Of course, I also see many responses languishing without even a “Thanks for your thoughts” reaction from the original poster.  

Ignoring those who take the time to respond to your thoughts is poor manners and a form of extinction therapy.  As with most behavior, as people receive no reaction, reinforcement, or acknowledgement, they will eventually stop responding, at least to that person.  Makes you wonder why they asked the question or shared the thought in the first place.

WE NEED TO BE CREATIVE, FOLKS

So lots of content being constantly repeated, with and without comment.  Hard to separate the wheat from the chaff at times, since there is so darn much chaff to go through, just for those few gleaming pieces of wheat.

Seth Godin, who often has his thumb on the pulse, talks about our new way of getting news in The New Lazy Journalism.  In this thoughtful and correct post, Godin describes a new way of looking at journalism and decries the repetition that exist now:

“The hard part of professional journalism going forward is writing about what hasn’t been written about, directing attention where it hasn’t been, and saying something new.”  – Seth Godin

 

Quite a challenge, but we need to do something beyond mindlessly recreating the wheel umpteen times a day.

… Or maybe I’m the only one doing this?

Do you agree that repetition and non-responses are causing problems?

What are YOU doing to cut the repetition and create value in your social media sharing?

Trying to add value instead of clutter in the Heartland ….

John

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