Everyone is sharing more and more information everyday, and traditionally the thinking goes that the more that gets shared, the better. Right?
You wouldn’t have known about that new band/show/movie/funny video of a cat attacking a kid on a bicycle without someone in your network sharing it, right?
But that cool new band, or song, or video are invariably just the highlights. Whenever we talk about sharing, we’re really talking about the highlights – we don’t mention that we had to wade through 50 posts of absolutely useless information to get to the nuggets of truly useful and good information. We wash over, and marginalise, the impact and time it took to find the good stuff.
As social networks and users of social networks mature, I wonder if we’re not going to start to see a decline of some of the key metrics that have been lauded as signs of success and growth, and a more select use of them in the near future. And what would that mean for businesses like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin? Would significantly less time on site, due to less random browsing on behalf of the user really be beneficial for the company, even if the user gets a better experience in the end?
This isn’t to be pessimistic about social networking, I’m merely wondering if, as all content is dependent on the people and businesses you interact with in your social networks, if users aren’t getting tired of reading and posting about trivial things? Are we exposed to oversharing? And as friends, followers and circles grow over time does that mean that we have to wade through more and more trivial content to get to the good stuff? I wonder if some of the new car smell, and showroom shine is starting to come off. I wonder if people might eventually spend less time sharing and interacting, but choose to share more valuable information and start or join more worthwhile discussions, when they do?
I’m on the fence on this one, no clear outcomes, just observing and pondering.