Streams of Content, Limited Attention
An interesting take by Danah Boyd on how the information streams that we are living in (blogs, tweets, facebook, buzz, etc.) need some change in order to be relevant. The main argument here is that it is difficult to direct attention to something in a stream. And if we do manage to do that, it is difficult to hold on to it. I feel the same way when living in the stream of blogs and tweets. At times I long for the slow pace of a book. If only I could control the pace of my stream….
“To be relevant today requires understanding context, popularity, and reputation. In the broadcast era, we assumed the disseminator organized information because they were a destination. In a networked era, there will be no destination, but rather a network of content and people. We cannot assume that content will be organized around topics or that people will want to consume content organized as such. We’re already seeing this in streams-based media consumption. When consuming information through social media tools, people consume social gossip alongside productive content, news alongside status updates. Right now, it’s one big mess. But the key is not going to be to create distinct destinations organized around topics, but to find ways in which content can be surfaced in context, regardless of where it resides.”
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