A post by Rands here has inspired a comment from me, which I have decided to cross-post here because I feel it gives justice to some of my recent thoughts on information streams. Enjoy!
Rands, thank you. You ideas really resonated with me since there is quite a bit of overlap with my own recent thinking on the subject of information and knowledge.
Specifically, I’ve been thinking about the information streams that we come in contact with in our lives, and how these information streams fare in terms of value (or knowledge or wisdom) they deliver. My latest blog post is actually about migrating from Google Reader to Twitter for most of my information needs, and I believe that this personal experience exemplifies a trend.
You noted the profound simplicity of putting personal thoughts and ideas in front of the world, but the flip side (the reader side) of this is equally important. We as readers increasingly find ourselves in an informational deluge. Now more than ever we are all looking for a coping strategy to overcome the flood of information to reach what we really care about. I am hardly a Twitter advocate, but I think tools like Twitter and Facebook perform a tremendous service getting us there.
Twitter and Facebook are founded on a trust network which is modeled after real-life social network and is tuned for our established social behaviors. The social network is a natural concept, and it has been a part of our human genetic and cultural heritage for millions of years. The information doesn’t come from CNN, which has kind of a global trust score in our heads, but it comes from a trusted individual, which has a very local, topic-specific trust score and past performance attached to them.