Is 2010 the year of redundant web?

02Jun10

Redundancy - you're doing it right (Image Credit: Ryan Ericson Canlas' blog)

I get up every morning and part of my am ritual is to start my day checking my sites – tech, social media, randomness – I need to know what’s going on. Now if I find something interesting I’ll share it via Facebook, Twitter, Digg, or email.

You still with me? Good!

Here’s where things get dicey…I’ll see that same story another 20-30 times (if it’s a relatively popular story) over the next 2 days via those same sites – Twitter, Facebook, Digg. And there’s no way to filter it out! Aside: Can that be next on my list of filter suggestions for Twitter at least? It’s great that I can filter out hastags that I don’t want to follow (i.e. #bachelorette) but we can’t filter out stories I’ve already seen/read/RT’d?

Welcome to 2010 – the year of redundant web!

I love social media and it’s ability to spread news and information at lightening speed. In fact, I ❤ it. But what is bugging me a bit is the redundancy. My favourite is when people RT stories of interest and add in their own comments/ideas/suggestions.

I love when debate/conversations spark out of information but is there such a thing as information redundancy? Will there ever be? When is it too much?

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7 Responses to “Is 2010 the year of redundant web?”

  1. The answer is “yes”, but a qualified “yes”. The interweb is redundant to those of us that are classified as “mass consumers”. We are hyper-exposed to so much content the second it comes out, that by the time “casual consumers” start talking/tweeting/facebooking about similar info, we’ve already become bored/annoyed with that particular piece of information.

    We’re driving on this road REALLY fast, so we know that at all of the 100 pizza huts we’ve been to there is pizza inside. The casual drivers have only come across 2 pizza huts on their trip, so it is valuable to them that a sign is posted clearly indicating that yes, there is pizza at this pizza hut too.

    We’ve developed systems and schemas for gathering web info that they don’t have, so until the world catches up we NEED to be a little redundant or they’ll just get left behind.

  2. Great points Nate!

    I enjoy the qualified yes because that’s how I feel too. Maybe it’s just me – I’m too connected to the world (if that’s even a thing now).

    But stories like the FB privacy thing that spiralled for like 2 weeks. How do you get those people that have tuned out, to tune back in? Will people just tune out? Is there such a thing as too much?

    Will we all be hyper-connected eventually? There are scientists that are wondering how all this connectedness will affect the attention spans of the younger generations…

  3. That social media and the like are redundant—that I can live with. That actual news media are—that is another thing. Unfortunately, it is all to common nowadays that e.g. a newspaper just takes a particular story of Reuters, publishes it as (or with only marginal changes), and expects the readers to pay for this. At the same time, the exact same story can be read elsewhere for free.

    (This is particularly interesting in the light of the ongoing discussions about payment for online access to newspaper—who often deliver little original content, write poorly, do not make proper fact-checks, etc.)

    • Great comment Michael!

      Well and I find when it comes to breaking news I don’t find out about it via traditional media. I find out via Twitter, Facebook, text messages even email.

      There has even been some talk about whether bloggers will “replace” traditional media. I use air-quotes because with bloggers they are usually adding in their own opinions and not covering things unbiasedly (for the most part). Additionally, one could argue they aren’t fact-checking the way traditional reporters do.

      I wonder if there’s room for these two groups to meld somehow…

  4. 5 Darren

    Interesting idea Aleks. Though, it must be considered that with the added redundancy you get a more complete picture of the “story”. For example, you can read the same article from three different news papers, see it on Twitter and Facebook and all modes will have some form of author-imbued bias. I would also argue that in most cases the bias is unconscious, but it is still present. In the past, a story came from one, possibly two sources, and we never got all the facts. Maybe now with all the different modes of communication, (though redundant and time consuming to review), we can finally see all sides of the story by playing the ingrained biases off of each other.

    • Thanks for the comment Darren – to be sure I am very happy with hearing all sides of the story! It gives you an added glimpse into complex issues…but with any media we also risk spreading rumours.

      I can’t wait to see how media will evolve and how we get our news will change. Already I can tell you Twitter has expanded my reading list of both traditional media (books, newspapers, magazines) and the non-traditional (sites, blogs) in the last year. 😀

  5. I definitely see where you’re coming from Aleks and can relate. We need some humble entrepreneur to come up with a way of tagging an Internet meme as read and block the thousand repeats, yet still allow the one or two with an interesting contribution through.

    The last part is probably the hard part because we can already find similar or related stories – filtering them out should be a simple step.

    And our last resort to turn to? Google. Maybe one their engineers can use his/her 20% time to solve this problem. 🙂


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