Friday, December 16, 2005

Connecting with Information

We all seem to find that getting information is a part of getting our needs and desires met. We want to be close to our friends. We are looking for some fun, to get a job done. We'd like to find the tastiest, juiciest, most interesting and best of everything around us, and connecting with information is a part of that. This is search, but also something larger than that.

Search engines are great, but they are so objective and so cold! They give everybody the same answers to the same question. We want answers that match our taste and interests, our values, our sense of what is Good and what is not. So we read blogs, subscribe to RSS feeds we like, we tag things, keep in touch with our favorite communities, and look for sources of information and opinion that work for us.

People have discovered that they like being part of a group with common interests more than hearing a few points of view broadcast to them. We like to feel ourselves in charge of forming our own opinions and deciding what we like, and why not? Participation is often cited as a key feature of the new-style Web. As a trend, I think the desire each of us has to connect with the information as well as the people we personally prefer is one of the really large forces that will continue to shape the Web over time.

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