The Art of Sharing

Life is a well of delight; but where the rabble also drink, there all fountains are poisoned.

This quote from Nietzsche’s “Thus Spake Zarathustra” applies to the current state of the internet. Internet is great, but the overload of blogs and microblogs pollute the web. The surplus value of the internet as a means to exchange information is undone by the trouble you have to take to wade through the swamp of second hand information to find a single bit of news.
Nascent, Nature’s Blog on web technology and science, has an article about which web 2.0 services scientists use, written by Euan Adie. The conclusion is:

  • Almost a third of Friendfeed scientists have delicious bookmarks. Don’t discount non-academic bookmarking services as a source of paper metadata.
  • A similar number use the share functionality in Google Reader.
  • Despite rumors to the contrary not everybody is on Twitter.
  • A surprising (to me) number of people are uploading and favouriting items on Slideshare.

Hmm, I almost never use my Friendfeed account, although it is the easiest way to share online (as you can read on their own website) 🙂 So, I’ll give it a little more attention from now on. I’ve subscribed to some groups like life-scientists. Of course I hope to learn from others, but I also share information I found on the web. Quid quo pro. Another way of viewing my web 2.0-activities is my Public Plaxo Pulse Stream, but this shows less services than Friendfeed. You can see how much and where I share conveniently arranged in a pie chart at my Geek Chart page, but this covers only a few services: this blog, Digg, Stumble, YouTube, LastFM, Delicious, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter.
Yes, I’m on Twitter, but I still haven’t discovered what the hype is all about – except, of course, that it is all about exposing in public what you are up to. Somewhere in the world there must be some very interesting people, but usually those people are too concerned about doing their thing that they are not interested in launching their tweets into cyberspace. Proof me wrong; I still haven’t read one single tweet that changed my life – and I doubt if my own tweets are worth the trouble of writing (let alone: reading) them.
I like Delicious, although last year I transferred a lot of my bookmarks to Evernote. I think Evernote is a great tool for sharing information, but My Notebook at Evernote is not public. Another great service not mentioned in the Nascent article is Twine.
I think I’ll have to delve more into the possibilities of CiteULike, Connotea and Slideshare. I’ve seen some very interesting presentations on the Semantic Web. I wrote about that in an earlier post.

Leave a Reply

  • The Aesthetics and Beauty of Knowledge

    Shih was the opposite of facts and raw information; shih was the elegance of knowledge, the insight and skill to organize knowledge into meaningful patterns. As an artist chooses colours or light to make her pictures, a master of shih chooses textures of knowledge – various ideas, myths, abstractions, and theories – to create a way of seeing the world. The aesthetics and beauty of knowledge – this was shih.

    – David Zindell, The Broken God, 1993

  • Geek Attitude

    The attitude thing is about flexibility, portability, creativity, sociability and jamming (ran out of suitable “ity” words!). It’s about improvising – in the practical and musical senses of the word; not getting tangled in boundaries and the “right” way to do things.
    Definitely the only way to travel.
    Martin Delaney – “Laptop Music”.