Thanks to Nick Bilton for this excellent blog post about how the Web has revolutionized (or at least amplified) the human tendency to share. These days it does feel strange not to somehow repurpose content, from something as simple as posting a Times story to Facebook to the elaborate: creating a video for YouTube (not that I've ever done this.) My blogging is somewhere in the middle of this spectrum--less technically complex (at least for me) than creating a video, but also not a private journal since it's meant to be shared.
Bilton quotes Maria Pupova as saying that the stream of web sharing is a form of "controlled serendipity." This is a wonderful phrase. Most commentary on the Web talks about "information overload," how there is no way to possibly keep up with what you should be reading or watching. Of course, to some extent this is true. But Bilton and Popova have a more hopeful take. They argue that the constant stream of sharing--complete with a filtering and selection process, and some form of annotation that could be as simple as a Twitter feed--keep us in the loop of what's important (or at least "hot.") Sure, Web 2.0 tools allow for oversharing and narcissism; every development is double edged. But that means there's a hopeful edge too.
A final observation--Bilton's language in this post is very reminiscent of library talk: "filtering," "curation," even "serendipity" (call number systems are designed to encourage serendipity while browsing the shelves.) So there is definitely a role--a huge one, if still ill-defined--for librarians in taming and honing the Web. As this role becomes more clear, each of us should continue to make our deposits into what Bilton terms the digital "daisy chain."