Has social media changed sharing?

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(4 votes)

We like to highlight the values of the open source way like collaboration, meritocracy, transparency, and sharing here on opensource.com. We share ideas, best practices, content, images, opinions, and much more. But has "sharing" changed with the increased use of social media?

In a chapter titled Personal, Communal, Public, Civic in Clay Shirly's Cognitive Surplus, readers are asked to consider this impact.

The spread of social media that allows for public address has led to a subtle change in the word share. Sharing has typically required a high degree of connection between donor and recipient, so the idea of sharing a photograph implied that you knew the sharees. Such sharing tended to be a reciprocal and coordinated action amoung people who new one another. But now that social media has dramatically lengthened the radius and half-life of sharing, the organization of sharing has many forms.

What do you think?

Has social media made this subtle change and created different levels of sharing ranging from personal to communal and public to civic? Or is social media just another Internet tool where sharing is a side effect?

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Scott Reston's picture

I've rediscovered how much I like sharing/receiving as I'm moving over to Google+. It seems like the newness/techness has been a bit of a filter so that I get more "check out this nifty technology thingy" than "check out my dog's new sweater". And the conversation around these subjects has been pretty interesting, too.

jhibbets's picture
Open Source Sensei

I guess I should try out one of the several invites I have.

I tend to agree. I find almost all of the news that I'm interested in via Twitter and I feel like I know more about what friends and colleagues are doing now that I can follow what they post. It sometimes makes for an interesting conversation when I finally see them in person.


Manuel Monserrate's picture

Social media has helped in that it has allowed me to make new connections much quicker than they would've happened otherwise. It allows me to reach others with the same interests who I probably wouldn't have met (Twitter and G+), and the sharing then happens quite naturally because of the mutual interests.

It also allows me to have a broader view of other people and to get to know them better by paying attention to what they are sharing. I'm actually encouraged to participate and to share more myself than ever before.

aks's picture
Open Minded

Social media has indeed create new levels of sharing, and in turn has encouraged content creation. Before the advent of social media, sharing was tightly coupled between known sharees, and hence there was less content for sharing. But since social media came into play, sharing has changed a lot. I keep sharing much on twitter and G+ without even bothering who might receive it on the other end, and this has helped me to meet with like minded people, and interact with them.

laustinseo's picture

I feel that sharing has changed radically, its become much more common and much more specific. Sharing has been made so easy and it has been adopted by users of all types of social media. If anything sharing is one of the main parts about social media, sharing information and media is pretty much what the idea consists of.

Elias Shams's picture

Here is my 2cents on all of them. It's all about the Pee Pee :-)

Twitter: I need to pee pee!
Facebook: I pee peed!
Foursquare: I’m pee peeing here!
Quora: Why am I pee peeing?
Youtube: Watch this pee pee!
LinkedIn: I pee pee well
New myspace: let’s dance while pee peeing!
Google+: Let's all pee pee in a circle
http://awesomize.me : HOW AWESOME DO I PEE PEE on Twitter, FB, Foursquare, Quora, youtube, LinkedIn, myspace and Google+

Bonner Gaylord's picture

It's all coming together for me with G+. It allows me to run a private blog full of way too many family pictures (shared only with family, how FB started), send out funny old college pictures to college friends (used to do on email), and share publicly (like Twitter but with pics and without character limits). FB and Twitter aren't going away, but G+ is a whole different level of sharing.

Jim Belt's picture

Absolutely! It seems that sharing has evolved from the younger crowd where content was mainly personal stuff (gossip amount close friends), into a much deeper conversation about interests. Information sharing about interests opens to a wider audience. People have become increasingly comfortable sharing content with people they don't know, but who share their interest. "Friends" in the nomenclature of Facebook is no longer accurate in describing who we converse with through the social media. Blogs always did this, but new tools are making it easier to discover people that think like you. It's stimulating!

craigharffey's picture
Open Source Evangelist

Agree with the comments about the new tools allowing us share more, but the tools need to improve (or we need to adapt how we use them)

For me twitter is great for sharing to strangers, Facebook is for personal stuff only, LinkedIn reaches my professional / corporate audience. Choosing the right tool for what I want to share can mean duplication of effort, the automated solutions are not right for every topic etc etc

Google + and it's idea of circles feels much more natural and conversation focused but it will take a while to shake out the bugs and missing features as the user count ramps up. I am not sure I get it right now and need to invest some time in it.
All it seems good for right now is seeing animated cat gifs :-)

Scott Reston's picture

Ain't nothing wrong with animated cat gifs.