The tools we use for social media have empowered us to be steady-flow commentators. Watch Twitter or Facebook during any event, and you’ll see our added commentary rolling along in time with the experience. At times, such as the US Presidential election, it was exciting to feel that experience, of everyone participating all across the world in an event. There are many more times where it feels like that.
In blog comments, on Twitter, all over Facebook, Yelp, YouTube, and several other sites, we’ve been groomed to give our opinion. We spit it out everywhere. We share, rate, criticize, deride, praise, and everything in between. Forrester’s Ladder graphic suggests that critics are second on the content ladder, just below creators.
But if you look at the ecosystem, and what we’ve built, are we “starting conversations” or are we inviting commentary? And what’s the difference? To me, one is an exchange of knowledge, whereas the other is more of an end product. Make sense? Commenting and giving opinions becomes an “object” or “artifact” or “creation” of its own. See where I’m going?
So the question becomes: if we’ve built all these tools, these comment buttons, these like buttons, these “share and add notes” buttons, how is this impacting our interactions and our communication? Now that we’ve gone from not having a voice to having tools to give our opinion about everything, how does this change us? How does it impact how we interact with people? What does it mean to the larger ecosystem?
Photo credit Hashmil