Saturday, November 07, 2009

On Linking

I am a sponge. I absorb knowledge and I can't stop sucking it all in, even when I'm full. It's an unquenchable thirst, a never ending search.

People say I post cool links. Whether it's on Twitter, on Facebook or by email, they laugh, cry and wonder along with the variety of stories I help them discover. The truth is, as with anything else in life that is successful, I have a little help from my friends.

I don't find all these stories by myself - I'd never sleep! No, instead I rely on a well-knit network of sources who provide me with the most interesting articles in their niche and other stories that tickle their fancy.

Back in the days before Twitter, I did a lot more link exploring than I do now, but mostly because I wasn't satisfied with just the stories my Facebook friends posted (no offence!). My RSS feeds weren't enough to keep me occupied either. So I browsed Yahoo! News -gotta love their oddities section! - and clicked through Propeller and other sites I stumbled upon through previously linked stories.

But Twitter! Ah, Twitter changed everything! Now I have access to a wealth of stories in all kinds of interesting fields and - dare I say it? - sometimes too many articles to read! I often end up simply browsing before retweeting or Facebook posting, and then I'm forced to awkwardly add a belated comment on the story. (The secret is out!)

Still, I do end up reading everything I post, though certain links sometimes remain on my desktop all day or taunt me annoyingly from a perpetually open browser window.

At least I've evolved from my early Facebook years, when I felt almost compelled to post nearly every story I came across. It's a wonder my friends didn't de-friend me for spamming them with links! (Although in those days I guess they didn't really have to see them if they didn't want to).

I've often thought of turning this obsession into a potentially profitable venture. Why not collect all the cool stories I find and turn my blog into a news wire of sorts? Because then I would be forced to comment on each and every link when some of them deserve nothing more than a "Heh. Interesting." or are posted more for general knowledge than life-enhancing purposes.

Someone recently suggested to me that I might use my link-finding talents while hosting a radio show. Sure, that could be fun. But then the pressure of finding cool, creative and original stories each and every day would definitely take the enjoyment out of it. And who needs all that extra stress?

The fact remains that I post stories because I'm interested in them or because I think people should know about them. It is a truly selfish endeavour, at once feeding my incessant need to know (NOW!) and making me look fairly sociable - not to mention knowledgeable!

So while I have my reasons for retweeting and reposting, I am left with a feeling of emptiness at the end of the day, when my prolific sharing has resulted in no interesting conversations or additional sharing by others. Which is why I always appreciate the "likes" on Facebook... Simple and to the point: it can loosely be translated into a "This is cool, thanks for posting!"

And since I post mostly for me (now that I've gotten over my awkward Facebook adolescence stage), it always warms my heart to hear someone say in a private conversation when I'm starting to think no one is reading: "I really enjoy all the links you post." These comments are always exquisitely timed and give me a renewed enthusiasm for sharing what I think is cool with my little slice of the world.

But I wonder... Why do you post links?

P.S.: You're welcome.


samuellavoie said...

This is cool, thanks for posting!

ok now more seriously. I do think there not that much on the online population that have link finding talent or as I say, talent to refine information, to find the valuable information in the noise.

Why do I post on Twitter and others?For us. Because it help people to easily screen stuff they know I already find out and it helps me being an "expert" on that subject. I'm not making myself an expert, others will *maybe* do make me on a particular subject. I do think it's good for everyone as long as those 2 things are profitable for us.

I'm also like you keeping tabs open in safari for hours until I finally read them and then usually comment :)

Naila J. said...

I feel the same way! There is a whole lot of stuff out there and it's nice to have a solid stream of good information, minus all the noise.