The Internet - do you share?

The Internet. Do you share?

You may recall when the internet first hit the mainstream it wasn’t very interactive and in most cases it was a business or organisation digitising copy of  their respective brochures and thus becoming their website. At this time there was very little you could give back it was all about the user ‘taking’ information from it – unless of course you sent links around via email.

Shortly after this we started seeing the introduction of chat rooms and forums (and the internet troll was born…..). AOL and Yahoo were at the time two of the most well-known providers and this would be the first mainstream way of allowing people to interact socially online and ‘share’ content.

The internet then started to evolve and along came  ‘Web 2.0′ and the phrase ‘share’ started to become synonymous with the internet.

Wikipedia describes Web 2.0 as ‘……A Web 2.0 site may allow users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators of user-generated content in a virtual community, in contrast to websites where people are limited to the passive viewing of content. Examples of Web 2.0 include social networking sites, blogs, wikis, video sharing sites, hosted services, web applications, mashups and folksonomies.’

I don’t think I could explain it any easier than that although I may have to explore ‘folksonomies‘ some more.

With the advent of Web 2.0 came the real opportunity for users to start giving something back to the internet. A simple click allows you to share a link to hundreds of your online ‘friends’. Stephen Fry is notorious on Twitter for sharing URLs which invariably causes a website to crash – as frustrating as this must be for the website in question what price can you put on that sort of advertising?

So the point of this article is ‘do you share?’ I was luckily enough to have some time off over Christmas and unsurprisingly I spent a lot of it online. Generally my browsing habits are the same – news, gadgets and football but sometimes I caught myself taking a look at the post-Christmas sales. I pride myself on being able to sniff out a deal then if I can find a voucher / promotional code (which are easily searched for) it can be the icing on the cake. I often use the same websites (HotUKDeals being one of them) and realised how few of my friends were aware of sites such as this existing. So this got me thinking do I give enough back to the internet? After all I take a lot from it.

With this in mind I have decided to change my behaviour and share some of the goodness with those around me. It could be argued that people have been doing this since the inception of the likes of Twitter and Facebook – but I disagree, in my timeline all I see is pictures of babies, cats, beaches and their latest culinary success. Very few appear to share what can be deemed as ‘useful information’ – so I am going to try to change that. The next time I come across a deal, a bargain or a website that I think people might find interesting I will be sharing it (or maybe a technology blog!) – if we all just done that a little bit more you never know what hidden gem you may see one day.

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