In tonight's Portfolio class, Greg brought up an interesting point relating to the scope of the internet: with all the content floating around and constantly growing, how are we suppose to be able to navigate to what we actually are looking for? Furthermore, how does this point relate to pollution? I think of is as how much on the internet is beneficial to the public and how much might not be; say, an angry, rude or pointless 'tweet' vs. a Wikipedia page. Both can show up in a google search, however, one of them is for personal satisfaction and the other is informative. Should we censor what we put out there simply to cut the amount of junk?
A recent study found that 40% of all tweets are what they call "pointless babble". Interested in what people were actually using Twitter for, the Pear Analytics group conducted a study where they categorized tweets into six different categories: news, spam, self-promotion, pointless babble, conversation, and pass-along value. After looking at 2,000 tweets spanning two weeks, the Pear Analytics group found that the clear winner was "pointless babble" followed by "conversational" and "pass-along value". With all of these morcels of rather insignificant information, it becomes more difficult to find the valuable bits that others benefit from or are even the least bit interested in.
That said, is it wrong to pollute the internet? It serves as an uncensored (for the most part) outlet for all people and the casual sense by which people approach it has made it a conversational tool. Also, how do we label something as trash? However pointless it may seem to post that "your dog pooped in your living room", if it gives someone a chuckle in the middle of a boring day, what's the harm? With a growing number of participants on social networking sights such as Twitter and Facebook, it'll be interesting to see if we eventually "overpollute" the internet.
To read more about the Pear Analytical study, click the following link: