Lost in the old web ) Throughout the last years I have had mixed emotions about the Internet. On one hand, I was amazed about people, news, themes etc., but on the other hand, I was not satisfied with the overwhelming load of information and the difficulty of obtaining it when needed.
Running around to collect information I used Google to research all my information and often repeated the same steps to find the same websites. I looked endlessly through websites to find eventually some information. I relied on all sorts of websites in hope that they would post something appealing for me. Basically, I ran though the web to find relevant information without mayor results. I always knew there was more than that and I could not catch up with the latest information.
Watch out! A new web has arrived! One day a friend of mine pointed me to delicious – a social bookmarking tool where people from all over the world share links. I imported my favourite links onto the server and saw that many other people had already bookmarked the same links as well, and even had many other interesting ones. I was convinced that people knew much better than search engines. I also discovered that there are many people out there in the web who write riveting thoughts in their blogs. And that these blogs and social bookmark sites are basically networks made out of links, information and people.
Kick the overload of information! I knew of RSS, a universal content format, designed to make the content of a website everywhere available. But after a while I understood that I could grasp all kind of information through feeds. So I threw away my fishing rod and got a fishing net instead to bring all relevant information out there on the web to my laptop. Now I can see when friends upload new photos, see changes in our jointly used Google calendar and have all the information compiled to my needs.
Becoming part of a community So far I was pretty passive and contributed only with bookmarks. But because I appreciated all the valuable information, I decided to get active and start a blog to reflect on it what I read and learn from the web (networked learning). Suddenly I became a node in a far reaching network and started to interact with many people who had an interest on the same topics. I left all portals behind me and began valuing the contribution to the web of so many people out there like wisdom of crowd.
Sharing is the key! All the richness of information comes from the participation of many people. Therefore sharing is the overall premise. I finally understood much better the power of hyperlinks and discovered how even complex themes can be greatly connected through the web and used for learning. You can virtually see how information finds its way through the web. Lastly, I discovered that tagging is a great way of making sense for all this information, and it is okay if everything becomes miscellaneous.