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Status update: it's complicated

posted 31 Dec 2010, 10:48 by Mpelembe   [ updated 31 Dec 2010, 10:51 ]
ultural commentators discuss whether the real-world impact of online sharing might be the most meaningful technology trend as we enter 2011.
WORLD-TECH YEARENDER - The introduction of iPad. The rise of Android. The hype around 3D TV...and who can forget facebook which inspired the year's most talked about movie, and yielded Time's Man of the Year.

2010 has proved to be yet another extraordinary odyssey in the tech, media space.

Milo Yiannopoulos is a Technology Columnist for Britain's Daily Telegraph and says he thinks 2010 may be remembered as the year that too much was shared.

 Milo Yiannopoulos, Daily Telegraph Technology Columnist saying:

"I think what we've seen with Twitter and wikileaks is the danger of speed and overtransparency. So we've seen that with celebrities who are tweeting injudiciously and we've seen it with the fallout from wikileaks and I think people are now realizing that not all of the information that was released was particularly useful or helpful."

Marian Salzman is a noted trend spotter and argues that ubiquity of tech tools allowing people in contact is resulting in more anti-social behaviour.

Marian Salzman, Trend Spotter, saying

"If you think of big wedding announcements, big divorce announcements, big death announcements all coming via Twitter, it is pretty anti-social. Major, major things being reduced to 140 characters being released without a tear, a wink or a smile. It does feel a lot less intimate. Vital, but less intimate."

Over at London's Unruly Media, they've been tracking what we've been sharing. This is the company that compiles the popular viral video chart. This year, it launched a new chart to rate the relative viral success of branded videos.

Sarah Wood, Operations Cire

"This year the numbers have just got really big in ways that we hadn't anticipated. So when you look at numbers for the top 10 ads this year you see ads like Nike have had a quarter of a billion views and millions of shares whereas only five years ago the top ads would have had millions of views and tens of thousands of shares so we've just gone up another order of magnitude in terms of the sharing activity that's going on."

And though Salzman believes this increase in online sharing is leading to less social social lives, she doesn't see the trend abating.

Marian Salzman, Trend Spotter, saying 

"I think life has become a status update."

Facebook has released data showing that in 2010 its 500 million plus members uploaded more than 2.7 million photographs, and shared 1 million links - every 20 minutes. And the site topped Google as the most visited site in the U.S. this past year. More popular than Google. Imagine telling that to your friends.

Matt Cowan, Reuters