Before there were social networks, there were forums and communities. From Esato to Zedge to DeviantArt to VinuThomas (incidentally, did you know its founder is on Twitter? @vinuthomas) to the Digit forums, I was in all of them. In all my time on these communities I have seen how users who tend to share information become influencers of the community. It is also not unusual to see the same users comment on each other’s posts.
Fast forward circa 2007. Google had just opened up Google Reader and it was now possible to share content with your contacts. However, not too many people were using it. That was because everyone was sharing posts from varied topics and not everything appealed to everyone. Over time, users have warmed to the idea of allowing shares from only selected users to show in their Google Reader. In 2009, we now have Twitter where users are realising that you can create clout by sharing smart information with your followers. Users are also realising that retweeting (RT) has its benefits too. AJ Vaynerchuk has written a great post on the art and science of retweeting on Twitter, which is worth checking out. When too many of your tweets are RT, it tells others that you are a source of interesting information. This is how you end up getting more followers.
I enthusiastically believe that this trend will not only continue but increase in 2009 with FriendFeed since the service is built with one aim in mind – to allow content to be shared easily amongst your subscribers.
Therefore, over the years the platform has changed, but the concept remains the same. Retweeting and sharing great content was always cool 🙂