Sharing Zuckerberg's Law
YOU may find this hard to believe if you feel inundated by web links to unamusing videos and spittle-flecked blog posts, but apparently we're not sharing enough stuff online.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has recently come up with a theory that's been branded "Zuckerberg's Law", namely that we double the amount of stuff we share online every 12 months.
This is a convenient prediction for him to make, bearing in mind that he's the one largely responsible for making it happen and that he benefits financially as a result. But how is he aiming to fulfil this utopian vision of his in 2012?
The answer: to move away from asking us to explicitly endorse each piece of content we consume (as we have been via "Like" buttons) and automatically collecting information instead - an act becoming known as "frictionless sharing".
Facebook has launched a protocol called Open Graph, which allows participating clients such as Spotify, Digg and this newspaper to announce each piece of media you're consuming on Facebook - provided, of course, you've granted your overall approval.
This makes a great deal of sense for these sites and services, because when we see the web habits of people we like, we tend to follow suit and click through. And clicks, after all, are the currency of the web.
Those of us unwittingly doing the sharing aren't always so enthusiastic, however. While the majority of information revealed by Open Graph is pretty benign, it's not out of the realms of possibility that privacy-related issues could occur as your predilection for articles about breast augmentation suddenly becomes public knowledge.
If the idea of getting recommendations from the web from like-minded people appeals to you but Facebook's privacy policies don't, a service called Voyurl looks interesting: it collects your browsing information anonymously and feeds suggestions back to you based on its corpus of data.
But Facebook is attempting to win back our hearts by rejigging everyone's profiles to resemble a timeline stretching right back to when we first joined the site.
By doing this, it's repositioning itself as a personal scrapbook, a complete history of what we've been doing and when, thus making a virtue out of storing our information when we previously balked at it. And who's to say that we won't eventually be persuaded that it's a good idea.