19 shades of Sharknado: when noise becomes signal

I’ve been thinking a lot about whether Pullquote is a tool for the super-quick sharing of specific text on Twitter (and maybe soon on other social platforms) or a tool for filleting long pieces of text into discrete ideas and facts which can then be filed away for future reference and/or easily discovered by others who are interested in the same specific topic.

Watching #Sharknado erupt last night on Twitter convinced me that we desperately need the latter tool. We’ve always known that Twitter is a firehose. Now we’ve reached the point that each Twitter user is a firehose.

While I drown in this ocean of #Sharknado, I wonder what it would be like to just see the individual pieces of each friend’s output that actually pertain to topics I care about?

Though focused browsing of friends’s feeds would mean I’d miss some serendipitous collisions with random ideas, I’d save hours and countless brain cells by not trying to imbibe barrels of drivel. (Hours that could be channeled to more efficiently serendipitous behavior like drinking coffee or beer with friends.)

So I think that topic-focused sharing is what Pullquote will focus on. I’m not sure the exact word that describes this — are we creating a social library? A social topics index? Or is this what Stowe Boyd likes to call “co-curation?” Or maybe just topic-focused sharing?

Why am I thinking this? Oh, right, #Sharknado. Early this AM I built a Storify to try to make sense (or at least some buckets) out of the #Sharknado experience. (BTW, if you don’t already know what #Sharknado was, I’m not going to explain. Here’s what #Sharknado will be: in a few weeks, the underlying event will be forgotten and #Sharknado will become the word we all use to refer to a vaporous swirl of meaningless, mass-produced meme-riffing that itself becomes so vast it collapses in on itself into a diamond-hard object of actual meaning, the perfect linguistic symbol for a socially manufactured 5k-tweet-a-minute perfect-storm of meaninglessness.)


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