Jarred of Tropophilia has a unique response to a conversation started by Steven Hodson and one that I also supplied my thoughts about (see: Be A Great Human Information Filter). To quote Jarred’s post:
But Steve states that bloggers can be “most useful” by essentially filtering information for readers. Our task, he says, is to master the online tools of aggregation and organization in order to let you know what’s important. Or, as Corvida puts it:
If you use any type of social media to share information, you’re contributing to the filtering process. If you blog, you’re contributing to the filtering process, while also adding to what could be noise for some.
Is that really filtering, though? Because I am writing a post about this topic rather than the potential Yahoo!-Microsoft merger, does that mean that this topic is more important or interesting than that? Nope. Besides, dozens if not hundreds of other blogs will choose to write about Yahoo!-Microsoft instead. If one hundred bloggers are presented with one hundred topics on which to write, and each chooses a different one, then is anything really being filtered?
I bolded one of the questions that Jarred asked that I will respond to in this post.
The Internet is Filtered
If each blogger wrote about a different topic, it would all be filtered or a type of filtering. However, the filtering is determined by the bloggers audience. If visitors don’t want to hear about the MSFT-Yahoo merger, but would be happy to learn about a new Twitter app, then the blogger who writes about the Twitter app over the merger story is filtering news for those visitors.
This is why we don’t write about everything and why we have niches: to help with the filtering process.
We Filter For Our Audience And Their Interests
We filter for our respective audiences. Those that subscribe to SheGeeks.net and follow me on social networks are part of my audience. In my opinion, I feel that I cater to them and help them find content, sites, and services that cater to their interests and in turn I am an information filter in a way that can sometimes be far more efficient than Google.
Who Are You A Filter For?
If one hundred bloggers are presented with one hundred topics on which to write, and each chooses a different one, then is anything really being filtered?
Yes, for all the different viewpoints that those hundreds bloggers bring to the table about 100 different topics. This isn’t where the filtering process starts though. It is up to the audience to make a choice about what to listen to before the filtering can begin.
All in all, most things are filtered in life, but this is particularly true when it comes to the internet. The question then becomes who are you a filter for and what are you filtering for them?