The Filter Problem

Recently, Matt Asay blogged about Clay Shirky’s keynote on Web 2.0 Expo.

I must agree that many problematic aspects of my web experience hinge on the concept of filtering.  Now I realize that ultimately everyone on the web can read my content.  However, I would prefer different people to get different content at different times.  It is not that I have something to hide.  But I don’t want every single one of my contacts to read up on my all blog entries, my personal Facebook updates, my professional LinkedIn account and follow my project progress at the same time.  Why should professional contacts care or know about my relationship status?  Or should my high school buddies to follow up on my professional interests?  I certainly don’t want everyone at work to see know about my side projects or my silly photos from my last vacation.  It is all a question about audience is privy to which information and view from which perspective.

So rather than provide a rich networked experience to all of my audiences, I try to separate my different online parts of my life.  In theory I could flood everyone with so much data to make it impossible to get a complete picture of my life.  But that would inconveinence everyone…  No, what we need to do is to create intelligent filters that provide different lens for different people to see my life through well-engineered perspectives.