by Mike Masnick
Tue, Aug 4th 2009 5:15am
I'm a big fan of Damon Darlin, at the NY Times, but I'm a bit confused by his latest, claiming that serendipity is being stamped out online, because people just go find stuff they want, rather than randomly discover stuff. Perhaps I'm just speaking for myself, but I end up finding random stuff all the time -- whether it's from seeing random links on Twitter/Digg/Fark or other sites, having people send me stuff or just chatting with people. I'd argue that I end up finding a lot more that's new and interesting than I did before the internet was around. Darlin tries to brush off the fact that people get stuff from friends on social networks, by saying that's "filtered" by who you choose to follow, but his own example of serendipity at the beginning of the article is: "When we walk into other people's houses, we peruse their bookshelves, look at their CD cases and sneak a peek at their video collections." Isn't that "filtered" by whose homes you happen to walk into? I walk into strangers' homes a lot less often than I hear about a new book, album or movie from someone on Twitter.
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