I love it even more when I find the product of someone else’s effort. There are many people online who spend years or even a lifetime gathering and organizing info about a single subject. If it weren’t for such people, the web would be a chaos of data.
Most people don’t have the time to do a thorough search and so our society is dependent on people who will do this and offer it to others… often for free, sometimes losing money in the process. Its amazing what people are willing to do even without the hope of financial gain. The internet would collapse if it weren’t for all the “volunteers” that help to keep it running. Most of the activity on the internet has very little direct economic value, but indirectly it promotes all of the online traffic which others capitalize on.
I see myself as one of those volunteers. Some of my blogs represent immense amounts of time perusing hundreds of websites. In my recent research about virtual worlds and networking sites, I looked at thousands of websites over several months. I’ve gathered enough info to write a very large book if I felt inspired to do so.
And all this activity by all these people is largely collaborative… intentionally or not. The whole structure of the internet seems to promote a collective framework. Authorship becomes less clear. Information takes on a viral status.
In my recent blog about virtual worlds, I gathered and organized info that had already been gathered and organized by others. Who knows how many stages of information filtration had happened even before that. And, of course, there will be an endless chain of links that will follow from my blog. I did a websearch. My blog has already been linked in some blogs, several times on Twitter and FriendFeed, linked on a forum for virtual gaming, and for some strange reason it was listed on a porn webcam site. Oh, dear me! lol