For the last ten years I have believed that collaborative filtering will be one of the most fundamental platforms for business and society. In a world of massively increasing information overload, the only way we will cope is to collaborate to filter what will be most relevant to us. Early this decade I was finding myself very surprised by how slow progress had been over the last five years, despite some interesting research and initiatives. However the last five years on the Internet could almost be characterized as the rise of collaborative filtering. Our Web 2.0 Framework is in a sense a description of how we collectively filter information. Almost all the significant developments on the web I would interpret as related to this evolution of collaborative filtering.
An article out a few days ago in the New York Times titled Finding Political News Online, The Young Pass It On described how young people share political news they are interested in by email and on social networks. In the same way, many young people primarily read articles that has found them in this way. In short:
“..they rely on friends and online connections for news to come to them. In essence, they are replacing the professional filter — reading The Washington Post, clicking on CNN.com — with a social one.”