The information Internet over the social Internet

“Sarcasm aside, I greatly admire Google. My goal is not to be acquired, because I’m in this thing for the long haul – but if I had to pick a company to be acquired by, it would probably be Google. I feel their emphasis on the information graph over the social graph aligns more closely with our mission than almost any other potential suitor I can think of.”

~ Jeff Atwood on why Google would be his acquirer of choice.

I’ve never really thought of splitting the Internet into the social graph vs the information graph, but it makes perfect sense. I imagine over 90% of my Internet usage is for information purposes: sharing and gaining, so I understand why I personally relate to sites based upon that premise: wikipedia, google, wordpress etc. I find social graphs chaotic and noisy, whereas information can be pure and soothing.

Author: Alister Scott

Alister is an Excellence Wrangler for Automattic.

3 thoughts on “The information Internet over the social Internet”

  1. I hadn’t thought about that either, but it does seem to clearly define the spheres of use online. I wonder what it says or implies to us when writing user stories. Perhaps this is a useful thing to keep in mind when thinking about the people coming to your site. And what happens when they merge? (Like logging in to cnn via facebook etc)


  2. While I agree that there are currently the two categories, I don’t think they are mutually exclusive and over time they are more likely to converge. For example, you’ve listed WordPress as an information source, which it is, but strictly speaking it is social. Similarly, many information providers are already using social media as a channel – Queensland Police were providing real-time updates during the recent flood crisis via Twitter and Facebook, with thousands of followers on each. Real-time web plays a big part in whether this convergence will take form or not. Maybe that means we’ve got to get used to some amount of chaos in order to get the information sooner.


    1. Thanks for your comment Scott.
      Yes, I agree that there is a convergence taking place between social and information.
      But I tend to split my Internet usage into intentions: often my intent is to share/find information, less often it is to socialize.
      I guess people may use social channels to find information, but less likely to use information sources to socialize.


Comments are closed.