Gilles Vandenoostende

Hi, I'm Gilles Vandenoostende - designer, illustrator and digital busybody with a love of language, based in Ghent, Belgium.

Frictionless sharing

Continuing my rash of Facebook-posts: here’s an interesting article I’m making a conscious effort to share with you guys:

The Friction in Frictionless Sharing

[…]Instead of requiring the user to confirm every single article they choose to share, just give them a one-time dialog that enables them to share everything down the road.

That’s a lot less work for the user, right?

Well, no, not really. Because in the past the user only had to decide whether to share something they just read, but now they have to think about every single article before they even read it. If I read this article, then everyone will know I read it, and do I really want people to know I read it?

That creates more friction, not less.

-Nick Bradbury: The Friction in Frictionless Sharing

He makes a good point, but my objection to Facebook’s ‘frictionless’ sharing is more basic than that: if you’re sharing everything, isn’t that the same as just sharing nothing at all?

And just who out there is really interested in every single thing someone reads? That kind of all-inclusive information might seem useful to an FBI profiler trying to identify a serial killer, or to creepy stalkers* trying to learn your habits, but to your friends? I mean, I love my friends, but I couldn’t give a damn about 99% of what they read online, and I’m sure none of them care about 99% of the stuff I read either. I might care about the 1% they think is actually interesting, and one way of knowing that is if they made a conscious effort to share it.

Any effort to streamline sharing only serves to lower the standards for that which gets shared.


* Also known as advertisers.

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