basically, it all started with Alexis' attempt to provide transparency into his thinking. he decided to do that with sharing his "shared blogs", his twitters, and facebook page with his readers. he challenges his readers to help shape what he writes about by learning more about the things that he thinks about. (read about it here; My Outboard Brain Is Your Chance to Shape News).
that was an interesting idea. he is basically saying "help me help you". he wants his readers to understand who he is by viewing his interests. and he wants his readers to help him understand what they are interested in by hopefully creating a community of collaborating readers.
the other wired bloggers followed his lead:
There's a serious point to this. Journalists are no longer the gatekeepers of the news. Instead, we're hubs -- conduits -- and we'll succeed to the extend that we're able to facilitate the flow of information. We think tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can help us do that better.
And yes, this is one big experiment. We don't have all the answers.
this is cool. it is cool because they are trying to use social networking technology to create something other than just social networking. this is something i've been trying to describe in my posts. my point has been that social networking is pretty much meaningless entertainment, unless it is applied to "something bigger". in this specific case, i think it is cool because they are taking "sharing to a new level".