We Are Not Cows

There’s Something Rotten In The State Of Social Media

In this blind drive for exponential scale the individual user loses all meaning, and has zero value to the business. The business now concerns itself with handling massive blocks of users — and of course algorithms are better at handling segmented groups that sit within monetizeable buckets. Algorithms are born designed to perform that sort of heavy lifting.

But there is certainly a moral argument that says services like Twitter are betraying the very individuals whose efforts built their businesses in the first place. The people who invested the time and effort that allowed the service to scale large enough to be able to IPO. Not that sociopathic corporations compute the logic of moral arguments, of course.

Another point worth making: It can be rather difficult to articulate exactly why a service like Twitter can feel so alive, when — conversely — Facebook, an apparently similar social service, can leave you feeling cold, suckered in, used and abused. Or indeed just bored by homogeneity.

But actually it’s really rather a simple distinction: one is the product of a single human mind; the other is the product of an algorithm. Twitter, as it (mostly) is now with users in the driving seat, is a service with a human soul. While Facebook, which long ago prioritized algorithmic logic over human choices, is just another mechanized process.

As users of Twitter have said repeatedly, Twitter doesn’t seem to understand why people use Twitter.

If Twitter thinks the only way to make a profit is to milk its users, then there’s a serious failure of thought in its leadership.

When the Algorithms take over, I’m out of there, period.

3 Comments

Filed under Stupid

3 responses to “We Are Not Cows

  1. As I told you in Twitter, App.net didn’t think about milking its users or piggyback their third party developers’ efforts. App.net is dead, and Twitter made an IPO. Maybe we’re getting what we pay for.

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