Monday, August 17

The new media

I was at this party a couple weeks ago and for a variety of reasons I overheard (but did not participate in) a conversation that was about the new media. That is; how Facebook is annoying but not nearly as meaningless as Twitter and Livejournal is really where you want to be if you want to read something meaningful.

I'm paraphrasing but I figure you get the idea.

And to me, what this conversation represents is a failure to understand how social websites work now. You define your experience, right? Facebook, Twitter, these sites offer you control over what you see and don't see (Facebook more than Twitter, as far as I can tell). Livejournal does this too-and it also has the extra step of allowing its users to create specific lists so you can post things that some people will see and others won't. I think Facebook does this as well but I'm not sure it's as extensive.

That said; sites like Twitter and Facebook could go a long way towards making those user experiences easier to manage. This is especially true in the case of Facebook and it's privacy policies I think. By hiding it, you're engaging in a sneaky act and people don't like it.

The point is; if you don't want to see the twenty pirate updates every day, you don't have to. So complaining that people aren't using it in a way that you like just means that you've failed to take advantage of the tools that improve your own experience. And complaining that the content it provides isn't the content you think you ought to get means you've misunderstood what the service is.

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