Monthly Archives: June 2011

You want to know this: why your posts on Facebook don’t get read

Take two scenarios: Something horrifically bad happens. You decide to share it on Facebook expecting your friends to see it. Then you get just a couple of comments, and you worry why so few care.

Or lets say you have a politically diverse group of friends on Facebook, and you post something to get the notice of those that don’t share your view, but no cross conversation happens. You’re left thinking that those ‘on the other side’ ‘just don’t get it’ or are ‘elitist’ or are ‘stupid’.

You maybe a victim of your own fine tuned Filter Bubble. Or your friends. The Filter Bubble is what Eli Pariser calls the effect you experience by an Internet, filtered by your profile, by unseen algorithms, in an attempt to get you to click on what you are most likely to click. It puts convenience and instant gratification ahead of shared experience.

I’d argue that filters are a boon (a search on Google for “Java” from me *should* provide results biased towards the programming language instead of coffee or the region) but Pariser’s points need to be shouted from rooftops because along with the terrific convenience and responsiveness, something important is taking place, we are mostly unaware, and the consequences could be severe.

Don’t take it from me. Watch Eli Pariser’s talk at TED.com: Beware online “filter bubbles”:

Related Links:

Boing Boing: “The Filter Bubble: how personalization changes society”

Metafilter: “Filter Bubbles”

Nick Judd at the Personal Democracy Forum asks in The Filter Bubble and the News You Need To Know: if you want to create a search tool that finds the news you need to know, rather than the news you want to read, where do you begin?

Mike Elgan at Computer World offers suggestions on popping your filter bubble.

There is a blog and book focused on the Filter Bubble.

“Why new internet and software architecture will define the future of society”

Lots of thought provoking bits to think about in Thomas Bjelkeman’s post: “Law is hard. Code is harder. Why new internet and software architecture will define the future of society”

If you combine the thought that our communications infrastructure is going to start dictate how we think about the world with what Laurence Lessig says: “The Code is the Law”. Then a number of things which are going on in the world today can be seen in a very different perspective than what you see in your average newspaper opinion piece.

…Imagine actually managing the lawmaking process in Github, with actual contributors and their affiliation clearly marked. Revisions tracked and open to view for all. The current residents of the corridors of power would never let that happen. But maybe it doesn’t matter, because the law is moving into the code.

…I think that it is fairly clear that information architecture changes how society works, and maybe it changes it in bigger ways and faster than “those in charge” anticipate. Which is why I have stopped saying you have to be a politician to change how things work. A hacker can be just as powerful, if not more so.