Problems in the social networking world

A while ago when I was deep into flickr I wrote a piece on how too much concern with the social networking aspects of it can affect one’s photography: Flickr Explore. Now Thomas Webber at The Daily Beast has taken apart how Facebook’s popularity contest works in a fascinating piece: Cracking the Facebook Code.

How does the social media giant decide who and what to put in your feed? Tom Weber conducts a one-month experiment to break the algorithm, discovering 10 of Facebook’s biggest secrets.

The bottom line is that you can game these systems if you want to be popular and Thomas shows you how. But then, being popular on Facebook means what exactly?

The popularity of Facebook and other social networking sites is probably partly the result of people being obsessed with their own popularity. Social networking for the sake of social networking.

I think our culture has hit a new low.

Postscript: Not that this should be a model for anyone but on Twitter I can’t see how people could be following 1000 other people who tweet a lot. How can they have a life among all of that information flying by like a crawl on CNN? I follow about 50 people and try to keep the number manageable so I can actually read the tweets. Anyone I connect with who floods that channel I disconnect from. I’m not interested in minute by minute updates from anyone, including The NewsHour, onPoint Radio or friends. I think many use Twitter as a way to make as many connections as possible and to me, that defeats the purpose of it. Again, social networking for the sake of social networking.

[via Kottke.org]