The problem with being popular (part 2)

“For years, I’ve been using curators to filter my web experience…Techmeme has been the killer social media curator for my world of tech blogs. Lore has it that it was created using Scoble’s OPML file. It doesn’t matter to me if that’s true or not, I love that story. Because my OPML file was unusable until I found Techmeme and after that I stopped reading feeds and started reading curated feeds.” #

This feeds into a larger argument about why pop culture and the art of being or becoming popular can be a bad thing. Not long ago I was inspired by the movie “Good Night and Good Luck” to dive into this idea myself: #

“The real problem with popularity-driven models is that they reduce both the breadth and depth of the sources, topics and viewpoints being expressed across a community. Popularity-driven models water down the value in those hard-to-find nuggets. They normalize coverage and create new power structures that interesting things have to fight through.” #

This is exactly why personalization, recommendations and social media technologies really matter. They can solve this problem of creating conformist media consumption practices by creating relevance through networks of people rather than through networks of commercial institutions. #

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