I am proposing a new model for social media and for almost every content-based platform to embrace.
You are reading this post on the Internet, a place we internalized in a very short time. Still, our minds can't comprehend the vastness of the Internet. Although it is referred to as the Internet, every person's experience on it is unique.
So, what is the proposal and what will I do about it? First, a little bit of history reminder.
Living in the Internet Era - Living the Television Era
I want to paint a natural picture of the progressive evolution of content consumption. Let's start from the television, for the sake of argument.
Television was great, it brought the moving pictures into our houses. How did we consume it? It was broadcast to us. At first, there was only a single channel to watch. We couldn't have any preference and needed to watch what was served.
Then came the multiple channels era. The control was in our hands, there were so many channels to pick from. We weren't some dummies without personal preferences...
...or were we? ( enter Vsauce ).
Everything changed drastically with the arrival of the Internet. Now we started to search for the content. It wasn't directly broadcast to us. Though there were few creators in the beginning, the Internet filled with content pretty quickly. After a while, the amount of content on the Internet made it harder to surf the web.
Some people were very skilled at finding exciting content. You know those people, who constantly share all kinds of crazy things on the Internet with their friends. They've also built websites to share their findings with everyone. Those websites were very popular back then, but they quickly became obsolete.
Another radical change started with social media. It combined the social and the media aspects of the Internet under a single roof. You wouldn't need to search the web anymore. Your friends, their social media posts, content creators, and even products are all on the same page.
Older people were asking me to log in to their social media accounts. They didn't care about the rest of the Internet, they didn't know how to use the Internet. But, they pretty well knew how to use social media.
To me, that was a very interesting time. It may be the first time, we all felt connected throughout the globe.
Do you remember when we all felt connected, before?
The television! Especially when it first came around. There were only a handful of channels. So everyone was watching the same thing and it was very bonding for the societies. In addition to that, there were few houses with television and people were gathering in those houses. Honestly, I didn't live in those times, but I can imagine what it was like.
Today, there are many social media platforms, even though only a handful of them dominate the Internet. But as you might have noticed, we are back to the television era, with the Internet. We are no longer searching or choosing our content. You might feel like you do, but in reality, most of the content you consume is pushed upon you by the algorithms.
Yes, you can choose which accounts to follow, and which movies to watch. Nobody is forcing you to do anything. But can you say, you are not highly incentivized and somewhat manipulated by your homepages, suggestions, featured content etc?
The Natural Progression
By looking at our past, we can predict the future. I find it hard to explain what I see when I look at this picture. I see a constant exploration to discover a way to reach content with more flexibility, more freedom, and more ease. But most importantly, more together.
- The Internet gave us freedom
- Popular websites and social media brought us together
- Algorithms made it easier to find content
What gave us flexibility? Besides, what is flexibility?
One can argue that having more choice = more flexibility. That couldn't be further from the truth. We can only make so many choices, with our limited time and brain power.
What if we didn't have to make that choice for every content on the Internet? What if an algorithm would guess what we like, and suggest a few content to us? Then, it would be a pretty easy decision for us.
Oh crap! This guy doesn't know about the existing algorithms on virtually every social media, he is wasting my time.
Don't worry dear reader, I may not know about their algorithms, but did you ever realize that, you don't know them algorithms either!
People should be free to inspect those algorithms, choose their algorithms, and implement their algorithms. It is nothing more, nothing less.
I am building a platform, that will prove this concept where you can:
- Write your algorithm for the homepage
- Verify %100 that the homepage is from your algorithm without manipulation!