The ability to moderate comments and user created content on a website is not a new technology. Slashdot has had comment moderation for over a decade. As the ability to vote on user generated content has grown more popular, so too has the inability to vote down or “dislike.”
The most common example is Facebook, which introduced a “like” button, which was really just a ripoff from Friendfeed. While Facebook is the most widely known case, I find the lack of moderating down comments on Yelp even more annoying.
On Yelp people will write reviews that are completely idiotic. A negative review because the restaurant was busy, or because the weather was bad, or because it was a chain. Yelp only gives people the ability to “compliment” a review, so moronic reviews never get put in their place.
Has our society become so insecure, that we cannot take honest feedback when it comes to our online contributions? Does every child get a medal? Life is a two-way street; online moderation should be the same way.
Long before the term “blog” was coined, I had a personal homepage. Earlier this decade, personal homepages started shifting to the blog format. Today, we are seeing those personal blogs die a slow death, as people flock to Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites.
Sure, lots of people are still blogging. Blogging is still growing, but I’m seeing a noticeable reduction in volume among the personal blogs that I follow. My own blogging has been reduced somewhat, the main culprits being Twitter and Facebook.
A few years ago, I might blog a quick link to a news article. Today, its either a tweet or Facebook posted item for news stories. I don’t bother with a blog post, unless I want to write two paragraphs or more.
For lots of people, social networking sites are their first exposure to “web publishing.” Those people are going to be less inclined to create their own blogs and personal websites. Why bother creating a blog when “everybody is on Facebook?”
For me, I think there will always be a place for the personal website. Social networking websites are very poor substitutes for blogging, because of the limited exposure, the low signal to noise ratio, and the frequency of the news feed. A two day old Facebook note is never seen again, where a two year old blog post is still very accessible.
It will be very interesting to see how personal blogging will evolve in the next decade. Social networking is a threat, but its also an opportunity for integration with tools like Facebook connect.
The growth of social networking over the last decade has been staggering. Social networking on the Internet is not new, but Facebook has become the Google of social networking sites. Friendster started the trend. Orkut was interesting for 3 months, and Myspace grew exponentially, only to turn in to a e-trailer park.
There are so many use cases for Facebook, because its really a combination of a variety of existing Internet sites in one portal. Whether you want to keep up with family, close friends, co-workers, old classmates, or distant relatives Facebook is the Swiss army knife of social networking.
Once people “see the light” with social networking, they instantly start evangelizing. Its really interesting to hear people’s excuses for not joining Facebook. “Why do I need to join Facebook?” “I don’t care what Ed is having for lunch.” “I talk to all the people I want to via phone and e-mail.” “I find it nosy!” “I can’t control it!”
You can either join the social networking party, or look like luddite. In a few years, people who don’t use social networking will look as obsolete as people who don’t use e-mail. You can resist it all you want, but its only a matter of time.
Social networking is not a necessary technology. By its nature, technology is inherently unnecessary. Human beings only need food, water, and basic shelter, everything else is unnecessary.
GPS? Computers? Ipods? Cell phones? TV? Radio? Air conditioning? Automobiles? Trains? Deodorant? Horses? Electricity? Plumbing? Clothing? Fire?
There is not much in life that is truly necessary. So they next time you’re looking to justify not using a new technology, find a better excuse.