Matt Hurst has a thought provoking article about the history of social media analysis and its future. The undercurrent of his article poses an interesting question:
What are the biases of current social media?
Why do we care? Because increasingly social media is a primary indicator of the success of web based content. How much have you been digged? Have you been slashdotted? Are you on Techmeme?
Gaming Digg is now overblown legend, Techmeme is controlled by external forces you can't pin down. There is no transparency because there just aren't any current mechanisms to promote it.
There have been many attempts to make social media fair and balanced. Netscape specifically rebalanced content to avoid various types of malicious gaming. However, each time efforts are made to de-game social media, the system becomes less and less pure.
Is that bad? Maybe not. But as a web content developer, understanding the impacts is vital. Without that understanding, social media will not be a reliable tool to judge actual popularity of your offerings.
Blogged from the Sai Oak in Ocean Shores, Washington