Tribes’ problems: destroying Social Media spreading and discoveries

by Laurent François

Many observers are talking about a threat in Social Media: as Mark Schaefer writes on SMT, Twitter would be dying as an information tool, because of the tribes themselves.

Affinity groups, if they have a lot of advantages in real life (solidarity, network effects, business possibilities…), also have a big problem on social web: they tend to only promote themselves.

Mark notifies some negative elements: “auto RT” for instance, propagated by communities of allies, give the feeling of a giant new kind of ad space. Auto RT helps bloggers to appear in a very competitive market; but value added is very low, as it pollutes our attention. It’s a kind of necessary thus pervert leverage, because of Google too, which focuses on live search and dismantles the access to relevant archives…

Communities filter new entrants (arent’t hashtags anoter discriminative barrage?) and also filter external sources (besides important news as a tsunami or a war…). It reduces to a certain extent the quality and quantity of information.

Natalie Rastoin et Camille François summarized the main issue of this hyper-personalization + hyper-tribalization: what I want to get as a consumer is not what is necessary to access as a citizen.

3 main examples today:

  1. the very bad coverage of the new Huffington Post in French: communities of journalists + media-related spheres polluted my timeline, without really informing me
  2. the Mashable article on the new Facebook for iPad has been RT 10 times during the last 5 minutes (I only follow 760+ Twitter users, which is already enormous for a single man…)
  3. no info on Karachi affair

2 conclusions:

  1. curation is now a kind of investigative work; it requires a huge amount of time. I’m wondering if I’m not going to leave mainstream tools like Twitter to focus more on “1 to 1″ lunch with relevant people
  2. because of Twitter becoming mainstream, and linked to its real core business, entertainment, I’m now wondering if I’m not going to dive into more “underground” or hidden netwroks

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