This week’s launch of Twitter’s Tailored Trends, Facebook’s App Center, and Airtime’s safety net is part of the growing recognition that a (very high) percentage of content on the interweb is unaldulterated rubbish with a layer of drivel on top. Most serious users are finding it increasingly difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. The search for RELEVANCE is starting to become an onerous and time-consuming activity.
Whether or not the solutions provided by Twitter, Facebook and Airtime will be effective in channeling and filtering the information according to personal profiles and preferences remains to be seen. But there is a clear demand for this type of service, as we’re seeing from startups/Betas such as Bottlenose, Twylah, Prismatic, Zite etc, which enable users to tune into the streams, topics and authors that interest them. I’m also assuming that the Twitter tailored trends facility has borrowed heavily from their investment in Summify, a service which I have used and found to be quite useful.
As Josh Constine rightly points out on Techcrunch, the big risk of insisting on relevance and safety is that we create a filter bubble where we become isolated from those different from ourselves. Facebook and Twitter need to be especially careful that they don’t completely hide critical Trending Topics or novel apps just because they’re not popular in closed little networks.
I’d be interested in hearing from anyone willing to share their experience of using aggregation, filtering, trending or content personalisation services. What works and what doesn’t?