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The New Gatekeepers

More wisdom from Seth Godin:

Google also automatically moves many Mailchimp newsletters to your promo folder in gmail. As well as airline alerts, school newsletters and more. Without asking you first. Plenty of babies in that bathwater. This error violates the do-not-harm principle… If people trust you to deliver their email, then deliver it

Source: Seth’s Blog: The choke points

G-mail, Facebook, twitter and even Google  do not deliver content in a complete and unedited manner. They are not alone, virtually every other online communication service does something similar. That is they filter the content they deliver to you.

Most often this is desirable and even necessary. Imagine what a vile unusable mess your e-mail inbox would be without a spam filter.

On the other hand we have little if any input into what we want or do not want to see. Facebook frequently hides posts that do not pass their secret algorithm and then pushes content when businesses pay them to do so. In theory this is good, the algorithm learns your likes and dislikes and filters the content you receive for your maximum benefit. That is the theory but an alternative view is that Facebook (and the others) gather data on you in order to sell you to the highest bidder.

In theory the Yelp algorithm filters out suspect reviews leaving only the true reviews from actual customers. That is the theory.

Godin calls these choke points. In traditional media the choke points or more usually the gatekeepers were the television producers and newspaper editors. New media and the Internet was supposed to bypass these traditional gatekeepers and democratize information. In many ways that has happened. However what we are now seeing is a new gatekeeper.The social media algorithm.

Godin labels the attached post a “rant”. And it is a little bit of one, never the less I agree with the concept and suggest you read it all.

 

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