September 20, 2020



I've mostly used Facebook and Twitter as my examples here and in my own offline thoughts as they are the platforms I am most familiar with. There is, however, a whole wide world of platforms and content out there.

Did you know there is a platform that consists almost solely of young people doing interpretative dance routines? I know! Crazy!

Much of the content we produce and publish is informed by the platforms we use. If the main interface expects you to pick an audio track and has a camera record button front and center, it is unlikely that you are going to switch things around and pen a thoughtful essay.

(I wanted to run a poll of my "friends" the other day and couldn't. It was a feature that Facebook used to have. Not anymore. Are there sinister reasons behind this, as we near an election day? Most likely not. But the conspiracy theorist inside of me says "Maybe...".)

On the other hand, these same platforms shape the content that we consume as well. Not just the form but the substance. Putting aside the accusations that these platforms amplify certain topics or deliver targeted messaging for advertisers, they simply do not allow us fine grained control over what we consume. It is usually all or nothing from those we are connected to or clunky controls to mute certain phrases.

So, put all of these recent topics together - technological cycles, interaction, networks, content - and where does that leave us? Or more precisely, where does that leave me in terms of envisioning the next stage of development for social media?

Next time...