Hamel’s counterpoint to my previous post on the Facebook LIKE button is up.

Check out both posts for detail.

If you want the Cole Notes:

Chris: “It’s not all spam. But it can be spam. And some marketers will spam. Some marketers will provide utility. There will be a net positive over time – like email.”

Dave: “It’s all spam. You clicking the Like button generates NewsFeed spam. Screw your interests, Chris. Because I don’t care if you Like something.”

Fair enough Dave. I see your point and I understand it.

In general, like people clump alike. I tweet stuff all the time aimed at a very specific focus area. All of it is solid gold and incredibly valuable to the people I’m talking to regularly. A Like, in a Facebook page, is a lot like a tweet with a link, isn’t? And typically – I clump with analysts, innovators, technologists and troublemakers on twitter.

And like people generally clump on Facebook – though – it seems a lot less brutal than Twitter. Let me expand.

I remember there was a time on twitter when certain people would constantly retweet Digg articles. And I stopped following those people, because I read Digg myself.

I no longer read Digg. But you get my point.

To me it was spam. Why are these people polluting my feed with Digg? Clearly, I infer, they were trying to share with mainline marketers at the time. And that’s fine. But that wasn’t me.

On the flip side, sometimes I click on links from people who generally provide good OC (Original Content). And I’m consistently rewarded for clicking on those links. I learned of Dave’s post by way of Twitter.

So the UX question is – are clumps well formed enough on Facebook for friendships to survive newsfeed noise? Will Facebook make it easy for me to brutally segment my valuable attention?

Dave’s response: I don’t care if Chris likes “My Little Pony”, is just fine. He likes the Care Bears. I’m into Ponies.

On Twitter, I just unfollow such people if they’re too persistent, and at some point, if they’re hammering #measure with bullcrap – “optimize your pages for maximum results” – I’ll block.

If such behavior is transferred to Facebook, well – friend lists might never be the same.

6 thoughts on “Ponies and Bears and Newsfeeds and Facebook.com

  1. Maybe we need to begin to balance out how much we create and how much we share. The slice of the pie that consist of sharing is dramatically increasing, and the other slice that focuses on creating is shrinking. We end up becoming a group of people who wait for the next person to create something so that we can quickly share it with everyone we know.

    Sharing isn’t bad, unless it completely dominates creation. We need to find balance.

  2. Jen says:

    Hmm. “Liking” something doesn’t spam your friends’ feeds except to tell them you “Liked” it (once, which to me is non-spam). In fact, Facebook has made all those notifications roll into one per person. “So-and-so liked Bingo Cards and 100 other things”. So, once per day per friend? I hate to be the Facebook sympathizer here, but there must be something I don’t understand. Or I’m weird?

    For my part, I find hiding people and stuff in Facebook much easier than managing my email. Liking pages that live on Facebook lets the page admins post to my feed, why should I expect a “Like” to act differently outside of Facebook? I think opening to the potential of clickjacking was the worst part of the open “Like”. And by some magic that seems to have largely gotten under control.


    (P.S. I admit it: I totally lied, I love being a Facebook sympathizer.)

  3. @digitalinfant You’re an original content creator. As such, you know very well that you’re among the 1 in 10 in the general population, and 1 in 5 among your Forrester psycho-demographic. Lurkers gonna lurk. Spectators gonna spectate. And your point about OC is one well taken. The number of creators online is a function of demography, broadband penetration, and online tenure. Such relentless demography wins in the end.

    @Jen True. High frequency likers (a.k.a. taggers and critics) are effectively managed by the existing FB system. Which generates a measurement nightmare for yours truly, however, it preserves some of the user experience.

    That said – I am most certainly interested in some of what other people like. And the experience of seeing what others like at the same time could be intriguing.

    @Dave I suppose I’m very concerned with what happens over the medium term, knowing full well that people make the system work for themselves, or they will leave.

  4. Dave says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Dave says:

    Reposting comment cause the link didn’t work

    I would argue twitter is not quite like “Like” because you have to string together 140 characters, but
    I think your analogy with Digg is spot on though. The like button is duping people into doing marketers jobs for them. Case in point:


    Do you really need to tell your friends you like Air Wick Oval Air Freshener? Really? That the sum total of your contribution is “I like this?”

    To quote Studs Terkel, “More and more we are into communications; and less and less into communication.”

  6. Matt Kantor says:

    Perhaps this is the catalyst that created levels of friends on facebook…they have done this – sort of – with their filtering. Twitter does this well with lists. I had a point but I forgot it already. Sorry.

Comments are closed.