Towards a Web of One…
The author is a little more critical of personalization than I’d be inclined to be, and he gives too much credit to human editors in my opinion (I think they can be as bad or worse than algorithmic editors. Witness the hacking scandals in the UK, a phenomenon not exclusive to Great Britain).
Eli Pariser’s words resonate powerfully with the way I see the web and how it has evolved into its current form, with its relentless social networking emphasis. My main concern is not personalization but trivialisation, owing not only to the inane content posted by individual users but also by companies controlling the web.
Social networking has been driven by an insidious knack for making clever people spout nonsense, and those who succumb make the place invasive in every sense. Not to mention the frantic race to acquire more friends (there have been reports of periods in which there is a reversal of this phenomenon, perhaps when people realise how meaningless these connections are and start unfriending their superfluous contacts, trimming their friend lists. Google+ and Facebook eventually came up with the idea of Acquaintances rather than Friends, in large part to mitigate this need.
The sad thing is that in many respects the Internet has brought out pretty much the worst in us rather than making us better. Here is a little meaningful piece of content though, to make us think about it: