It was 1993.
I remember walking into the dingy weather lab on the 3rd floor of Bronx High School of Science (in Bronx. NY).
This is where the nerds hung out.
(I was one, but i never admitted it until I was 30.)
Web 2.0? This was geekdom 0.0.
I recently learned about dialup modem, SLIRP, loading your own TCP/IP stack, 2400 baud modems, ytalk (the REAL O.G. of real time chat), and yes… windows 3.0.
You know why I loved the internet?
Because you got to see stuf that you normally would NEVER have without internet.
We’re talking information from the other side of the world, in a split second.
Chatting with people on the other side of the hemisphere through BBS’ and exchanging ideas & thoughts real time through IRC.
I mean, that’s nothing now, but hell, it was freaking’ awesome.
Fast forward 20 years… what is internet full of?
Funny cats, babies, pictures of food, porn, games, and of course, mindless shit like UpWorthy and BuzzFeed.
All that cool stuff we tech nerds prided in… all became another TV channel, full of useless mindless stuff that we don’t wanna be associated with.
Relevance = Self-Affirming Egotism
Google.. Facebook… Instagram…
All these content channels are showing you what you click on.
Why? Because they are relevant.
If you are logged in, you’ll notice that your SERP (search engine results page) is much different than if you were not logged in .. or worse, different from your friends:
All in the name of serving you what’s “relevant” for you, these search engines and social networks are filtering your information FOR you.
Now, is this fair?
I don’t know. You tell me.
Here’s the thing: do you click on things that make you feel uncomfortable & might not necessarily agree with your point of view in life?
Or do you skip them?
Your actions “train” these companie’s massive data center & their “brain” (i.e. algorithms) to filter the information they show you.
Why? Because they want you to stay engaged and come back, so that they can make more money showing you ads.
In the old days when the journalist used to write all kinds of crazy shit to just to sell their papers, people got all mad and called for “truth in journalism”.
Yes back in the day, the humans were the gatekeepers to information… whose interests lied in sync with advertisers.
People have grown to be sarcastic and even wary of what the traditional media say.
So now they “trust” the social media because it’s supposedly unfiltered.
Remmeber, Google & Facebook are the OLD media… their interest lies in sync with.. *drum roll* with the advertisers!
Personalized results? Facebook feed “algorithm”
That’s another way of saying … “we control your information to show you what WE think is relevant for YOU”.
Instead of humans filtering your information, now ROBOTS filter them FOR you.
And what happens when robots filter your information for you?
They show you what YOU and your friends click on.
In another words, show you stuff that affirms who you are, what you believe, and what you prefer in life.
But not just you… YOUR FRIENDS!
(if your friends are dumb asses, oh shit.. you’re bound to see more lolcats, stupid babies, ridiculous selfies, etc.)
No wonder my Facebook feed is full of baby crap (no offense to my friends who are parents, but your baby ain’t THAT cute.. and no i don’t wanna see your lizard looking baby 24×7).
They show you whatever is the most popular.
No, the internet doesn’t filter information based on what you see… it’s based on what you like and who you are.
In another words, internet is turning into another TV.. where the information is being made & delivered to whatever serves the masses. Even if they maybe stupid as shit and a huge waste of time.
No, This Will Not Change
Money is too good.
Social media sites and search engines are making way too much money from this idiotic sharecroppping where the content creators make all this useless content in exchange for ad revenue from the almighty online channels.
These supposed “do-gooders” of the world (“organize the world’s information”… “connect everyone on earth”) have gotten used to the taste of money, and they’re not going to change any time soo.
So how do you combat this?
Sure you can turn off search engine result personalization… stop visiting social media sites… but all in all, you really can’t.
The world is full of bored idiots who will click on useless shit, and there are more of them than there are of you smart marketers & entrepreneurs who actually might care.
So what do you do?
Take advantage of this trend.
It ain’t going anywhere. Might as well make some money with it.
(And if you’re lost for idea, join my newsletter.. I have some ideas you might like.)
Let’s do an experiment
Right now, there’s a war about to brew in Russia & Ukraine.
Take a screenshot of google search results for “russia ukraine” and post it in the comments.
One while logged into Google and one while logged out.
I’d love to see what you guys see that i’m not seeing.