But this very well may be facebook’s “problem,” and I don’t think that’s a surprise. Scoble didn’t write facebook’s newsfeed algorithm, after all.
For instance, facebook may be more likely to add Scoble’s items to his friends’ newsfeeds because he has many friends (I won’t share the number, because Scoble already has…a few times, anyway). But if this is a matter of many, many friends, facebook can simply throttle that down.
Or it may be because many of us click, or have recently clicked, on the items he posted or the applications he added. I certainly used to click on lots of Scoble’s posted items and other bits of activity. “Oh, Scoble just added that application! Let me check that out!” I don’t practice so much nearly blind experimentation anymore. That’s nothing against Scoble, but I just don’t get as much value as I used and as I thought I did. I like his blog more. Anyhow, facebook can fix this too. Facebook can stop its newsfeed algorithm from presuming that other people still care about Scoble’s added applications just because I used used to.
For any problem I can imagine, facebook can fix it. Then it’s just got to worry about the side-effects, and the two solutions above don’t strike me as portending awful consequences. Can you think of others—perhaps some clever catch-22 or truly gordian knot?
“But is there something I can do?” Scoble asks in the comments to the post in which he apologizes for taking over facebook. “I’m certainly looking through the setting to see if I can turn down my own noise level.” He protests that he’s “reading thousands of people, and I respond to them. So I look ‘noisy’ to lots of people.” Scoble frets, wrings his hands, and writes, “I know, but not sure what I can do about it.”
Haha. I have just one idea. Scoble doth protest too much, methinks.
But let’s get one thing clear. It’s not his responsibility to mind how facebook builds its own newsfeed. He can do what he likes with it, and we can choose whether we want to be his friends in view of that. But as long as Scoble really, really wants to find something he can do, I’ve got a suggestion. It all starts with Bill Tai’s video on kite sailing. What’s the issue? It’s in my newsfeed twice—once because Scoble gave props to his boy and once because Scoble then posted the video for all to see. It’s a fun video (though I gotta be snobby on the Coldplay front). Just posting the video, with a comment, would have probably gotten back to Mr. Tai. To the extent that that’s probable, it’s also probable that the original props are redundant. Don’t leave a comment and then also post the video. Pick one. Just an idea.