I sometimes tell people that when technology evangelists espouse that their tool saves you time, that it’s a red flag warning / code talk for “I am lying”.
But here, I share my one, career tested exception; it’s old technology that many people have abandoned. I will wade carefully through the acronym jargon, but it’s using an RSS Feed Reader to monitor the most recent news, blog posts, data from sources you choose to follow, not dished out by some algorithm.
Looking through my archives, it seems that I’ve only mentioned RSS twice! Alan basically sums up all of the reasons to use RSS. My biggest reason is that RSS saves me from the algorithms of Facebook or Twitter. Chris Aldrich summed up his problem with Facebook in the article The Facebook Algorithm Mom Problem:
I write my content on my own personal site. I automatically syndicate it to Facebook. My mom, who seems to be on Facebook 24/7, immediately clicks “like” on the post. The Facebook algorithm immediately thinks that because my mom liked it, it must be a family related piece of content–even if it’s obviously about theoretical math, a subject in which my mom has no interest or knowledge. (My mom has about 180 friends on Facebook; 45 of them overlap with mine and the vast majority of those are close family members).
The algorithm narrows the presentation of the content down to very close family. Then my mom’s sister sees it and clicks “like” moments later. Now Facebook’s algorithm has created a self-fulfilling prophesy and further narrows the audience of my post. As a result, my post gets no further exposure on Facebook other than perhaps five people–the circle of family that overlaps in all three of our social graphs.
You have to wonder, what are you missing?