Facebook and Meaningless Sharing

“My Facebook feed is full of what friends are listening to, what friends are reading, etc. And frankly, I don’t give a damn.”–Mike Loukides, The End of Social

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Loukides’ article addresses a serious challenge with so many applications pushing information into Facebook; meaningful information.

Spotify is an online music service that provides the option of connecting the service to Facebook. What’s cool is being able to discover new songs and interact over common or uncommon music. What’s not cool is seeing hundreds of Spotify posts that blur into white noise:

“But turn that around: while I might be interested in what you listen to, I have hundreds of Facebook friends; do I really care to be informed about what everyone is listening to? Do I really care to keep up with everything that they’re reading? A little bit of information (cool, I didn’t know that Bert Bates is a Dead Head) is interesting, but a deluge is The Big Snore.”–Loukides

Even (and especially) online there has to be effort on the part of the one sharing information to make it stand out. For those seeking to influence others online extra time has to be invested beyond automation.

“The effort required to tweet tells me that someone thought it was important.”

Automated distribution of online content has never been easier. Unfortunately that solves an old media problem and not a new media one. It’s easy to rest in automating our online presence: connecting Hootsuite to Facebook and Twitter, Foursquare to Twitter and Facebook, etc.

But with every account that is automated the web becomes a little less personal. Opportunities to “reach” more suddenly become opportunities to “spam” those people that are already listening.

If you are looking to expand your online influence, consider investing your time making the places you already are present more personal and engaging. Take the time to add a photo to a Facebook story, or a link to a Tweet.

“If a song is shared on Facebook and nobody listens to it, does it make a sound?”–Loukides

“Every interaction comes with a cost. Not in cash money, but in something worth even more: the attention of the person you’re interacting with. Waste it–with spam, with a worthless offer, with a lack of preparation, and yes, with nervous dissembling, then you are unlikely to get another chance.”–Seth Godin