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If you want to find interesting things on the Internet, you need to go do the work of looking for them.

In memoriam Google Reader | Jeremy Cherfas:

Of course, one of the huge plus points of the big silos is that they supposedly make it easier to get your stuff in front of gazillions of people. Maybe. I have no idea how many new, regular readers come here from a social post and then cut out the middle man. Maybe some. But discoverability remains a problem. That’s why I like the very nineties idea of a webring, connecting websites that have something in common, even if that is only that they belong to the same webring.

Yeah, I can relate.

I think there are two different problems here, though. Sure, Facebook and Twitter may offer a better means of getting your stuff in front of gazillions of people, but I’m not sure that’s anything any of us really even wants. The small handful of experiences I’ve had with a post getting a lot of views and responses outside for my usual small circle of friends and acquaintances have been enough to convince me that it’s not a good idea.

The discoverability part, though… I feel like a lot of folks (although not the above post) are still stuck on the bogus idea pushed by tech evangelists that algorithms will save us, that we will automagically be given list of interesting people to follow, articles to read, and products to buy, all uniquely tailored to our specific needs and wants.

In reality, what we end with are famous people who already had 3 million followers, promoted posts, and “people who bought that also bought this” suggestions.

  1. There is, in my mind at least, some confusion between discoverability and promotion. That is, I want people to be able to find my podcast, which means I both need to promote it where the ears are and, if possible, make sure the ears can find it.

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