Comments on: Who Filters Your News? Why we built Ethan Zuckerman’s online home, since 2003 Thu, 31 May 2018 07:56:57 +0000 hourly 1 By: Chris Thu, 26 Apr 2018 18:26:19 +0000 I really like what Gobo can do but I’m wondering with all the new updates and security problems Facebook had lately will it still work?
And I love all the comments above, they opened my eyes about a lot of stuff.

By: Paul Tue, 28 Nov 2017 22:28:13 +0000 Thank you!

I’ve been thinking about/wanting something like this for a long time – and knowing that it is entirely technically feasible, and why hadn’t someone built it already? (or did I just need to look further to find it?) – so in that vein – are there any other current efforts of which I should be aware? Preferably open source? ( yes, I’m asking me to list your competition, if there is any – can’t hurt to ask. :-D )

Leading to – is this currently, or going to be open source? I’m not just talking about the OSS ML libraries you’re building on.. but the code for itself? I can’t imagine anyone wanting to spin up their own instance per se, but verifiability is always nice.

Yes – please do add RSS. And email ingest would be nice for the email-based newsletters that many are trying to move towards.

I’m sure speed is important to some, but it may not(?) be as important as you think. For instance – I’m more than thrilled with a 3-hour delay on Twitter (and FB) if in turn I get to be more sure that what I’m seeing is relevant to me. I cannot think of a single instance on Twitter or Facebook where my replying or interacting in anything less than 24 hours or so mattered. If I were at, say, a protest, and trying to get realtime info from Twitter, I’d probably be fine knowing to simply switching to reading Twitter directly.

As a consumer, I notice that I want different things from my online media, which may suggest features (I haven’t actually tried yet):

* simple, straightforward “bookmarks (or better yet, archives) that I fully control and are fully private”

* read-it-later/instapaper/evernote/pocket – mark this as something with which I intend to take later action, whether it is read it on my dedicated ereader device, view it on a larger/better screen (videos), or listen to it somewhere with better audio (or where audio is socially acceptable – say, a soundcloud link discovered when I’m on the bus with no headphones), or blog about this, or research it etc. Tagging would suffice, but “send to read-it-later queue that also shows up on my ereader” is a bit more than just a tag.

* how about a “never miss ever” feature – ie: no filtering at all from a given source. Bands I follow on Facebook in order to know when they’re going on tour fit this category, and Facebook’s filtering has burned me badly several times. I may or may not care about them touring to my current city, as there are multiple places to which I’d be willing to travel.

* extrapolating.. location-based filtering would be handy, particularly for events. While I’m willing to travel some, there are definitely some cities that get preference. FB filters only based on my declared location, or geotagging my ‘current’ location which can be significantly off, or irrelevant, depending on travel plans.

* a “try really hard not to miss this kind of content” filter would also be extremely useful. On Facebook, for me, for instance, this is family updates from “people I consider real life friends” – pictures/updates of their kids/dog/birthday party/hobby/travel. You know – friends and family stuff, that currently basically only shows up on FB, so if you don’t want to miss it.. you’ve got to be on FB. And even then, thanks to FB.. you miss it. :-/ But.. those same people will readily churn out TONS of content I don’t want to see – reshared political links, pictures of restaurant food or them doing the ice bucket challenge.

* discovery can be an incredibly useful aspect of these kinds of algorithms, particularly if not driven by pure commercialism. Spotify Discover weekly, for example, works relatively well for me. Facebook’s “you might also like” works less well. I theorize that this is a function of how much money FB is making via that feature, whereas Spotify doesn’t make any extra money at all, beyond ensuring you keep subscribing (or listening) by making the feature directly useful to the end user.

By: Kaleberg Sun, 26 Nov 2017 19:03:12 +0000 Gobo reminds me of an old idea I had for an anti-trust action against Google. There are two things going on in a search engine or any aggregator for that matter. There is the data collection, and there is the ranking. Right now, Google does both, but the two businesses could be split, much as the telephone business was split into local and long distance by the AT&T settlement.

Gobo does the data collection, but lets the user control the ranking in terms of user relevance. In fact, this editorial action does not need to be completely individualized. I actually prefer to see other people’s curation, and I doubt I am alone. For example, I always check both US and international versions of news pages in hopes of seeing things out of my bubble. I can’t imagine the advantage of seeing news selected because it is “relevant” to me. Odds are it wouldn’t even be news.

Something similar could be done with search engines. There could be a back end that does the collecting, cataloguing and cross indexing. Then, there could be an API for building ranking mechanisms. Right now, there is just search, but I search for many reasons. Sometimes I am shopping. Sometimes I am following up on the news. Sometimes I am doing background research. Sometimes I am trying to learn something new. Google and its competitors try to provide a mid-point setting, so they provide a mediocre result. Other organizations could do better.

I’d play with Gobo, but I still haven’t found an excuse to sign up for Facebook, Twitter or other social media. So few of my friends have accounts, and they are generally business related. Still, it sounds like a good idea. The way to make money is to push, but what people really want is to pull.

By: Recherche info en réseau social | Pearltrees Wed, 22 Nov 2017 18:08:38 +0000 […] Who Filters Your News? Why we built – MIT MEDIA LAB. […]

By: Babak Fakhamzadeh Fri, 17 Nov 2017 12:10:53 +0000 Where to leave bug reports? Tapping the ‘Authenticate with Twitter’ button results in a “Error authenticating Twitter, please try again”.