Blog Sites With Tons of Stuff in the Margins

by kk+ on FlickR
Images of social networks don't make much sense when a whole population is jammed in. This is an image of a whole 'network' of Facebook 'friends' in San Fransisco.
So Much Noise – I spent the last couple of mornings tinkering around on Facebook and discovered that that thing is really packed full of stuff. The whole book is basically application upon application that includes all kinds of content. Photos… Friends… Comments… Books… Demographics… Visualizations… Lots and lots of flashy stuff.

And it was quite appealing. One of the base instincts we have is to orient ourselves to the world around us. When a vertebrate animal is exposed to a strong stimulus (e.g. a mouse exposed to a loud bang) they turn to face the noise and they orient all their senses on it. This is the orienting response. When faces with something new, the tendency is to focus on it. Fundamentally, this is how we gain reward and avoid harmful things. as a byproduct, we are able to take shortcuts when exposed repeatedly. We are able to predict outcomes. This is how we learn.

Online sites in which each person can create a wide variety of things provide lots of new stimulation. And when we know these people, the potency of the information is significant. Social software sites in which we have many people we know making lots of changes on a regular basis can result in us spending a LOT of time focusing on the site.

Facebook shows a nice tightly-integrated system in which data across multiple profiles are all shared and available to be used in multiple ways. In theory, if all the trinkets on everyone’s blog was available in a standard form, then the same outcome we get with Facebook could be achieved across the blogosphere.

I’m sure someone would say, “but it is!” I think I’m going to try it out. How easy could it be?

Photo by – kk+

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