Social Media has been praised for its ability to connect people across time and geography, bring the world a little bit closer together and open the dialogue between customers and businesses. Social Media is also a massively disruptive force in government and business due to the ability for anyone to become a publisher. While this has numerous benefits we now must suffer through the incessant flow of garbage that is co-mingled with truly valuable thoughts and ideas.
Social Media is often criticized for being noisy, and there is certainly merit to that criticism. But the noise is simply a bi-product of open publishing and a dearth of controls for filtering content by keyword or source. Fortunately I’m here to show you how to control the noise on several popular networks.
In my mind, Facebook is the worst offender of all when it comes to the creation of noise. Facebook actually builds their network in a way that increases noise. Between the new ticker and frictionless sharing, and the historically purposeful obfuscation of the list building feature, Facebook is intent on controlling what you see so they can generate huge ads revenues.
Their one obvious, ever-present solution seems to be the News Feed. They claim this feed of information analyzes your behavior to bring you what is most relevant. Excuse me, but, BULLSHIT! How on earth does ANY software algorithm know that right now I want to see my old college roommate’s information? How does any algorithm know that I just had a conversation offline about Puma sneakers and now I’m itching to know what Puma is talking about or offering? Here’s the answer, it can’t. And if Facebook actually cared about giving users the information they want, they’d make lists easier to create and more central to the content consumption process.
So if you find you brain being numbed by the repetitive and often irrelevant news feed, the answer lies in the creation of lists. It’s actually very simple.
And click this:
Now name the list. Then start adding people. It’s as simple as that.
Believe it or not, Facebook has had this feature for a long time, they have just made it too difficult to find. They’ve recently made it easier in an attempt to replicate the features of Google+ Circles.
Once you’ve created these lists, you’ll want to access them. Go back to http://www.facebook.com/bookmarks/lists and either click on the list you’ve created and bookmark it in your browser, OR click the little icon next to the list and “Add to Favorites.” Now you can see just what your best friends are saying, or family, or sports teams or retail brands. It’s your world, filter how YOU want.
Twitter was one of the first to take on the noise problem by giving US choice. Twitter lists are a wonderful way to segment your Twitter network. Once you have passed 250 people in the Home Feed, Twitter becomes difficult to follow. So, make lists. It’s easy enough.
Step 1: Login to Twitter
Step 2: Click Lists
Step 3: Click Create New List
Step 4: Find someone to add to the list. Click the button at the right, next to “Follow” and click “Add to List”
The next level is to start a Hootsuite or Tweetdeck account and search for keywords within those lists.
Google+ is built for filtering. Simply utilize the circles function in a similar fashion as you would Twitter lists or Facebook lists. To look within those feeds for certain info, you’ll need a Google Chrome plug-in (try this one), Firefox add-on or some other external method.
How are you handling the noise, what tools do you use?