The other day I mentioned, quality-of-share as a thing, as obviously not all shares are going to get the same reach. But the number of reach is not the most important metric, the quality of those reached is. This is not just for Steem of course, as it is the reason that the data collectors are able to sell our information for so much, as it can then be used to target us with products, services and political campaigns.
As I see it, we have largely been tricked into worrying about numbers of followers as enduser consumers on the social platforms, even though while there is no direct money there, stake still matters. Social stake that is. Just like the useless "resteem services" here that push posts out to 50,000 dead accounts, the quality of the following matters on Twitter also and having a few highly socially staked followers can make a large difference. And funnily enough, just like on Steem, quality of content matters too, as do the relationships created on and off the platform.
It took me about 6 months to get to 500 followers on Steem, and I think it has taken over a year to gain the last 500. Most of my following came in a very short period between late 2017 and mid 2018, surprise, surprise. I have never put much stock in number of followers on Steem, as there are people like @kingscrown with 30,000+ followers who still doesn't get much engagement - yet a lot of rewards on low quality content. The vast majority of the rewards he gets are from a very narrow set of those followers.
Quality is subjective of course, but when it comes to quality of follower on a stake-based platform, stake has to be a contributing factor. And that is the same for Twitter, where social stake matters, and that means that not only could a following account have many followers themselves, but that account can have influence over the following. A retweet or resteem from an influential account can make a lot of difference.
However, I don't find the "follower" game much fun at all and I do not care how many followers I have on Steem or Twitter or anywhere else, as I am more interested in the engagement side of things - the community aspects. I do not understand why anyone would follow thousands of active accounts as to me, that would mean I would miss far more than I would gain, and anything gained would be far too random to be of daily use. But, this could be generational.
I have the sense that when it comes to information, it is definitely quantity over quality these days, as people jam as much in as they possibly can, with much of it being so shallow that nothing of value really gets held. Long form for many has become far too much of a time investment, as spending 10 minutes on one topic seems to be less value than scrolling through 100 in the same time frame.
But, the feeling of learning something of value and actually learning something of value can have a large gap between them. People read a headline and a Tweet and think that they suddenly have an in-depth understanding of a topic, the Dunning-Kruger effect at play - with people who know a little, believing they know a lot.
These people are relatively easy to spot, as they use the latest "internetisms" in their interactions, the latest terminology, thinking it makes themselves seem knowledgeable. What it generally makes them is, puppets, people with no original thought, consumers, not creators.
While a lot of people seem to think the internet is filled with creativity, I believe that it is actually filled with a lot of parrots that leverage and share the work of others. There is nothing wrong with sharing our interests, but it also becomes a habit that allows for the spreading of some quite damaging ideas too, ideas that go viral from a very narrow source through the unthinking masses and their networks of follow for follow armies who only care about quantity, not quality, with most not even reading the content that they share.
This ability to send messages through the networks far and wide is what gives the data value and is also why internet influencers are valued. But, when it comes to the value of the infuencer's network, that network has to be made up of the right kind of follower, which is why the digital avatar that we all have connected to us by the data collectors is so valuable.
That avatar that tracks our on and offline behaviors, allows an AI to identify us as individuals and predict what kind of information will move us to act in a way they want. Through this, they can tailor our feeds with algorithms that give us more of what we want and can be used to push more of what they want us to act upon, whether it be to make a purchase or cast a vote.
Not only that, our own follow and share lists add to the matrix to cross-reference each other and can be utilized to not only push information further, but make it look like that information is coming in from different sources to reinforce the learning. If a network of people are saying the same thing, it must mean it is the right thing to say, right?
Because we have degraded the quality of many of our relationships in pursuit of quantity, we end up being shifted by the masses more than those we should actually trust and who may even care about us. We act in accordance to the opinion of a public with no skin in our game, without recognizing that their opinion isn't their own either - it is a fed opinion that is driven through their network from unknown sources, with hidden agendas.
As said, quality of many things is subjective, but what about quality of information? A news service should be stating the facts, so why are there so many news services, isn't one enough? Well of course not, because they are all opinion based, and depending on what side of circumstances one stands, opinions can be polar opposites. Which is of course great, because then polarized networks form, are easily identifiable and their behavior highly predictable.
Just feed them a story that moves them.
[ a Steem original ]