So So Social

8 min read
by: Dan Aug 15th, 2016

The problem with social media today is that the content provided on it is pretty generic. Facebook and Linkedin use algorithms to curate your feed content with the intention to promote the posts you might be interested in and suppress everything else. They're quite good at it, but there's a problem with this overall str

First, these algorithms count on the fact that my interests remain static. According to Facebook, if I liked something yesterday and the day before, it puts weight on the assumption that I must like it tomorrow. That doesn't always work well for me. For example, I love hearing holiday music around the end of November, but immediately after December 25th, I do not want to listen to that type of music anymore. The holiday songs are out of context and my interest in listening to them drops off sharply.

The long-term effect of this is that my established interests become entrenched and the variety of content that I would normally be exposed to gets limited. For example, if I have a particular political leaning, then I will encourage Facebook to show me more posts that agree with my established opinions and ignore the ones that are in contrast to them. Some studies seem to suggest this might be the cause for the polarization found in the current political landscape.

We can't blame Facebook for this, it's just doing what it thinks is best. No algorithm will be able to distinguish between how my values and opinions might fluctuate because those are heavily influenced by my life experiences. The best they can do is shoot for the middle of the road.

There's another, positive, byproduct to this trend. The emergence of social media channels that encourage us to improve our lives in some meaningful way. -

To improve social media, we're going to need to start increasing the number of specialized social media channels. Each channel will be tailored to a distinct activity or purpose. This is already happening to some degree, Tinder serves a particular purpose, as does SnapChat, Twitter, and Linkedin. They all occupy different districts in the social media ecosphere. Facebook, at least for the moment, appears to be acting as the town center

Studies have shown that our social network of real world friends comes from a shared interest in activities. This commonality trumps everything, including political leanings, gender, social status and sexual orientation. If you like doing something, and someone else likes the same thing, and there is nothing physically stopping you from sharing that activity together, there's a high probability that you could connect and be friends.

It seems likely that this trend will continue as more and more people want to join particular social media networks that cater to their individual activities and interests.

There's another, positive, byproduct to this trend. The emergence of social media channels that encourage us to improve our lives in some meaningful way. Instead of just connecting, we get together to promote a cause or an action.

We believe this is a worthwhile endeavor for social media, and where TheoryThree Interactive can make a meaningful contribution to the social media space. Over the next few months, we plan on creating a social network dedicated to people who wish to have more adventure in their lives. We're naming it Norrin, and we've created an app that we will release to the public after it has been properly tested.

Of course, the only way to properly test an adventure app is to have an adventure. That is why TheoryThree Interactive will be taking a cross-country road trip to Yellowstone National Park (just in time for the centennial anniversary of the creation of the National Parks system) to test the app. 

Learn more about Norrin and our trip here.

About Dan

Dan is the founder of TheoryThree Interactive, a mobile app and interactive studio based in Madison Wisconsin. With a mix of both creative talent and programming ability he focuses on leveraging emerging technologies to solve complex needs for his clients.