HBR: What the Death of Topsy Tells Us About Today’s Social Web

From HBR, which is always a treat to read, but man is this grim (not inaccurate, not poorly-done, not wrong, just grim): What the Death of Topsy Tells Us About Today’s Social Web. “Hasty obituaries for Topsy described it as an analytics tool, speculating on whether and how its functionality has been absorbed into Apple’s search technology. Those pieces let us file Topsy away as roadkill in the ever-more-competitive landscape of analytics tools, or as yet another example of a tech startup that is purchased and then dismantled for parts. But those obstacles obscure Topsy’s role as a facilitator of conversation. And they miss seeing something more profound and troubling in the death of Topsy: the gradual collapse of the infrastructure and culture that placed conversation, rather than campaigning, at the heart of social media.”

Harvard Business Review: How Bots Took Over Twitter

From Harvard Business Review: How Bots Took Over Twitter. “Buffer offers ‘suggestions’; HootSuite, ‘suggested content.’ Commun.it suggests the tweets that can thank and engage your most loyal followers. All these apps — and many more — are saving us from the problem of keeping up with social media by stripping away what was once the entire point of social media: actually using your own voice. The result is a Twitter that is authored by predictions and algorithms, rather than by humans. For many users, that means Twitter offers a far less satisfying experience than it did just two or three years ago, when sharing a link often provoked follow-up comments and questions from people who’d actually read whatever you’d shared, or when tweeting a question could instantly elicit offers of help or insight. In on- and offline conversations with friends and colleagues, I frequently hear from folks like Michele Perras, […]