POTD | Paul Ford’s Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?

July 21st, 2011 § 0 comments

Do social networks mark the end to endings?

Paul Ford argues in this week’s New York magazine that the Facebook wall (and by extension, the Twitter stream and Google+ conversation) are bringing an end to drama, narrative, and literary closure: “The tide brings in status updates; the tide takes them out.”

This is definitely a central design (or failing) of today’s social networks. However, it’s not necessarily a preference of broader society or the always-connected consumer. People crave entertainment, and entertainment comes from drama. Curation of social feeds,¬†algorithmic¬†or otherwise, will increasingly need to extend beyond the basic filtering of LOLcats and checkins. Ultimately, social applications will provide consumers with context and weave together coherent stories using social feeds and content snippets and traditional dramatic devices, like beginnings and endings.

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