Social Media As Popularity Contest

Kev Quirk pines for the return of the forums of the old web. He sees the forums as being free from some of the striving for popularity and influence that plagues contemporary social media. He goes so far as to even mention the two social media sites I most frequent.

My social networks of choice, Mastodon and, are better than most, but they’re still a popularity contest.

I have to agree. I’m on much more than any others, but I see the cliques and patterns of high school social stratification even there, despite the absence of many of the accelerants (likes, reposts) that drive the dynamics on other platforms. When you have human-curated discovery, though, it seems to benefit the popular users. There are people on the platform who can post something like, “drove to the store today” and it will get featured in the discovery section just because they are popular and everything they post gets promoted. Then, that user gets more popular because people are constantly exposed to their posts. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle and, because of the human element of discretion involved, it leaves out even long-time consistent posters who don’t fall into the bucket of approved voices.

Source: Bring Back the Humble Forum

Canned Dragons by Robert Rackley
Made with in North Carolina
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