Published On: Mon, Jun 22nd, 2015

The Founder of MySpace Warns Google+ about the Powers of the Filter

It is rather ironic that the founder of the floundering MySpace is giving advice on the latest thing to hit the search engine market. Google+ is the next stage in the process of delivering far better services to the general technologically savvy public. Tom Anderson is responsible for founding MySpace and was formerly a president of the networking website which has recently recruited Justin Timberlake in order to try and improve its public profile.  Mr. Anderson should know a thing or two about this industry have been involved in it for a significant period of time.  His advice relates on the challenges of relying too much on algorithmic filtering technologies. Apparently the same problem has been faced by FaceBook and they are struggling to compete.

Managing the signal to noise ratios

Most of these search engines are looking for specific client groups. They do not want to waste time providing services to virtually everyone because their income primarily comes to fruition when the surfer proceeds to a checkout and buys a substantial amount of items. Therefore you have some competition between the strategic objective of being able to increase generic traffic numbers but then concentrating on ensuring that there is a high conversion rate. This can only be achieved if the content is absolutely relevant to the needs of the client. There can be no room for half baked measures in this configuration.



Filtering can also be dangerous because it reduces the level of interaction between the search engine and the consumers who are ultimately supposed to support commercial activity. In an effort to be specific about the information which you provide, it is possible that you will end up stopping a vast number of potential buyers. According to Mr. Anderson it is advisable to help users understand how they can block some of the more aggressive filtering algorithm so that they can increase the stuff that they see. This is all about personalizing the console instead of relying on background statistics which may not have meaning for the consumer. According to him the most troubling thing is if “I post something that used to generate some interaction… and now I receive almost nothing”. That can be the beginning of the disillusionment which is very hard to correct.

Perhaps reference is being made to “EdgeRank”, the algorithm which is preferred by FaceBook. In this model you will only see a fraction of the content that is on your friends’ pages. This was done in response to the increase in content which could not be easily displayed without using copious amounts of resources. Circles have been a particularly hot topic of discussion in the pilot and they seem to be one of the issues that will be considered as part of the filtering process. The problem is that they are not working well because they prevent users from crossing into alternative circles or inviting others to join their own. Google will need to call up all its experiences before it can overcome this particular challenge.

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