Life is Chronological, But Social Media Can’t Be

In March 2016, Twitter made the switch away from a purely chronological timeline to one partially ordered by algorithms. By looking at Twitter’sย origins โ€” a simple way to update groups of people โ€” the switch away from ordering information chronologically is more interesting than it first seems, and represents the state of the internet and the way we use it in 2017.

The origins of Twitter

When it started, Twitter (or twttr as it was then called) was just an SMS service linked to a website.

Famously influential tech critic Om Malik wrote the worldโ€™s first blog post on Twitter a few months after it launched.…   [continue reading]

Why the Internet is an Echo Chamber of Your Own Head

Hear the writers discuss this subject on the Secret Cave Podcast!

We’re inside the filter bubble.

All the content you see on sites like Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, Instagram and Google (news, music, images, movies, search results) is controlled by algorithms.

Over two thirds of content discovery happens online in the land of the algorithms…

These algorithms use a (rudimentary) form of machine learning to profile your tastes into crude categories, crunch the data and show you what they expect you to like. If it’s anything like the profiling in Google Analytics, you’ve been pegged as things like ‘Movie freak’ and ‘Technophile’ by countless lines of code in the past.…   [continue reading]