Frustrations when link sharing / discussing digital content

Reed Foster
5 replies
Who else: a) experiences daily time wasted by passing article links back and forth to family/friends/colleagues via email, text, social media, slack, etc. b) believes the digital discussion tools online (comments section, social media feeds) are underwhelming c) both a & b There is a gap between where we consume content on native publisher sites (NYTimes, WSJ, Tech Crunch ,etc.) and where we discuss/react to it, no? Would it be valuable to close this gap for publishers and could it create a better discussion platform for readers?

Replies

Reverse Engineer
Point A can't be fixed, no matter what app you develop. It will always have to be shared in some way, shape, or form that is no different from how information is already transmitted. The reason we've seen publishers get rid of discussion and commenting directly on their content is simple— we can't be trusted to have meaningful discourse.
founder @bandalune
@hoffertr re: meaningful discourse - have you seen any publishers allow for the discourse atop the content to be restricted to private only? Meaning the markup/conversation atop the article text that I am having with my friend is not seen by the markup you are leaving for your friend? So that it’s not a mass group dialogue ?
Working on Faden - www.faden.cloud
Sounds like what you are aiming at is a kind of "curation" platform? It would be a great, but hard problem to solve. Several platforms already (partially) try to fill that gap (think: Hacker News, LinkedIn, Twitter, Reddit). They all have a twist/ bias of course, e.g. LinkedIn posts are often motivated to promote the image others project on the person or company who posted the article). So let's assume for a moment there would be a new curation service. What would motivate people to post something there? And I mean the deeper motivation, not the superficial one of "I want to share this with someone" (I believe there is almost always a deeper motivation). Because that deeper motivation is where that platform will be heading in the long run, like Twitter which - to some degree - turned into a marketing and even political campaign tool. Regarding healthy discussions: Various attempts have been made to create a kind of idea meritocracy. But I feel that most of these are more aimed at promoting the platform. Take Facebook "likes", which are clearly gamed to hook the audience into the platform. I really like the idea of everyone having the same vote, but sometimes different people have vastly different expertise in certain fields. Personally, I would rather like to know that 10 highly knowledgeable people in an area recommend something, than 1000 random ones. Ray Dalio has some great insights into this (which also seem to be implemented in Bridgewater). The key challenge will be to avoid people "gaming" the system. Which brings us back to the motivation. Anyhow, that's just my two cents.
founder @bandalune
@christianheine taking the Ray Dalio example: as Ray Dalio reads through articles on his preferred editorial sites (WSJ, NYT, TC for example) would it be valuable to be able to follow him through his reading experience and note which sections/quotes he highlighted , liked, commented on, without him having to go back to a social platform and share? It’d almost be like leaving a digital stream of breadcrumbs for us to be reading over his shoulder. He would be annotating the internet and we follow his annotations, leave our own for our own micro networks, etc. the motivations/value props: for leaders (Ray Dalio): less effort required to share back to a network. for us readers: better engagement with the content itself (vs engaging w Facebook, Twitter commenters)?. For publishers - return of user engagement back onto their native sites (vs network feed or Apple news ). Reader value prop still feels weak. But so much of our response/reaction to content happens away from the content source. Does that not dilute the quality for engagements we can have ?
Working on Faden - www.faden.cloud
@reedcarlislefoster Well, I think the challenge will be that we barely have "one" content source. Content might be distributed on various news outlets, blogs - or even socials. So it could not be something provided by the site itself. And to have a service which is looking over someones shoulder seems too invasive. We all "kind of" know how analytics services try to figure us out, but even here privacy seems to become more and more important (e.g. more and more people using Brave - or turning away from browser extensions). Btw.: Some sites - like Medium - do have an inbuilt commenting/ highlighting mechanism, but it barely seems to be used other than highlighting a specific passage.