a new adage for social

“Any sufficiently complete and transparent sharing system is just going to be creepy”

Arthur C. Clarke famously said “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”.

The recent Facebook frictionless sharing gives us a new one “Any sufficiently complete and transparent sharing is just going to be creepy”.

We’re basically a fickle bunch. Some of us want to share more easily, but sharing everything also irritates us. Facebook in particular annoys me because I can’t send my habits for the useful bubbled-up aggregations, without the endless inanity of GARETH IS LISTENING TO BLAH. Given I listen to a lot of the same songs that’s really boring and spam. Ditto what articles I’m reading on The Guardian, individually quite dull but as part of the “things that you & your friends have been reading” aggregated things a bit more interesting.

Anyway, this is kind of problem that services like Zeebox will always face, incomplete or creepy. As a standalone app I have to remember to use it (and I’m already using my iPad for twitter), if they did ever have direct integration with my TV (By this I mean my TV updating things, rather than the existing TV Remote functionality in the app), I’d be creeped out because again, viewing habits reveal some awful taste. Maybe I just need a “share this” button on my remote that can easily publish what I’m doing to Facebook or some other back-end. A bit less friction, but still some.

It’s a tough one to solve, but we can’t seem to be comprehensive and convenient without being creepy.

3 thoughts on “a new adage for social”

  1. Re: button on the remote. I suppose that’s what Zeebox is though, on Connected TVs it is the remote, and you effectively do check in. Personally I don’t see this as a problem for Zeebox.

    1. Perhaps, but when I was watching XFactor last night I didn’t think of loading the app (even though I have a supported TV and the channel-control is nice), I just went straight to twitter. It’s a lovely app written by a friend of yours, but I do still have to make the modal change to choose to use it.

  2. That’s OK – you can just get the X Factor app on your iPhone, connect with Facebook, and be creeped out that whenever you clap or boo it’s shared with your friends.

    There is a real challenge here in balancing the simplicity of frictionless sharing, and the delight of discovering your friends doing the same thing, with the user surprise platforms discovering things about you.

    (disclosure, we built the platform behind the X Factor stuff – we think a lot about this)

Comments are closed.