Monday, September 06, 2010

Links And Likes

DSC_3551Image by Mars Chen via FlickrMark Zuckerberg, the Facebook dude, wants likes to replace links. And I think that is a tall order. I don't think that is possible.

But that like button is so very key to the social web. There the like button will rule. If you are only trying to figure out what you and your social graph might be interested in, then who cares about the world wide web at large? Many people in Manhattan are familiar with only two blocks, the block they live on, and the block where they work. There the like button will rule.

But what Zuck is betting on is if half a billion going on one billion people will start pressing on that like button, and then it is no longer just the social web as seen by one person. It is at that point the web itself. How is pressing a like button all that different from linking to a page. Pressing a like button perhaps is more democratic. Facebook gives most people that homepage that they always wanted but they never had because, well, it was too complicated to create one. And the like button is what the link code used to be. The link code was simple enough, basic HTML was simple enough, but says who? You can always make it simpler.

One reason Twitter is not as big as Facebook is because Twitter is too complicated.

What in the world is a hash tag? What is RT? Think about it.

But the link is not going away. There are people like me who can't be contained in two or four blocks. The link code is here to stay. One just hopes search engines (Hello Google!) get better and better at making sense of those links, they get better at staying ahead of those who try to game the search engines.
GigaOm: Links: Not Just The Currency Of The Web, But The Soul: links are a tool for synthesis, “a way of drawing connections between things,” to bring coherence to the vast universe of information online. “The Web’s links don’t make it a vast wasteland or a murky shallows,” Rosenberg says, “they organize and enrich it.” ..... The whole idea behind Tim Berners-Lee’s invention was to enable sites to point to each other and create a “web” of context. .... To choose not to link is to abandon the medium’s most powerful tool — the thing that makes the Web a web.” Hear, hear.

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