Monday, August 14, 2006

Social Networking Spam : The Enemy Of Knowledge

Seth Godin as usual is keeping his cyberfinger on the pulse of the Internet. His latest post highlights the newest form of promotional spam to sweep the Internet, which is targeting the social bookmarking sites.

Good knowledge is clean knowledge where the intent of the creator is to inform, not to promote or sell. On the Internet, preserving the purity of knowledge is exponentially harder because the knowledge, or the visibility of the knowledge, is frequently dependent on trusted connections. We rely on each other to point out what is useful and important. Unfortunately, now we need to engage the community in police efforts too, with all the difficult ambiguities and arbitrary reporting mechanims that entails; the worst side effect frequently being control over the community by a select few. A select few that frequently got their power simply by being early to the community or by being friends of some of its more influential members. Seth suggests such a mechanism in the form of a reputation system to weight more heavily those in the community who have proven themselves to be reliable information providers, as opposed to those who have come to spam.

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