If you’ve read all of the news over the past few days about the death of RSS and the emergence of Twitter and Facebook as feed alternatives in the era of the real-time web, you may think real-time feeds can cure all of your information consumption problems. Unfortunately real-time feed data only contributes to information overload. There is however one good thing to come of the evolution of feed data: information is becoming more structured.
Facebook Is Making Content Structured
Facebook has mastered the art of structured data. Through their open APIs (which continue to open on a regular basis), Facebook enables developers to submit information into the Facebook stream and in exchange for providing structured forms of information, developers get distribution access. Distribution is great except for when users start getting Facebook fatigue.
On the technological front, Facebook is getting a lot of value from the data being provided to them by developers, however they are running the risk of overwhelming users. If an increasing amount of our online activity is being monitored, users will quickly get turned off. The tight rope that Facebook and other “real-time web” entities walk is balance between unrestricted information access and information discovery.
Feeds Are Evolving But Filters Aren’t Evolving As Quickly
It’s easy to think that you’re company will benefit greatly from publishing information into the “real-time web” because often time it will. With a minority of users being content creators or contributors, information consumption saturation has not been maximized for all internet users. With the increasing popularity of smart mobile devices, consumers are always connected. It’s great for now but I still have yet to see filters (outputs) that are as efficient as the structured data being collected (inputs).
If Facebook and Twitter don’t develop effective filters for discovering the content we want, I would suggest that the prematurely announced Facebook exodus is more likely. Then again, it’s kind of hard to bet against human curiosity. Do you think feed overload will become a widespread phenomenon? Will people get tired of it and give up?