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    • One of the things that attracted me to Cake was the fact that it doesn't employ a "follower" system like other social networks. Nobody will be judged by how many followers they have. Content won't be judged by the number of followers the author has. Everyone is on equal footing, and content will be seen for what it is, not for who wrote it. Now it seems like other social networks want to move in the same direction as well, to the best they can that is.

      Two social networking heavyweights, Twitter and Instagram have been toying with the idea of placing less emphasis on follower counts, changing the way the information is displayed on user profiles. Though both networks rely on a system where users follow each other, it's good to see that they are aware of the negative connotations associated with such a system and are trying to fix it so less attention is called to this aspect of social media.

      At a time when mental health is a hot topic and the influence social media has on mental health is placed under the microscope, it's good to see action being taken by these social network to try and rectify the situation. But what do you think? Do you think making follower counts less noticeable on social media will make a difference? Do you think follower counts should be omitted from profiles all together and only made visible to each individual user? Or if we are going to the extreme, do you think social media could work without followers all together? Could Cake's system work on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram?

    • Excellent topic! The more I think about it, it seems to me 'following" is a somewhat unnatural activity to our human brain. I mean, if in real life we may be fortunate to have a friend, or two, we never forget them, nor do we need to peek into their life every single minute. The idea of following, to my mind as of now, seems more geared towards our ever increasing hunger for fresh and diversely exciting topics, rather than focusing on anything. More like "FOMO", than anything else? Is that bad, or good, and how? I can't really answer it but will think about it.

    • I often wonder how people choose different social networks depending on what they seek. Is it social validation? Then it seems they will always want followers and likes, no matter the font size. Instagram gives you the most likes. They make it so easy—just double-tap a photo to give a like.

      Does a person or company need to promote their movie or book? Then it seems the number of views they can get with appearances on Colbert, Reddit AMAs, and YouTubes will drive them.

      Do they need to feel like they're contributing to the world's knowledge? There must be a lot of people like that, because think of the mind-blowing number of people who maintain Wikipedia pages. Who are the people who toil away like that with no followers, likes, or any recognition at all?

      For me it's the love of thoughtful conversations about fascinating topics. There must be a big demand for that among people like us who are driven by curiosity, knowledge and fun, no?

    • That's right Chris! Intelligent, aspiring to be sensible people, these days sorely need a medium like Cake, where ideas and conversations about them are allowed to be discussed in pure form, not twisted by commercialized or worse, political bias. It's like focusing a lens, everything appears in the picture but only that something really important must be in focus. How to go about it is no easy task, but I think now after being here for a while can begin to understand a bit more of what it's all about.

      And to add, "social validation" via social media is a sword with two blades, you cannot control. Because each person partaking makes a decision (sometimes not even consciously) whether they want to be a good or bad actor in the social game. It's a gate of entering into the subconscious, primeval instincts of the mob.

    • Or if we are going to the extreme, do you think social media could work without followers all together? Could Cake's system work on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram?

      The recommendations I receive from Twitter, on who to follow, are in part based on number of followers: 4 out of 5 of my current recommendations have over 1,000 followers. Twitter’s Profile pages inform you that over 60 people you’re currently following are all following this person’s content. Tweets from people I don’t follow show up in my feed because someone I’m following liked it (and they have over a thousand followers). Recently introduced, Twitter shows in your notifications feed suggestions of people who are being followed by people who you follow: I’m just going to assume that those folks all have over a thousand followers because this is the only push notification mentioned here that you can actually turn off.

      Their algorithms are optimized based on your following enough people with lots of followers.

      So will removing follower counts from profiles make them less important to platforms like Twitter?

    • When Google launched, we're told the key ingredient in determining whether to include a specific page in search results was how many other sites linked to that page. It caused people to game Google by generating page farms.

      So Google added other factors such as how long did you stay on a page after clicking a link, and did you return to Google to try a different link. The thing their AI was learning is popularity of the page was only loosely correlated so how much you were satisfied with a search result.

    • Reminds me of the Black Mirror episode that people have told me about. I guess it's a future where people have a rating and it's an average of all of the people they encounter. I'd like to see that episode but no tv cable.

    • Might I suggest getting Netflix for a month and binge watching during your school winter break? We did that a few years ago with Amazon Prime and binge watched the first season of Man in the High Castle. The current season of Black Mirror has theatrical quality episodes and is as good as any anthology series I’ve seen. There’s this one episode of a guy who steals his co-workers’s DNA and inserts their clones into a computer simulation game where he’s basically Captain Kirk of Star Trek. Another one where a woman on life support has her computer generated consciousness sharing space in her husband’s head—until he remarries. Well worth the ten bucks for a month of Netflix.

      Of course the only downside is that you may end up keeping your subscription to Netflix, to the detriment of your riding.

    • Not a bad idea but I just don't want to spend too much time watching tv even if there's some quality content. Not to mention that I don't have a tv in my house. I need to be reading books and getting outside :)

    • I just looked up that Man in the High Castle and it sounds interesting. It reminds me of Counterpart. Counterpart is a pretty slow moving show but the idea behind it is intriguing to me. Essentially there was a split in the space time continuum that created two timelines for earth. The time period of the show is conteporary but the split that created the parallel Earths was around the 1960s or so if I recall correctly. People are able to pass back and forth through the 'portal' and even meet their parallel self that has changed by growin up in a different world.

      I still have to figure out how to get Black Mirror without getting a Netflix subscription or downloading illegal torrents. Your idea is probably the best one that exists.