We spend too much time producing and consuming noise because we assume that people want to read everything we write.
How vain of us. We don’t think about the stuff that everyone else is writing. We know we need to focus on finding the signals hidden inside the noise. We know it’s a difficult task.
Mike Beauchamp elaborated this in 2011:
I think a major issue going forward for Facebook, and other social sites, will be finding a better way to sift out relevant posts from noise. We’re all guilty of following / friending more people than we actually care about. Social graphs contain invaluable personal data; being able to analyze that data and make content more meaningful, contextual and separate value from the noise will be critical as social networks continue to explode.
I think his comment is as valuable today as it was then.
The next time you share something with the social web, think about what you’re sharing before hitting that send button.
- How necessary is that update or message to anyone but yourself?
- Do your Facebook friends need to know about your feelings about something that will be passe a minute later?
- Why are you compelled to retweet a link to some article if nobody thanked you for your last retweet?
- Would the world end if you waited an hour or a day or didn’t send that message?
If you don’t have a reason for producing noise, maybe the world would be better off if you created a signal instead.
In other words, be unique and don’t echo.
This an edited version of a 2011 blog post.