The thing that never ceases to delight me about Twitter or Instagram is when I discover someone with a meager follower count who is creating or retweeting fantastic and original content. But it’s not easy to find these people because Twitter and Instagram amplify popular content over high-quality original content. Sometimes popular content is also high quality, but I’d posit that most of the time popular content is the same only unoriginal, salacious stuff that gets repackaged and shipped over and over again.
I know from my own experience that blogging or tweeting can feel like screaming into a pillow. You can shout all you want, most of the time people won’t hear you. It’s lonely out there.
There isn’t a product right now filtering and amplifying quality content that’s tailored to someone’s individual taste. A product that bubbles up stuff that you’ll love but don’t know it yet. StumbleUpon was the closest product to getting this right, and it may still get it right down the line as some other incarnation. It’s also why daily digest emails have seen a resurgence in popularity – people like to get customized, curated and packaged reading lists.
Right now, you’ve got to scratch and peck for these hidden diamonds. Discovering magical content that hasn’t been noticed or amplified, reminds of me of a verse from Thomas Gray’s Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard where he writes about a flower blooming unseen and wasting is sweetness on the desert air.
I hope someone invents a product where quality bests popularity.
Here’s the extract from the poem:
“Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway’d,
Or wak’d to ecstasy the living lyre.
But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page
Rich with the spoils of time did ne’er unroll;
Chill Penury repress’d their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.
Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
The dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flow’r is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.”