Are You Willing to Share?
A New Way to Sort the Web
The way content gets sorted on the web needs an overhaul. It's really evolved into a game of click baiting with grabby post titles and headlines that too often take the user to content that was hardly worth the click. The post is forgettable, it's a video with an annoying preroll ad or worst of all it's a crappy list requiring 15 clicks just to get through it (pageview pumping). But the headline was compelling so we clicked. In fact, some companies have built a business around the importance of the title and creating intrigue with enticing headlines. If that business churns out quality content, then there is nothing inherently wrong with that. Upworthy, for instance, proudly touts their process of testing dozens of titles for the same post to see what compels the user to click and it has resulted in impressive rapid growth for their business. And most of the time, the content they link to is quality. But like anything, it breaks down when people take a good thing and try to exploit for personal gain at the expense of the user. Hacky content creators and bloggers have noticed the trends that draw clicks as well, and will often use these tactics just for the sole purpose of getting more views instead of actually satisfying the user with their content. Some of these tactics include titles that promise lists ('The Best 10 Fails of The Week'), headlines wrought with hyperbole ('The Cutest Cat Gif In the World') or the sensational cliffhanger ('You Won't Believe Who Celebrity ABC was Caught With...').
But in a sea of headlines and links, how are users supposed to know what is worth the click? Isn't the best indicator of quality that which someone is willing to pass along and put their reputation on the line by recommending? Whether that's a recommendation for a movie, a recipe or sharing content on the web...nobody urges you to check something out if it's forgettable.
This already works in the social sphere with people, especially on networks when you usually don't know the person. Before you decide to follow or interact with someone you see how popular they are, and this gives you vital information on if that person is worth following. On Twitter for instance if someone has thousands of tweets but less than 100 followers, it stands to reason they just aren't tweeting compelling content. Klout is a great way of measuring people's influence by creating a score around their activity on all social networks. But it's rare to see that information at the individual content level, and that's arguably where we need it most.
But what if we could sort and chose what content we chose to click on with that type of information ahead of time?
The Social Tab on Tackk
On Tackk, we recognized the need to preemptively give the right information on a piece of content to help users decide if it's worth clicking on and consuming. And so we came up with The Social Tab, which is the number next to the lightning bolt on the lower right of each Tackk. Simply put, it is a summation of share and like activity across various social networks. Going off the theory that good content gets passed along repeatedly, we feel you should see that at a quick glance BEFORE deciding to commit to a click to consume it.
What's interesting is how spot on it seems to be. Even on my own personal Tackkboard of dozens of Tackks I've created, the best always have the highest social tab and the most forgettable Tackks have a low social Tab despite the fact that I use the same sharing methods on most of them.
And unlike sorting by views or looking through flashy headlines, sorting by share frequency is much more difficult to game. Head to the Tackkboard and start looking for Tackks with a high social tab. Chances are you'll be rewarded with interesting content.