UPDATE: Sorry, I goofed. Everyone is talking about Facebook in the comments, few are mentioning Google+ -- this poll and idea really extends to both sites... So apparently I wasn't clear/made this too complicated. Please read a little closer and let us know what you think of Google's stream as well as Facebooks newsfeed. (SORRY!) haha

An interesting debate is taking shape over the nature of Facebook's sharing announcement. Some would argue that the "frictionless sharing" Zuckerberg described at F8 today is the future of social networking. Others would say that the new Facebook idea is "killing taste" and promoting banality.

For example, +MG Siegler wrote tonight that social sites are competing for your time, and that being "social" online requires far too much work. He says that "Facebook has clearly been thinking about this problem. And now they have a way to tap the power of social without thinking about it. That’s the future of the space. It’s not about needing a share button. It’s about not needing a share button." (http://bit.ly/oOVcfn) He's referring to the idea that Facebook will share what music he's playing, what he's reading, what he's watching, and maybe where he's going or buying without MG explicitly taking actions to do so. In other words, you tell Facebook you're OK to share these classes of items (maybe song listens but not purchases), and it shares them with the appropriate people it thinks might want to hear it, via the new Facebook ticker feed (right hand side above chat).

+Farhad Manjoo takes the other side and argues that "it's somehow eluded Zuckerberg that sharing is fundamentally about choosing. You experience a huge number of things every day, but you choose to tell your friends about only a fraction of them, because most of what you do isn't worth mentioning." (http://slate.me/nMAxq6) In this, Farhad is implicitly saying that Facebook won't be able to determine what is worth sharing -- only you can do that. (Farhad is the one that says FB is killing taste with this update.)

At some level this begs the question -- who's intent is Facebook's new frictionless sharing trying to read? Yours (the sharer) or your potential audience(s)? My guess is Facebook will try to share things from you that it thinks the audience (your friends) will want to see. And, more particularly, it'll share different things with different people, based on what it knows about them.

As +Mike Elgan has pointed out that Facebook's newsfeed / "top story" algorithm EdgeRank, is questionable because it "secretly ends your friendships." A provocative statement that means it hides things from you it thinks you don't want to see, while surfacing things it thinks you want to see. This new sharing mechanism will be no different. Facebook will make decisions about what is "automatically" shared, and you as a reader have no way to see everything or tweak what's shared.

I've written about this topic in numerous ways. I wrote about it here (http://tcrn.ch/o8Qp1L) where I questioned the value of these algorithms. I've posted a TED talk video here where the speaker questions the political import of such decisions (http://bit.ly/oDtqbX).

So, since this keeps coming up again and again, I thought I'd take a poll.

POLL QUESTION: What do you think about algorithms in the "newsfeed" / "ticker" (Facebook) or Google (the stream)?

(Btw, keep in mind that Google really doesn't have much of an "algorithm" yet. Personally that's why I prefer the G+ stream to the FB newsfeed. I'm more talking about the general idea. Right now G+ seems to basically surface anything that's reasonably new that has new comments on it. Maybe it's more complicated than that, but I haven't noticed really. And, of course having "circles" lets you segment your stream.)

Take the poll in the comments. +1 your favorite answer. :-)

Now I know the setup to my poll raises a lot of other questions and issues. Feel free to discuss them in the post below, of course.
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