I came across this TED talk about “online filter bubbles”, which is pretty interesting if you have the time:
The gist of it is that personalization algorithms tend to give us more of what we click on the fastest, which can quickly create a myopic view of the world. The presenter’s solution is for the systems using personalization (Google, Yahoo News, etc) to integrate “socially responsible” filtering mechanisms to make sure that everyone gets their daily dose of “information vegetables”.
This is backwards.
Personalization is only one half of the spectrum of information consumption. The other half is sharing. If everyone you socialize with online shares what’s interesting to them, assuming you don’t surround yourself with clones, you will see content that you otherwise wouldn’t. Conversely, if you share content that you find interesting, that content will make its way into your social circle regardless of personalization.
Systems like Twitter are the antidote for this problem, not some sort of official “information food pyramid”. If you’re not getting important information it’s because you’ve put yourself in an echo chamber.