Like, Follow, Share. The social web has turned us all into arbiters of information as well as consumers. Every product, place, event, and idea is now subject to direct democracy – we star, rank, and judge publicly and openly. Everyone is food critic. Everyone is a political pundit. We photograph everything like the paparazzi and upload it for public review on Facebook. The people have the power – the mob chooses what’s popular and what’s not. If you want attention, you have to have to court the masses. And this has turned everyone into a hustler.
Whether we like it or not, we’re all agents now, representing people, places, or ideas that we think are worthwhile. When we “like” or “recommend” something, we’re selling it. We’re pushing it out to our networks, whether they really want to see it or not.
It’s unclear whether this phenomenon is good or bad. In some ways, it democratizes information and allows us to quickly and easily share important or interesting things. On the flip side, it creates a very homogeneous web, where we all end up reading, viewing, and buying the same things. Only one entry can be at the top of the list – the second page doesn’t even get a glance.
Take Amazon for example – I will only buy things that have many reviews. Who would buy something with no reviews? But if a great new product comes out, who will take a chance on it? Who will get the ball rolling? In many cases, no one – and this is why we all have the same things in our apartments, on our Twitter feeds, and in our brains.
In order to be successful anywhere on the web, you have to be a hustler and court the hustlers. The long tail is basically ignored – only the viral hits matter. Some of us are better hustlers than others (check your Klout score), but we’re all a part of the system.
Now, if you liked this article, please share. Really, share it. This is a brand new blog – I need all the hustling I can get.