Following Too Far?

Author: Jack Martin

As I was perusing Mashable as I always do at 11:15am (I’m a creature of habit) one article caught my eye, “Mashable Follow”. Maybe it’s because I’m a Twitter lover that the word “follow” stuck out to me or something else, but none-the-less, I read. Mashable is now coming out with a new version where you can tailor Mashable to serve your needs. Currently, there are 9 tabs on the Mashable site, and the front page features articles from all of them, with Follow you can pick and choose which ones you want to be notified of, and then you’ll have a customized Mashable. The people in charge of Mashable are presenting this as though it is brand new and revolutionary, which from my advertising classes  I understand but I left the article thinking, “so what?”

The web has become our own personal web in recent years, it’s the biggest benefit of Web 2.0 Facebook “likes” tailor our Facebook page ads to what things are connected to us, Twitter suggests different brands to follow based on who we currently follow. RSS feeds give us exactly what we want, so there really is nothing that special about Mashasble Follow except that Mashable is taking what they write about and putting it into their site. Now, I have not been able to use Follow yet, but it just seems like another thing to manage. It connects to your Facebook, Twitter, Digg or what-have-you. While this makes sharing easier, I still am hesitant for privacy issues, while searching “Best Facebook Promotions” is not risky to have on my page, it’s still disconcerting having web pages tailored to you without you being aware the tailor is hemming your pants…until they prick you.  I know this sounds a little cynical, especially since as a PR/Marketing/Web person I’m supposed to embrace all social media changes, but sometimes I think it’s too much. It’s how I felt with iTunes overtaking the radio, sure you have to wait a few minutes for a good song, but in that waiting time sometimes you find a new song you love rather than sticking to the songs you know already. If you only ask for Small Business and StartUp articles, you could be missing some great things that fall into other categories. Why put blinders on ourselves regarding information? I say learn all you can about all different types of topics, if you want something specific, take the extra 0.5 seconds and use the search bar.

Have you used Mashable Follow of have opinions on it? Let me know, I’d love to hear feedback on the new social media tool.