What’s in your pork scratchings based news feed?

We’ve all got a news feed of some sort, somewhere. Most of us even have a few of them. You’ll see them on your phone or your social media pages.

The feed is based upon what you are ‘interested in’. This is partially correct *ahem*. Confirmation bias pushes the stuff you interact with the most, right up to the top of your feed or makes it appear more frequently. This is how a feed works, like those you get from Facebook/Twitter/Instagram.

The feed is no longer just one long toilet roll of posts from the people you follow, all stacked up into one long date ordered pile, oh no, not any longer. you’ll get more of what you want and less of what you don’t.

keenan constance F7n6gixbJK0 unsplash 1024x683 - What's in YOUR pork scratchings based news feed?

A word of advice

Your clicks on things, tell the website what you like. A link in a google search result page, an article in your news feed, a post by someone on Facebook, a product in Amazon. Your vote is counted. You are voting for the world in which you want to live.

Because of this, I would recommend that you try not to click on things you really don’t want to see. Because you will start seeing more of it. Much more of it.

Being a little bit nosey about something you see, can tell those tech giants, quite a lot about you!

Then real the problem is how do we achieve the opposite effect? How do you see less of the shit you don’t want to see? Not clicking on rubbish is a slow way to tell them that you are no longer interested. It will be a very long time before you stop seeing the rubbish.

The problem

The problem is that just because you are being nosey, the site can’t differentiate between a genuine interest you may have and an accidental click.

Try it, just do it once or twice. Do a search for something for your mum, something YOU don’t want. Search for dog food even if you don’t have a dog. You will start seeing adverts for those products all over the place.

Click on something you really don’t like that’s in your Facebook feed, you will be bombarded with more and more of the same inane bullshit from the most boring f***ers you have ever had the misfortune to politely accept a friend request from.

A news feed suggestion for Big Tech

I think Google, Facebook and the like should have a number of different link buttons at the bottom of every post or article.

Like this:

I’m genuinely interested in this.
What’s this about?
For work.
For a friend.
I’m being nosey.
Morbid curiosity.
I know I shouldn’t but… etc.

And the weight of each of these clicks should be different. Then this way you will get more of what you want and less of what you just click on.

Or if this is too much like hard work, then numbers…

1 = Love
2 = Like
3 = Interested
4 = Curious
5 = Not interested

or flipping emojis…

😍 = Love
😊 = Like
😐 = Interested
😕 = Curious
😳 = Not interested

I dunno, I’m not an expert. Just some way of letting them know how interested we actually are. That’s my idea.

Then this way, you will get more of the good stuff and less of the bad/wrong/rubbish.

Here’s a case in point

I don’t want a pair of Men’s Yoga Leggings, and I’m really not interested in Men’s Yoga Leggings.

But I do design websites, I build them, I built this one. I also do some SEO for a few clients. I recently designed a website for a company who sells lovely high waist yoga leggings. And currently, I’m doing a bit of SEO work for them, trying to get them found for the thing they do, the things that they sell. So I have been doing quite a few google searches for yoga leggings, yoga pants and other similarly related terms. I’m doing it to see what else is out there, I’m trying to learn a thing or two about leggings.

Oops Google AI

Ah, bless them, silly old Google thinks I’m in the market for a new pair of yoga leggings. They have started filling my news feed and all those web page adverts with adverts for men’s yoga leggings. They have no idea that the search is not really for ‘me’ but for a different reason.

the image below is what I sometimes see.

mens yoga leggings advert - What's in YOUR pork scratchings based news feed?

This is a waste of money for the advertiser, because they have to pay Google to show the ad, and more if I click on it. It’s a waste of time for Google to show me the advert because I’m 100% sure that I won’t click on it. It’s a missed opportunity for another advertiser who may want to show me a relevant advert. It’s bad news all round.

Why am I mentioning this at all?

Well, I do look at stuff to do with pork snacks. It’s hard work looking for interesting things to show you guys. So you would think that my newsfeed is filled with porky news. This is not the case.

Maybe these news topics are sparsely populated. Maybe there’s not enough news about pork snacks to fill my feed. So if this is the case and it’s a slow news day, Google may have to widen it’s net a little bit to show me stuff I might like.

I think this happened the other day because I saw a news article about a pig that ate a battery which then caught fire. The battery was from a pedometer that the pig was wearing. It fell off, he ate it, plopped it out the other end, it reacted with something in the poop and caught fire. This did make me laugh.

The article is linked to below…


Maybe the pig fire battery article was actually the right thing for them to show me. After all, I managed to write a blog post about it. But at the time I thought it was a little bit left field and this combined with all these legging adverts… well, I couldn’t keep quiet about it.


Main Photo by Keenan Constance on Unsplash

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