Facebook vs Google

I recently realized something I'm sure you all already know.

The goal of both Google and Facebook is to increase the signal-to-noise ratio of the internet. Google does this algorithmically. They get their engineers to model the signal and write code to filter out the noise. Facebook, instead, uses the evolved human social instinct to achieve something similar.

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Chris Anderson figured it out long ago

From a 2005 post called Filters 101 on The Long Tail blog:

There are, as I see it, two main categories of filters...--Software and People--with several subtypes and loads of different variation in the wild.

I often see what I assume is a combination of the two at LRC. Sometimes I'll see an article that is interesting, but only tangentially related to a current news keyword. I assume that Lew is running several Google News filters, mining the results for interesting items and giving his readers a personal recommendation to read it. Then we get a secondary effect that people in his social network that enjoy the type of information he distributes send him their own recommendations for posting.

Software and People interact symbiotically to improve the signal to noise ratio of information.


Facebook, however generates quite a bit of noise on its own. So you need to filter out the noise there as well.

I believe Google will always

I believe Google will always be unbeatable... even though Facebook comes

closer in competition with Google, we must remember that Facebook is defined

as a social network & Google is apparently a search engine. Therefore, both

have altogether a different purpose.