Social Media Consumption: You Want Signal or Discovery?


In yesterday’s post A Definition of Noise, I talked about two types of social media consumers. Those who have a strong desire to receive only signal (signalists) and those who are looking for stuff outside their own interests (discoverers).

I thought it would be interesting to explore this a little further. Shall we break it down a little more?

Where are you on this table?

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About Hutch Carpenter
Chief Scientist Revolution Credit

17 Responses to Social Media Consumption: You Want Signal or Discovery?

  1. Louis Gray says:

    I am a discoverer and always will be. BUT… I want to seek a deeper understanding of things and I also have a strong preference for those who are passionate about that which they cover. So … both.

  2. atul says:

    +1 for Discoverer.

  3. I’m primarily a Signalist (it so sounds like I’m a conservative in an increasingly liberal society, but that’s what I am) although I do go on discovery binges every once in a while and return back to my “things I’m passionate about” castle.

  4. Mark Dykeman says:

    I think I’m a discoverer, but I like the occasional deep dive as well.

  5. Rob Diana says:

    Love the breakdown, but I am somewhere in between. I like to keep my feed list larger and I filter by exclusion. But, I like content rankings/relevance and a deeper understanding of things.

  6. Shey says:

    Definitely a discoverer, but I can’t help thinking that there’s something in between, like Rob above. We’re probably all variations in between with a few people at the extremes.

    This can also be applied to other topics, like sports, food, web design, etc. I’m more of a signalist when it comes to sports.

  7. Corvida says:

    Can we get a middle section? I’m a mixture of both.

    + I’m a signalist with filters.
    + Discoverer with subscription decisions
    + Discoverer with number of subscriptions
    + Both for content rankings.
    + Both for time spent on social media.

    A little of both with a preference for discovering.

  8. Great responses here. For myself, I’m also in the middle. Started much more as a signalist, but as I’ve gotten comfortable with FriendFeed and the flow of stuff, I’ve expanded into the right column a lot more.

  9. Tom Landini says:

    I’m a discoverer according to Hutch’s table, but I don’t necessarily want to wade thru tons of stuff to discover, at least not all the time. It would be nice to have a discovery filter, though I don’t know how that would work.

    I like the new “best of” filters. But I also think we have to be careful to not equate relevance with popularity (if that’s how the “best of” routines work). Popularity depends on who’s voting and what they want. If you don’t totally share their criteria, “best of” rankings might not help you much. Either that or choose your friends carefully 🙂

    I’ve noticed there’s no “best of” option in rooms, just in the general friends feed. It might be interesting to apply the new “best of” filtering to rooms in addition to the general friends feed. That way, you’ve at least chosen to share some specific subject with the members of the room.

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  12. Robin Cannon says:

    I would imagine everyone is a bit of each, with an emphasis one way or another. I’d say I’m a focused discoverer. I do have a preference for subjects of specific interest and passion, but I’m aware that there’s a limit to how much I can concentrate on. So I pick and choose what’s of worth, and what’s of worth tends to be what’s closely of interest to me.

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  17. diggma says:

    I think I’m a discoverer, but I like the occasional deep dive as well.
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