Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Kevin Kelly Highlights Persistence Paradox of Social Networks

Kevin Kelly, who I previously covered in a blog post on his 'The One' vision, recently highlighted on his own site the results of researcher Bernardo Huberman, now at HP Labs of what is defined as the 'Persistence Paradox'.


"People persistently upload content to social media sites, hoping for the highly unlikely outcome of topping the charts and reaching a wide audience. And yet, an analysis of the production histories and success dynamics of 10 million videos from YouTube revealed that the more frequently an individual uploads content the less likely it is that it will reach a success threshold. This paradoxical result is further compounded by the fact that the average quality of submissions does increase with the number of uploads, with the likelihood of success less than that of playing a lottery."

The conclusion suggests that increasing uploads improves quality but not hits.

Unfortunately, the paper does not examine the issue of photo uploads, and any link between number of uploads and user motivation/success in achieving his goals.

Had it done so, it may have offered some useful insights for Facebook, now the world's second largest online repository of photos after ImageShack (with 20bn images). Techcrunch recently reported that it has earmarked $100m to buy servers-with $30m spent this year alone with storage provider NetApp.

All of this just as relevant for pure play mobile social networks though on a lower scale-while uploading of photos from mobile is fairly standard, upload speeds for photos (let alone videos) mean data volumes still remain relatively low.