A short post. I’m rebooting (yet again) my web site. The gaps in posting relate to my focus on work, other projects, and a personal life.I’ve used a well-guarded Facebook account for most of my small posting, but I’ve found it limiting when I want to publish a longer (200+ word) piece to the general public, and not just to family and friends.

So it’s a return to the blog venue. I look forward to sharing my writing struggles, writing in progress, and wins (not to mention an excellent use of the Oxford Comma).

So, real commentary:

Instagram’s changing its algorithm to reflect displaying what it thinks is important instead of straight chronological order would violate the First Amendment if Facebook were a government entity. Facebook already did this to its news feed.

CNN looks to be doing this, and the effects are good for them and irritating for news junkies. A news story that trends upwards rolls through a series of clickbait headlines, and moves around the front page. Stale video pieces are promoted on the video section, and appear in feeds when reading a related article, even if they’re three years old.

By sorting post into an order advertisers want instead of a straight chronological one, it, perforce buries information that a poster might want others to urgently see, but not deemed relevant by The Machine. What folks I follow say may not conform to the monetization algorithms Instagram (Facebook, really) uses to entice advertisers to pay a higher rate for their ad placements.

When I follow someone on Facebook it’s because I want to know what they’re up to. With multiple people I have the expectation that when they take the time to say something, I should take the time to see it. What I see shouldn’t be ‘promoted’ or hidden under a pile of posts I’ve already seen based on their wishes to sell me stuff.

I appreciate that I am getting all this service for free, and that advertising is what pays the bills. But the value of this service is eroded when I need to decide whether the Instagram entry for the smiling couple is before or after the one for their house burning down.