Ev Williams had an interesting post on Medium last week that got me thinking about the difference between Daystream and social media networks–it's all about the decision to explore content. Basically, social media makes that decision for you, whereas Daystream empowers you to make that decision for yourself.
Quoting from Ev's post:
"Trust is more important than ever and well-established editorial brands still have meaning. But today, credibility and affinity are primarily built by people — individual voices — rather than brands."
I happen to agree with this, but have to wonder how Medium, along with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other algorithm-dependent systems, justify their approach to presenting content to people in this people-powered content revolution? They must either count themselves among the "well-established editorial brands" Ev mentions...or accept that their respective algorithm serves a primary purpose other than promoting the objectively best content.
By using an algorithm to create the feed of content a user sees when they log in, no matter the form it takes, these networks are making content decisions for their users.
Daystream is not algorithm-based. Log in, and you'll see who in your network is posting that day, that week, etc. You don't see their content right away, just them. From there, you, the user, decide which content you want to discover based on the identity of the creator.
I've learned that this is incredibly empowering as a reader because it allows me (forces me, really) to make the decision to jump into content based on the creator's identity alone. Internally, that forces me to make that decision to jump based on my view of that particular creator. This is more complex than it sounds–some decisions are based on my relationship to the creator (of course I want to see what my son posted today), while others are based solely on my view of the trustworthiness of the creator.
The best content algorithm is the one in your own head. We're building Daystream to empower you to use it.