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The Annoying Thing That Will Make You Quit Facebook

Almost nobody wants to put that much effort into it.

Pendola has previously compared Facebook to founder Mark Zuckerberg's vision of it: "The best personalized newspaper in the world." OK, but requiring a Mashable tutorial to make Facebook even resemble that high-minded ideal is like calling up a newsroom every morning and placing an order for what you'd like to see in the paper that day -- only to have the editors either miss or blatantly ignore parts of that order so they can give you more ads and fewer personally relevant stories.

Basically, Facebook became all the worst parts of actual newspapers, but with your friends and family reduced to small print somewhere in the police briefs. The big, terrible stories drive traffic and draw jerks like me into the comments fields to vent. But that's not what I or just about anyone else came to Facebook for.

Similarly, hearing the same 20% of Apple iTunes libraries on repeat weren't what people with thousands of songs on their hard drives adopted iTunes for, but it's the reason big, bulky iTunes collections are going unused and unchanged like the CD collections they replaced. Apple (AAPL - Get Report), Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) and others who lived by the MP3 were never concerned with how you were listening to your music, but that you were listening to more of it. It's why the shuffle feature was never quite random enough, the Genius feature stuck to genres like a dumb music store CD rack and sales of digital downloads started dropping for the first time last year. It's also a disheartening turn for Apple, whose consumer ranks are filled with folks who fled the pedantic, piecemeal PC market for simpler plug-and-play Macs and iDevices.

The fact is, we don't want to curate. We say we do because it sounds like the enlightened, responsible thing to say, but we want technology to take the next leap ahead and stop making us put together mixes like a college freshman. The better corners of the Internet have found already do this.

As Pendola notes on several occasions, Twitter does a far better job of keeping users informed and in touch just by its nature. Those 140 characters keep things brief and skippable, reward cleverness and force everyone to get to the point or cycle to the bottom. Twitter's news feed can be broken into groups or streamlinedwith help from TweetDeck or HootSuite, but it doesn't game the system and reward just the popular content. The items in your feed don't get any help making it there and don't just show up because they're viral.

It's an ideal platform for both news and communication and transparently leaves content choices in the user's hands -- with minimal curation required. That's the basic gist of steaming services like Pandora (P - Get Report), Radioio (OTC:RDIO) and Spotify as well: Let the user build a base of lists or stations, let them streamline those offerings with the help of algorithms and minimal tweaks like thumbs-up or thumbs-down voting and let them enjoy their experience without bother.

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