Facebook is everywhere. Even if you want to “stay off the grid” someone you know will post a picture of you and update the world as to your doings. Meanwhile, Facebook will track your meanderings across the Internet like a virtual bloodhound. All in the interest of peddling the multitudinous wares they think you might “like” in the real world as well as the virtual.
“Did you see the pictures I put on facebook?”
No. No I did not.
“It was so tragic what happened to Mabel... I know, I heard it on facebook.”
Sorry, I missed that. I haven’t logged on in two years.
You want to at least feign interest
I am not that old. I do not yet require younger people to assist me with technological issues. But I seem old when I tell them that I don’t really do the FB. Or I get the “Oh you are one of those people” looks. As such, I want to at least act like I am hip to the game.
There is another problem
There is another problem on the Internet. There is so much absolute garbage (dross, rubble, sewage, slop, etc.) on the Internet. There is no word in the English language that I can use to communicate how little value much of it has to me or society as a whole. Then there are things that are absolutely mind blowing – gems that hide in the news feeds of thousands of sites. How to find them without having to spend hours sifting is the other problem.
Enter Machine Learning
“What if...” I thought to myself one day, “I could use some sort of artificial intelligence algorithm to sift the news for me?” After all, google tries to do it, FB tries to do it, all these companies are trying to do it for me. The problem is that they do not do a very good job and they are probably just trying to sell me something.
The solution to my news problem is also the solution to my Facebook problem
I have never been one to post little sayings, or a dramatic teaser to social media (e.g. “I can’t believe this happened to me.”) just to get some attention. I usually just post articles or links that I find interesting. So, if I am going to automate the sorting of the news, why not automate the posting to Facebook as well?
In part 2 of this post I will begin to explain how I made it all come together. Until then...