"🌲When Themed Logs are More Useful than Daily Notes" - TikTok and the Power of Algorithms in Building Interest Networks

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Sep 05, 2023

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"🌲When Themed Logs are More Useful than Daily Notes" - TikTok and the Power of Algorithms in Building Interest Networks

In today's digital age, organizing information and content is crucial for productivity and efficient retrieval. While many people rely on daily notes to keep track of their thoughts and tasks, there is a growing trend towards using themed logs instead. Themed logs group information by purpose, rather than chronology, allowing for more focus, easier retrieval, and less context switching.

But how does this relate to the success of an app like TikTok? TikTok, a video-sharing platform, has taken the world by storm and surpassed other U.S. video apps like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. It has become a fertile source for meme origination, mutation, and dissemination, even in a culture vastly different from its country of origin, China.

One of the key factors behind TikTok's success lies in its powerful algorithm, which is designed to connect videos with the audiences that will enjoy them the most. Bytedance, the company behind TikTok, invested heavily in user acquisition in the U.S. and introduced an updated feed algorithm called the For You Page. This algorithm acts as a rapid and efficient market maker, connecting videos with the users who are most likely to appreciate them, without relying on an explicit follower graph.

This approach is in stark contrast to traditional social networks like Twitter, which often struggle with the negative network effects of using a social graph at scale. On Twitter, users follow others based on their interests, but rarely are they interested in everything a single person posts. This creates a challenge in constructing an accurate interest graph.

TikTok, on the other hand, operates more as a pure interest graph, derived from its short video content. The algorithm is so efficient that it can assemble the interest graph without burdening the user with excessive manual input. It achieves passive personalization, learning about user preferences through consumption. The short length of TikTok videos allows for a high volume of training data per unit of time, making the algorithm even more effective.

The success of TikTok demonstrates the power of algorithms in building interest networks. By focusing on user preferences and providing personalized content, TikTok has been able to attract a diverse range of users and create subcultures within the platform. The algorithm acts as a rapid market maker, connecting videos and users in a way that traditional social networks struggle to achieve.

So, what can we learn from TikTok's success? Here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Focus on purpose: When organizing information, consider grouping it by purpose rather than chronology. Themed logs can help you stay focused, easily retrieve information, and reduce context switching.
  • 2. Prioritize user feedback: TikTok's success was partially due to its willingness to listen to user feedback and make changes accordingly. By making feedback channels easily accessible, they were able to understand what their users wanted and improve their platform.
  • 3. Embrace the power of algorithms: Algorithms can be instrumental in building interest networks and connecting users with content they will enjoy. By leveraging machine learning and personalization, you can create a tailored experience for your audience.

In conclusion, themed logs offer a more effective way to organize information, while TikTok's success showcases the power of algorithms in building interest networks. By adopting these principles and prioritizing user feedback, you can create a platform or system that resonates with your audience and drives growth.

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