Too Much "Noise" on the Net: is "milq" the Answer?

We can all agree that we are bombarded with information and that most of it is useless. It's coming at us from all directions: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Goodreads, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, Tumblr, online magazines, blogs, the list is endless. 

We're deafened with "noise" on the Net.

And in all that "noise", do you find what you want to read? Not often, and when you do, you may try to save or bookmark that gem on your computer but most of the time you just lose it.

That's where milq comes in. Or would like to try to come in. 

Instead of a timeline or feed or wall, the way you have it on Facebook, or picture boards like you have on Pinterest, you get "beads", i.e. topics where you can upload your find, whether a video, an article, a song. Their landing page looks like this (my screen shot):


A very minimal design, and easy to navigate. It's also very easy to join, just let the app access your Twitter or Facebook data and you're done. 

Is it of any use?

Three weeks ago, the New York Times took note, (see here) and remarked, without really reaching any conclusion, that milq is intended to "separate wheat from social media chaff". That's a nice way to put it, but does it do it?

I tried it from my own standpoint and interests: remember, I'm into books, I like to keep abreast of social trends (how else could I write a book set in the future like Forever Young?). 

Well, I was thoroughly disappointed. 

Basically, the "beads" are a series of virtual shelves showcasing stuff about the same topic or theme, or to use their exquisite terminology, they are "collectively curated channels of culture". And the stuff uploaded by someone with a big Internet presence gets precedence over the little guy. Also, their business model foresees that they "sell" beads to businesses - for example they've already got Condé Nast interested in topics, sorry, I mean "beads" linked to their magazines.

I tried to find the bead about books and that's where things started to unravel. I stumbled upon a vast series of beads on bizarre topics, all phrased as questions (this apparently is meant to attract people's attention) - here's an example:


"Movies that made me want to become a filmmaker" or "genre stew"? To be honest, I have never seen a film that made me want to become a filmmaker, as to "genre stew"...I'm not sure what that means anyway nor whether I want to waste time to find out (even if some people feel enthusiastic about it).

Finally I found the books bead:


You're told that Pamela Talese created this bead in February of last year and the picture of books surmounted by chocolate candies suggests the bead is going to be yummy. 

Wrong, the bead is meant to be...musical! Yes, it is about books but only if expressed in songs: the introductory blurb says it's "about books, their characters, authors, poets, and playwrights. Also-librarians, bookworms, comic-book collectors, folks hooked on the phonics but SONGS ONLY please. There are many fabulous interviews on this topic-but words to music keep the story moving."

This songs-only approach is highly restrictive. Result? Very few posts over a year - maybe a dozen or two dozens, I didn't count them. 

Another restriction is that you can only share or comment on the posts, with no hope of response. NO real discussion. This is not a give-and-take forum-like website. Just a place where you collect stuff, the way you collect pictures on PINTEREST - with the possibility of starting your own bead, provided it is highly visual or musical or both - authors addicted to the written word are warned!

Did you try it? If you did, please share your experience!


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