Ego Trap: Social Media Ranking Tools

It seems like a new ego trap gets sprung every month.  This time, it's social media ranking tools.

What's an ego trap? In a nutshell, social technologies use game mechanics to get users hooked on participation.  People often get addicted to ego-stroking system feedback, until they can temper their usage (addiction?) in terms of utility vs. serendipity.  Self-promotion lies at the root of ego traps.

I don't think ego traps are inherently "bad."  However, I believe that individuals should be fully aware of the implications when participating – particularly what they're trying to accomplish and why.  Honesty with one's own ego is the key.

Some people are panicking after submitting their Twitter username and password to a site called Twitterank, which will "determine how worthy of a person you are in Twitterverse," while potentially stealing your password in the process.  Clearly an ego trap in action.  Why?

  • There's no practical use of the service except for stroking one's ego. 

[Okay, I know the other posts had longer lists, but this one is just too obvious.]

Similar social media ranking tools include egoSurf, Twitter Grader, twInfluence, and [the now defunct] TweeterBoard.

Ranking tools are great when they're used for fun.  Be smart and don't give out your password to random sites.

BTW if you want to see if your favorite Tweeter got caught in the Twitterank ego trap, visit[username]

Being: Peter Kim