Fark’s Drew Curtis Reveals Secret to Social Media at UK Tech Week Kickoff


“What if, when you’re adding up the receipts at your fruit stand, you find out your number one selling item is Doritos? Should you be in the fruit stand business or the Doritos business?”

Fark.com founder Drew Curtis revealed the secret to all Social Media during last week’s Tech Week at the University of Kentucky.
Fark.com founder Drew Curtis revealed the secret to Social Media at tonight’s UK kickoff to tech week:

  • write good content;
  • make it easy to share;
  • don’t suck.

Common miscalculations mainstream media makes:

Social media is a utopian democracy where everyone participates equally.” It isn’t. It’s about one percent, who are doing 99 percent of the talking. (He cites Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who explains Ron Paul as a “phenomenon” that was actually the result of about 50 people who drove the online conversation.) Most people are not actively watching, much less participating.

Nobody has a million followers — not even the guys who have a million followers.” See Anil Dash’s post, Nobody has a million twitter followers.  He cited the example of yesterday’s Randall Cobb twitter.  The tweets didn’t go viral because Randall Cobb had a million twitter followers, instead, “it went out sideways.”

“The Platform doesn’t matter.”   In five years, it will change anyway. He asked the students, what was the platform before Facebook? MySpace. What was before MySpace? Friendster. Before that? AOL and even prodigy. He says the one thing you can count on is that “13-year-olds hate what 18-year-olds are doing now.” Facebook in year six has made fewer mistakes than some, but he points they nearly had a legitimate “next social network” challenger when Blizzard launched Real.ID.

What will Web 3.0 look like? He says the next platform may be Editing.

In his book, It’s Not News, It’s Fark: How Mass Media Tries to Pass Off Crap As News, and in tonight’s talk, he points out repeatedly that the readers drive demand, particularly in an era of increasingly precise web analytics.

To that extent, while he may give legacy media a legitimate hard time, he adds that the indictment isn’t “them” as much as it is “us.”

In their struggle to make sense of social media and monetization and the online world, he compares it to running a fruit stand. What if, when you’re adding up the receipts at your fruit stand, “you find out your number one selling item is Doritos?” Should you be in the fruit stand business or the Doritos business?

You can find the schedule for the rest of UK and ICT Collaborative’s Tech Week here.

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