Some highlights below, but lots more meat in the article.
Knowing that someone follows the NBA Twitter feed is nice, but knowing that they hearted an animated gif of Steph Curry hitting a three or saved a recipe for beehive cupcakes is specificity gold.
Writers have time but no money.
Readers have money but no time.
It’s easy to forget this hard readers/writers dichotomy, especially in the era of “scaling via social networking” a.k.a. “spamming your Facebook friends for fun and profit.” It totally seems to make sense that you’d want every reader to become a writer, and to recruit their friends to become readers in turn. Thus you see Twitter, Pinterest and Quora going through phases where they more or less force all readers to register for accounts just to look at a few pages of content.
However, this reasoning goes counter to the all-important social versus interest graph distinction. You’re going to be interested in your Facebook friends’ photos and updates just because you know them, but their strange hobbies are probably not going to inspire you to take up the same hobbies. On the other hand, you will be interested in people with your same strange hobbies even if you don’t know them.
...those who have only worked on social graphs might not fully grasp how much more usage you can build in the long run by allowing for anonymous, non-social browsing. If you have good content that is meaningful to readers who do not know the writers personally, you are leaving money on the table — and increasingly alienating your potential userbase — by forcing a social graph that doesn’t need to exist.
Knowing that someone follows the NBA Twitter feed is nice; knowing that they hearted an animated GIF of Steph Curry hitting a three is specificity gold.