We really, really want to be the person who tells or shows other people something important. All the fake tweets, the fake images—I don’t think they’re people having a laugh and gaming the system. I think they’re people who want to pass along something that gets passed along by others. I’m sure it’s an ancient instinct, but just in the past couple of years it’s been possible to actually keep score, to see how many times something has been liked, re-tweeted, or re-blogged. And think about yourself right now: do you notice the numbers that become attached to your media production (whether it’s something for money or for free)? Once you notice the numbers it changes you, I think. Twenty years ago you might say “I made the front page” or “I had a letter to the editor published” but now we have hard numbers and it’s going to have an impact. We’ve never been able to measure conversations so precisely. How it changes things, exactly, will take some time to figure out.