Crawling around the Social Media Starfish, er, reading feeds

So, I was reading feeds and just ran across Fred Wilson’s A VC blog (he’s a famous VC who lives in New York City and invests in a bunch of stuff that we use everyday). He posts that his favorite post was a picture done by the founder of Vimeo. Asks what does that say? About blogging?

It says to me that we’re all weird creatures and that we like weird stuff. Including a founder lying in bed pondering the future.

I put it on my link blog. Why? Cause I liked it too.

Translation: there’s something deeper going on on blogs.

1. Blogs have lost their humanity. Their weirdness. Instead we’ve become vehicles to announce new products and initiatives on.
2. We’ve gotten too caught up in the TechMeme games.
3. We’re bored. The interesting stuff is happening off blogs. This afternoon, for instance, I’m meeting Hugh Macleod and we’re just going to hang out in Palo Alto and have fun. Meet at the Apple store at 3 p.m. on University Ave.
4. Creative stuff and ideas and questions are getting spread out all over the place.

Anyway, hope you’re having a good weekend.

I’ve just put a bunch of stuff up on my link blog, including a report of what we were doing at Nokia on Thursday. Hey, there’s that Social Media Starfish again! Look for “NRC Palo Alto” or “Active Words” in the link blog and you’ll see the starfish.

Speaking of which, if you want to see just the headlines of my link blog, they are reposted over on Fast Company Magazine’s site and also on my Twitter feed for @scobleslinkblog.

There’s a lot of great stuff on my link blog. Joi Ito recommends PhotoPhlow. Fake Steve Jobs gives some interviews there. Microsoft’s Listas is discussed. B5 Media has a post about me being on its advisory board. Louis Gray talks about his love of FriendFeed. And on and on.

Why don’t you subscribe to the feed of my link blog?

37 thoughts on “Crawling around the Social Media Starfish, er, reading feeds

  1. I see where you’re coming from. My blog lost its humanity when a family of monkeys took it over to post webcomics on it. However the content is still pretty interesting, in fact sometimes it’s totally bananas and readers often go ape over it.

  2. I see where you’re coming from. My blog lost its humanity when a family of monkeys took it over to post webcomics on it. However the content is still pretty interesting, in fact sometimes it’s totally bananas and readers often go ape over it.

  3. SB: do you “read” a newspaper? Really? Do you read every single word in it? Or just scan the page for something interesting, then you read that in depth don’t you? To me that whole process +is+ reading.

    But don’t judge me on whether I’m scanning or not. If I’m not “reading” the materials coming through my feed stream I won’t pick killer stuff for you. Judge me by what I put on my link blog. is it the best stuff available? Yes or no. Many many people tell me it is. So, if that’s true, then I must have picked those items somehow. Hint: I read EVERYTHING in depth that I put on there.

  4. SB: do you “read” a newspaper? Really? Do you read every single word in it? Or just scan the page for something interesting, then you read that in depth don’t you? To me that whole process +is+ reading.

    But don’t judge me on whether I’m scanning or not. If I’m not “reading” the materials coming through my feed stream I won’t pick killer stuff for you. Judge me by what I put on my link blog. is it the best stuff available? Yes or no. Many many people tell me it is. So, if that’s true, then I must have picked those items somehow. Hint: I read EVERYTHING in depth that I put on there.

  5. Well, I would think that Global Voices would be a good place to find “humanity” — but one would have to click through and actually read a post, rather than simply scan the summaries on the front page.

    Gosh.

    How about the whole universe of personal blogs? Try, maybe, ample sanity: http://www.amplesanity.com/

    I know, I should let this drop. But a combination of the Montana connection and my love for real-people blogging keeps me tapping away at you…

  6. Well, I would think that Global Voices would be a good place to find “humanity” — but one would have to click through and actually read a post, rather than simply scan the summaries on the front page.

    Gosh.

    How about the whole universe of personal blogs? Try, maybe, ample sanity: http://www.amplesanity.com/

    I know, I should let this drop. But a combination of the Montana connection and my love for real-people blogging keeps me tapping away at you…

  7. SB: you have no clue if you think there’s a difference.

    Can I tell you what they wrote about after looking at an item? Yes.

    Can I find the important item out of 100s of items? Yes.

    Do you need to look at a tree for more than 1/30th of a second before your brain can recognize it’s a tree? No.

    Most blogs aren’t very long. I can read the average post in 1 second.

    Go to http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/

    How long do you take to read that page? It takes me about 20 seconds unless something is interesting to me. Then it takes longer.

  8. SB: you have no clue if you think there’s a difference.

    Can I tell you what they wrote about after looking at an item? Yes.

    Can I find the important item out of 100s of items? Yes.

    Do you need to look at a tree for more than 1/30th of a second before your brain can recognize it’s a tree? No.

    Most blogs aren’t very long. I can read the average post in 1 second.

    Go to http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/

    How long do you take to read that page? It takes me about 20 seconds unless something is interesting to me. Then it takes longer.

  9. >”I read hundreds of non-tech blogs.”

    So, Robert — you *read* hundreds of non-tech blogs?

    Or, you *scan* hundreds of non-tech blogs?

    To find the ‘humanity’, one must read.

    So I still disagree.

  10. >”I read hundreds of non-tech blogs.”

    So, Robert — you *read* hundreds of non-tech blogs?

    Or, you *scan* hundreds of non-tech blogs?

    To find the ‘humanity’, one must read.

    So I still disagree.

  11. 1. They never had humanity, it just seemed that way when you were on the top of the heap, and basking in the hype glow. Blogs are generic mass-market CMS, nothing more. Software is not human.

    2. Games? Well no one to blame, except yourselves. There is life outside of the Bay Area.

    3. Bored? See #1 and #2.

    4. It’s called commodization, happens all the time, in every instance, in every economic model ever, in all of total human history.

  12. 1. They never had humanity, it just seemed that way when you were on the top of the heap, and basking in the hype glow. Blogs are generic mass-market CMS, nothing more. Software is not human.

    2. Games? Well no one to blame, except yourselves. There is life outside of the Bay Area.

    3. Bored? See #1 and #2.

    4. It’s called commodization, happens all the time, in every instance, in every economic model ever, in all of total human history.

  13. Couldn’t agree more on the increasingly mainstream and “me too” mentality of blogging, Robert.

    At Dibbly Media, we regard this as an exciting opportunity to do something a little different. (I believe we’ve got an interesting article featuring your good self coming up soon.)

    Dibbly Media

  14. Couldn’t agree more on the increasingly mainstream and “me too” mentality of blogging, Robert.

    At Dibbly Media, we regard this as an exciting opportunity to do something a little different. (I believe we’ve got an interesting article featuring your good self coming up soon.)

    Dibbly Media

  15. SB: I read hundreds of non-tech blogs. I just don’t share them on my link blog because everytime I do that (share a political blog, for instance) I get complaints.

  16. SB: I read hundreds of non-tech blogs. I just don’t share them on my link blog because everytime I do that (share a political blog, for instance) I get complaints.

  17. “Blogs have lost their humanity. Their weirdness. Instead we’ve become vehicles to announce new products and initiatives on.”

    I’m not sure I don’t agree with you. Perhaps after a while, if you’re involved personally with weblogging, you lose the spark, and you just don’t care anymore.

  18. “Blogs have lost their humanity. Their weirdness. Instead we’ve become vehicles to announce new products and initiatives on.”

    I’m not sure I don’t agree with you. Perhaps after a while, if you’re involved personally with weblogging, you lose the spark, and you just don’t care anymore.

  19. I know your claim is in the service of a larger point about the evolution of communication formats, but it strikes me as a bit of a hasty generalization. Why don’t you trade OPML files with a different person each day for a week, particularly people who are outside of the “fabric” of TechMeme, and see if you can still confidently make the point?

  20. I know your claim is in the service of a larger point about the evolution of communication formats, but it strikes me as a bit of a hasty generalization. Why don’t you trade OPML files with a different person each day for a week, particularly people who are outside of the “fabric” of TechMeme, and see if you can still confidently make the point?

  21. > “Blogs have lost their humanity. Their weirdness. Instead we’ve become vehicles to announce new products and initiatives on.”

    Well, maybe that’s true for the blogs you read, but not for most of the blogs I read. Come back home. Read some Montana blogs. Read some personal blogs. Read some blogs with no ads.

    Read some non-tech blogs.

    I dare you.

  22. > “Blogs have lost their humanity. Their weirdness. Instead we’ve become vehicles to announce new products and initiatives on.”

    Well, maybe that’s true for the blogs you read, but not for most of the blogs I read. Come back home. Read some Montana blogs. Read some personal blogs. Read some blogs with no ads.

    Read some non-tech blogs.

    I dare you.

  23. Well “some” blogs aren’t vehicles to talk about new products and inititives, so I’m not sure you should paint “all” blogs into that category.

    But the number of blogs that are just blatent rss feeds of other feeds to get revenue for whatever adsense they are running is increasing.

    Some of us humans that are just being honest are still around.

  24. Well “some” blogs aren’t vehicles to talk about new products and inititives, so I’m not sure you should paint “all” blogs into that category.

    But the number of blogs that are just blatent rss feeds of other feeds to get revenue for whatever adsense they are running is increasing.

    Some of us humans that are just being honest are still around.

  25. Blogs have lost their humanity? Whose blogs? It depends who the blogger is, whether blogging is their career, etc etc.

    I dont see some great change, maybe the realisation is new but the phenomenon isnt.

    Cant talk aout blogs in such general terms. Anyway blogs have never been the main source of all useful and interesting and weird stuff on the net, I know there is a tendency to talk everything up as new, but Ive always found plenty of weird interesting stuff on the net, no matter what the TechMeme of the day is. Forums, messageboards, mailing lists etc are so similar in many ways, and can be welcome homes of the weird.

    The honeymoon period of blogging is over, as it is for podcasting and vlogging. When the excitement of the new territory is over, its time to see whats really worthwhile and stands the course.

    Ive had a fun weekend, was of more use in a single day to humans, by releasing a quickly botched together leopard ichat hologram type effect, than I have been in many years of waffling in forums & comments.

  26. Blogs have lost their humanity? Whose blogs? It depends who the blogger is, whether blogging is their career, etc etc.

    I dont see some great change, maybe the realisation is new but the phenomenon isnt.

    Cant talk aout blogs in such general terms. Anyway blogs have never been the main source of all useful and interesting and weird stuff on the net, I know there is a tendency to talk everything up as new, but Ive always found plenty of weird interesting stuff on the net, no matter what the TechMeme of the day is. Forums, messageboards, mailing lists etc are so similar in many ways, and can be welcome homes of the weird.

    The honeymoon period of blogging is over, as it is for podcasting and vlogging. When the excitement of the new territory is over, its time to see whats really worthwhile and stands the course.

    Ive had a fun weekend, was of more use in a single day to humans, by releasing a quickly botched together leopard ichat hologram type effect, than I have been in many years of waffling in forums & comments.

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