Off of the tech entertainment train

Today several people noted that I am no longer on Techmeme’s leader board.

Funny, lately I’ve been reading TechMeme less and less and caring less and less about whether what I do appears there. It’s why I went to Washington DC. I knew the other geeks like Mike Arrington wouldn’t link to those videos. Why? Well, as Zoe Lofgren said in the conversation we had with her, politicians are boring. I remember on a Gillmor Gang a few months back that Arrington announced that he was an entertainer. He’s right, and is one of the reasons why he owns the top of the Techmeme leaderboard. Me? I’d rather do something else than be an entertainer. I want to have smart conversations and if that means I’m not going to be on the Techmeme leaderboard anymore, so be it.

This week I was at Hewlett Packard hanging out with researchers who are working at the atomic level to find new ways to make memory and processors that will be far more important to all of us than whether or not there’s some people standing in line waiting for the next iPhone. But science isn’t sexy. You won’t see our video of that on TechMeme either.

Nor will you see the video that we did with the CEO of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association that’ll be up on Monday. Nor will you see the WorkFast.tv video we did with Tim Ferriss. In fact, out of all the videos I’ve done this year I can’t think of one that’s been on Techmeme. Heck, my tour of CERN wasn’t on TechMeme, nor was our visit to IBM’s Research Center.

So, if I’m not chasing Techmeme anymore, what am I chasing? FriendFeed and Twitter. They are, together, where the audience that I really care about is hanging out. Who do I care about? Early adopters who want to have conversations with smart people about smart things.

Well, because FriendFeed’ers care about learning something new about the industry and not just getting entertained by the latest sensationalism.

Interesting that Dave Winer just shipped a new tech news site. Why? He’s disatisfied with Techmeme too. Funny, too, that I was talking with a journalist from a major news organization a couple of weeks back. He said “we only get 1,400 visitors when we’re at the top of Techmeme — that’s statistically insignificant.” I answered back “I am getting more visitors lately from Twitter and FriendFeed and the audience I get is more engaged and is usually reading Techmeme anyway.”

But, just in case, FastCompany.tv is one of the advertisers on TechMeme now and I do read it a couple times a day just to see if I missed something (it’s been a long time, though, that it caught something that hadn’t already been discussed over on FriendFeed).

As another example, look at the kinds of things I’ve “Liked” on FriendFeed lately. Now compare that to TechMeme. Which one is more interesting? Why?

It’s OK if you say Techmeme is more entertaining. It is.

But is that all you want out of your tech bloggers and journalists?

Comments

  1. Arrington won’t link to you because he’s probably pissed that you got something he didn’t get. I would happily have done the same for him. Hell, maybe I need ti arrange an annual “Tech Blogger Visit to DC” like some groups do.

    If TechCrunch is in the business of entertainment, the Washington Post should cancel that syndication deal NOW NOW NOW.

    Trust be told, I get many of my story leads for WID off of FriendFeed and follow the trail from there.

    Don’t know if I’ve said it, Robert, but I’m consistently pleased with your ability to stay above the fray. Maybe it’s your J-school training, but you always seem more interested in the “What and Why and How” instead of the “Who.” I hear way too much about Arrington this and Calacanis that and Shel and Loren and WIner and I think “WHERE IS THE NEWS?”

    Maybe people like you need to shed the “blogger” moniker and actually find something that describes your role in media. You’re a relatively humble guy, but maybe its’ time to step up and demand serious conversations. Arrington wants to be CNet? Fine. You can be The Economist. They don’t even sign their own bylines.

    Social Media is interesting for delivering news, but when you deliver news, YOU at least keep the focus on the NEWS. I can’t always say that for many others in this space.

    Andrew

  2. Arrington won’t link to you because he’s probably pissed that you got something he didn’t get. I would happily have done the same for him. Hell, maybe I need ti arrange an annual “Tech Blogger Visit to DC” like some groups do.

    If TechCrunch is in the business of entertainment, the Washington Post should cancel that syndication deal NOW NOW NOW.

    Trust be told, I get many of my story leads for WID off of FriendFeed and follow the trail from there.

    Don’t know if I’ve said it, Robert, but I’m consistently pleased with your ability to stay above the fray. Maybe it’s your J-school training, but you always seem more interested in the “What and Why and How” instead of the “Who.” I hear way too much about Arrington this and Calacanis that and Shel and Loren and WIner and I think “WHERE IS THE NEWS?”

    Maybe people like you need to shed the “blogger” moniker and actually find something that describes your role in media. You’re a relatively humble guy, but maybe its’ time to step up and demand serious conversations. Arrington wants to be CNet? Fine. You can be The Economist. They don’t even sign their own bylines.

    Social Media is interesting for delivering news, but when you deliver news, YOU at least keep the focus on the NEWS. I can’t always say that for many others in this space.

    Andrew

  3. Good post. Agree re conversations – my group are now having them via Plurk… Twitter seems to have too many issues. I did specifically log on to Twitter the other day for a NewYorker that I follow who had posted something of immense interest.

    Found this post on Friend Feed and still very much agree and appreciate this service. cheers xcharlie (in south aus)

  4. Good post. Agree re conversations – my group are now having them via Plurk… Twitter seems to have too many issues. I did specifically log on to Twitter the other day for a NewYorker that I follow who had posted something of immense interest.

    Found this post on Friend Feed and still very much agree and appreciate this service. cheers xcharlie (in south aus)

  5. This probably sounds shallow on my part, but I would watch more of your videos if they were embedded in your posts instead of just given as links. I’ve noticed that it’s hard for me to resist clicking on a play button, but links don’t draw me in.

    Links say “If I click on this it’s going to take lots of my time.” An embedded video says “If I don’t like it, I can always stop it.”

  6. This probably sounds shallow on my part, but I would watch more of your videos if they were embedded in your posts instead of just given as links. I’ve noticed that it’s hard for me to resist clicking on a play button, but links don’t draw me in.

    Links say “If I click on this it’s going to take lots of my time.” An embedded video says “If I don’t like it, I can always stop it.”

  7. robert you are on to something .. and it is not (only) the followers and leading edge thinking that you are the conduit for, you are also documenting a shift in human evolution … keep going, hold the camera still, modulate the voice volume, you are creating gold

  8. robert you are on to something .. and it is not (only) the followers and leading edge thinking that you are the conduit for, you are also documenting a shift in human evolution … keep going, hold the camera still, modulate the voice volume, you are creating gold

  9. [...] nothing going on? Has the TechMeme conversation dried up, as Robert Scoble entertainingly baits? Are FriendFeed conversations more viral and link-inducing? Of course. There’s nothing like a [...]

  10. Hey Robert…most of my thoughts on this are written “between the lines” of your post for most readers.

    But I should point out one thing: the vast majority of early adopters, executives, journalists, and “influencers” in technology are not actively monitoring FriendFeed or Twitter. You already know why: most can’t deal with noise, if they’ve even tried FriendFeed or Twitter in the first place.

    So which vanguard does FriendFeed and Twitter have a lock on? I’d say “social media” early adopters, people interested in things like twitter client comparisons, new blog widgets, and personalized aggregators. A good proportion of these are bloggers or would-be bloggers who’ve noticed they get reactions they wouldn’t get from direct visitors to their blog. In Techmeme’s view, these people are a part of the larger tech landscape, but by no means the defining group.

  11. Hey Robert…most of my thoughts on this are written “between the lines” of your post for most readers.

    But I should point out one thing: the vast majority of early adopters, executives, journalists, and “influencers” in technology are not actively monitoring FriendFeed or Twitter. You already know why: most can’t deal with noise, if they’ve even tried FriendFeed or Twitter in the first place.

    So which vanguard does FriendFeed and Twitter have a lock on? I’d say “social media” early adopters, people interested in things like twitter client comparisons, new blog widgets, and personalized aggregators. A good proportion of these are bloggers or would-be bloggers who’ve noticed they get reactions they wouldn’t get from direct visitors to their blog. In Techmeme’s view, these people are a part of the larger tech landscape, but by no means the defining group.

  12. You’re off my leader board too. You are all over the place and I need efficiency. There is way too much noise to wade through to find any value within what you have been dishing out lately. You say that your audience is early adopters. I think you need to focus on early adopters within some specific slice(s) of the tech industry and go deep into the issues important to the people that live in those markets so that you can build an audience/community which is not so fragmented. Also, pimping whatever Winer is doing does not help your credibility.

  13. You’re off my leader board too. You are all over the place and I need efficiency. There is way too much noise to wade through to find any value within what you have been dishing out lately. You say that your audience is early adopters. I think you need to focus on early adopters within some specific slice(s) of the tech industry and go deep into the issues important to the people that live in those markets so that you can build an audience/community which is not so fragmented. Also, pimping whatever Winer is doing does not help your credibility.

  14. I think you shouldn’t be so consumed with your social profile. Let your work speak for itself. Life isn’t about (or shouldn’t be about) anyone’s “ranking”.

    It would be nice to read a blog entry that wasn’t about “you”.

    Liz, a reader, not a “fan”

  15. I think you shouldn’t be so consumed with your social profile. Let your work speak for itself. Life isn’t about (or shouldn’t be about) anyone’s “ranking”.

    It would be nice to read a blog entry that wasn’t about “you”.

    Liz, a reader, not a “fan”

  16. cool. let’s hope it’s a sign that the market is maturing in its understanding of the internet because it’ll make it easier to do business. I agree that there’s been a little of a narrow view among the blogs/media but i think that’s just a natural progression of a society migrating into a new technology. more is realized and revealed as knowledge and experience expands. few people seem to be aware that there is a major evolution of our world’s communications infrastructure going on because they are still thinking it’s about facebook. it’ll get around to changing as people grow. it’s nice to hear that the viewpoint is expanding.

    but, i think techmeme will more than likely stay relevant because it seems natural to assume the users (and marketers, etc.) will seek to make the web “smaller,” or to streamline their access and experience. I believe rss, aggregation, etc. are positioned to do this. in my opinion, twitter is in another category – device agnostic access/communications – than techmeme. they’ve got potential for different reasons.

    cool post, scoble :)

  17. cool. let’s hope it’s a sign that the market is maturing in its understanding of the internet because it’ll make it easier to do business. I agree that there’s been a little of a narrow view among the blogs/media but i think that’s just a natural progression of a society migrating into a new technology. more is realized and revealed as knowledge and experience expands. few people seem to be aware that there is a major evolution of our world’s communications infrastructure going on because they are still thinking it’s about facebook. it’ll get around to changing as people grow. it’s nice to hear that the viewpoint is expanding.

    but, i think techmeme will more than likely stay relevant because it seems natural to assume the users (and marketers, etc.) will seek to make the web “smaller,” or to streamline their access and experience. I believe rss, aggregation, etc. are positioned to do this. in my opinion, twitter is in another category – device agnostic access/communications – than techmeme. they’ve got potential for different reasons.

    cool post, scoble :)

  18. there is a difference between information and news. Which is more important to anyone personally depends on a few factors, including what your job is and what your interests are.

    There is no service that combines news and information gracefully or perfectly. FriendFeed or some other service may get there someday. I’m glad both news and information are available. I agree with both Scoble and Gabe here. Scoble should do what he wants, Gabe should find the happy intersection of doing what he wants and what gets the most viewers and I think he probably already has.

    I agree with Gabe about FriendFeed and Twitter. If you polled the CIOs/CTOs at all the Fortune 500 companies it would not surprise me if less than 10% had ever used FriendFeed or Twitter.

  19. there is a difference between information and news. Which is more important to anyone personally depends on a few factors, including what your job is and what your interests are.

    There is no service that combines news and information gracefully or perfectly. FriendFeed or some other service may get there someday. I’m glad both news and information are available. I agree with both Scoble and Gabe here. Scoble should do what he wants, Gabe should find the happy intersection of doing what he wants and what gets the most viewers and I think he probably already has.

    I agree with Gabe about FriendFeed and Twitter. If you polled the CIOs/CTOs at all the Fortune 500 companies it would not surprise me if less than 10% had ever used FriendFeed or Twitter.

  20. Then: Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Now: not-working-out-for-me-at-all-so-time-to-publicly-diss.

    Geesh, everything you talk about eventually goes that way, all this tech stuff must not be all it’s cracked up to be. Second Life, Facebook, Upcoming, Techmeme…and eventually Friendfeed, and the last half of Twitter (with Twitter being down so much, already 50% there).

  21. Then: Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Now: not-working-out-for-me-at-all-so-time-to-publicly-diss.

    Geesh, everything you talk about eventually goes that way, all this tech stuff must not be all it’s cracked up to be. Second Life, Facebook, Upcoming, Techmeme…and eventually Friendfeed, and the last half of Twitter (with Twitter being down so much, already 50% there).

  22. I seriously can’t believe you just mentioned Twitter. I consider myself an earlier adopter but Twitter is probably the last place I’ll visit to “learn something new”. How do you expect people to learn anything with tweets like “just ate dinner” ? Not everyone has time to filter through such noise.

    FriendFeed, on the other hand, is excellent.

  23. I seriously can’t believe you just mentioned Twitter. I consider myself an earlier adopter but Twitter is probably the last place I’ll visit to “learn something new”. How do you expect people to learn anything with tweets like “just ate dinner” ? Not everyone has time to filter through such noise.

    FriendFeed, on the other hand, is excellent.

  24. Coulter: that is the way the entire tech industry works. BBS’s were hot. Not now. Same for AOL. DEC. Compuserve. Pointcast. Even you. I remember thinking you were smart. I guess I was wrong about that too.

    Gave: I use all tools available to me to reach smart people. Funny that three Congressmen talked about Twitter but didn’t read Techmeme.

  25. Coulter: that is the way the entire tech industry works. BBS’s were hot. Not now. Same for AOL. DEC. Compuserve. Pointcast. Even you. I remember thinking you were smart. I guess I was wrong about that too.

    Gave: I use all tools available to me to reach smart people. Funny that three Congressmen talked about Twitter but didn’t read Techmeme.

  26. You’re a broken record, C.C.

    Robert is just following the natural way of things. Like when you’re dating, at first you’re very excited about them, but as you learn more, you can get turned off and disillusioned.

    What would you have Robert do? Marry a serial killer because he liked her when they first met??

    The world at large isn’t static, and certainly the world Robert plays in is even more dynamic. Services change, needs change, new services launch…

    The way you harp on this issue over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, it makes me wonder if you’re still using dialup because getting online was so exciting for you at first.

  27. You’re a broken record, C.C.

    Robert is just following the natural way of things. Like when you’re dating, at first you’re very excited about them, but as you learn more, you can get turned off and disillusioned.

    What would you have Robert do? Marry a serial killer because he liked her when they first met??

    The world at large isn’t static, and certainly the world Robert plays in is even more dynamic. Services change, needs change, new services launch…

    The way you harp on this issue over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, it makes me wonder if you’re still using dialup because getting online was so exciting for you at first.

  28. This is great! I’m glad you’re pushing for innovation rather than sensationalism. I find the good stuff mostly on FF, but I’ll continue to read content from all major tech news sites – I need a mix.

  29. This is great! I’m glad you’re pushing for innovation rather than sensationalism. I find the good stuff mostly on FF, but I’ll continue to read content from all major tech news sites – I need a mix.

  30. don’t discount that your political views may cause you some “popularity” loss. btw, is arrington an entertainer just because he claims to be? does having a tech blog qualify one as an entertainer? maybe, if one is funny, or e-n-t-e-r-t-a-i-n-i-n-g. robert, at least you squeal when you get upset and that IS entertaining.

  31. don’t discount that your political views may cause you some “popularity” loss. btw, is arrington an entertainer just because he claims to be? does having a tech blog qualify one as an entertainer? maybe, if one is funny, or e-n-t-e-r-t-a-i-n-i-n-g. robert, at least you squeal when you get upset and that IS entertaining.

  32. Bravo, Robert! I’ve always found it much more interesting to hang out with smart people than those who keep me entertained. Entertainers are a dime a dozen but people who can provide fresh perspective on relevant issues like the stuff you did in D.C. are rare and hard to find. Personally, I’d rather learn something interesting and relevant than be entertained.

    So yes, you can probably kiss your days on Techmeme goodbye. The more non-generalized ‘look-how-cool-this-new-stuff-is’ fluff you do, the further from that crowd you’ll move. But those of us who are really interested in tech – not just cool tech – won’t go anywhere. We want the deeper story. We want stuff like D.C.

    And don’t feel too bad about Techmeme. I’m sure Valleywag will give you some love… :-)

  33. Bravo, Robert! I’ve always found it much more interesting to hang out with smart people than those who keep me entertained. Entertainers are a dime a dozen but people who can provide fresh perspective on relevant issues like the stuff you did in D.C. are rare and hard to find. Personally, I’d rather learn something interesting and relevant than be entertained.

    So yes, you can probably kiss your days on Techmeme goodbye. The more non-generalized ‘look-how-cool-this-new-stuff-is’ fluff you do, the further from that crowd you’ll move. But those of us who are really interested in tech – not just cool tech – won’t go anywhere. We want the deeper story. We want stuff like D.C.

    And don’t feel too bad about Techmeme. I’m sure Valleywag will give you some love… :-)

  34. I think the problem with TechMeme and other aggregators is that video, your main gig nowadays, is hard to track. There really should be an instant transcriber for people & “sniffers” to read. On a related note, I’d also love an instant audio-feed to listen to on my iPod, because video definitely isn’t always ok.

  35. I think the problem with TechMeme and other aggregators is that video, your main gig nowadays, is hard to track. There really should be an instant transcriber for people & “sniffers” to read. On a related note, I’d also love an instant audio-feed to listen to on my iPod, because video definitely isn’t always ok.

  36. I like your videos a lot! so I agree with Dawn Douglass, your videos should be visible on Scobleizer.com. Not as links but like clickable photos. Why?
    1. I’d associate them directly with you. (not that you didn’t make them but still)
    2. Visually it would make your blog more appealing, eeh…entertaining?
    3. It’s faster ;-)

  37. I like your videos a lot! so I agree with Dawn Douglass, your videos should be visible on Scobleizer.com. Not as links but like clickable photos. Why?
    1. I’d associate them directly with you. (not that you didn’t make them but still)
    2. Visually it would make your blog more appealing, eeh…entertaining?
    3. It’s faster ;-)

  38. I think you’ve hit on an important issue – at least for me. Techmeme really represents a very narrow view of the world. In fact, it usually reflects a very narrow view of a narrow part of the technology industry even. If Techmeme were your only source of information, you’d think the entire world comprised of a small handful of individuals, talking about one topic, and mostly it was about each other.

  39. I think you’ve hit on an important issue – at least for me. Techmeme really represents a very narrow view of the world. In fact, it usually reflects a very narrow view of a narrow part of the technology industry even. If Techmeme were your only source of information, you’d think the entire world comprised of a small handful of individuals, talking about one topic, and mostly it was about each other.

  40. So I have to ask, just how to friendfeed and twitter promote dialogue/conversations? They are part of the narcissistic web 2.0 where people shout look at me me me and aren’t about conversations, discussions, critical thinking or dialogue. Even blog comments are fly by methods for people to post opinions and feedback rather than engage in threaded conversations where people. So tell me o’ master of the one way talkers, where’s the dialogue that once made the web a valuable medium?

  41. So I have to ask, just how to friendfeed and twitter promote dialogue/conversations? They are part of the narcissistic web 2.0 where people shout look at me me me and aren’t about conversations, discussions, critical thinking or dialogue. Even blog comments are fly by methods for people to post opinions and feedback rather than engage in threaded conversations where people. So tell me o’ master of the one way talkers, where’s the dialogue that once made the web a valuable medium?

  42. My bad. Maybe I should clarify my issues a bit. To me dialogue is more about detailed discussions than comments. Or maybe I just need better friends but even your Friendfeed is full of more comments than conversations or discussions. When I look for dialogue I look for conversations where anyone can control where the conversation goes. I look for a thoughtful exchange of ideas and knowledge that builds upon one another. The medium may allow for that but most of what is out there is simply comments. The importance of dialogue (to me) is that it engages people in an exchange that leads people to learn from one another through iterative discussions (like this). Thanks for the reply, it’s the best way to disprove my point. In short, I yearn for more elaboration of ideas than simple comments. You know, people who explain their premises and the conclusions to which they lead and are open to engaging others others in debating them so everyone learns from the exchange. I know it’s difficult when there’s only so many hours in a day and when there are too many posts to comment on. It just appears to me that quantity has surpassed quality on services like Twitter than Friendfeed. Maybe that’s just a side effect of casual chat/conversations, they are less intellectually engaging and more about expressing or articulating opinions or ideas. Or maybe I just need better networks. I look for more than just people ‘chiming in’.

  43. My bad. Maybe I should clarify my issues a bit. To me dialogue is more about detailed discussions than comments. Or maybe I just need better friends but even your Friendfeed is full of more comments than conversations or discussions. When I look for dialogue I look for conversations where anyone can control where the conversation goes. I look for a thoughtful exchange of ideas and knowledge that builds upon one another. The medium may allow for that but most of what is out there is simply comments. The importance of dialogue (to me) is that it engages people in an exchange that leads people to learn from one another through iterative discussions (like this). Thanks for the reply, it’s the best way to disprove my point. In short, I yearn for more elaboration of ideas than simple comments. You know, people who explain their premises and the conclusions to which they lead and are open to engaging others others in debating them so everyone learns from the exchange. I know it’s difficult when there’s only so many hours in a day and when there are too many posts to comment on. It just appears to me that quantity has surpassed quality on services like Twitter than Friendfeed. Maybe that’s just a side effect of casual chat/conversations, they are less intellectually engaging and more about expressing or articulating opinions or ideas. Or maybe I just need better networks. I look for more than just people ‘chiming in’.

  44. [...] 沒有事情發生嗎?Techmeme會話已經絕跡了嗎,隨著Robert Scoble 興奮地下餌?是FriendFeed會話是更多的病毒和鏈結引導?當然,像這幾天遠離羊群,使怎樣變成狹隘的“新聞”清楚些。但是櫻桃開花來看我們在多久前來過後,讓我們安靜地使用。 [...]