While blogging in crisis job #1 is listening

Every blogger can bloviate and tell you what he or she sees happening. But I’m noticing a trend among bloggers. Very few listen. I read hundreds of bloggers on a regular basis, along with many thousands who are brought into my view via TechMeme and my hundreds of Google Reader friends.

How many actually are actively seeking out the opinions of others and trying to bring those to their readers. I can tell you how many: almost none.

How many have a Google Reader Shared Items feed like the one I have done for years? A few. Louis Gray is amongst the ones I read often and regularly, but despite a few exceptions here and there very few of the “top bloggers” do that.

How many aggregate thousands of people’s tweets, blogs, photos, videos together and go through and tell you which ones are best like I’ve done every day on FriendFeed since I joined in February? A few do, hello Louis Gray again, but not enough of the top bloggers.

So, if we’re really in an economic crisis (we are, despite the stock market going up 600 points so far today) how can bloggers really be knowledgeable if they don’t read other people’s blogs and prove that over and over and over again by using these tools to demonstrate what they are reading?

Why do I think that’s so important? Well, for balance, for one thing. You saw some people thought I was too negative last week. But if you had looked at EVERYTHING I was putting into this system and reading and writing and doing videos on you would have seen a much more balanced and nuanced view of the world.

I assume my audience is smart and wants to see the world through many viewpoints. I hope you are reading these feeds because there are some damn cool things going through the system and these are my ways of highlighting them and making us all smarter in this time.

Also note that I overlink to people who disagree with me. Why do I do that? Because in these times it’s too easy to buy into your own press releases and start believing you have all the answers. In these times it’s even MORE important to consider the other side, whether we’re talking about the economy or politics.

But maybe I’m alone in that view, it sure seems not many bloggers are willing to show you what inputs they are reading and what’s informing their judgment.

Comments

  1. aren’t there not very different options how to show the way we listen to each other? for me, a hyperlink out of my one blog is like a symbol of listening to some one else. i also see my microfon as a symbol of listening. summary: if someone is listening, you will see it the way someone acts. (not which tools someone uses.)

    … but maybe i’m alone in that view… (thx for all your wunderful inputs ;-)))

  2. aren’t there not very different options how to show the way we listen to each other? for me, a hyperlink out of my one blog is like a symbol of listening to some one else. i also see my microfon as a symbol of listening. summary: if someone is listening, you will see it the way someone acts. (not which tools someone uses.)

    … but maybe i’m alone in that view… (thx for all your wunderful inputs ;-)))

  3. Perhaps you need to separate the hobbyist bloggers with the professional bloggers. Who actually contributes 40+ hours per week to blogging? Maybe I’m unaware, but it seems like you are way above the average in terms of dedication. When you write posts like this it really comes off as egotistical and turns me off to the idea of blogging altogether. I feel like if something I want to say isn’t thoroughly researched and doesn’t reference “hundreds” of this and “thousands” of that, then it’s a waste of time. Does that make sense?

  4. Perhaps you need to separate the hobbyist bloggers with the professional bloggers. Who actually contributes 40+ hours per week to blogging? Maybe I’m unaware, but it seems like you are way above the average in terms of dedication. When you write posts like this it really comes off as egotistical and turns me off to the idea of blogging altogether. I feel like if something I want to say isn’t thoroughly researched and doesn’t reference “hundreds” of this and “thousands” of that, then it’s a waste of time. Does that make sense?

  5. Great post, Robert. “Two ears, one mouth” (or maybe keyboard these days)…

    The thing that’s most upsetting to me is that i’m not seeing folks asking a lot of questions, like “what just happened?”, they’re just kind of hunkering down as if in a tornado shelter.

    Understandable in some respects, but dangerous.

  6. Great post, Robert. “Two ears, one mouth” (or maybe keyboard these days)…

    The thing that’s most upsetting to me is that i’m not seeing folks asking a lot of questions, like “what just happened?”, they’re just kind of hunkering down as if in a tornado shelter.

    Understandable in some respects, but dangerous.

  7. Robert:

    Fair point, in a way, about how people don’t always list the sources that form their opinions.

    I did not read all of your FriendFeed, Google Reader, etc. activity in detail about the current financial markets downturn and, to be blunt, it’s hard to do that. It does take a certain amount of time and effort. My impression was that your “doom and gloom” commentary was more energetic and overshadowed most of your more positive commentary. What can I say?

    One thing that is interesting to note that you are performing multi-channel information watching, synthesis and broadcasting (two-way, of course) in a way that few people can or will do. There’s definitely value in that. It does take a lot of time and you deserve some recognition for that.

    However, I think you must realize that the first, loudest, brightest, most energetic communication forms an impression and I feel that’s what your “doom and gloom” communications did in this scenario.

    Just saying what I think. It’s still good to see someone scouting out the information, though.

  8. Robert:

    Fair point, in a way, about how people don’t always list the sources that form their opinions.

    I did not read all of your FriendFeed, Google Reader, etc. activity in detail about the current financial markets downturn and, to be blunt, it’s hard to do that. It does take a certain amount of time and effort. My impression was that your “doom and gloom” commentary was more energetic and overshadowed most of your more positive commentary. What can I say?

    One thing that is interesting to note that you are performing multi-channel information watching, synthesis and broadcasting (two-way, of course) in a way that few people can or will do. There’s definitely value in that. It does take a lot of time and you deserve some recognition for that.

    However, I think you must realize that the first, loudest, brightest, most energetic communication forms an impression and I feel that’s what your “doom and gloom” communications did in this scenario.

    Just saying what I think. It’s still good to see someone scouting out the information, though.

  9. I agree Robert, there are many who write more than they read. I’m guilty of that on busy days too. I have many thoughts in my head that I want to get out and seem to prioritize that over taking the time to read.

    http://www.google.com/reader/shared/10297249938541404281

    FriendFeed is on my todo list for this quarter. Just need to pry myself away from some other social media sites long enough to set it up and get it on the habit wheel.

  10. My opinions change all the time. My interest and focus also changes constantly, which makes it difficult to connect to readers at times (but not all the time). Call it ADD if you want, but I won’t stay in one little niche, preaching to the choir. It bores me. If I had to do that I’d quit blogging. Fortunately I can do it my way because it is my blog.

    I understand what you are saying in this post. I’ve read things this weekend I would have told you were hogwash a year ago, but now with all this turmoil I’m not so sure. Maybe that means I’ve jettisoned some dogma and am starting learn.

  11. I agree Robert, there are many who write more than they read. I’m guilty of that on busy days too. I have many thoughts in my head that I want to get out and seem to prioritize that over taking the time to read.

    http://www.google.com/reader/shared/10297249938541404281

    FriendFeed is on my todo list for this quarter. Just need to pry myself away from some other social media sites long enough to set it up and get it on the habit wheel.

  12. My opinions change all the time. My interest and focus also changes constantly, which makes it difficult to connect to readers at times (but not all the time). Call it ADD if you want, but I won’t stay in one little niche, preaching to the choir. It bores me. If I had to do that I’d quit blogging. Fortunately I can do it my way because it is my blog.

    I understand what you are saying in this post. I’ve read things this weekend I would have told you were hogwash a year ago, but now with all this turmoil I’m not so sure. Maybe that means I’ve jettisoned some dogma and am starting learn.

  13. Robert: perhaps so, but IMF doesn’t hold a lot of credibility in my books. And, at any rate, you are attempting to show both sides… that’s cool.

  14. Robert: perhaps so, but IMF doesn’t hold a lot of credibility in my books. And, at any rate, you are attempting to show both sides… that’s cool.

  15. I think this is true not only of bloggers, but of many technology (and most marketing) people in general. I lump them together because the lines are getting blurry nowadays. Whether designing software, writing blogs, or initiating relationships on a grand scale, the most important thing you’ve got to do is take a deep breath, sit back, and…listen.

    We’re trying to do that with our company blog, and it’s harder than it seems.

  16. FYI,
    I didn’t post anything last week about the financial situation because there wasn’t anything to talk about but fear. There was nothing concrete. Today, I think this is all quite complex but yet simple. In a nutshell, the government is trying to prevent massive deflation. Read about deflation. It’s a killer. We don’t want it. Unemployment, bank failures, bankruptcy. Unfortunately, it might be unavoidable.

  17. I think this is true not only of bloggers, but of many technology (and most marketing) people in general. I lump them together because the lines are getting blurry nowadays. Whether designing software, writing blogs, or initiating relationships on a grand scale, the most important thing you’ve got to do is take a deep breath, sit back, and…listen.

    We’re trying to do that with our company blog, and it’s harder than it seems.

  18. FYI,
    I didn’t post anything last week about the financial situation because there wasn’t anything to talk about but fear. There was nothing concrete. Today, I think this is all quite complex but yet simple. In a nutshell, the government is trying to prevent massive deflation. Read about deflation. It’s a killer. We don’t want it. Unemployment, bank failures, bankruptcy. Unfortunately, it might be unavoidable.

  19. Sure, the distinction between hobbyist and professional bloggers is important, but I think it’s a false dichotomy. That is, there is a continuum from amateur to professional. Perhaps more cogently, the spectrum is multidimensional, viz. not only along the lines of income, but topic (personal, business, tech), contributors (one to many), etc. To my knowledge attempts at categorizing the blogosphere have hitherto failed miserably. Not to say such attempts do not have value, just that categorization cannot (yet) capture the multidimensionality adequately.

    On another point, some bloggers are seeing the point of listening. This has been especially emphasized as a need for professional or commercial blogs to succeed: to listen, then respond.

  20. Sure, the distinction between hobbyist and professional bloggers is important, but I think it’s a false dichotomy. That is, there is a continuum from amateur to professional. Perhaps more cogently, the spectrum is multidimensional, viz. not only along the lines of income, but topic (personal, business, tech), contributors (one to many), etc. To my knowledge attempts at categorizing the blogosphere have hitherto failed miserably. Not to say such attempts do not have value, just that categorization cannot (yet) capture the multidimensionality adequately.

    On another point, some bloggers are seeing the point of listening. This has been especially emphasized as a need for professional or commercial blogs to succeed: to listen, then respond.

  21. I agree, and disagree.

    I think –> if you are going to criticize, complain, or advance a conversation where you’re using another person’s perspective to defend your own — you should definitely do your homework.

    But that’s only a fraction of most people’s “blogging” lifestyle. Ambient awareness is more than enough to have an opinion, and to state it.

    But yes, I agree… if you’re going to put on the heat, you better have your facts straight. I had to bitch slap someone for misrepresenting me publicly just yesterday.

    J

  22. Hi Robert,

    You are taking an arbitrary standard and saying that if bloggers don’t do that, they are not listening. I could not disagree more.

    I could just as easily take an arbitrary standard and say you’re not listening to your readers. Here’s one: You don’t have the CommentLuv plugin installed on your blog. (CommentLuv puts a link to the commenter’s latest blog post underneath their comment.) Therefore, it’s obvious that you don’t care about what your readers have to say.

    Except that you and I both know that whether or not you have a plugin installed doesn’t mean anything about whether or not you listen to your readers.

    So why do you assume that if a blogger doesn’t have a Google Reader shared items feed or a FriendFeed “likes” feed, that that blogger is not listening?

    If you insist on going down this path, why not use more commonly-accepted methods like commenting on other blogs, linking out to other bloggers in your posts, and participating in relevant forums as measures of whether bloggers are listening?

    This post comes off as “Most bloggers don’t do exactly what I do; therefore, they aren’t listening.” This is a bizarre assumption.

    -Erica

  23. On September 30 I added a blogroll dedicated to specifically economics in order to address the crisis, with an accompanying post to explain why I chose the blogs I did (including Marginal Revolution, Market Movers, EconLog, Economist’s View, Greg Mankiw, Infectious Greed, and Megan McCardle — a few of my favorites) and what they’re strong points were so far on the crisis:

    http://brianfrank.ca/2008/09/know-your-economics/

    Today I posted some remarks about Krugman winning the Nobel, including links to 11 other reactions:

    http://brianfrank.ca/2008/10/who-is-paul-krugman/

  24. On September 30 I added a blogroll dedicated to specifically economics in order to address the crisis, with an accompanying post to explain why I chose the blogs I did (including Marginal Revolution, Market Movers, EconLog, Economist’s View, Greg Mankiw, Infectious Greed, and Megan McCardle — a few of my favorites) and what they’re strong points were so far on the crisis:

    http://brianfrank.ca/2008/09/know-your-economics/

    Today I posted some remarks about Krugman winning the Nobel, including links to 11 other reactions:

    http://brianfrank.ca/2008/10/who-is-paul-krugman/

  25. I agree, and disagree.

    I think –> if you are going to criticize, complain, or advance a conversation where you’re using another person’s perspective to defend your own — you should definitely do your homework.

    But that’s only a fraction of most people’s “blogging” lifestyle. Ambient awareness is more than enough to have an opinion, and to state it.

    But yes, I agree… if you’re going to put on the heat, you better have your facts straight. I had to bitch slap someone for misrepresenting me publicly just yesterday.

    J

  26. Hi Robert,

    You are taking an arbitrary standard and saying that if bloggers don’t do that, they are not listening. I could not disagree more.

    I could just as easily take an arbitrary standard and say you’re not listening to your readers. Here’s one: You don’t have the CommentLuv plugin installed on your blog. (CommentLuv puts a link to the commenter’s latest blog post underneath their comment.) Therefore, it’s obvious that you don’t care about what your readers have to say.

    Except that you and I both know that whether or not you have a plugin installed doesn’t mean anything about whether or not you listen to your readers.

    So why do you assume that if a blogger doesn’t have a Google Reader shared items feed or a FriendFeed “likes” feed, that that blogger is not listening?

    If you insist on going down this path, why not use more commonly-accepted methods like commenting on other blogs, linking out to other bloggers in your posts, and participating in relevant forums as measures of whether bloggers are listening?

    This post comes off as “Most bloggers don’t do exactly what I do; therefore, they aren’t listening.” This is a bizarre assumption.

    -Erica

  27. I think you are wrong that few listen. Just because I’m not re-posting what others have written doesn’t mean I’m not listening myself. If I spend my time re=posting what others have written then aren’t I just part of the echo chamber?

  28. I think you are wrong that few listen. Just because I’m not re-posting what others have written doesn’t mean I’m not listening myself. If I spend my time re=posting what others have written then aren’t I just part of the echo chamber?

  29. Erica: well, I’m seeing a pattern in blogging that you might not be seeing. Several well known bloggers told me recently they are unsubscribing from people they don’t agree with. I find that behavior wacky. If there’s anything we need right now we need to hear from people who don’t agree with us and, if we disagree with them, explain calmly why they are wrong and what patterns they need to be seeing that they aren’t. Like I’m doing with you here. :-)

  30. Erica: well, I’m seeing a pattern in blogging that you might not be seeing. Several well known bloggers told me recently they are unsubscribing from people they don’t agree with. I find that behavior wacky. If there’s anything we need right now we need to hear from people who don’t agree with us and, if we disagree with them, explain calmly why they are wrong and what patterns they need to be seeing that they aren’t. Like I’m doing with you here. :-)

  31. One more thing, from a slightly more general perspective –>

    When I weigh in on topics I often find myself in a situation where I just do not want to share my resources, my background, or my strategy because of privacy issues, competitive issues, etc –> I don’t believe in full disclosure for many reasons.

    I realize that this makes my opinion less powerful from a reader’s perspective. I go out of my way to work around that.

    It’s incumbent on the blogger to manage their own brand, not the reader to manage the blogger’s brand.

  32. One more thing, from a slightly more general perspective –>

    When I weigh in on topics I often find myself in a situation where I just do not want to share my resources, my background, or my strategy because of privacy issues, competitive issues, etc –> I don’t believe in full disclosure for many reasons.

    I realize that this makes my opinion less powerful from a reader’s perspective. I go out of my way to work around that.

    It’s incumbent on the blogger to manage their own brand, not the reader to manage the blogger’s brand.

  33. I always try to link as much as possible not only improves your google pr yet others are aware that you read their blogs too and not just top players. I mean look at it this way. You think that any top tech sites will become what they became today without being linked by sites that are writing about technology for past 15 years and not just 3-4years?

    Louis Gray is cool, if he finds a good post no mater if blog has 20 visits per month or 20.000.000 he will link! and that’s why I love’em … not like some bitch tech bloggers write about thing you wrote and not even mention where they found the article or picture…too bad they always upload same name of the picture that original blogger uploaded …

    Anyways Robert i like your blog because you view things differently, but i like also that even though you have 30.000 followers on twitter you still talk to everyone …yet u do talk to much @techcrunch and that French guy from seesmic :)

    TTYL mate.

  34. I always try to link as much as possible not only improves your google pr yet others are aware that you read their blogs too and not just top players. I mean look at it this way. You think that any top tech sites will become what they became today without being linked by sites that are writing about technology for past 15 years and not just 3-4years?

    Louis Gray is cool, if he finds a good post no mater if blog has 20 visits per month or 20.000.000 he will link! and that’s why I love’em … not like some bitch tech bloggers write about thing you wrote and not even mention where they found the article or picture…too bad they always upload same name of the picture that original blogger uploaded …

    Anyways Robert i like your blog because you view things differently, but i like also that even though you have 30.000 followers on twitter you still talk to everyone …yet u do talk to much @techcrunch and that French guy from seesmic :)

    TTYL mate.

  35. Wow Robert, I’m impressed.

    You’re more objective than the journalists I have personal relationships with. This is the kind of news media I respect, educated, real people giving their views while being objective and realizing they can be wrong. Well done.

    Brian

  36. Wow Robert, I’m impressed.

    You’re more objective than the journalists I have personal relationships with. This is the kind of news media I respect, educated, real people giving their views while being objective and realizing they can be wrong. Well done.

    Brian

  37. I always link in my posts because, in my opinion, it shows respect to that blogger. Also, I believe in karma so therefore how could I really expect anyone to link to my posts if I don’t reciprocate???

    I enjoy that you share so much in various different ways. For instance, I’m still getting used to FriendFeed. Though I have an account, it has become part of my daily routine yet. But, I do stream your shared feeds into Google Reader. For me, this is great because you (and others) subscribe to tons of feeds that I don’t. I find out interesting information through these resources even if it’s not on a topic that is of particular interest to me.

  38. I always link in my posts because, in my opinion, it shows respect to that blogger. Also, I believe in karma so therefore how could I really expect anyone to link to my posts if I don’t reciprocate???

    I enjoy that you share so much in various different ways. For instance, I’m still getting used to FriendFeed. Though I have an account, it has become part of my daily routine yet. But, I do stream your shared feeds into Google Reader. For me, this is great because you (and others) subscribe to tons of feeds that I don’t. I find out interesting information through these resources even if it’s not on a topic that is of particular interest to me.

  39. The ability to listen to other views and actively seeking other views are are not exclusive to either blogs or traditional media and shouldn’t just be considered in times of crisis.

    I work with bloggers each day who actively reach out to me for a point of view and perspective. And, there are others who don’t. The same can be said for traditional media. I think those who do look for other views can see that reflected in their following. People are smart and can usually decide what is opinion and what is fact.

    Do I want bloggers to be factual, yes, and I haven’t worked with any who aren’t willing to correct factual errors. Do I expect them to be balanced, not really. Their point of view and tone are likely why they have a following. Do I expect them to listen to opposing points of view, maybe – as much as I expect my bus driver to maintain proper credentials and regularly take part in safety training. Do I hope that their point of view and tone are the result of having considered all the facts and opinions collectively on the topic and are not the creation of living in a vacuum? Absolutely.

  40. The ability to listen to other views and actively seeking other views are are not exclusive to either blogs or traditional media and shouldn’t just be considered in times of crisis.

    I work with bloggers each day who actively reach out to me for a point of view and perspective. And, there are others who don’t. The same can be said for traditional media. I think those who do look for other views can see that reflected in their following. People are smart and can usually decide what is opinion and what is fact.

    Do I want bloggers to be factual, yes, and I haven’t worked with any who aren’t willing to correct factual errors. Do I expect them to be balanced, not really. Their point of view and tone are likely why they have a following. Do I expect them to listen to opposing points of view, maybe – as much as I expect my bus driver to maintain proper credentials and regularly take part in safety training. Do I hope that their point of view and tone are the result of having considered all the facts and opinions collectively on the topic and are not the creation of living in a vacuum? Absolutely.

  41. Robert writes: “Several well known bloggers told me recently they are unsubscribing from people they don’t agree with.”

    That’s interesting. But you didn’t mention it in your post! Your post came across as “If you don’t have this or this, you’re not listening” instead of what may be the more interesting point: “Why are big bloggers unsubscribing from those they don’t agree with?”

    A more interesting post might have been to talk to those bloggers and find out more — even if they wished to remain anonymous.

    Also, @David K: Don’t give up on blogging just because of something someone else says about it. There is always room for another thoughtful writer in this world.

    -Erica

  42. Robert writes: “Several well known bloggers told me recently they are unsubscribing from people they don’t agree with.”

    That’s interesting. But you didn’t mention it in your post! Your post came across as “If you don’t have this or this, you’re not listening” instead of what may be the more interesting point: “Why are big bloggers unsubscribing from those they don’t agree with?”

    A more interesting post might have been to talk to those bloggers and find out more — even if they wished to remain anonymous.

    Also, @David K: Don’t give up on blogging just because of something someone else says about it. There is always room for another thoughtful writer in this world.

    -Erica

  43. Hi Robert and everyone… I think it’s important to share your point of view from news, resources and other things on the web throught your shared featured google reader, your favorites on delicious, youtube, flickr…. You draw an entire universe that can help other users on the net. In this way I’m using sweetcron to push a lifestream and share with others my digital life (Impulsos Digitales)

  44. Hi Robert and everyone… I think it’s important to share your point of view from news, resources and other things on the web throught your shared featured google reader, your favorites on delicious, youtube, flickr…. You draw an entire universe that can help other users on the net. In this way I’m using sweetcron to push a lifestream and share with others my digital life (Impulsos Digitales)

  45. Hi Robert,

    I follow your posts daily, with great appreciation. And it is out of appreciation that I criticize this post, where I have to agree with SMS – It reads egotistical and as a sermon.

    The web evolves to what the majority is doing… independently of whether or not we agree with it. And that is what makes it great!

  46. Hi Robert,

    I follow your posts daily, with great appreciation. And it is out of appreciation that I criticize this post, where I have to agree with SMS – It reads egotistical and as a sermon.

    The web evolves to what the majority is doing… independently of whether or not we agree with it. And that is what makes it great!

  47. Scoble, it’s because they are guilty of the echo syndrome. They repeat what they read and don’t really formulate an expressed opinion. They’re not blogging to express themselves, they’re blogging perhaps because they have to, or they have an ulterior motive. I’m so tired of the me-too blogging phenomenon.

  48. Scoble, it’s because they are guilty of the echo syndrome. They repeat what they read and don’t really formulate an expressed opinion. They’re not blogging to express themselves, they’re blogging perhaps because they have to, or they have an ulterior motive. I’m so tired of the me-too blogging phenomenon.

  49. Listening is a very important part of the discussion. Otherwise, you are just broadcasting.

    As for this Louis Gray guy, why not give links to his link blog, FriendFeed discussion page, or blog, as he would you in these examples? :-)

  50. Listening is a very important part of the discussion. Otherwise, you are just broadcasting.

    As for this Louis Gray guy, why not give links to his link blog, FriendFeed discussion page, or blog, as he would you in these examples? :-)

  51. I no longer know what a “blogger” is. Web logs used to be like a diary of one’s life. Then some bloggers became more like journalists, going out and getting stories firsthand, instead of just pontificating on somebody else’s news.

    Today I hear about “professional bloggers” and “amateur bloggers” and I wonder where the heck the lines are. If I click on a link that takes me to an unfamilair blog, I have zero idea of the credibility of that person and what he or she is spouting.

    If you go to newspapers and magazines, at least they are a devil you know.

    “Blogging” has become this confused mish-mash, IMO. Maybe it’s time to start breaking it out into better sub-categories or something.

  52. I no longer know what a “blogger” is. Web logs used to be like a diary of one’s life. Then some bloggers became more like journalists, going out and getting stories firsthand, instead of just pontificating on somebody else’s news.

    Today I hear about “professional bloggers” and “amateur bloggers” and I wonder where the heck the lines are. If I click on a link that takes me to an unfamilair blog, I have zero idea of the credibility of that person and what he or she is spouting.

    If you go to newspapers and magazines, at least they are a devil you know.

    “Blogging” has become this confused mish-mash, IMO. Maybe it’s time to start breaking it out into better sub-categories or something.

  53. I would call Rob Hof a professional tech blogger because he blogs under his BusinessWeek hat and he’s a trained journalist with journalistic standards. But, then, I’d call Michael Arrington a professional blogger, too, because he makes his living off of his blog. He certainly doesn’t always act professionally, however.

    Robert, you were one of the first bloggers, and I suppose since you were doing it for Microsoft at first, that makes you a professional. But then again, you no longer get a salary for blogging and you don’t make your living primarily off your blog, so…

    Maybe it’s just me.

  54. I would call Rob Hof a professional tech blogger because he blogs under his BusinessWeek hat and he’s a trained journalist with journalistic standards. But, then, I’d call Michael Arrington a professional blogger, too, because he makes his living off of his blog. He certainly doesn’t always act professionally, however.

    Robert, you were one of the first bloggers, and I suppose since you were doing it for Microsoft at first, that makes you a professional. But then again, you no longer get a salary for blogging and you don’t make your living primarily off your blog, so…

    Maybe it’s just me.

  55. Robert, you’re exactly right with: “my audience is smart and wants to see the world through many viewpoints.”

    IMHO, the quality of the shared pieces of information is significant of the quality of published blog entries!

    Until recently, I had just time to share items. Now I want to go further to express opinions and discuss technologies. What the point being an expert if I don’t share my expertise? Listing sources is essential to readers to get an idea of the relevance of an article…

  56. Robert, you’re exactly right with: “my audience is smart and wants to see the world through many viewpoints.”

    IMHO, the quality of the shared pieces of information is significant of the quality of published blog entries!

    Until recently, I had just time to share items. Now I want to go further to express opinions and discuss technologies. What the point being an expert if I don’t share my expertise? Listing sources is essential to readers to get an idea of the relevance of an article…

  57. This reminds me of the joke in which a reporter asks passersby how many books they read a year. One person says: “Oh, I don’t read books, I write them.”

  58. This reminds me of the joke in which a reporter asks passersby how many books they read a year. One person says: “Oh, I don’t read books, I write them.”

  59. I always try to link to as many sides of a debate as I can, and I really enjoy when people come and challenge my perceptions – if anything, it helps me either make my own opinion more comprehensive, or proves me wrong – either way, I get a better picture of what I’m trying to write about or discuss.

    My Google shared items are:
    http://www.google.com/reader/shared/00013493085127312859
    And hopefully I’ll get round to putting them in a feed widget at some point on my blog…

    The only challenge is that blogging is not my primary occupation or role, so the time I get to spend sharing such items on Friendfeed, for example, is pretty limited – but as more technology comes along to make it easier to share across platforms, I’m always happy to do it…

  60. I always try to link to as many sides of a debate as I can, and I really enjoy when people come and challenge my perceptions – if anything, it helps me either make my own opinion more comprehensive, or proves me wrong – either way, I get a better picture of what I’m trying to write about or discuss.

    My Google shared items are:
    http://www.google.com/reader/shared/00013493085127312859
    And hopefully I’ll get round to putting them in a feed widget at some point on my blog…

    The only challenge is that blogging is not my primary occupation or role, so the time I get to spend sharing such items on Friendfeed, for example, is pretty limited – but as more technology comes along to make it easier to share across platforms, I’m always happy to do it…

  61. Incidentally, is there a way to reduce the duplication that occurs when you subscribe to Google Reader shared items via RSS?

    I’ve only got about 10 people subscribed, but along with the 200+ website subscriptions, it means the same story can occur 10+ times – useful for analysis, but not for scanning through the feed for important information.

  62. Incidentally, is there a way to reduce the duplication that occurs when you subscribe to Google Reader shared items via RSS?

    I’ve only got about 10 people subscribed, but along with the 200+ website subscriptions, it means the same story can occur 10+ times – useful for analysis, but not for scanning through the feed for important information.

  63. [...] While blogging in crisis job #1 is listening Robert Scoble is one of the most prolific and intelligent of bloggers. But, as he points out in this piece, blogging is a small part of the "job" – a rounded profile of listening and sharing via Google Reader, FriendFeed et al are the marks of a truly hooked up Web 2.0 professional. (tags: blog web2.0 googlereader friendfeed) [...]

  64. There are only so many hours in the day to read – you also have to account in a social life, newspapers, television, family, recreation, downtime….

    Surely the fact that a blogger has a comments option means they are listening? It may not be the style you prefer, but who in reality can always link to hundreds or thousands of blogs?

    If someone links to one blog, maybe it’s because they only like that person and what they have to say. I think you’re being a bit harsh on the community that gave you a voice to speak with in the first place, Robert.

  65. There are only so many hours in the day to read – you also have to account in a social life, newspapers, television, family, recreation, downtime….

    Surely the fact that a blogger has a comments option means they are listening? It may not be the style you prefer, but who in reality can always link to hundreds or thousands of blogs?

    If someone links to one blog, maybe it’s because they only like that person and what they have to say. I think you’re being a bit harsh on the community that gave you a voice to speak with in the first place, Robert.

  66. ironic post really… Scoble I personally DON’T read you because you say too much! I don’t follow you on Twitter either because it’s overload… I happened to come across this via someone else’s blog so I suppose that makes your case ;-)

  67. ironic post really… Scoble I personally DON’T read you because you say too much! I don’t follow you on Twitter either because it’s overload… I happened to come across this via someone else’s blog so I suppose that makes your case ;-)

  68. “How many actually are actively seeking out the opinions of others and trying to bring those to their readers. I can tell you how many: almost none.”

    How is this so.. Perhaps a lot of these blogs are personal blogs that are not intending to develop much of a following, but for a pro blogger, this cannot be done. Your blog is your product, and you will have no success in trying to market your product. You need to market to the consumers, and this can only be done by understanding their wants and needs.

  69. “How many actually are actively seeking out the opinions of others and trying to bring those to their readers. I can tell you how many: almost none.”

    How is this so.. Perhaps a lot of these blogs are personal blogs that are not intending to develop much of a following, but for a pro blogger, this cannot be done. Your blog is your product, and you will have no success in trying to market your product. You need to market to the consumers, and this can only be done by understanding their wants and needs.

  70. Mate, I think that you take yourself way too seriously.

    This trend or pattern you keep noticing, doesn’t happen in the blogosphere, it happens in the blogs YOU read. You said you read 1000 blogs daily? There are more than a million of them out there.

    From a different perspective, perhaps this worrying state of affairs has more to do with the fact that you only deal with tech bloggers with some really poor social skills or those from the elitist crowd. And btw, after reading this blog post of yours I assume you belong to both of these categories.

    Benedictions

  71. Mate, I think that you take yourself way too seriously.

    This trend or pattern you keep noticing, doesn’t happen in the blogosphere, it happens in the blogs YOU read. You said you read 1000 blogs daily? There are more than a million of them out there.

    From a different perspective, perhaps this worrying state of affairs has more to do with the fact that you only deal with tech bloggers with some really poor social skills or those from the elitist crowd. And btw, after reading this blog post of yours I assume you belong to both of these categories.

    Benedictions

  72. A post I wrote called ‘Blogging Beyond The Ego’ is a response to this–the link is above. Scoble, thanks for advocating conversation and two-way engagement (which naturally denotes listening) over purely self-promotional tactics.

  73. A post I wrote called ‘Blogging Beyond The Ego’ is a response to this–the link is above. Scoble, thanks for advocating conversation and two-way engagement (which naturally denotes listening) over purely self-promotional tactics.

  74. I like how you said “Very few listen”. reminds me of a proverb, “A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.”

  75. I like how you said “Very few listen”. reminds me of a proverb, “A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.”