Steve Jobs’ bad news heralds the real-time web age

UPDATE: yes, I’m insensitive, but this post isn’t an editorial opinion about Steve Jobs, just a note about how his news spread and how his announcement brought into focus the real-time web. Tragedies and bad news tend to focus our attention and bring into relief how our world has changed. I remember how 9/11 did that for blogs. Today the bad news surrounding Apple’s CEO and co-founder brought a new development into our focus: the real-time web.

As I said in my earlier post, I wish Steve and his family all the best.

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I’m sure that Steve Jobs didn’t want his announcement to be one of the seminal events that ushers in the real-time web age, but what just happened today will be remembered for years to come.

What happened? While CNBC was reporting it on TV the real-time-web was going nuts. Passing along little tidbits. Stories. Links. Rumors. And all that. It was interesting, and I couldn’t take my eyes off of it.

There were 40 Tweets coming in every three or four seconds on Twitter search. And it stayed up!

Friendfeed was going nuts (that’s where I saw the news first).

While I wrote this post, which only took about a minute or two, 191 new Tweets came in.

But this points to some dangers and problems:

1. If you aren’t online there’s no “warning” system that something is happening. I wish I could tell Twitter to SMS me whenever a “high flow” event is underway.

2. It’s hard to separate out the real facts, from the fiction. I have a better filter than most people. I know who is credible based on past experience with them. Quick, who is more credible, Allen Stern or Ralph Sanders. I am following both and know who Allen is. Ralph? Not so much and I’ve never seen him involved in a breaking news story.

3. Our mechanisms for tracking stories and important tweets are really lame. Right now, hours after the news has broken, there are TONS of tweets coming through the system. Hundreds every few minutes. But, in that stream of “noise” is there any “news?” Yes. I’ve been clicking “like” on the best ones that I see, but I can’t see them all, so we need an even better system that lets the crowd expose the best tweets and friendfeed messages. I like friendfeed a lot more because it shows blogs and photos and youtube videos and other things instead of just tweets. All of those will play a major part in many news stories (like, say, a big fire or an earthquake).

Anyway, thank you to Steve Jobs for demonstrating to lots of people that real-time news is indeed important and that blogs are not the only way to go. Now you understand why I invested so much time in friendfeed and twitter last year.

67 thoughts on “Steve Jobs’ bad news heralds the real-time web age

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  3. More and more I realize that Twitter is for twits, and Friendfeed has little to do with friends and friendship. All such nonsense is designed distraction, created and promoted by rascals–not unlike ‘Mr. Scobleizer.’

    The truth of your useless twittering comes from your own inane remarks: You actually THANK Steve Jobs for being deathly ill, so he can show us the wonders of twittering like twits!?! Absolutely a new low in tasteless crudeness. Then, you proceed to validate why you wasted so much time writing, or rather, twittering (for months) about the glories of twittering. Of course, 99.9 % of those reasons are wishful thinking or just pure BS.

    Please explain to me (again) how twittering is NOT a complete waste of time, and anything other than a huge distraction. Furthermore, please show me how business productivity is enhanced by such obviously self-indulgent, self-sabotaging activities… So many, who see (now worthless) dollar signs in their eyes, willingly sell out all common sense for some hopes of profit… Judas Goats all.

    ‘Scobleizer’ has devolved from somewhat relevant, to hyper-commercial, to annoying, to just a plain old twit. Perhaps your niche has finally been found… While Rome burns,… Twitter on.

  4. More and more I realize that Twitter is for twits, and Friendfeed has little to do with friends and friendship. All such nonsense is designed distraction, created and promoted by rascals–not unlike ‘Mr. Scobleizer.’

    The truth of your useless twittering comes from your own inane remarks: You actually THANK Steve Jobs for being deathly ill, so he can show us the wonders of twittering like twits!?! Absolutely a new low in tasteless crudeness. Then, you proceed to validate why you wasted so much time writing, or rather, twittering (for months) about the glories of twittering. Of course, 99.9 % of those reasons are wishful thinking or just pure BS.

    Please explain to me (again) how twittering is NOT a complete waste of time, and anything other than a huge distraction. Furthermore, please show me how business productivity is enhanced by such obviously self-indulgent, self-sabotaging activities… So many, who see (now worthless) dollar signs in their eyes, willingly sell out all common sense for some hopes of profit… Judas Goats all.

    ‘Scobleizer’ has devolved from somewhat relevant, to hyper-commercial, to annoying, to just a plain old twit. Perhaps your niche has finally been found… While Rome burns,… Twitter on.

  5. @scobleizer – Today the bad news surrounding the terrorist nuking of Cleveland brought a new development into our focus: the real-time web. Yes, it’s wholly insensitive and galling beyond all human comprehension, but this tweet/post isn’t an editorial opinion about global thermonuclear war, just a note about how news spreads.

    (note the sarcasm)

  6. @scobleizer – Today the bad news surrounding the terrorist nuking of Cleveland brought a new development into our focus: the real-time web. Yes, it’s wholly insensitive and galling beyond all human comprehension, but this tweet/post isn’t an editorial opinion about global thermonuclear war, just a note about how news spreads.

    (note the sarcasm)

  7. Is there any difference between Twitter and Heroin?

    I’m also trying to figure out whether there is any noteworthy difference between an Internet blogger writing about Steve Jobs health and a typical Paparazzi.

    It seems as if they would follow him into his doctors office if they could. Of course they’d be shoving and jockeying for position. Then they would hastilly be typing into their blog on a laptop as the doctor gives Steve his diagnosis.

    Tim Cook is not Steve Jobs but he’s going to be supported by a much stronger team than will Steve Ballmer, Michael Dell, and whoever is running HP this week.

  8. Is there any difference between Twitter and Heroin?

    I’m also trying to figure out whether there is any noteworthy difference between an Internet blogger writing about Steve Jobs health and a typical Paparazzi.

    It seems as if they would follow him into his doctors office if they could. Of course they’d be shoving and jockeying for position. Then they would hastilly be typing into their blog on a laptop as the doctor gives Steve his diagnosis.

    Tim Cook is not Steve Jobs but he’s going to be supported by a much stronger team than will Steve Ballmer, Michael Dell, and whoever is running HP this week.

  9. If the “real time web” is represented by the noise generated on Twitter and Friendfeed regarding Steve Jobs’ health, then I have to question its value as a medium. What I saw was a ton of “noise” and no real substance. Sort of like the worst aspects of print and television media, only in far greater volume and somehow even less actual intelligence.

    Personally, I would much rather read an intelligent, well-considered assessment a day or two later then a massive flood of crap and random speculation. An interesting thing to me would be if you could build an intelligent “miner” of all the useless twitter-type spewings that would somehow aggregate the noise down into a handful of actual intelligent concepts and their relevant rankings.

  10. If the “real time web” is represented by the noise generated on Twitter and Friendfeed regarding Steve Jobs’ health, then I have to question its value as a medium. What I saw was a ton of “noise” and no real substance. Sort of like the worst aspects of print and television media, only in far greater volume and somehow even less actual intelligence.

    Personally, I would much rather read an intelligent, well-considered assessment a day or two later then a massive flood of crap and random speculation. An interesting thing to me would be if you could build an intelligent “miner” of all the useless twitter-type spewings that would somehow aggregate the noise down into a handful of actual intelligent concepts and their relevant rankings.

  11. I thought the major news outlets gave it the attention that it deserved. Steve Jobs is sick, may need a liver transplant and is taking a medical leave. PERIOD. The rest is internet noise and doesn’t deserve attention. Get well Steve. I bet Scoble loves TMZ….

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