Things I've learned by clicking "like" 15,301 times

Mike Arrington is right. I am addicted to friendfeed and it’s very difficult to pry myself away from it and do a more serious blog. I now have 15,300 reasons why I am so addicted.

It is called “Like.” But clicking “Like” doesn’t mean I actually like that item. It means I want YOU to see it.

People ask me why so many people follow me. (26,000 on friendfeed, 50,000 on Twitter, 5,000 on Facebook).

This is why: I shine my flashlight on other people. So far in the past 11 months I’ve done it 15,300 times.

Most other A list bloggers that you know never even try to link out and tell their readers about other people doing great work this way.

Some things I’ve learned?

1. I’m more likely to share items from people I’ve met face-to-face. Why? There’s a social reciprocity aspect to it. If I’ve met you at a conference I know you a little more reliably than other people I haven’t met.
2. There is some overlap with TechMeme because I have similar interests but my likes tend to be far smaller stories than will ever get onto TechMeme. Things that will make you smarter, but aren’t big news items that’ll attract a lot of links. Things like Tim Ferriss’ post about how to learn any language in three months.
3. More “independent” voices make it onto my list than onto TechMeme.
4. I like racing TechMeme. Often I can beat it with a like by half an hour or more. But lots of times it beats me. Which, brings me to #5.
5. I don’t get nervous anymore about missing things. Why? Because I am following 13,000 people on friendfeed and they will keep bringing back important things. Plus, important things get onto TechFuga and TechMeme. I call my behavior “media snacking.” If I have time I’ll snack on different stuff from around the Internet.
6. After I like something I can see how other people respond to it, so I can refactor my likes. If people hate a like, or tell me I messed up, I will use that info in future likes.
7. Likes are searchable. If I search for someone’s name on the Everyone tab anything they’ve liked will come up in the search. Which brings me to the next item.
8. Likes are metadata that improves the original item. How? Well, for instance, in friendfeed I can hide all Tweets that don’t have a like. That makes finding interesting tweets DRAMATICALLY easier.
9. By having all my 26,000 followers on friendfeed see the items I like (it puts them into their view) I find that I am getting to know my followers in a much more intimate way than if we just tweeted at each other. On a separate page you can see all the items I’ve commented on, to see this in action.
10. Likes can overwhelm people. I am liking about 700 things a week. Many people just can’t deal with that flow (and it gets far worse the more people you follow on friendfeed). That’s why I say on friendfeed it is hugely important to be very careful who you follow. I recommend putting noisy likers like me into a separate list, which will help you get more value out of us.

What do you think? Does this behavior help you? Or do you think it’s lame?

Comments

  1. It depends on your definition of “noisy”. Noisy to me is someone sharing things that are outside my range of interest. Someone sharing 100 interesting things a day is not noisy, he’s a good faucet.

  2. It depends on your definition of “noisy”. Noisy to me is someone sharing things that are outside my range of interest. Someone sharing 100 interesting things a day is not noisy, he’s a good faucet.

  3. It depends on your definition of “noisy”. Noisy to me is someone sharing things that are outside my range of interest. Someone sharing 100 interesting things a day is not noisy, he’s a good faucet.

  4. There’s noise, and then there’s noise. As you continue to provide 700 interesting/good likes a month, then it’s on me to sift through them for what is relevant to me.

  5. There’s noise, and then there’s noise. As you continue to provide 700 interesting/good likes a month, then it’s on me to sift through them for what is relevant to me.

  6. There’s noise, and then there’s noise. As you continue to provide 700 interesting/good likes a month, then it’s on me to sift through them for what is relevant to me.

  7. There’s noise, and then there’s noise. As you continue to provide 700 interesting/good likes a month, then it’s on me to sift through them for what is relevant to me.

  8. There’s noise, and then there’s noise. As you continue to provide 700 interesting/good likes a month, then it’s on me to sift through them for what is relevant to me.

  9. Interestingly I recall you commenting that the huge collection of favorited items in Google Reader would stop you ever switching to something else. While you are still using Google Reader, this gives me the impression that old news is far less of a barrier to switching than it might initially seem – it’s really the recent news that’s of interest, the past week or two that people might still comment on or maybe even less than that.

  10. Interestingly I recall you commenting that the huge collection of favorited items in Google Reader would stop you ever switching to something else. While you are still using Google Reader, this gives me the impression that old news is far less of a barrier to switching than it might initially seem – it’s really the recent news that’s of interest, the past week or two that people might still comment on or maybe even less than that.

  11. Interestingly I recall you commenting that the huge collection of favorited items in Google Reader would stop you ever switching to something else. While you are still using Google Reader, this gives me the impression that old news is far less of a barrier to switching than it might initially seem – it’s really the recent news that’s of interest, the past week or two that people might still comment on or maybe even less than that.

  12. Interestingly I recall you commenting that the huge collection of favorited items in Google Reader would stop you ever switching to something else. While you are still using Google Reader, this gives me the impression that old news is far less of a barrier to switching than it might initially seem – it’s really the recent news that’s of interest, the past week or two that people might still comment on or maybe even less than that.

  13. Keep it up Robert, there are many of us that rely on you liking and pointing.
    I do have you segregated though :-)

  14. Keep it up Robert, there are many of us that rely on you liking and pointing.
    I do have you segregated though :-)

  15. Found your face -to -face item so valuable. I receive blog alerts on the term as Fireside published my Face to Face: How To Reclaim the Personal Touch in a Digital World. But I hadn’t thought of sharing info because of the social reciprocity of F2F. Good point!

  16. Found your face -to -face item so valuable. I receive blog alerts on the term as Fireside published my Face to Face: How To Reclaim the Personal Touch in a Digital World. But I hadn’t thought of sharing info because of the social reciprocity of F2F. Good point!

  17. Not only that I can se my online & SM behaviour and output change pretty much the same I also dicovered that following the ‘Robert Scoble Information Imperium’ got much easier with FriendFeed.

    Hat tip: I did not follow the blog but now I like the scobleizer info snippets.

  18. Not only that I can se my online & SM behaviour and output change pretty much the same I also dicovered that following the ‘Robert Scoble Information Imperium’ got much easier with FriendFeed.

    Hat tip: I did not follow the blog but now I like the scobleizer info snippets.

  19. Not only that I can se my online & SM behaviour and output change pretty much the same I also dicovered that following the ‘Robert Scoble Information Imperium’ got much easier with FriendFeed.

    Hat tip: I did not follow the blog but now I like the scobleizer info snippets.

  20. This may be a nit but I do wish FriendFeed noted the feature as “interesting” or something in that light. The term “like” does not mean highlight, it means a positive persuasion or opinion to something. That is the one thing that I don’t like. (pardon) To this point, I can remember marking something “like” that I found interesting but wasn’t positive in nature.

    As an example, when people post Flickr pictures that are questionable or post a news story headline that is negative or unpleasant, is is appropriate to “like” it. Highlight it, yes of course, but “like” it, just doesn’t seem right.

    Perhaps I am reading too much into the feature but it has crossed my mind several times and in fact have thought of requesting the feature “dislike” oddly enough.

  21. This may be a nit but I do wish FriendFeed noted the feature as “interesting” or something in that light. The term “like” does not mean highlight, it means a positive persuasion or opinion to something. That is the one thing that I don’t like. (pardon) To this point, I can remember marking something “like” that I found interesting but wasn’t positive in nature.

    As an example, when people post Flickr pictures that are questionable or post a news story headline that is negative or unpleasant, is is appropriate to “like” it. Highlight it, yes of course, but “like” it, just doesn’t seem right.

    Perhaps I am reading too much into the feature but it has crossed my mind several times and in fact have thought of requesting the feature “dislike” oddly enough.

  22. This may be a nit but I do wish FriendFeed noted the feature as “interesting” or something in that light. The term “like” does not mean highlight, it means a positive persuasion or opinion to something. That is the one thing that I don’t like. (pardon) To this point, I can remember marking something “like” that I found interesting but wasn’t positive in nature.

    As an example, when people post Flickr pictures that are questionable or post a news story headline that is negative or unpleasant, is is appropriate to “like” it. Highlight it, yes of course, but “like” it, just doesn’t seem right.

    Perhaps I am reading too much into the feature but it has crossed my mind several times and in fact have thought of requesting the feature “dislike” oddly enough.

  23. This may be a nit but I do wish FriendFeed noted the feature as “interesting” or something in that light. The term “like” does not mean highlight, it means a positive persuasion or opinion to something. That is the one thing that I don’t like. (pardon) To this point, I can remember marking something “like” that I found interesting but wasn’t positive in nature.

    As an example, when people post Flickr pictures that are questionable or post a news story headline that is negative or unpleasant, is is appropriate to “like” it. Highlight it, yes of course, but “like” it, just doesn’t seem right.

    Perhaps I am reading too much into the feature but it has crossed my mind several times and in fact have thought of requesting the feature “dislike” oddly enough.

  24. This may be a nit but I do wish FriendFeed noted the feature as “interesting” or something in that light. The term “like” does not mean highlight, it means a positive persuasion or opinion to something. That is the one thing that I don’t like. (pardon) To this point, I can remember marking something “like” that I found interesting but wasn’t positive in nature.

    As an example, when people post Flickr pictures that are questionable or post a news story headline that is negative or unpleasant, is is appropriate to “like” it. Highlight it, yes of course, but “like” it, just doesn’t seem right.

    Perhaps I am reading too much into the feature but it has crossed my mind several times and in fact have thought of requesting the feature “dislike” oddly enough.

  25. This may be a nit but I do wish FriendFeed noted the feature as “interesting” or something in that light. The term “like” does not mean highlight, it means a positive persuasion or opinion to something. That is the one thing that I don’t like. (pardon) To this point, I can remember marking something “like” that I found interesting but wasn’t positive in nature.

    As an example, when people post Flickr pictures that are questionable or post a news story headline that is negative or unpleasant, is is appropriate to “like” it. Highlight it, yes of course, but “like” it, just doesn’t seem right.

    Perhaps I am reading too much into the feature but it has crossed my mind several times and in fact have thought of requesting the feature “dislike” oddly enough.

  26. This may be a nit but I do wish FriendFeed noted the feature as “interesting” or something in that light. The term “like” does not mean highlight, it means a positive persuasion or opinion to something. That is the one thing that I don’t like. (pardon) To this point, I can remember marking something “like” that I found interesting but wasn’t positive in nature.

    As an example, when people post Flickr pictures that are questionable or post a news story headline that is negative or unpleasant, is is appropriate to “like” it. Highlight it, yes of course, but “like” it, just doesn’t seem right.

    Perhaps I am reading too much into the feature but it has crossed my mind several times and in fact have thought of requesting the feature “dislike” oddly enough.

  27. This may be a nit but I do wish FriendFeed noted the feature as “interesting” or something in that light. The term “like” does not mean highlight, it means a positive persuasion or opinion to something. That is the one thing that I don’t like. (pardon) To this point, I can remember marking something “like” that I found interesting but wasn’t positive in nature.

    As an example, when people post Flickr pictures that are questionable or post a news story headline that is negative or unpleasant, is is appropriate to “like” it. Highlight it, yes of course, but “like” it, just doesn’t seem right.

    Perhaps I am reading too much into the feature but it has crossed my mind several times and in fact have thought of requesting the feature “dislike” oddly enough.

  28. This may be a nit but I do wish FriendFeed noted the feature as “interesting” or something in that light. The term “like” does not mean highlight, it means a positive persuasion or opinion to something. That is the one thing that I don’t like. (pardon) To this point, I can remember marking something “like” that I found interesting but wasn’t positive in nature.

    As an example, when people post Flickr pictures that are questionable or post a news story headline that is negative or unpleasant, is is appropriate to “like” it. Highlight it, yes of course, but “like” it, just doesn’t seem right.

    Perhaps I am reading too much into the feature but it has crossed my mind several times and in fact have thought of requesting the feature “dislike” oddly enough.

  29. “People ask me why so many people follow me. (26,000 on friendfeed, 50,000 on Twitter, 5,000 on Facebook).”

    Is it something like stamp collecting? :)

  30. “People ask me why so many people follow me. (26,000 on friendfeed, 50,000 on Twitter, 5,000 on Facebook).”

    Is it something like stamp collecting? :)

  31. Could you elaborate on #1? I know many feel this way; I just can’t figure out why. How can having seen someone in person allow you to “know them more reliably”? Assuming there is a human person doing the sharing, how does not having met them in person make you know them LESS reliably?

    I may just be peculiar. I have met almost none of the people I interact most frequently and work with online and in business and that doesn’t bother me in the least. I have never met in person the two individuals I most trust and we’re working together on joint ventures.

  32. Could you elaborate on #1? I know many feel this way; I just can’t figure out why. How can having seen someone in person allow you to “know them more reliably”? Assuming there is a human person doing the sharing, how does not having met them in person make you know them LESS reliably?

    I may just be peculiar. I have met almost none of the people I interact most frequently and work with online and in business and that doesn’t bother me in the least. I have never met in person the two individuals I most trust and we’re working together on joint ventures.

  33. As a FF newcomer it is extremely helpful to see how you perceive its value. I have been putting off using my FF account because I will probably need to dive in for awhile before I understand how to maximize the benefit. It took me awhile to feel as affectionately for Twitter as I do now.

    Thank you for clicking “like” 15,301 times. Now, I don’t have to.

  34. As a FF newcomer it is extremely helpful to see how you perceive its value. I have been putting off using my FF account because I will probably need to dive in for awhile before I understand how to maximize the benefit. It took me awhile to feel as affectionately for Twitter as I do now.

    Thank you for clicking “like” 15,301 times. Now, I don’t have to.

  35. Robert, I noticed you don’t post your FriendFeed “likes” to Twitter? Is this because your Twitter stream would be way too noisy with them or some other reason? Seems like your Twitter-only followers are missing out on these tasty “like” nuggets.

  36. Robert, I noticed you don’t post your FriendFeed “likes” to Twitter? Is this because your Twitter stream would be way too noisy with them or some other reason? Seems like your Twitter-only followers are missing out on these tasty “like” nuggets.

  37. Robert, I noticed you don’t post your FriendFeed “likes” to Twitter? Is this because your Twitter stream would be way too noisy with them or some other reason? Seems like your Twitter-only followers are missing out on these tasty “like” nuggets.

  38. Robert, I noticed you don’t post your FriendFeed “likes” to Twitter? Is this because your Twitter stream would be way too noisy with them or some other reason? Seems like your Twitter-only followers are missing out on these tasty “like” nuggets.

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