Do’ers vs. Talkers

Scott Koon, who writes Lazy Coder, says he’s unsubscribed from all the non-coders in his life (like me and Chris Pirillo).

That’s cool. I haven’t unsubscribed from him. Why? Cause of my link blog. I want to see development trends before most other developers do. So, I follow a lot of “do’ers” as he puts them.

But, Scott, you might look at my video blog. Almost every interview is with a “do’er” (someone trying to build a company, or find the meaning of mass). Also, you might follow my link blog. I filter out only the best stuff out of 600 of the world’s top tech blogs — many of which are by “do’ers” like Scott says he is, not talkers like me.

I love how he tells people to stop reading blogs like mine and start reading others. Hmmm…

In the meantime, though. Matt Cutts of Google says that I read more feed items in Google Reader than any other human being alive. And I don’t know of a video blogger who has posted more interviews with more companies than I have.

So, I guess I’m both a “do’er” and a “talker.” Just subscribe to the blog that demonstrates the behavior you like most.

No code here, though. So, if that’s what you want, right, not good. If I were a coder, though, I’d just use Krugle to find some interesting stuff.

Published by

Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology for Rackspace's startup program. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books ("The Age of Context," a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at http://amzn.to/AgeOfContext ), YouTube, and many social media sites where he's followed by millions of people. Best place to watch me is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble

Comments

  1. I am a coder, but I think it is crucial, no matter what field you’re in, to get a broad range of views. And to be brutally honest coders tend to have a pretty myopic, fixed view of the world …

    Scoble is great at weeding the interesting stuff out of the Blogosphere … reading a gabillion blogs is what I call “doing”. And sure, not all of it I am interested in, and some of it is inane, but that’s every blogger prerogative.

  2. Gabe: I’m not really an edge case. I just am very early to get onto things that have doubling effects.

    I wasn’t the first to get onto Twitter. I just got on there after I noticed it was doubling in numbers of users every few days.

    Here’s something. Which is better? $100,000 today or a penny doubled every day for a month?

    The penny is, but only if you stay alive for more than 25 days.

    I just jump on trends on day #8. Long before anyone has really noticed a trend usually. Which gets me called an edge case.

    But real edge cases (like Doug Engelbart, or Dave Winer, get on trends before day #3.

    Think about it.

    Day 1: One penny.
    Day 2: Two pennies.
    Day 3: Four.
    Day 4: Eight.
    Day 5: 16.
    Day 6: 32.
    Day 7: 64 (we’re not even up to a dollar yet).
    Day 8: 128.
    etc. etc.

    Those who can see doubling effects early (or, even better, cause them to happen in the first place) add a lot of value.

    Anyone can see the doubling effects on day #28. That doesn’t take any skill.

  3. I am a coder, but I think it is crucial, no matter what field you’re in, to get a broad range of views. And to be brutally honest coders tend to have a pretty myopic, fixed view of the world …

    Scoble is great at weeding the interesting stuff out of the Blogosphere … reading a gabillion blogs is what I call “doing”. And sure, not all of it I am interested in, and some of it is inane, but that’s every blogger prerogative.

  4. Gabe: I’m not really an edge case. I just am very early to get onto things that have doubling effects.

    I wasn’t the first to get onto Twitter. I just got on there after I noticed it was doubling in numbers of users every few days.

    Here’s something. Which is better? $100,000 today or a penny doubled every day for a month?

    The penny is, but only if you stay alive for more than 25 days.

    I just jump on trends on day #8. Long before anyone has really noticed a trend usually. Which gets me called an edge case.

    But real edge cases (like Doug Engelbart, or Dave Winer, get on trends before day #3.

    Think about it.

    Day 1: One penny.
    Day 2: Two pennies.
    Day 3: Four.
    Day 4: Eight.
    Day 5: 16.
    Day 6: 32.
    Day 7: 64 (we’re not even up to a dollar yet).
    Day 8: 128.
    etc. etc.

    Those who can see doubling effects early (or, even better, cause them to happen in the first place) add a lot of value.

    Anyone can see the doubling effects on day #28. That doesn’t take any skill.

  5. Robert, don’t let 1-2 people who unsubscribe get to you, just continue doing your work and keep up what you enjoy.

    Miles

  6. Robert, don’t let 1-2 people who unsubscribe get to you, just continue doing your work and keep up what you enjoy.

    Miles

  7. Robert: I agree. For many key technologies you’ve been an early and vocal (and even articulate) adopter.

    But c’mon, we’re approaching a decade of syndication and you remain the world’s most voracious feed reader! So to repeat myself, in “some respects” you’re an edge case.

    Accept it and embrace it. :)

  8. Robert: I agree. For many key technologies you’ve been an early and vocal (and even articulate) adopter.

    But c’mon, we’re approaching a decade of syndication and you remain the world’s most voracious feed reader! So to repeat myself, in “some respects” you’re an edge case.

    Accept it and embrace it. :)

  9. A decade of syndication? I first saw RSS in 2001 when Dave Winer showed it to me. I didn’t really understand its impact for another year or two.

    And every year I notice more and more people joining the ClubRSS.

  10. A decade of syndication? I first saw RSS in 2001 when Dave Winer showed it to me. I didn’t really understand its impact for another year or two.

    And every year I notice more and more people joining the ClubRSS.

  11. I disagree with the reasons for his dropping you and other so-called “non-doers”.

    For one, it smacks of elitism. Elitism is one of the reasons why I gave up trying to use FreeBSD and now am squarely in the Mac OS X camp. I don’t like elitism. EVER. There is never a reason for it. Lame excuses like “I just want to focus on coding, etc.” are just that — lame.

    People need a variety of news and views in order to make informed decisions.

    His attitude could very well cause him to overlook a “user” site whereby he could derive the next “cool” idea to incorporate into a program.

    Oh, well…

  12. I disagree with the reasons for his dropping you and other so-called “non-doers”.

    For one, it smacks of elitism. Elitism is one of the reasons why I gave up trying to use FreeBSD and now am squarely in the Mac OS X camp. I don’t like elitism. EVER. There is never a reason for it. Lame excuses like “I just want to focus on coding, etc.” are just that — lame.

    People need a variety of news and views in order to make informed decisions.

    His attitude could very well cause him to overlook a “user” site whereby he could derive the next “cool” idea to incorporate into a program.

    Oh, well…

  13. “many of which are by “do’ers” like Scott says he is, not talkers like me”

    hehe, my blog would be the last one I would suggest an active developer subscribe to. I barely update, and when I do it’s usually just opinion. I wish I was doing more interesting work, but right now I’m just supporting a legacy classic ASP application. Who the heck wants to hear about that? Even I don’t want to hear about that. Technical posts are the hardest for me to write, I want to be more accurate and precise than when I’m just spouting off. So I value those posts more in other peoples blogs.

    My narrow definition of “do-ers” in this instance is “people writing code”. Other people are more interested in the “movers and shakers”. I subscribe to a couple of “mommy” and “daddy” blogs too. Definitely do-ers. My “Games” and “photo feeds” folders often go weeks at a time w/o being read.

    I looked over your videos, honestly I’d rather hear from the developers working on the Ning API than from the person who started Netscape and the CEO of Ning. 75% of the titles of your videos have “CTO” or “CEO”in them. The Channel 9 videos are more interesting TO ME, than the ScobleShow ones. But I don’t think I’m the target audience for the ScobleShow. Same with the linkblog. I wasn’t interested in most of the content. The content that did interest me, I had already seen via someone else I read.

    Look at it this way. If you are in to knitting, which is a blog you are more likely to want to read. A blog where the author talks about knitting techniques and posts patterns? Or a blog where the author talks with the CEOs of yarn and knitting needle manufacturers? Well, it depends on whether you are a knitting for personal pleasure or if you operate a fabric store. There’s an audience for both blogs.

    In the spirit of getting people to read interesting blogs. I’d suggest the following:

    http://medicalconnectivity.com/ – Phillips has been kicking butt releasing lots of interesting point-of-care devices that look like things from Star Trek.

    http://biosingularity.wordpress.com/ – mmmm, tasty science. Don’t be scared off by the titles. The posts are written with a lay person in mind.

    http://programming.reddit.com/ – I’ve found most of my new technical reading through here. Lately, it’s been really heavy on LISP, Scheme, and Haskel. hmmmm, is a trend forming? Is the end nigh for the strongly typed, OOP languages?

    Game devs: http://blog.hanfordlemoore.com/ and http://www.andrewwooldridge.com/blog/index.html

    and just to prove that I’m completely full of crap and I actually DO read blogs that aren’t technical: http://blog.humuhumu.com/ – Humu Kon Tiki – Reviews Tiki bars all over the U.S. Anytime I travel I hit her site looking for a tiki bar in the area.

    “Robert, don’t let 1-2 people who unsubscribe get to you” – I’m sure that for every 1-2 who unsubscribe, 50 more subscribe and want him to speak at their conference/company meeting. ;)

  14. “many of which are by “do’ers” like Scott says he is, not talkers like me”

    hehe, my blog would be the last one I would suggest an active developer subscribe to. I barely update, and when I do it’s usually just opinion. I wish I was doing more interesting work, but right now I’m just supporting a legacy classic ASP application. Who the heck wants to hear about that? Even I don’t want to hear about that. Technical posts are the hardest for me to write, I want to be more accurate and precise than when I’m just spouting off. So I value those posts more in other peoples blogs.

    My narrow definition of “do-ers” in this instance is “people writing code”. Other people are more interested in the “movers and shakers”. I subscribe to a couple of “mommy” and “daddy” blogs too. Definitely do-ers. My “Games” and “photo feeds” folders often go weeks at a time w/o being read.

    I looked over your videos, honestly I’d rather hear from the developers working on the Ning API than from the person who started Netscape and the CEO of Ning. 75% of the titles of your videos have “CTO” or “CEO”in them. The Channel 9 videos are more interesting TO ME, than the ScobleShow ones. But I don’t think I’m the target audience for the ScobleShow. Same with the linkblog. I wasn’t interested in most of the content. The content that did interest me, I had already seen via someone else I read.

    Look at it this way. If you are in to knitting, which is a blog you are more likely to want to read. A blog where the author talks about knitting techniques and posts patterns? Or a blog where the author talks with the CEOs of yarn and knitting needle manufacturers? Well, it depends on whether you are a knitting for personal pleasure or if you operate a fabric store. There’s an audience for both blogs.

    In the spirit of getting people to read interesting blogs. I’d suggest the following:

    http://medicalconnectivity.com/ – Phillips has been kicking butt releasing lots of interesting point-of-care devices that look like things from Star Trek.

    http://biosingularity.wordpress.com/ – mmmm, tasty science. Don’t be scared off by the titles. The posts are written with a lay person in mind.

    http://programming.reddit.com/ – I’ve found most of my new technical reading through here. Lately, it’s been really heavy on LISP, Scheme, and Haskel. hmmmm, is a trend forming? Is the end nigh for the strongly typed, OOP languages?

    Game devs: http://blog.hanfordlemoore.com/ and http://www.andrewwooldridge.com/blog/index.html

    and just to prove that I’m completely full of crap and I actually DO read blogs that aren’t technical: http://blog.humuhumu.com/ – Humu Kon Tiki – Reviews Tiki bars all over the U.S. Anytime I travel I hit her site looking for a tiki bar in the area.

    “Robert, don’t let 1-2 people who unsubscribe get to you” – I’m sure that for every 1-2 who unsubscribe, 50 more subscribe and want him to speak at their conference/company meeting. ;)

  15. While I think there is nothing wrong with culling your subscription list to only those blogs that are relevant to you, I would like to think that the people who develop and write code are interested in how people use technology.

    Making a product that no one wants to use it pointless, no matter how good a peice of software it is.

    Noticing trends and watching what effects certain products have is a good way to know what people want. To ignore such information does seem just a tad arogant.

    Of course there are plenty of ways of keeping abreast of such information and blogs are just one of them.

  16. While I think there is nothing wrong with culling your subscription list to only those blogs that are relevant to you, I would like to think that the people who develop and write code are interested in how people use technology.

    Making a product that no one wants to use it pointless, no matter how good a peice of software it is.

    Noticing trends and watching what effects certain products have is a good way to know what people want. To ignore such information does seem just a tad arogant.

    Of course there are plenty of ways of keeping abreast of such information and blogs are just one of them.

  17. I think that the solution is very rarely “make the world smaller”, no matter what the question is. When bloggers of one kind refuse to engage bloggers of any other kind in conversation, they lose relevance. They may get great at coding, but if they don’t know what people want to use tools for, they’ll be out of a job eventually.

    I like the concept Nancy White introduced at Northern Voice: Tech Stewards. Intermediaries between the technology and the end users. We need more of these people, and we need more techies to see themselves as enablers and we need more non-techies to see themselves as capable.

    If the point of the blogosphere is only to talk to people identical to one’s self, then I would suggest that somebody’s missed the whole point.

    This is one of the most powerful tools for communication and bridge-building that has ever been invented; for a coder to close off this way is no different from a LiveJournal-er making her blog Friends-Only, and it is no more advanced. Again I say, attempting to make the world smaller is never the solution.

  18. I think that the solution is very rarely “make the world smaller”, no matter what the question is. When bloggers of one kind refuse to engage bloggers of any other kind in conversation, they lose relevance. They may get great at coding, but if they don’t know what people want to use tools for, they’ll be out of a job eventually.

    I like the concept Nancy White introduced at Northern Voice: Tech Stewards. Intermediaries between the technology and the end users. We need more of these people, and we need more techies to see themselves as enablers and we need more non-techies to see themselves as capable.

    If the point of the blogosphere is only to talk to people identical to one’s self, then I would suggest that somebody’s missed the whole point.

    This is one of the most powerful tools for communication and bridge-building that has ever been invented; for a coder to close off this way is no different from a LiveJournal-er making her blog Friends-Only, and it is no more advanced. Again I say, attempting to make the world smaller is never the solution.

  19. Robert, take a really good look at your penny. You may see the scenario, yet miss this: You can capitalize profitably from day one on any amount of pennies you have, or may obtain, if you are willing to break the law and sell them for scrap metal. It’s not a glamorous thing, and frowned-upon by many. Is that a little more like coding than developing? Is that the type of doing rather than talking to which we are making reference? Face it: The best of YOU is the BEST of You; and, that can’t be bad(we still care :-)). Plus, you wouldn’t look right trying to be anybody else— especially if the “doing” being referred to was what was such an ill-fit which made you stand out.

    You know how to read; and, you know that not all informatioon is good information. Given that, decide for yourself whether the definition that fits what you read must be taken from someone with a bad attitude— or is closer to what the rest of us know is the truth… None of us does look good if we get hit with a thrown tomato; but, we don’t really feel good unless we need to dodge a couple every now and then from those who don’t know better. That’s the spirit of success; and, it seems you’re making real progress…

  20. Robert, take a really good look at your penny. You may see the scenario, yet miss this: You can capitalize profitably from day one on any amount of pennies you have, or may obtain, if you are willing to break the law and sell them for scrap metal. It’s not a glamorous thing, and frowned-upon by many. Is that a little more like coding than developing? Is that the type of doing rather than talking to which we are making reference? Face it: The best of YOU is the BEST of You; and, that can’t be bad(we still care :-)). Plus, you wouldn’t look right trying to be anybody else— especially if the “doing” being referred to was what was such an ill-fit which made you stand out.

    You know how to read; and, you know that not all informatioon is good information. Given that, decide for yourself whether the definition that fits what you read must be taken from someone with a bad attitude— or is closer to what the rest of us know is the truth… None of us does look good if we get hit with a thrown tomato; but, we don’t really feel good unless we need to dodge a couple every now and then from those who don’t know better. That’s the spirit of success; and, it seems you’re making real progress…

  21. “When the VP of the worlds largest software corporation makes an announcement that affect millions of developers in EVERY country in the world, how can it not be the top story for that entire day?”

    Perhaps no one else cares :)

  22. “When the VP of the worlds largest software corporation makes an announcement that affect millions of developers in EVERY country in the world, how can it not be the top story for that entire day?”

    Perhaps no one else cares :)

  23. Reporting on day 8 on companies that flame out by day 12 is also a waste of time. This is where do’ers can provide some valuable filtering and insight.

  24. Reporting on day 8 on companies that flame out by day 12 is also a waste of time. This is where do’ers can provide some valuable filtering and insight.

  25. I am sort of on both sides of the coin here. On one hand, I wish to focus the finite amount of time I have on content that directly affects me, so when I am developing … I ought to read more about development. On the other hand, I also realize the value of a bird’s eye view of the industry in my space, so I ought to read more about the direction and vision from those in management.

    To be honest, it is really more of a balancing act to make sure that within the time that I have, I am being attentive to both as evenly as possible.

  26. I am sort of on both sides of the coin here. On one hand, I wish to focus the finite amount of time I have on content that directly affects me, so when I am developing … I ought to read more about development. On the other hand, I also realize the value of a bird’s eye view of the industry in my space, so I ought to read more about the direction and vision from those in management.

    To be honest, it is really more of a balancing act to make sure that within the time that I have, I am being attentive to both as evenly as possible.

  27. I agree. For many key technologies you’ve been an early and vocal (and even articulate) adopter.

    But c’mon, we’re approaching a decade of syndication and you remain the world’s most voracious feed reader! So to repeat myself, in “some respects” you’re an edge case.

    Webkatalog Pagerank

  28. I agree. For many key technologies you’ve been an early and vocal (and even articulate) adopter.

    But c’mon, we’re approaching a decade of syndication and you remain the world’s most voracious feed reader! So to repeat myself, in “some respects” you’re an edge case.

    Webkatalog Pagerank