BusinessWeek asked me if I’d like to debate the future of email. They knew I’d take the anti-side against email and pro new services like Twitter. Fun debate.
What do you think?
I’m already getting sick of all the talk that the Jaiku acquisition by Google means the death of Twitter. Of course where is this talk happening? Twitter! Heh.
Tim O’Reilly put it right: Jaiku’s strength wasn’t as a competitor to Twitter at all. It was the mobile presence and aggregation features that I liked over on Jaiku. Jaiku has a mobile client, in particular, that’s really great.
The more troubling thing is that Google acquires companies and then we never hear about these companies again. Will that happen to Jaiku? I hope not.
As Jonathan Davies says, Jaiku’s other strength is in aggregating RSS feeds into one place. Interesting that Google is building a very strong position in the RSS ecosystem with Google Reader and Feedburner and now Jaiku. Interesting, will Google use its RSS position against Facebook? We’ll see come November 5.
Imagine if Google made a more open social networking tool than Facebook all via RSS feeds? Stick that into your RSS feed reader and smoke it!
Anyway, I’ve had a Jaiku account for a while and like it. Hope to see what they do next.
Phil Crissman asks about my Twitter behavior: “does he really know them all? What does that feed look like? Is there more or less meaningful information in a twitter list that large?”
I should do a video of my Twitter behavior, but I have more than 6,000 people I’m following. Which is slightly more than the number of people who are following me.
So, first of all, I don’t use Twitter on SMS. I don’t even use it on the Web most of the time anymore. Instead I use Twitterrific on my MacBookPro. It sits off to the side while I’m working and presents new Twitter messages (we call them “Tweets”). It looks like an instant messaging client and changes every few seconds.
About once a minute, sometimes more, it gothers a set of new messages and brings them to me. 24 hours a day, too. Lots of new messages. 12 new messages every minute or two. I scan these things really fast looking for trends. News. And friends. I’ve started building a personal relationship with many of the people on my screen. Jim Long is there right now, for instance. He’s a camera guy at NBC. I’ve never met him, but I feel like I know him. Hes hardly alone.
You can see what posts I am seeing here. Phil says he was subscribing to all the people I was following just to see what it looked like. You don’t need to do that. In any Twitter account you can view “with_friends” to see what they are seeing on their screens or phones or apps like Twitterrific.
Some things I’ve learned so far:
1. News breaks first in Twitter, then moves other places. Yesterday Jim Long was reading us the wire reports of that shooting. That warned us that news was happening elsewhere.
2. Lots of people post links to their blog posts. It’s become the best place I know of to find new ideas from new people (you can add yourself to my list just by following me on Twitter).
3. It’s really easy to pick out “my real friends.” I just saw Scott Beale leave a message. It’s easy for me to get more value out of his messages than someone I’ve never met. The human eye’s ability to view patterns is really awesome.
4a. I don’t need to read every message. I can see every message sent to me specifically if you include “@scobleizer” in your message (I look at replies directly to me every morning).
4b. I am starting to use the new “track” feature to see everyone’s messages that mention a specific topic.
5. It’s interesting ot get up at a weird time of night and see who is on. Usually while I’m sleeping Europe and Asia are going full tilt. Overnight the news definitely changes. It often is MORE interesting because it’s different than the stuff you know.
6. Lots of blog geeks don’t sleep until late. I’ve noticed that I often see messages from some of the best bloggers at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. — this morning I was online at 3:30 a.m. cause Milan woke us up. Jeff Pulver and Dave Winer, both on the East Coast, woke up and started saying hi to everyone.
Anyway, Twitter, to me, is a chat room. Definitely interesting to follow but I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone. When it’s on I definitely get less work done. As Linda Stone says it defuses attention. Pulls your attention away from what you’re supposed to work on.
Oh, to answer the question directly: no, I don’t read all Twitters. I only read them when I’m sitting on my computer and online, which is probably only about 10% of the Twitters that the people I’m following write. That is, unless they directly mention me in them, then that percentage goes up to 100%.
I was just looking at the TechMeme Top 100 List and noticed that it has very few bloggers on it — I can only see about 12 real blogs on that list. Blogging being defined as “single voice of a person.” Most of the things on the list are now done by teams of journalists — that isn’t blogging anymore in my book. TechCrunch just hired a professional journalist which is sort of funny cause when I started blogging I never expected blogging to become a business, just a way to share what was going on in my life.
But there’s a bigger trend I’m seeing: people who used to enjoy blogging their lives are now moving to Twitter. Andrew Parker punctuates that trend with a post “Twitter is ruining my blogging.” I find that to be the case too and when I talked about this on Twitter a raft of people chimed in and agreed that they are blogging a lot less now that Twitter is here.
Personally the list business is just lame anyway. When I consult with companies I tell them to forget about the “A list” and go for people who are passionate about their products. Word gets around when you’re talking with your customers in a new way anyway. It’s one reason why I am watching 5,900 Twitterers. That’s MY “A list.” Why don’t you join? I automatically follow anyone following me now.
UPDATED: Gabe Rivera just released the TechMeme Top 100 list and explains it.