Did I harm my blog by FriendFeeding this year?

Since I’ve been blogging eight years this month I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my blog and how I want to do things differently in 2009.

I told Mike Arrington, founder of TechCrunch, that I wonder if I’ve made smart time investments in 2008 by spending so much time on Twitter and friendfeed. Yeah, I knew about the Chinese earthquake before pretty much anyone, and 45 minutes before CNN reported it, but doing that required being online with Twitter open late at night after most of you had gone to sleep or were watching some TV.

He just posted that I need a friendfeed intervention, which is why I’m writing this post.

About a month ago I asked people over on FriendFeed and the comments came in hot and heavy. Of course most of them thought I did a good thing by spending so much time on FriendFeed this year.

How much time? I told Arrington tonight that I bet it’s seven hours a day or more. I started in late February. So, that’s around 2,000 hours. What did I get for my 2,000 hour investment this year?

6,841 comments. (These are blogs and items I had something to say about, so I left a comment on them).
13,078 likes. (These are blogs and items made by other people that I wanted to share with you).
I manually followed 5,405 people. (You can see all the content they generate in real time here).

Anyway, what did I give up by spending time on Twitter and friendfeed?

  1. A few of my friends think I am not as good a thought leader anymore because they don’t get as many long posts as I used to do.
  2. If you check Compete.com you’ll see my overall traffic went down about 14% this year while FriendFeed’s traffic went up 4,056%.
  3. I don’t get any money from friendfeed, while on my blog I do sell ads now.
  4. I’m not breaking as many stories anymore so I’m showing up on TechMeme less and less.
  5. Arrington himself told me he is reading me less on my blog, although lots of the “A list” crowd have been showing up on friendfeed now that it has hit a certain audience size and is starting to show up on their referral logs.

What did I gain by being on friendfeed and Twitter?

  1. I now get a much wider-range of news and am available to a wider range of people.
  2. My words now get indexed by the two most popular “real-time web” search engines: Twitter Search and friendfeed search. I know people who get their news by visiting Twitter search and looking at what news is “trending,” or becoming more popular.
  3. I am now part of the conversation in a way that I’d never be if I were just blogging. Seth Godin, for instance, only blogs and he rarely gets discussed on Twitter or friendfeed. If he were active he’d be discussed 25x more.
  4. I’ve made a lot of friends that are just reading me on twitter, I’ve met many people at Tweetups and the like that I’d never have met if I weren’t so active.
  5. By being active I’ve been quoted in countless articles about Twitter or friendfeed, which helps me too.
  6. Because I listen to the conversation I am getting better video interviews. Compete.com shows that FastCompany.TV is growing nicely this year and has taken up the slack for my blog. Add that into all my new readers on Twitter and friendfeed and I’m happy about my total readership. Seagate deserves a lot of thanks there for sponsoring FastCompany.TV back when there were no viewers.
  7. I now have a new news source that other bloggers won’t have: a crowd of 5,400 people who are bringing me the best news from around the web in real time. Already I’m seeing stuff there that will turn into blog posts and insights that other people aren’t seeing. Because I’ve build relationships with many of these people over the past year they call me and warn me about important news before they call other people. This “funnel” of news could be a sizeable advantage for someone trying to compete in a very competitive space.
  8. I now have a list of 23,000 people on friendfeed and 44,692 on Twitter that I can show potential sponsors. Before all I could say is my monthly uniques.
  9. In friendfeed Mike Arrington has 15,108 followers and I have 22,999. Mike has a LOT more blog readers than I have, so he should have dramatically more followers than I have on friendfeed. But by participating in these services I have collected more subscribers. Do they offset the same number of blog readers I’d have if I spent so much time blogging instead of hanging out on friendfeed? That’s the question that got Mike and I to talk.

Why does this all matter? Well, if you are going to do this as a business you’ve got to prove how many readers you have and demonstrate both audience size as well as influence.

The other thing that advertisers are asking me for is quantitative data about who is reading me. Some companies now don’t want to reach geeks, for instance. So, they are looking at your social networks to see what kind of audience you’ve attracted.

So, what do you think? Do I need a friendfeed intervention? Looking forward to having a good conversation. Of COURSE we are talking about this on friendfeed. In fact, in multiple places. 🙂

FastCompanyTV: the three-month report

We started FastCompanyTV the first week of March this year. What a lot has happened in three months.

Here’s a rundown of the videos we’ve done. ScobleizerTV (S)=36 shows. WorkFastTV (WF)=1 show. Global NeighbourhoodsTV (GN)=14 shows. FastCompanyLive (FCL)=44 shows. Total of 95 shows. Yowza, with more on the way.

My favorite ones? The Tesla drive, the IBM moving the Atom, the Yosemite ones with Michael Adams, and the Rackspace ones (they went IPO right after we shot, so we have the last video before their quiet period, plus they were darn cool and their new headquarters are mondo big).

What did we do bad? 1. Didn’t get enough outside of the technology industry and didn’t get short versions done. 2. Also didn’t get transcripts done yet. 3. We had a rough beginning with Shel’s show that got a lot better over time. 4. Also, the cell phone videos aren’t integrated into the site the way they should be (I start those over on Qik, then move them over later, which totally doesn’t take advantage of the “live” ability of cell phone videos).

I’d love to know what you think, good or bad. The next three months are going to be just as wild. Starting next week as we go to Seattle to see lots of startups and more stuff at Microsoft, too.

By the way, thanks to Rocky Barbanica. He edited and produced much of this stuff and has dragged our two HD cameras lots of places. Michael Shick edited Global Neighbourhoods and I’m most grateful for that, too.

Also, thank you to our sponsors: Seagate, who sponsors ScobleizerTV, and SAP, who sponsors WorkFastTV. It’s expensive to buy HD cameras, buy gas for cars, travel around the world, and pay for bandwidth and other stuff. Not to mention our salaries. So, if you like what we do, please think of our sponsors next time you have a chance to choose them or someone else.

Finally, thank you to everyone who has been in front of our cameras. Without you, well, these shows wouldn’t be interesting.

Here’s a list of all of our shows, in the order they come up on the Web site.


Sliderocket. Intro to a very interesting new presentation package. (S)
Threshold. Intro to easiest-to-use wireless home automation system. (S)
Rick Rashid, Microsoft
. He runs Microsoft Research. Enough said. (S)
Roy Levin, Microsoft
. Smart guy who runs Microsoft’s Silicon Valley Research group. (S)
New show launches: WorkFastTV (first one goes up tomorrow) (WF)
New show to launch: PhotoCycle (the trailer/intro is already up — an astute ear will tell that’s Ansel Adams playing piano, the full show starts later in June). (PC)
Eepybird. The folks behind those Diet Coke and Mentos explosions. (GN)
Pamela Skillings. Author of “Escape from Corporate America” talks to my cell phone about your career. (FCL)


Amazee: Demo of new project-management online service. (S)
Bill Watkins, Seagate. Bill, Seagate’s CEO talks to me about future of its business and asks “what recession?” (S)
Xerox CTO. Sophie Vandebroek talks to me about PARC and the post-copier world of Xerox research. (S)
TechCrunch Israel. I learn about Israel’s entrepreneurs from TechCrunch’s Roi Carthy. (S)
Plymedia. A cool online video company in Israel shows me their video overlay technology. (S)
Flixwagon. This Israeli company shows me how their technology lets you send live video from cell phones. (S)
Checkpoint. The biggest startup success from Israel. The CEO talks about security business. (S)
Itay Talgam, famous conductor. Part I. Part II. Part III. Gives a seminar showing management styles of orchestral conductors. (S)
IBM Research, Semantic Search. A look at research into semantic search at IBM’s New Almaden Research Center. (S)
HBMG. An Austin, TX, company shows me their security software which uses unique video compression. (S)
Semantinet. Interesting new social networking tool/search engine in Israel. (S)
Neopolitan Networks. San Antonio, TX, based company that supports many companies with their bandwidth needs. (S)
CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. The place where the Web was invented, but now they are turning on a new machine designed to discover the properties of Mass. A physicist shows us around and explains what we’re seeing. (S)
Microsoft Research (Translations). See the latest in language translation technology. (FCL)
New York Times. They demo and announce “Times Machine” which lets subscribers look at older issues. (FCL)
Microsoft Research (Surface). Andy Wilson invented many of the concepts behind the Surface computer that you use your hands to control and here he gives us a ton of info about what he’s building. (FCL)
FriendFeed (Designer). The designer behind FriendFeed and many Google products like Gmail and Google Reader, gives his philosophy on design. (FCL)
BluePulse. Social network for cell phones, CEO tells me latest. (FCL)
SlideRocket. PowerPoint competitor announces first version, coming in July. (FCL)
Google. Introduces FriendConnect. (FCL)
eMetrics Conference. Talking to experts about analytics of your Web site. (FCL)
PARC. A tour of the Palo Alto Research Center (subsidiary of Xerox) where the CEO shows me the first ethernet cable, which is still embedded in a wall there. (FCL)
Ansel Adams Gallery. Michael Adams, Ansel Adams son, takes us to Glacier Point in Yosemite where we interview him about Ansel’s famous photos. Another video shows him in front of the family business. (FCL)
Minggl. A new toolbar so you can join your friends from several social networks. (FCL)
Web 2.0 Expo. An afterhours tour through the exhibit hall with the guys from Zude. (FCL)
Moo Cards. The CEO of Moo shows us his latest cool business cards which are a hit with photographers and social media influentials. (FCL)
Good Vision. An interesting company in Israel that focuses on helping companies perform socially responsible processes. (FCL)


Newstin. A service, located in Prague, that helps you find the news. (S)
IBM Research, Moving Atoms. This is my favorite experience. We move a single iron atom across a piece of copper. In the video they explain why they are doing this (to make smaller and smaller storage devices). (S) We also have a cell phone video we did in the lab that gives more info. (FCL)
Admob. A new advertising network that’s white hot aimed at getting ads onto mobile phones around the world. (S)
Austin City Limits. One of the best audio engineers in the world explains his work on this famous TV show. (S)
IBM’s New Almaden Research Center. This is where tons of stuff was invented. Hard drives. Blue lasers. And more. (S)
PerfTech. Messaging technology for cable companies in our San Antonio, Texas, visit. (S)
Kulabyte. Making HD video compress faster and better. (S)
Rackspace’s new headquarters. Get an exclusive look at Rackspace’s new headquarters in San Antonio, Texas (they announced an IPO a few weeks after we visited). (S)
Rackspace Radio Station. A look at Rackspace’s radio station in San Antonio, Texas. (S)
Rackspace/Leadership. Fun story about how Rackspace’s Chairman got everyone inside Rackspace to change their minds. (FCL)
Rackspace/office fight. There’s a fight inside Rackspace between dark and light offices. Which one would you pick? (FCL)
MySpace CTO. See the architecture behind this famous social networking site. (S)
Ben Segal. Mentor of Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web. (S)
Mahlo. Part I. Part II. Innovative search company that uses humans instead of algoritms to bring better results. (S)
Jim Long. NBC cameraman at of the US President. (GN)
KD Paine. Social Media Measurement guru. (GN)
Dell. Richard Binhammer talks with Shel Israel about social media and measuring results. (GN)
Radian 6. Part I. Part II. Measuring results and talking about Radian 6’s business and how it impacts social media. (GN)
Buzz Logic. Measuring influence in social media. (GN)
Disney. Look at Disney’s new virtual worlds. (GN)
Twitter. A talk with Twitter’s founders about its impact on the social media world. (GN)
GM. A talk with General Motors’ CEO where he admits he doesn’t write his own blog. (GN)
Cemaphor. They show off their new technology that syncs Google Calendars and email with Microsoft’s Outlook and Exchange. (FCL)
ZigTag. Demo of a new bookmarking service. (FCL)
AT&T. Demo of AT&T’s new browser. (FCL)
Shane Finley. Micro-wine innovator. (FCL)
PhotoCrank. CEO of PhotoCrank tells me why he started his company. (FCL)
DeLoach Winery. A bunch of geeks get together at a winery for an interesting conversation about business. (FCL)
FriendFeed. Part I. Part II. The founders of FriendFeed talk about their business (this is one of the first video interviews they gave, since then they’ve gotten much more popular and have been interviewed more often). (FCL)


Google Docs. They announce offline docs. (S)
Newtek. The Tricaster is mondo cool way to do video production. Leo Laporte is using one on his new show.
Microsoft Research/Redmond. An exclusive tour around Microsoft’s new research building. (S)
MySpace. An interview with the VP of product development at this famous social network. Also got a separate interview with MySpace’s CEO. (S)
Scribd. A startup in San Francisco that makes sharing presentations and docs fun. (S)
John Kao. Longtime business professor and innovation guru plays some music and talks about innovation. (S) I also did a separate interview with him on my cell phone, which is here. (FCL)
Microsoft’s WorldWide Telescope. We got the first video of Microsoft’s WorldWide Telescope (it got 10 million unique visits in first week). (S)
Amazon. Web services evangelist gives us an update on the state of Amazon’s popular Web services. (S)
Seaworld. Shel gets wet in the name of finding out how Seaworld is using social media. (GN)
Intel. How the world’s biggest processor manufacturer is using social media to get the word out. (GN)
Sun Microsystems. How Sun is using social media to better use its internal knowledge. (GN)
Forrester. Jeremiah Owyang, Forrester’s analyst on social media, talks with Shel Israel. (GN)
Hugh Macleod. Famous artist that puts his drawings on backs of business cards up on his blog. (GN)
Microsoft. New Internet Explorer gets talked about in the hallways with executives from Microsoft. (FCL)
Monster. Cool new headphones get demoed. (FCL)
Lijit. Useful new search engine for bloggers demoed. (FCL)
Facebook. CEO Mark Zuckerberg takes questions from an audience at SXSW. (FCL)
AMD and ATI. A look into the merger of these two companies with executives from each. (FCL)
Make Magazine. Meet the guy behind Make Magazine, a popular magazine for people who like building their own things. (FCL)
Intel Chip History. A look back at San Antonio’s tech history and part in designing Intel’s famous 8008 processor that kicked off a whole industry. (FCL)
Ear Bender. After an REM concert we met a music promoter who let us into his world. (FCL)
Hatchery. How does a company get started when it’s trying to disrupt something as big as the credit card industry? (FCL)
iLike. The founder of iLike told me at the SXSW conference that they had made a deal with R.E.M. (FCL)
Adaptive Blue. A useful toolbar for adding on search features gets demoed to me. (FCL)
Tesla. First ride in the production tesla with Elon Musk, chairman of the board. (FCL)
Annie Leibovitz. Famous photographer of famous people shows us around her exhibit. (FCL)
NASDAQ. Shows off its new technology which lets stock traders go back and check the price at a specific time. (FCL)
MFG.COM. Shows off a very cool app for tracking shipments. (FCL)
Larry Lessig. Gives his last talk on Free Culture at Stanford University. He’s a law professor there and is quite famous for starting up Creative Commons, among other things. (FCL)
Joi Ito. CEO of Creative Commons talks with us on the way to a meeting. (FCL)
Tim O’Reilly. Future of Advertising conversation after Davos’ World Economic Forum panel discussion. There was a second part of this conversation too. (FCL)
Rick Warren, Part I
. Part II. Author of hugely popular “A Purpose Driven Life” and head of largest single church in USA has a fun chat with me at the World Economic Forum. (FCL)