Catering to information obsession

The moment that launched years of overzealous information consumption, filtering, sharing, and engagement, for me, was seeing Scoble’s feedreader on a screen in 2005.  He was subscribed to 1200 feeds.

Since then, he’s shifted his information production and consumption around from stream to stream as necessary to stay at the absolute front of the curve as news breaks.  In his case, it’s usually technology news that he’s engaged with, but take the following bits of this blog post to heart if you produce a news site of any size:

“Some of my friends say I’m really stupid to stop spending so much time obsessing over TechMeme and blogging and to be spending so much time on FriendFeed and Twitter.

That might be so. But already my inbound news is more diverse AND faster than TechMeme and my outbound “Likes” and “Comment” feed is pretty damn good cause it includes all sorts of different data types. Quick, how often have you seen a video on TechMeme? I can’t remember the time. But video is a HUGE part of news today and video and photos are huge parts of the experience on FriendFeed. Especially live video. That shows up on FriendFeed, it doesn’t show up on TechMeme. Well, except when YouTube throws a big concert. Then you see the news stories about the concert, but you need to click through articles to see the live video.” [The emphasis is mine.]

Read the whole thing.  It will make more sense if you’re familiar with the trends in technology news for the last few years, but you can substitute “traditional newspaper Web site” for TechMeme in a lot of places, as crazy as that sounds, and think about how faster, more personal gatherings of links to news and information (like what you get from the people you follow on Twitter or FriendFeed) are disruptive to that traditional editorial structure.

One Reply to “Catering to information obsession”

  1. And that’s at least one part of what we’re trying to accomplish with our new version of Indy.com.

    It’s about realizing that we, as newspaper editors and writers, don’t really know what the public’s interested in anymore … and certainly not what each individual person out there is interested in.

    So, why not give them the keys to all of our stuff, the ability to add or write the other things that interest them and the tools to combine/mix/promote/share all of it.

    We have a lot of work to do yet, but I’d love some feedback as to where we’re headed: http://alpha.indy.com

    (Caveat emptor: It’s alpha for a reason … thar be bugs afoot)

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