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.

Scobleization plus three years

Three years and two days ago, I got Scobleized.

The highlight of Robert’s informal talk was when he plugged his tablet into the projector in a packed room at the SJSU/MLK library and showed us his aggregator.

It was Bloglines at the time, not that it mattered.

I was blown away by the amount of information — and the quality — that Scoble’s 1200 or so subscriptions provided.

I had started reading a few blogs, and I was probably still using Firefox Live Bookmarks to track them.

By the end of the semester there were more than 200 feeds in my Bloglines account.

That was three years ago, at the very beginning of my New Media / blogging / future-of-newspapers adventures.

Another thing that sticks in my mind that day was Robert’s first question to a newsroom full of “reporting and editing” majors, something along the lines of “How many of you think you’ll be working for a newspaper in 5 or 10 years?”

He lost his audience when he told the roomful of undergraduates with their hands raised that they were wrong, and that they would be working for some other sort of online news organization, or as individual bloggers, but not certainly not in paper- and ink-based news.

Didn’t lose me, though.

I just checked in to see what condition my condition was in

My thesis proposal was conditionally approved yesterday, which means I can go ahead and start navigating the murky waters of the human subjects paperwork required by IRB.

Once that’s in motion, I’ll make the expected changes that the committee wants, and submit the updates to my primary advisor.

Meanwhile, the Sloan/McCune New Media class and anyone else who shows up are all about to get Scobleized. Drink the kool-aid, my friends, drink the kool-aid.

I highly advise anyone just sitting around campus tonight to walk down the hall and see Scoble do his thing. He always seems to show off whatever he’s the most excited about at the moment, which makes for good repeat viewing. I’ll be in the middle of my commute from the East Bay to Monterey Bay, so I’ll catch the podcast when Steve posts it.

World gets flatter, film at 11

Scoble quits Microsoft, moves back to Valley, goes to work at podcasting start-up.

Sounds like a great move, whether or not becomes one of the New New Networks or not. Why? Something I learned working retail: As soon as your boss calls you “indispensable,” it’s probably time to quit, because if they can’t replace you, they’ll never promote you.

Congratulations on the promotion, Robert. I’m looking forward to watching the passionate/authoritative videobloggers you’ll be finding for PodTech. Good luck.

For those of you keeping score at home, that’s Postindustrialism 21 – Big Business 3.