Sunday, March 18, 2007

Of Twitter and Men

I don't buy Jason Calacanis' argument that

a) there is no A-List
b) if there is an A-List it's easy to get yourself on it

It's contradictory right from the get-go.

But when he says that some of the old-timer A-list geek and business bloggers work pretty hard at their blogs, I do indeed believe it. I have been known to curl my lip at pure aggregator blogs...folks who point you to cool things, but add little of their own insight or value to the post. But I have respect even for anyone who does that regularly, because no matter how often I say that is what I'm going to do during busy times (like this entire month) it takes more effort than you would expect to keep on bookmarking the cool stuff and pointing to it.

Steve Rubel at Micropersuasion is indeed a hard-working blogger. He posts so consistently and so actively I cannot imagine how he does it. And now he's Twitter-addicted too, so honestly I think he's a cyborg who doesn't actually sleep. This week alone he has pointed me to a couple of interesting things, including the fact that you can subscribe to Techmeme via Twitter. Is this better than subscribing via a feed reader? I'm not sure. I'm experimenting with it to see.

Steve is also so consistent about posting links to market research that I often do a search on Micropersuasion, rather than Google, to find data.

But Steve loses me on all this Twitter stuff when he discusses whether Twitter will replace blogging. (Some of the discussion is here and here.)

You can only even ask that question if you think of blogging as only about quick sound bites and recommended links. Or about sharing the mundane details of your daily life.

Twitter, with its 140 character entries, is more likely to replace chat, I suppose, or IRC backchannels at conferences. But why on Earth would someone dump an RSS feed to someone's blog in favor of tracking them via twitter, unless that blogger was a pretty trivial blogger to begin with?

This goes back to the basis of all those arguments over the Technorati approach to blogging (that it is links and links alone that determines authority, popularity, influence...and therefore, importance.) You can measure yourself by how many followers you have, and how many times you update per day, but it ignores an entire thriving, vibrant part of the blogosphere: the part that is about expression and community and conversation and debate and persuasion.

Twitter is cute. (Although, I don't know how long it will be before we all tire of it in an ADD kind of way, looking for the next cute application.)

But it doesn't cry out "blogging alternate" to me. It's not food for my brain or soul...even if it has the potential to occasionally improve the company I keep when I'm out getting food for my stomach :)

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