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The First Church of Scoble

Thursday, January 01, 2009 by Dave Winer.

A picture named jesusChristIsComing.jpgYou can't be on Twitter or FriendFeed and not be inundated with comments from and about Scoble. I don't know how he does it, but it's really annoying. I find myself relaxing when he takes a break from Twitter, for example to fly from Europe to the US. Finally I can speak without having everything one-upped by Scoble. Whatever it is, he's done it better, or bigger, or with more important people. It's irritating because I don't believe it. I'd really like it if he just turned down the volume. Or if there were a way to segment the Twittersphere, I'd like to be in the part where Scoble isn't the main topic of conversation 24-by-7. Permalink to this paragraph

That said, I heard that Jason Calacanis and Mike Arrington were giving him a hard time on the Gillmor Gang, saying he was dumb to invest so much time in Twitter and FriendFeed. If he were blogging, they say, he'd be working for himself. On Twitter he's working for someone else. I've thought the same thing myself many times, but not about Scoble, since my whole existence does not revolve around Scoble. (I once parodied Scoble, in jest, saying that he was the next Christ, little did I know how prophetic it would turn out.) Permalink to this paragraph

So is Scoble a chump, and are all of the rest of us chumps, for not enhancing our own space, rather enhancing Ev's and Biz's and Jack, Fred and Bijan's space? If you don't run ads on your blog, I don't see how it matters. And if you primarily push pointers through Twitter, as I do, it's just a notification system, not where you pour your creativity. Even if you put ads on your blog -- it's like RSS, it feeds traffic to your blog, it isn't replacing your blog. Surely Calacanis and Arrington aren't advising Scoble to get rid of his RSS too? Permalink to this paragraph

In a hasty twit last night I said these guys were "ignorant" for this opinion, but maybe that was too harsh. But maybe they aren't being creative enough. Permalink to this paragraph

Technology is a process, an evolution -- don't focus on what's here right now today, because a year from now it'll be different. Look at the trend. In the last year Twitter hasn't changed much on its face, but it has changed in substance. I have a lot more followers now, and I follow far more people. There are a lot of PR people there now, where it used to be gossip. There are also a lot more tech entrepreneurs, analysts and carpetbaggers, people who think there might be a business model in here somewhere. They're largely adding clutter and noise, but that's change too.  Permalink to this paragraph

But I can't imagine that blogging and Twitter won't fully merge, and I expect that to happen soon. Look at services like Posterous and Tumblr for a clue. Browsers have the ability to expand and collapse detail. Expect more of that. Services like Tweetree show that it's possible to include rich content inline with the twitstream. How far are we from having full blog posts? How far from being able to render the content in your own domain? How long until people think of the idea of a site aggregating the work of a handful of analysts as a quaint predictor of the rich world of the next-gen Twitter? Permalink to this paragraph

This is why I thought Arrington and Calacanis were missing the big picture -- seriously. Both have major investments in rollups of the pre-Twitter blogosphere. They may be suffering from the same kind of limited vision of their predecessors in the tech and business press, who were caught flat-footed by the generation of editorial content exemplified by their own offerings. Wouldn't be the first time that Generation N of tech failed to anticipate or even acknowledge Generation N+1. Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.

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