The Scoble Approach to Social Media

FriendFeedRobert Scoble recently said that he was moving away from TechMeme as his homepage in favor of FriendFeed.  He has also stated on several occasions that he goes where the conversation is and that everyone he follows on Twitter (which is everyone that follows him) is relevent and interesting.

This is a new approach to social media.  Everyone is a friend (both onine and offline), and everyone has something interesting to say.  This is a far cry from the tech/bloging elite that used to be in the game (and which many consider Scoble to be a part of).  It is interesting that someone on Scoble’s level would take such a drastic step away from that blogging elite in search of the smaller voice.  But he might be onto something.

You see lately, I’ve moved away from sites like Digg, where I used to get a nice chunk of my daily news (both tech and other kinds) to sites like FriendFeed (via AlertThingy or Twhirl) to get my news.  Sure I subscribe to a lot of the more “famous” bloggers on FriendFeed, but I’ve taken the outlook of subscribing to everyone that subscribes to me (assuming it doesn’t look like spam when i look at the account) on FriendFeed and Twitter in hopes of finding new and more interesting content.

I think part of the idea behind this is the concept that not everyone thinks like you do.  If you only listen to like-minded people you never really learn anything.  The search to learn more and gain more knowledge about all areas of a subject, be it tech, parenting, or even personal finance can lead to a better understanding of the world around you.  As an “on record” republican, I like having discussions with democrats and other more liberal than me.  Because I learn things.  This is much of the same reason for following so many people on various social sites.  The more input you have, the more you are likely to be able to output because you understand so much more.  Occasionally though, you will get a person who just wants to be rude.  Fortunately, you can decide whom to follow and unfollow at your convenience.  This makes it easy to control the input you receive.

Of course I’m not suggesting that constant input is the road to complete understanding or enlightenment.  And just because you read something does not mean you understand it.  But there is some benefit to listening to a constant flow of opinions both agreeable and not.  It also brings you more voices.  As more people subscribe to you, you can subscribe back and hear what they have to say on things.  This is a great way to keep up with both the A-Listers and the new listers.

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