We remain impressed, if not dumbfounded, that Internet-obsessive videoblogger Robert Scoble talked his way into the absurd title of "managing director, Fastcompany.tv." We'll be even more impressed if he keeps the job, now that the guy who hired him has gotten the boot. But there's evidence that Scoble has buckled down a bit! Or slacked off, depending on how you look at it.Followcost, a website which quantifies just how annoying a particular Twitter user is, has adopted the "milliscoble" as a metric. One-thousandth of Scoble's average daily output on the 140-character-update service equals one milliscoble. By his own standard, Scoble has been falling behind; in the past 100 days, he's been running 32 percent below the 1,000-milliscoble mark. If it falls to zero, will he suddenly be three times as productive in real life? Nah. It will just mean he's shifted his timewasting entirely to FriendFeed.
Fast Company videoblogger Robert Scoble, embracer of new technologies and young women, has informed Twitter users everywhere that he is "talking to all Cisco employees this morning ... about the latest Web collaboration stuff." Whom he has not informed: Cisco employees everywhere. "My inbox and trash have no mention of 'scoble' anywhere," a Cisco worker bee tells us. Well, duh — the announcement must have gone out on FriendFeed.
FriendFeed is the best Scoble-tracking technology ever. Without it, I'd never have caught his blurt-out reply to PopTech conference cofounder Anthony Citrano: "Breadlines are coming and I'll personally blame people like you ... celebrating on the backs of the working suckers who will now get laid off." Hey, I'm one of those working suckers. Writers don't get laid off — we get unpublished in advance.
If you follow Robert Scoble at all — and you sort of have to unless your DSL is dead — you know he can't help overproliferating everything he does. While the entire staff of Vanity Fair takes months to assemble its 100 most powerful list, Fast Company's token webhead spews 165 names in one pass for his "hand-picked list of the people who provide the most interesting tech blogging/tweeting/FriendFeeding." Robert, let me put on my old Condé Nast editor's hat and redline this back to you: GREAT START, BUT PLS TELL US WHO THE FK THS PPL ARE:
"The more you participate the more people will subscribe to you ... or like you," promises Fast Company teleblogger Robert Scoble, whose answer to "How do I build my brand?" starts 20 seconds into this one-minute clip. My 15-word version: If you spend all your time on FriendFeed, you'll be a big deal. On FriendFeed.
JAMESON'S IRISH BAR, BOSTON, MASS. — If you'd gotten over that unclothed photo of Robert Scoble and Naked Conversations coauthor Shel Israel, here's a new one to haunt your memories. Scoble, Fast Company's pet videoblogger and social media guru, was in Boston for the EmTech conference, and he wanted to go to a bar. Why? So he could sit at a table and ignore everyone around him, constantly reloading FriendFeed, the Web-activity tracker on which he relentlessly documents his nonparticipation in the world which surrounds him. Two startup executives who had just watched the Red Sox play at Fenway Park with Scoble told me he Twittered nonstop through his visit to the Green Monster. The only time he was separated from his iPhone? When he lent it to me to take a picture of him. That didn't turn out, but I found another pic Scoble had taken of himself, fresh out of the shower.
Faster! In the '90s, people used to reload websites to see if they'd updated. Too slow! Hence the invention of RSS, a protocol for distributing headlines and stories over the Web. Faster! RSS takes too long to update, and requires too much bandwidth to check more frequently. Faster! Visiting multiple social networks takes too long. Paul Buchheit, an ex-Google engineer, cofounded FriendFeed, a site which uses RSS heavily to monitor your friends' activities across multiple websites. Faster! Now Buchheit is working on a replacement for RSS called SUP, or "Simple Update Protocol."The play on "whassup" seems almost too obvious to mention — but keeping users ultracurrent on their friends' doing is very much the intention. SUP will let sites like FriendFeed pick up news quicker, avoiding the risk that you might be even 30 minutes out of date on swift-moving trends like which avatar style people are using on Twitter. Faster! Faster! Faster!
Guy Kawasaki's A-list generator Alltop has spawned a new A-list: Frienderati is an aggregated feed of the latest five entries from the 101 most followed users of FriendFeed. My browser can't find an RSS feed for the page yet, but I'm sure there'll be one. Just as I'm sure someone will figure out how to sort this thing by popularity rather than alphabetically. While you're at it, can you strip out the posts and just post the pecking order of names? That seems easier.
The much-anticipated and long-delayed redesign of Facebook's profiles are live. Click through to see yours. We'll continue to harp on Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg for his poor interpersonal social skills, but we have to credit him for an outstanding job with the redesign. We're relieved to find the new profile is both clean and rich with big pictures, videos and comments. Ugly apps designed by less aesthetically aware third-parties are gone from sight. Even moving the user photo from the left to the right side of the profile somehow works. Not everyone is a fan. When we told one widgetmaker "looks pretty good," he responded "if you like FriendFeed." "Or Tumblr," we joked. It's funny because it's true — we do like Tumblr.
No, we did not head down to sleepy Palo Alto for the Search SIG meeting featuring small-time players like Mahalo, Wikia and Microsoft, but Mahalo founder Jason Calacanis seems to wish we did. But why bother going when we can get juicy quotes about Jimmy Wales, who founded for-profit Wikia after failing to figure out how to milk Wikipedia for cash from our home office? Those who tuned into Calacanis's Ustream live video channel got juicy quotes like "Guy's got an ethics problem" and "It's naive to think encyclopedias have anything to do with search"? while bemused Wikia representative
Jeremie Miller Nick Sullivan sat on the panel. (Wales didn't even show up) You stay classy, Jason! After the jump, a firsthand report from our tipster, including more of Calacanis's wit and wisdom.
If there is a Web 2.0 bubble, it is surely in microblogging, a field popularized by Twitter.. Countless startups are thriving on the myth that sharing yourself online is too hard. Pownce cofounder Leah Culver graces the cover of MIT's alumni magazine. San Francisco's most self-involved Webheads can't stop gabbing about FriendFeed, which, as our intern Alaska Miller smartly explained to his mother, is a place where people who are really obsessed with the Internet can talk to others of like mind. And then there's Plurk, the much-mocked Twitter clone, which has drawn such derision that Web hipsters made up a company and claimed it had bought Plurk.
FriendFeed, a largely unused aggregation service for other Web 2.0 services most people don't use, has become the new hotspot for tech's roving band of self-styled A-listers. There's good reason: FriendFeed's user base is catching up fast on Twitter. But yesterday, blogger Yuval Atzmon posted an informal FriendFeed 250 that's already replaced the Twitter Top 100 as the place to be for self-promoters (and for people who like to argue methodologies.) The good news is there's still room for you. A mere 280 followers will put you on the list. But hurry. By August, FriendFeed will look exactly like every other Web 2.0 list ever made. One in three posts will be about a tech conference, and one in five will explain why because of FriendFeed, John Markoff at the New York Times is really scared for his job.
Egobloggers Jason Calacanis, Robert Scoble as well as startup PR clearinghouse Michael Arrington all want to know: How amazing is it that after two years of using Twitter, they've each already got nearly half as many "followers" on FriendFeed after just a few months? Asking the question, each offer hypothetical answers involving the social-network aggregator's ease of use — "The comment systems is so fast and easy that it's perfect," says Calacanis — or Twitter's frequent outages — "Twitter downtime plays a big part," writes Arrington. But here's the real answer to the amazing growth these bloggers have seen on FriendFeed:
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg may not have strictly stolen the code he wrote for others but kept for himself to start Facebook. But the company is certainly garnering a reputation for appropriation. FriendFeed has offered comments on items from other services piped into a single update timeline. Now you can do the same with Facebook updates. [VentureBeat]
After Yahoo database expert Jeremy Zawodny announced he was leaving the company, a Hacker News commenter speculated that he'd go work for Twitter. "A few months ago Twitter may have been interesting, mostly for the technical challenges," Zawodny responded. "But now I'd rather hack on FriendFeed." FriendFeed, the latest fixation of the Web set, has a redeeming quality for hardcore geeks: The mounds of useless yet constantly updated personal trivia it aggregates from Flickr, Twitter, and other narcissism-enabling Web services makes for one heck of a database to keep online.
Not happy with updating your friends publicly via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pownce and Jaiku (and feeding all those updates into FriendFeed)? Then, um, try Plurk, a startup which declares, "We've taken the time, the complexity, and the deep introspection required out of blogging." Also, too, the irony. [The Inquisitr]