Robert Scoble and I had a rather intense discussion around Friend Feed vs. Twitter the other night.
He argues that Twitter is a sucky place to have a conversation, and I argue the Friend Feed is a sucky place to have a conversation. (in many ways they both are).
Robert argued mostly points about the technology, and how Friend Feed is superior because of a list of features.
I point mostly to who is on twitter, and how easy it is to get new people on twitter.
It’s kind of like hosting a conference in Vegas vs Thailand. I love Thailand it is a lovely place, but a lot of the audience won’t be able to attend. So if you want to impress your audience and have the swankiest parties Thailand it is, if you want the most reach you go where you can get the people to come, and have it in Vegas.
But it wasn’t until this morning having had time to think about it that it hit me. Robert Scoble isn’t Robert of 5 years ago.
Robert at one point started to imply that he makes more money than I do, and that made him the expert of monetizing social media. He backed down when I called his bluff. As I quite likely make more than he does, but what that really drove home, is that Robert has lost touch with people. He is no longer the voice of the people who wish they could go in to work and just talk to their friends for a living. The dream of every “Social Media Expert”. He is professional spokes person with more in common with the Sham Wow guy, than with the average person at WordCamp, Twitter, or even his cult following on Friend Feed.
It’s no more about Blogging being the ultimate equalizer giving Joe on the street as much voice as anyone else, the new Robert is about his personal brand. Throwing out how much you make and how many followers you have is the equivalent of saying let’s grab a ruler and see who is hung better.
Nearly 5 years ago to the day (moved domains so the date has changed) I wrote about Blogging as a front porch in response to a post from Dina this was back in the days when Robert was still at Weblogs.com and the pitch was empowerment.
Since then Robert has moved to a gated community (both real and metaphorical), built his brand, and while he still uses the “Shine the flash light away from me” story (if you spend more than about 4 hours with him you will hear him tell this). The audience for who gets to see the flashlight has changed, and the odds you will have it shown in your eyes has also increased.
Robert tells me “Your always 2 years behind me,” yes Robert, but if you stand at the front of the bus you have to shout to be heard by the people at the back of the bus, and those people count too.
Maybe they count more because while they are late to the party they need the most encouragement to be brought into the light.
“If I deleted my Twitter account would a kitten die? I’m wondering cause more and more of my early adopter friends are moving to other services (I am watching).”-Robert Scoble
No Robert no kittens will die, but rather than fostering community you are becoming an elitist snob. You no longer stay in one place long enough to foster community, and when you become a “hater” you may not be killing kittens, but you are kicking sand on the playground.