« LinkedIn is Utilitarian | Main | Don't Get Busy After a Poor Post »

24 March 2008


Karen Anderson

Sorry, but I'll never be impressed by how many people someone follows. I'm impressed by who they follow—specifically the quality of the Tweets from the people they follow. And it is oh so easy to see that just by looking at a person's page and seeing if my reaction is "wow?" "huh?" or "snore."

Jay Fienberg

If memory serves me, Robert Scoble has been a consistent proponent of the quantity-oriented value system that became popular via the techie "blogosphere" created by aggregators like Technorati and Digg.

Pretty fundamentally, this system defines value in terms of quantity of transactions (e.g., link connections, number of feeds you have in your feed reader), and discounts the quality of the transactions.

In the past, Scoble has argued that following lots of RSS feeds is necessary / important. And, now following a lot of people on Twitter get similar consideration.

But, in a quality-oriented value system, we might flip Scoble's five items as follows:

But what does following a lot of people say?

1. You're interested in superficial knowledge
2. You're trying to have many shallow relationships with people
3. You're trying to avoid having to listen carefully to any individual
4. You're seeking out other people who are superficial and shallow (golden rule: treat people how you'd like to be treated).
5. You're trying to replace the obligations of deep thought with lots of trivial facts and information.

Your #6 is also given as quantity-oriented measure. I'd ask: is it really better to participate in *more* conversations, or is it maybe better to to participate in *good* conversations?

I don't think we need to see this as an either / or choice between quantity and quality. But, in general, most people have a more balanced relationship to quantity / quality than the quantity-obsessed techie bloggers do.

Kevin Jahne

I don't understand the value of following lots of people for extended periods of time. For me, following lots of people is always a short-term proposition as I separate the wheat from the chaff in a topic area that I am starting to investigate.

Ted GIlchrist

Due respect to Scoble, but like I commented at a BloggerCon a few years ago, about reading RSS, it's quality, not quantity. I mean, don't you reach diminishing returns when you follow over 10,000 folks? I say, be like Uncle Steve and use "track".

On the other hand, Scoble is a rock star and all ...

Edward Vielmetti

I recently pruned a bunch of twitter people who I was following for a reason, and that reason had passed. There's only so many people who you can keep in your head at once without transitioning to broadcast mode, and I'm content to try to watch 300 plus or minus people.

What I do notice is that I need to expand the geography of my twitter followers. There's only a handful of folks in my stream right now who are in Europe and Asia, and I wish there were more.

The other thing I notice (and miss) is a twitter search engine optimized for mobile phones - maybe I just haven't looked, but I'd happily bookmark one if there's a suggestion.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo
Personal Kanban - The go-to website for making your work flow, lowering stress, and building better systems.

Modus Cooperandi - Jim and Toni's Collaborative Management consultancy.

Modus Institute - Online classes for Personal Kanban, Lean Knowledge Work, and the future of work.

Become a Fan