Thursday, 24 March 2005

Forgive the headline please, Robert. It's all in good humor. 

In a completely understandable and laudable move, Robert Scoble has announced he's decided to give up publishing to his linkblog, in order to have more time for more important things in life. You know, important things like family and friends. Good for him!

All things in moderation - That's a lesson I know I've had to learn from time to time. The truth of the matter is that sometimes the best way to manage over 1000 weblogs a day is - well - to not manage over 1000 weblogs a day. Or at least to manage them less. I know I just cut my own RSS subscriptions back drastically last weekend, so I am back down around 300 feeds now from something like 700 before the surgery. It took a drastic slash across my RSS reader, but it needed to be done.

Of course, the demise of Robert's link blog is also a bit of a bummer in a way, since for many it's been a regular source of great links and information - or even more often for me, links to links to links...

Multi-layer clickthroughs from Robert's linkblog have always been valuable to me. More often than not I will read something he posts on the linkblog, and that will entice me to click through to the linked author, and from there I will uncover more interesting things and links to other interesting people.

But it's completely understandable that when you find you're spending anywhere from 8% to 33% of your day linking to and for others (sleep time included), a selection of robots just might do an effective enough job of what up til now has been a very human endeavor. Maybe. Those services show me what I am looking for based on what I put into them. The difference with the "human aggregator," so to speak, is that I am often pointed to things I would never have looked for. Of course, there are also other services existing and coming that will help people see what others are reading and how popular items are, in order to find things of interest. I hope those don't work out to be the electronic version of the high-school popularity contest, but we'll see.

So, when Robert points to a few popular search and aggregation services as alternatives to his link blog, I can't help but think of the perfect tongue-in-cheek name for them as a collective replacement for Robert's link blog...

"Robot Scoble"

(Yeah, you have to read it carefully. Spelling counts.)

Says Robert:

"I've been looking at my link blog, and the requests lately about it, and I've decided just to stop doing it.

"Why? Well, there are so many other ways for you to find cool new blogs now. Pubsub. Bloglines. Technorati. Feedster. NewsGator (Greg Reinacker reminded me again that NewsGator has a really cool set of online services including a search engine)."

Robert's right, but again it's worth pointing out that the human factor is part of what makes his linkblog so valuable - I think many people liked it because they appreciate the "Scoble Filter" - you don't get that with automation. Well, not quite yet anyhow.

At the same time, it had to be painful to maintain, with well over a hundred entries some days, and since Robert says he may still post a little bit there from time to time, hopefully we will still get a few Robert Scoble Human Filter links now and then.

Hey, there's always his regular weblog. In fact, chances are his Scobleizer weblog will just become a better place for information - kind of a quality over quantity thing.

By the way, in the linkblog department - Jeremy Zawodny's linkblog is another I subscribe to and enjoy, but it is quite different than Robert's.

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Thursday, 24 March 2005 14:44:06 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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