More on the RSS
Robert Scoble has a good enough sense of humor that he ended up linking to yesterday’s post and dropping me a comment. But one person took issue with my comment that there aren’t 600 good blogs on the internet. I’d like to make a clarification: I don’t think there are 600 good sites on the entire internet. Blogs are just a subset.
But this illuminates a very real opportunity for exploitation–both the reality and the delusion. First, good content is INCREDIBLY rare. Think of all the sites you read, how many of them actually produce what you read? Most of them are just portals to the people who are the real producers. At this point, almost all the A-list, high traffic bloggers have been done book deal. They all failed for good reason: They have very little to offer. They couldn’t expand their stories, delve into issues they’d only scratch the surface of. The idea that the internet is any less susceptible to the woes of Hollywood is ridiculous. It’s not so much that we have a system or a platform problem–we have a people problem. The wrong people are gatekeepers, the wrong people are creating, the wrong people are marketing and the rest of us simply have to accept it. So just like I can’t think of 600 good sites, I can’t think of 600 GREAT movies or 60 current great musicians. The opportunity then–as it always has been–is original and passionate art. Now, the mantra of “just have good content” is too easily tossed around but that doesn’t make it untrue. The problem is no one takes it seriously, no one really tries. But the idea that we can replace Hollywood megalomaniacs with Silicon Valley dorks isn’t going to cut it.
Two, people are so desperate to consume content that they’re willing to accept up to 600 sites a day. That means there is a ton of opportunity, and being talented makes you a commodity. So what you have is a massive market and no one is serving it. The latent demand for quality is there but the people who can satiate it have fallen down on the job.
But you tell me: Is there anywhere near 600 blogs worth reading on a daily basis? I have a solid 150 and maybe–and I mean maybe–6-10 posts a day do I find myself glad I to have read. If so, where are they hiding? And why is Scoble the only one who seems to have tracked them down?
And as a sidenote: Where I’m working now in Hollywood is gobbling up anything of quality it can find, so if you have friends or are fans of anything, pass it along and I’ll vet through it.
Most people don’t have time to slog through 700+ blogs (which really is more than 5,000, cause one feed alone has more than 3,000 on it).
I read about 1,300 items every evening and put the best 80 out on my link blog. So, just read my link blog. It’s the best of tech blogs and journalism.
99% of everything is crap. It’s finding the 1% that’s hard.
Why am I the only one who’s found it? Simple: I have a better social network in the tech industry than almost anyone on the planet and I simply read more than they do.
Right, 80 out of 1,300. Which shows that there is a massive demand that has just not been capitalized on.
My point in that anything about 100 or 200 feeds succumbs to the law of diminishing returns so much so that it is no longer efficient to continue. I bet if you ranked your blogs by quality or consistency, we’d see a nice big long-tail graph. Which is awesome but we do not have infinite time or space like the internet. Which is why you ought to chop the tail off and throw most of it away.
What makes more sense sifting through 5,000 feeds a day for that one diamond in the rough, or putting a cap on there and letting it come to you? Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t about effort–only results. If it was feasible and yielding to do all that, I’d burn my retinas out staring at the screen.
Ryan just finished reading the four hour work week and is now trying to give Robert Scoble advice.
I know Tim Ferris, but I haven’t actually read the book. I’ve flipped through a copy–but this is just common sense.
I have always been surprised at people reading so many feeds. 1300 posts a day at even 5 seconds per post equals 2 hours. But whatever the time spent, if you are going to waste 99% of your time, I don’t think that is really wise.
Scoble’s point is that he is performing a service for other people. But you could directly subscribe to many of the interesting blog sites yourself and thus avoid duplication.
My feeling is that the service part is incidental – he subscribes to all the posts to ensure he doesn’t miss something even remotely important that is necessary in his work.
Firts I Have to make an excuse, it wasn’t personally. I was the one who took issue. I think I have to explain the original reason why I read this many feeds. I had to get some ammunition to fight against my former employer. I had to line up a couple of colleagues and get the hands together. This is the main reason I started blogging. Just a couple of weeks ago I decided to leave my employer for another. I had the feeling the “game” has ended. Nowadays I still read that many items, some stuff people find back on my blog, other stuff isn’t find on my blog because my former employer knows I have the knowledge and the vision and is watching my blog like an eagle. I agree with Robert that app. 1% is quality, the rest is crap. I think there’s another problem, the problem is the same as google has, what’s the quality on search results with google. Partly it depends on the search words, but it’s also depended on website strategies (Search engine Optimization). What Robert is doing is manual searching and filtering, simply because systems, applications and methods to do this automatically don’t exist nowadays. On the other hand, I’m happy, happy because in my opinion this is quite an interesting conversation. A couple of years we thouht RSS would solve our problems, our info-overload problems. I think with introduced a new problem, more information-overload. As Robert mentions, he acts like some kind of a human search engine, the difference is he’s done all the work already. I’m sucked into the rss addiction. Most of the times I love reading and screening news, some of the times I hate it. Maybe I’m an addict but it has helped me a lot!