February 06, 2008

Scoble's Link Blog Slows to a Crawl

For the better part of 2007, Robert Scoble trumpeted his Google Reader shared items link blog as a potential alternative to TechMeme. As a subscriber to his link blog in my Google Reader, I could typically look forward to a dozen or more new stories each day from blogs I'd never heard of - leading me to a lot of great new sources, many of whom I added to my subscription list.

But then, almost coinciding with his leaving PodTech in mid-January, with sporadic interruptions just prior, the link blogging slowed to a mere crawl, in comparison to his previous activity. Scoble, a busy man, was not only working on starting up FastCompany TV, but was flying all over the world, to the World Economic Forum in Davos, back to the West Coast, and off again to Switzerland this week. And while he found time to stream video on Qik, post to Twitter, and occasionally blog, his link blog was comparatively a low priority.

On January 29th, via Twitter, I asked him about this:

He responded in kind:

My question to him had come after an 8-day gap in the link blog. On January 29th, he shared one item. On January 30, one more. On January 31st, he seemed to approach regular form, with eight links. February started off with a little rhythm as well, six on February 2nd, ten more on the 3rd, and four more on Monday. And again, a return to silence (just two days so far). You can also see Scoble's link blog is not among the leaders in shared items according to ReadBurner's rankings, where it no doubt once would have been.

How does that compare to previous months? Well, on January 15th, Scoble shared 21 items and 17 on the 14th. December 30th was 16 items. December 28th was 15 items. December 27th was 26 items.... and you get the idea. In fact, AideRSS reports Scoble shared 455 posts per month on average, with a total of 2,279 posts since Jul 24 of last year, when the service started counting. (You too can use AideRSS to count these up.)

Did the blogosphere all of a sudden get less interesting? Did Robert stop reading feeds altogether? Has Robert raised the standard for sharing items? Did subscribers complain about the frequency? Maybe it's a mixture of all these things. Maybe he's just reached a point where he's gotten too busy, or the new post-PodTech world keeps him further away from Google Reader than when he was at PodTech.

Regardless of the answer, I hope he soon finds the time to get back to his link blog. I know I've found it a very good resource, just as nearly 300 others have liked the Elite Reddit which some of us B-Listers are working on. There's something to be said about the world of tech news being filtered with real eyes instead of a machine.

Also see: Scoble's Link Blog Delivers An Influential 1 Percent