Earlier this morning, I listened to Robert Scoble’s kyte video “Arrington and I disagree on future“. I enjoyed the video; some of the points were relatively trivial, some I disagree with…but all are decent. I’m pretty much always willing to give Robert a listen; he’s earnest, if nothing else. +1, scobelizer! (there are certainly other
A-List types that I can’t say the same about).
The point on metadata is my favorite, and I think dead on. It’s why I continue to be confused by the popular fascination with trying to push the Internet through a 140 character twitterfeed. The service is not rich enough even for the message (you really only have room for 2 or 3 meaty sentences); and since any attempt at categorization, grouping, references, or other metadata actually counts against your character total, you’re screwed. Twitter’s saving grace is it’s
first-mover popularity advantage, which gives it lots of network affect mojo, and the simple-to-use API which lets you at least mash other stuff up against it.
Nevertheless, metadata is key. Unfortunately, rich metadata is both fairly hard to do and time-intensive. As Robert noted, only a few percent of Twitter users bother with hashtags, which are it’s primary mechanism for expressing metainfo explicitly. That’s why I also agree with the curation model espoused by Jon Udell and others; we should be able to let self-selected
experts in a particular space do their work, and toss that into the mix.
By happenstance, I just bumped into a proto-example; Dave Winer’s new Top Links page. It does try to jam things through Twitter, but it leverages external resources in a mashup fashion to make up for Twitter’s shortcomings. Definitely worth watching.
I certainly also agree with Robert that FriendFeed has a FAR superior infrastructure to support and expose metadata. The new filtering and searching tools, for example, provide powerful functionality to ask questions like ‘show me posts from my friends about [a topic; based on text search] that have at least 3 likes’. Nice stuff.
Friendfeed is basically Twitter 2.0, in my opinion, and we’re really just getting started. Twitter will evolve and improve (one would hope), FriendFeed is certainly hard at work adding functionality, and there are always new services coming. We live in interesting times!