Robert Scoble
Interesting analysis of Twitter's Suggested User List, which @timoreilly objects to in comments:
Scoble, do you feel you're should have been on that featured twitter users list? Or do you feel you deserve a time on it? - Doubledown_inSL
Interesting. But how did the people on SUL get there on the first place? - Alex M.
Well said Robert. - Leo Laporte
Newt Gingrich?? Why *is* Newt Gingrich on the SUL? - RobinDotNet
I would think having Newt Gingrich on the list would invalidate the entire list. I mean, really. - RobinDotNet
Doubledown_inSL: I don't want to be on any default list by a platform vendor that I didn't earn my way onto and that YOU can't earn your way onto it either. This is not a meritocracy. It's a royalty system. One that picks stars and gifts them huge audiences. - Robert Scoble
Ahmed: Twitter picked their favorite people and removed anyone that they saw as a threat to their future business model. Me for talking about friendfeed too much. Leo for complaining about the name. Calacanis for being a pimp. Kawasaki for being too obvious about building his business (Alltop) on top of it. Shall I go on? - Robert Scoble
Doubledown_inSL: you need to take a look at the original conversation if you haven't already... - travispuk
Robert: I see - Alex M.
reminds me of way clubs in NYC let people in #1.Star Power (BIG NAME), #2 Beauty #3 Wealth - courtney benson
one thing would be interesting to map - how many of the people on the list have ties to kevin rose... i am betting some interesting trends would show up. - Allen Stern
Courtney: You forgot women to men ratio! ;) - travispuk
Travis, right! - courtney benson
Allen: Leo and I both have ties to Kevin Rose and aren't on the list. - Robert Scoble
Media has always been star-driven... so one of the measures of success of any star-maker is the editorial judgment and wisdom of their anointed ones. Same in Silicon Valley, Hollywood, Nashville, Bollywood... print, radio, tv, movies... it's inescapable... and, Robert, no matter whose list you do or don;t make it onto, you are already a MAJOR star ;-) - Fred Davis
robert - im talking about "in his posse" - justine is(was?), gary, etc. it's something that I've wondered about for a while. - Allen Stern
It's the Web 2.0 Mafia ;-) - Jesse Stay
Fred: thank you (for those who don't know, Fred is one of the co-founders of Wired Magazine and a star in his own right). But I wasn't gifted my "stardom" by a media platform. ;-) - Robert Scoble
Fred, agreed that Robert is top notch but so is Leo, Guy and Jason as well as Kevin - courtney benson
Allen: if you said it's "San Francisco gadflys" or "insiders" then I think you're correct. It's just that Kevin is one that's very visible in that circle. Funny, Howard Lindzen and Jeff Pulver and Fred Wilson are investors in Twitter and they aren't on it. I think all three of them deserve it too. I wonder why they aren't gifted a spot? - Robert Scoble
Robert: surely having investors on the SUL would be a little too inbred, even for twitter? - travispuk
Travis: probably. I sure would love to see the thinking that goes on behind the scenes when they decide this list. By the way, I've heard from someone close to the Twitter team that complaining about the list gets you added to a black list where you never will get onto it. Which, funny enough, freed me to complain even more. :-) - Robert Scoble
Robert: I guess it would be a little liberating knowing that technically you could not offend them more than you already have. ;) - travispuk
Dave Winer is very quiet tonight. - Mark
Mark: I think he's traveling. - Robert Scoble
I do like his posts. I wish Dave contributed more on Friendfeed though. I think he is a little reluctant because he doesn't want to evangelise FF at all. He isn't interested in getting people from twitter to here, he considers that FF's problem and not something he should freely help towards. I suppose he is the opposite of you Scoble in that regard. - Mark
wow, I met Steve Johnson recently @MarketingProfs B2B and I did not connect his real life self with the Twitter suggested list :D - Valeria Maltoni
also, looks like the editors at People magazine picked who they put on the list :) - Valeria Maltoni
I swear I typed that before I saw People magazine on the list! - Valeria Maltoni
Robert, I think you're engaging in one of the oldest forms of media self-promotion here: attacking others as a way of drawing attention to yourself. I like you a lot and you're generally very positive. But when you start claiming that twitter "took you off the list" because you promote Friendfeed too much, I think you're playing the same kind of media game that led talk radio and its ilk astray. It doesn't speak well of you. - Tim O'Reilly
I wondering if there has been anything showing whether being on the SUL effects a business bottom line, if it does or starts to I definitely can see a problem. - Kim Landwehr
Just guessing but I find it really hard to believe that half the "stars" on the SUL actually write their own tweets. Betting it is all run by a bunch of PR flacks. - Dave Hodson
Tim: you keep making this about me but I am far from the only one hurt by this list. But you are right and it demonstrates just how many strings are attached here even for people who are not on the list. We can't even discuss the list and how anti-community and how it sets up a corruptible system without looking like a selfish jerk. But you forgot one thing: I will not accept a spot on this list. So this list isn't about me anymore. It is about how Twitter has setup a corruptible royalty system that is just plain nasty. - Robert Scoble
Tim: but I have written my last word on this. You are right that it serves me no good to talk about this and waste my energy on it. It's just shocking to me that you are defending something that isn't a meritocracy. I was expecting you to be the first one to decry this system of royalty and corruptible systems. The fact that you're all for it and, worse, saying I'm doing this just for self promotion, makes me sad. Really sad. - Robert Scoble
You are out of order O'Reilly. - Mark
Robert, you definitely earned your "stardom" but don't forget you also had a helpful platform as a Microsoft house blogger. - Michael Markman
Thats a pretty weak point, Michael. - Mark
Michael: and for that I had to interview and win my job (which wasn't easy). Also I had thousands of readers per day BEFORE getting that job and being a Microsoft employee didn't get me on a default list that was included in a platform service. I also didn't get an unfair advantage against other Microsoft employees and Bill Gates didn't "pick" the winners -- the marketplace did (when I joined Microsoft there was 80 other bloggers and when I left there were thousands). It's interesting that O'Reilly is sticking up for a system that doesn't let the marketplace decide winners and losers. That makes me really sad. - Robert Scoble
Speaking as a non-celebrity looking in: I'm really bugged by this whole thing. First of all, Robert, I didn't need a SUL to follow you. Or Leo or Tim or iJustine or TechCrunch or anyone else on my list. The SUL means nothing to me. I never even looked into it ( I've been on twitter since 2006 way before the SUL was in place) until this whole SUL scandal started coming up. I understand what it could mean considering how important Twitter has become, but look, you got followers before Twitter was even around and I just think that if you're interesting and relevant that you'll continue to get new followers everyday, on and off Twitter. Please, just move on. I love Twitter but I think this whole SUL controversy is silly. - Lise
Robert, hey, I know you weren't gifted your stardom, you earned it by being RELENTLESS about doing your thing, and doing it in public forums (whatever the forum), i.e.: sharing!!! - Fred Davis
I think, ideally, SUL's would be personalized, based on your interests, your profile(s), your friends, FOF's, etc. We'd all get a different one, that was (hopefully) more tailored to each of us. The web is about micromedia, and the one-SUL-fits-all approach is so mass media that it doesn't fit in very well... as this whole discussion (and the many others on the SUL topic) underscore. - Fred Davis
Fred: I agree and its a great point. This is almost what Facebook and LinkedIn do to recommend connections. - manielse (Mark Nielsen)
I thought LinkedIn had a similar issue a few years ago with the number of connections and they capped the visible connections at 500 and evened the playing field. I like that approach. But it seems that acquiring twitter followers is baked into the twitter dna and they would never create a visible cap at 500. - Jim Posner
Robert, I love you to death man, but why do you waste so much time and energy on this topic? I certainly don't care who is on the list, it just doesn't matter in the scheme of things. Make you own SUL if you feel others deserve to be heard, you have the webspace and the star power to do it, so just do it. Big hug dude. - Rob Fahrni
Fred: I'd love a system like that. Sort of like Alltop or That would have been the right thing to do. Jim: exactly. Lise: there is a disconnect between those who do this as a business and those who do it just for fun. Audience size means money. Let me know how you feel when someone at work gets a huge raise without deserving it/earning it (especially worse if you've been busting your but and get passed by). If you say you don't care I'll call you a liar. Rob Fahrni: because I work my ass off and I got passed by. - Robert Scoble
Rob: I do have my own SUL. It's and everyone on it earns their way on it every day by posting great content. - Robert Scoble
So all those sales people and "MAKE MONEY WITH TWITTER" people -- do they make money off of me if I don't follow them back? - RobinDotNet
I like what Fred said. It really would enhance the service. Tumblr has the right approach, at least in part, on the micro-level with Tumblarity. Each user has their own benchmark. In terms of twitter's SUL, it's fine, there's nothing wrong with it. Twitter is a business. The SUL is one method they use to promote their brand. There's a level of inherent familiarity built into the brand by promoting well known personalities, especially with passive and/or curious users who visit Twitter for the first time, it makes for a good rate of conversion. - Benjamin Taylor
PS It's great to see the hulk back, in solidarity. - Benjamin Taylor
So if there was a revolt and nobody followed people on the SUL who they thought should not be on the SUL, would Twitter leave them on the SUL? If you don't follow someone because they are on the SUL, is that as bad as following them because they are? (Did that make any sense, or did I not get enough sleep last night?) - RobinDotNet
Exactly Robert, you work your butt off, and I appreciate you for what you bring to the table. I guess being a z-lister, like myself, leaves me on the outside of understanding why this is such a hot topic? Does this really boil down to money? I'm not trying to be an ass here, I truly don't get why it's so important? - Rob Fahrni
Isn't it kind of like going to google and searching for something, and the first links that show up are the ones that people have paid google money to give them precedence, and they might not even necessarily be the best search result? - RobinDotNet
Chris, nicely put. - Rob Fahrni
Benjamin: you don't want to see me when I'm angry! Rob Fahrni: absolutely it's about money. And sex. And influence. And other kinds of measuring I won't mention here. :-) - Robert Scoble
Rob Fahrni: but mostly it's about building a platform that is a meritocracy. I'm an American. I don't like royalty based systems. If you can't earn your way onto this list I don't want any part of it. - Robert Scoble
Oh Robert, you're killin me man! - Rob Fahrni
Rob Fahrni: I'm in a good mood. Peter Himmelman is rocking! Come join us, more fun than debating stupid lists. - Robert Scoble
Then Google isn't an exact model, because it IS a meritocracy, even though it's based on cash. - RobinDotNet
Robin: I've never paid to be on Google. So far Google is a pretty darn good example of a good platform vendor that lets the marketplace decide winners and losers. - Robert Scoble
Don't they have paid links that take precedence? I guess the diff is that though they might have that (and I don't know that they do for sure), they also show everybody else that fits the search criteria. - RobinDotNet
Robin: absolutely not. The paid links were always separate on Google and never were mixed in with the free ones. - Robert Scoble
Robert, I meant killin me in a good way, I'm grinning ear-to-ear. I see your point but doesn't all this attention, even negative attention, just add to the popularity of the thing you despise? You're one of the good guys Robert, don't let this drag you down. I think this is great fodder for a very long essay on Scobleizer. - Rob Fahrni
Got it. That's good to know. So the links that best meet the search criteria are on the top. Hmmm. Sounds like meritocracy to me. You're right, not like Twitter's SUL. - RobinDotNet
derikp: if my son is better at playing soccer and isn't chosen I'd certainly go and talk to the coach and plead his case. But we're not talking about soccer and anyway I'm done discussing this. Onward. I'm glad there are so many people who like royalty based systems and don't understand why meritocracies are important to defend. I guess that's how we end up with countries like Iran and China. Sigh. - Robert Scoble
Why should there be a list at all? Follow people that interest you. You make twitter what it is. - Ryan Gerritsen
Bill: You can not like the SUL and still use Twitter. Apples and oranges. I don't like many of the people who live in my town, yet I still live here and like the town. - Curt Mercadante
oh when will lame twitter SUL get corrected?! *sigh* - Susan Beebe from BuddyFeed
And, by the way, it seems like the SUL is being used like the same "mass follower" tools that the Twitter folks are seeking to diminish by killing the accounts of those who use them. - Curt Mercadante
Reason I still use Twitter, I still get more responses from my Tweets than in FF. Yet I tend to be more engaged in FF these days but I think the FF celebs usually spark the most engaging threads and the rest of us are trying to get that engagement from our posts. - manielse (Mark Nielsen)
manielse: there's no audience more engaged than one you build yourself by being of service to them. It's tough work and I'll be watching and engaging! - Robert Scoble
Sorry I wasn't complaining, just saying many of us built that in Twitter and find it a little tougher to get traction on FriendFeed with our posts. I think tools like WeFollow, Twellow (and even #followfriday) help build relevant audiences easier. You can even argue that SUL is even a good starting place for n00bs. - manielse (Mark Nielsen)
manielse: yeah, the eco system that's built up around Twitter is quite powerful. On the other hand here all you need to do is follow someone active and they bring other people into your view (every time I click "like" or comment on someone's items I push those items into your view, for instance) so finding new people to follow here is much nicer and much less of a competition. Plus you find new voices that aren't on any list a lot faster here, I've found. - Robert Scoble
Manielse, ditto Robert S - Myrna
Maybe they could reward early twitter users with a day on the list for every month on twitter before 08. If new social networks would promise props in the future I could live without twitter. - Greg Birch
Although the SUL is obviously distorting of the natural community growth of Twitter, and does not really fulfill the functions @Ev and @Biz intended, "power users" not on the SUL who criticize it should know: they sound really vain, chippy, and silly. - Jason Pontin
I don't care who is on the Twitter SUL, and I pay no attention to it. I look for the Twitter feeds that are most interesting to me -- they are not difficult to find, with a bit of searching. I don't understand the preoccupation with that list -- like everything on the Internet, it is simple to route around or ignore entirely. - Sean McBride
Jason: we know that. If I lived in fear of looking vain, chippy, or silly, I'd just stay off the Internet! :-) - Robert Scoble
Robert, I do not know you or Tim but I do follow and have great respect for you both. IMHO (I am an amateur when compared to you guys), Tim was not saying that he supports the SUL. Do I agree with his comment? Nope. Do I like the SUL? No. But it does happen that if you criticise a list while you mention that you have not been included it can sound like you are "jealous" even if you are not and you do have good reasons for not liking the list... so this can be a tricky one! - Pablo Melchor
Really, the personalized way is the only good way... I mean, sheesh, Twitter recommends people like Ashlee Simpson to me, ferchrissakes! So most of the people on the SUL are a total waste for me, and I suppose for most people, when you get right down to it... if I had some $ to burn I'd get some outside research firm like Insight Express to scope out how the SUL is actually viewed, used, etc. according to demographic, etc. ... that's one thing I miss about the magazine days.... having the budget to do something like that for a cool story! - Fred Davis
I still think most people find suggested users through word-of-mouth and their own social circles. That's the only way to get the people you really want to follow based on your interests. I've also found that using hashtags properly will get the kind of users you want to follow to you before you get to them. - Fleagle