Robert Scoble
Can you be a thought leader without a blog? I'll discuss that here:
Jeremiah Owyang last night was giving me crap about not blogging. I notice that the people on the top of the most popular lists aren't participants, they are mostly thought leaders. - Robert Scoble
OK what is a "thought leader" - anna sauce
He misses the "thought leadership" that I provided on my blog. - Robert Scoble
And Forrester thinks they are "thought leaders" (instead of analysts) which I got from a recruiter there. - anna sauce
Yes - through twitter and FriendFeed - LPH™ and his dog P™
Are you a thought leader or a conversation leader Robert? I'd call you a conversation leader. - James Watters
We discussed that a bit over beers and it takes thought and time to put together a blog, especially one that is going to get discussion. - Robert Scoble
I can be a thought leader w/o a blog only if a bear shits in the woods. - geoff hines
I wonder what he's really asking or saying to you. - Myrna
I'm willing to bet if you're a thought leader you have a blog. How often you update it is another issue - Tyler Gillies
Myrna: I think a lot of people want to read considered opinion, not little grunts or small items on friendfeed or Twitter. - Robert Scoble
It all comes down to audience doesn't it? - Mitch
is a thought leader who has a blog but doesn't' have startup experience or experience building a company akin to the old saying that "those who can't do teach"...would be interested on your thoughts Robert. - Mike Bracco
Well, I miss your personal blog too, but really you have transferred that energy over to Building43, so pretty much we are getting you're take over there - Stephen Pickering
tylergillies: I wonder if you can be a thought leader without a blog, though? Can you be seen as "serious" by just Twittering or FriendFeeding? The evidence says no. - Robert Scoble
Yes. You can be a thought leader without a blog. It depends on your subject and your audience - it all depends on who you are a thought leader to. - Rachel Clarke
Maybe he wants to know there's a place he can find you instead of searching for your FF postings. - Myrna
Re: grunts on friendfeed, the same thing can be said for books and magazine articles compared to the idiots on television. - Mitch
James: I used to do a lot of longer pieces over on my blog which many told me were thought leadership. - Robert Scoble
I wonder if Ghandi and MLK would be blogging... - Ken Sheppardson
Not all leadership is thought leadership, lets make that clear first. - James Watters
I think you're the guy that brings people together. You're the firestarter. You don't need a blog for that. - erwin blom
You need to gain a following, then say "eff it" and get rid of the blog. For instance, no one listens to a damn word I say - Mike Nayyar
Being a thought leader requires coherent original thought a medium to express that thought and an audience who are interested in either you or the subject matter. - Anton Mannering
the truly confident have nothing to prove. but sharing is caring. - Mike White
erwin: I agree, but why aren't the most active participants here on FriendFeed (or over on Twitter) the ones who get to the top of most popular lists? I think it comes from authority, influence, (and in Twitter's case, getting lucky and getting put on the Suggested User List) but those are things that are hard to earn 140 characters at a time. - Robert Scoble
For me to consider anyone a thought leader, they had better have made a career out of what they say and do. I don't consider someone a leader in something until it is their life. - Mitch
YES mike! - Myrna
But you know Robert on your personal blog, its like we are always talking about just getting it out there, I wouldn't worry about it being perfect. It's like this blogger that Jason interview on one of his first shows said, "The biggest thing I had to teach new bloggers in order to be successful was the ability to hit the "Publish" button. - Stephen Pickering
For instance, one of my tutors was thought leader in the origin of apples. he's never got near a blog. - Rachel Clarke
you bet Ghandi, et al would be blogging as they were keen to communicate to the masses - Geer
One could argue that thoughts are occasionally more than just quick 140-ish character blips from one's skull. Some thoughts require more in depth thought and consideration. So I think that long term, no you can't be a thought leader without blogging or writing some form of thought piece. Isn't that what a thought leader is? Someone who brings ideas to the forefront using logic to back up and show how they drew those thoughts? - Michael Koby
The greatest thought leaders are people like Zuckerberg and Brin/Page - who are CREATING the companies of the future - WRITING blog is sort of beside the point right? - Mike Bracco
I think this shows that Jowyang never participates in FF, which is a pity b/c I followed him here! - anna sauce
anna: Jeremiah has a day job: to write reports and white papers and meet with companies for Forrester. - Robert Scoble
Pre-internet, editors of widely read highbrow magazines were definitely considered thought leaders by their peers and readers. Filtering, featuring and commenting on relevant and cutting edge content via Friendfeed, Twitter and Posterous is arguably an analogous pursuit -- if done well. - Alex Gault
I think the assumptionthat the only method of communication to be a thought leader is using a blog is flawed. A blog is fine if the people you intend to be a thought leader for read blogs. If they don't I'd suggest you go where the audience is. Or the conversation. - Anton Mannering
Don't confuse popular with thought leaders. - Jim Turner
Robert: well I'm new to following you this year, so I would definitely say your current medium has affected my view/opinion of you. At the same time I also really valued your leadership on the Iran front and will admit I was moved by it. - James Watters
If you don't have a blog you know nothing about social media and wouldn't be considered a "thought leader" at least in this context - Tyler Gillies
The best/most interesting ideas tend to be the shortest and most concise - therefore no, all you need is Twitter and a following - Nick Smith
To me, blogs are for essays, and a certain less-early-adopter audience. But tey are going rapidly by the wayside, and that's totally OK with me. This was a hot topic at my happy hour #2 after 21st amendment, where some old publishing industry, SF journalists were, most of them were bloggers, new to Twitter. When I mentioned Friendfeed, the expressions were "we have no idea what you are talking about" but they have learned to embrace, instead of running from it. - anna sauce
Yes Anna and Anton - Myrna
"I accomplish in ten words what many authors fail in a lifetime of books." Nietzsche - James Watters
Nick: well, then, why are the people at the top of the Twitter lists almost always people who either blogged or worked in some other media, like TV or films? - Robert Scoble
I wrote on a Paul Bucheit post that blogs aren't dead, what's dead is text, Video is 10x more compelling and more likely to be consumed - Stephen Pickering
@robert agree. Maybe the best is the combination of indepth vision in blogposts with firestarting and engaging in Twiitter / Friendfeed amongst others. - erwin blom
Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Paul Krugman, Stephen Hawking, et al...those are the thought many of them are blogging? - Scoble, Alex Scoble
@TomVMorris is a thought leader and he's doing a good job of keeping it on Twitter. But for most topics, I would think you need a better tool, then just Tweets. - Robert Wilkins
Alex: +1 - Mike Bracco
Stephen: I am big into video and I disagree. Video is more likely to communicate emotion and visual cues, but is harder to consume. On the other hand, I think video is very important to being seen as a thought leader on friendfeed. - Robert Scoble
Bill Gates??? Rich monopolist who has credibility because of power. - James Watters
If you wrote a piece for the Atlantic Monthly I'd consider you a thought leader :) - James Watters
Yeah you're right, I can read a blog post quicker than 15 minutes - Stephen Pickering
Alex all those guys still have a vehicle with which tio relay their thoughts. which is what I think is the real idea behind blogs. - Jim Turner
I rarely consume video. it takes too long compared to the written word. - Rachel Clarke
The point is that he built something real. An empire. What has Michael Arrington built? - Scoble, Alex Scoble
James: that's not why Bill has credibility with me. He knows more about technology business (and now charity) than any single human being I've met. - Robert Scoble
Thought leadership operates across a reasonable broad continuum of medium : at one end Twitter, the other end Books, with Blogs down towards the Twitter end - so they play a part but there is too much noise! - Geer
James: credibility b/c built a great business that changed the computing world maybe... - Mike Bracco
yes you can be a thought leader without a blog. - sɹǝɥʇɐǝɟʞɔɐןq
Yeah, but an empire built on shadiness, capturing people - Stephen Pickering
Alex: Arrington has built a news network that is very good. I can't compete with it. - Robert Scoble
to be a thought leader, all you need is a platform. a blog is just one of the many you can choose - Rachel Clarke
Jeremiah's a smart guy - he's good to catch one-on-one time with. I'm with Jeremiah on this one. - Jesse Stay
"The king will always have eloquence for a simple reason, the drum roll before he speaks" Nietzsche (my view of Gates) - James Watters
I don't like these discussions on "what's dead/dying" because it's always absurd hyperbole. - Mitch
Same for Buffet, his only business strategy is consolidation, becoming a monopoly in an area and then hammering you - Stephen Pickering
@ Robert See Jim Turner's comment - Don't confuse 'popular' with 'thought leaders'. - Nick Smith
That said, Jeremiah's also the one that convinced me to use Google Reader much less than I used to and rely more on FriendFeed and Twitter to find the news. - Jesse Stay
Mitch: I don't think blogging is dead and anyway anytime you say someone say something is dead just replace that word with 'becoming less interesting" and it almost always fits. - Robert Scoble
I'm sorry guys, when Gates thought the internet wrist watch was the next big thing? Please please explain how that is the best ever. - James Watters
Not all thoughts can be narrowed to 140 characters and that is what blogs are for, they are for longer thoughts and essays. I think you need a blog to be a thought leader it is just not necessary to post to it everyday about everything. - Kim Landwehr
@robert The good thing about blogging is it freezes time. It gives you time and breath to think. It's there tomorrow as well. FF is real time and evolving. This conversation develops every minute. And tomorrow i won't find it anymore or easy. So yes: start blogging again ;-) - erwin blom
Microsoft is one of the greatest American success stories in history and also one of the greatest declines, rapidly, in business history - Stephen Pickering
James: even the best athlete loses once in a while. Gates is no different. I've had my major disagreements with Bill but he still is one of the smartest people I've ever met. Just look at his annual letter for his foundation and try to argue with that. - Robert Scoble
Guys it's the message not the medium that's all. The Medium is only relevant as a method of reaching the audience. Being a thought leader is achieved by having a track record of obvious expertise and innovation and then choosing to share that. If you share it with your cat though you're not a thought leader. If you share it with an audience who trust your expertise then a thought leader you are. The medium is irrelevant. The person, the message and the audience. That is all there is. - Anton Mannering
Stephen: how many billion dollar businesses does Microsoft have TODAY? Go ahead and guess. I guessed wrong yesterday. - Robert Scoble
Tumblr, Posterous sucess show me impulse is in, thought composition is out; thinking hurts, and reading good thinking hurts. Most people don't do it, it can cause you to reconsider your world. Like right now if I have to reconsider thinking Bill Gates is overrated it will hurt my head, I live by that thought. - James Watters
Robert- I know Jeremiah, and I know he has a job. I have one too. I choose to participate in FF, he doesn't. That's totally OK. I'm just saying, that it's interesting that he thinks it's necessary to have a blog to be a "thought leader" (Forrester's key phrase lol) - anna sauce
Anton: Totally agree. I always thought it was funny how people equated journalism to the newspaper. The newspaper is just a medium. - Mike Bracco
Yes, but its one of the greatest squanders of wealth in history. Apple has more cash I think on hand, and for a company that nets 6 billion a quarter, their equity is abysmmal. Its one of the greatest squanders of wealth in history. The stock price is less than it was 10 years ago, I think. How Balmer can still be CEO is beyond me - Stephen Pickering
Following long conversations on iPhone interface is painful because you have to scroll down after every refresh :( - Tyler Gillies
@tlergilles stick in there I'm glad your here - James Watters
tylergillias, click on the "16 minutes ago" thing at the top left of this thread, should sort you out. - Mark
Stephen: I agree, but Microsoft has 14 billion dollar businesses. Many of which are increasing in growth, not decreasing. - Robert Scoble
Mike - Exactly and as soon as journalist realise that they're not married to the printing press they'll be better off. - Anton Mannering
Stephen: I don't know many other companies that have 14 billion dollar businesses cooking along. - Robert Scoble
I think a blog is a stepping stone to becoming a thought leader. - Tamar Weinberg
Dangerous math, by this reasoning John Chambers is the thought king. - James Watters
Robert - A blog is more like a column with comments, this is a conversation that never ends. I think we need both. - erwin blom
MSFT, 36 billion in Equity after how many years of netting 15-20 billion? That is just criminal. All this time they'd been better off giving that cash to shareholders. - Stephen Pickering
+1,000 Stephen. - James Watters
If you want to be a thought leader in molecular physics then having a blog or being on friendfeed would be irrelevant. The medium that the relevant community flock to is scientific journals. - Anton Mannering
All bloggers don't become thought leaders(obviously) and all thought leaders don't have blogs so what feels best to you Robert? - Myrna
Robert surprised me yesterday with is post from 21st amendment. He seemed surprised the person next to him didn't know who he was. That's dangerously close to celebrity think. - James Watters
Robert, what's there 14 billion dollar business cooking along, and how many billion dollar businesses do they have? - Stephen Pickering
I think so. Chris Pirillo is a thought leader with or without his blog... - krystynchong
I do miss your blogs Rob xx - Mark
Mark: that doesn't work on iPhone interface - Tyler Gillies
Having a blog is only a pre-requisite for being a thought leader in blogging. - Anton Mannering
Anton lol - Myrna
I think chris pirillos blog complements his video and not vice versa - Tyler Gillies
Robert - If the audience you're interested in is on Friendfeed then that's where you should be. However if a significant number of people in your audience feel you should be blogging then perhaps you should communicate that way as well. Go where your audience is. - Anton Mannering
Talking about thought leaders, i'd like the name of the person before the entry. Not everyone is equal when talking. - erwin blom
What's the char limit on friendfeed posts? - Tyler Gillies
Erwin - I'm equal - Anton Mannering
erwin: i like that idea. it could work as a sort of "mental filter" - Tyler Gillies
Erwin - Interesting stance that. If you know the people it makes sense. But surely you should take every unknown commenter as you find them and judge their comments neutrally until you can assess their knowedge/ability over time? Otherwise you run the risk of being lead by the same old faces without intelligent interruption of the conversation. - Anton Mannering
anton: sometimes a comment doesn't make sense contextually until you know who wrote it. i like the "feature" because it would allow you to form that context _before_ you read the comment - Tyler Gillies
Character Limits on friendfeed: - Robert Scoble
robert: thanks :) - Tyler Gillies
I still think the internet wrist watch is the next big thing :-P - Jesse Stay
tygerlilie - I agree, I was commenting on Erwins thoughts about not all commenters being equal not on whether the names should be first. - Anton Mannering
Great topic, been discussing this lately with colleagues too. If you're an individual who has an already established industry reputation, you can show thought leadership in many other ways beyond a blog, but if you're just starting out, you need some sort of a platform and a blog is an easy way to get going and show depth/substance - Louise Rasho
Implementing @username in friendfeed would be helpful - Anton Mannering
Anton - Of course that problem is there, but it's how i use FF on a busy day. Scan my favourites among the masses. - erwin blom
Regarding earlier posts re: video, it's just far too slow. I can scan faster than listen and watch, and with scanning you can absorb so much more information. - anna sauce
Jesse, I think you should continue your vodcast. I think it could be big. I myself looked forward to it as much as TWIT - Stephen Pickering
Louise - Totally agree. As long as your audience are likely to read blogs. - Anton Mannering
Absolutely. - Peter Johnson
Stephen, you think? I'm thinking I'll need to space it out more if I do. Also, need to figure out a focus. Editing is a pain, too, so need to figure out a solution for that as well. - Jesse Stay
i think video transcription will be a big thing. building 43 has already done it with at least one interview - Tyler Gillies
Jesse, definitely, just shoot it and let it go raw, forget the editing. Also it helps your exposure and compliments your other businesses - Stephen Pickering
Anton - even if they're not regular blog readers, you could use other tools (Twitter, FF, etc) to drive them to your blog. It just gives you an opportunity to have a longer monologue so that when you get into other short-form platforms you've established some cred. - Louise Rasho
yeah raw footage is always fun - Tyler Gillies
maybe I'll try that - I think I may space it out to every other week though. - Jesse Stay
Oh that's fine, every other week, I think, I would look forward to it - Stephen Pickering
Erwin - That's cool. I understand and if you get to know a lot of the people who regualrly comment you get to be able to watch out for the good ones and autoblank the ones who's comments you don't find useful. - Anton Mannering
Well, I think this proves that you might not be a thought leader using Twitter and FriendFeed but you certainly can get discussion going. I think I'll write a blog. :-) - Robert Scoble
Louise - I more meant that, dependin on your subject matter, it's dangerous to assume that people will be looking for your information online. Serious scientists read peer-reviewed journals to be taken seriously that's where you have to be. - Anton Mannering
Louise - But for a lot of things a blog is perfect and easy way to start sharing your thoughts/expertise with the world - Anton Mannering
Absolutely yes, a big yes. Scientists, acedemics, historians, archeologists, artists (except art marketing) are publishing research studies and conceptual papers. They may wind up on TED talks, but they are looking for large grant backing. Social media would be useful to meet others, so even Twitter is fine, but it is all unrelated to their career. - E-Advocate Network
hmmm. Robert, i'm 1 of 7 board members for an indigenous mapping wannabe nonprofit. i volunteered to redev the website. last oct started twittering news about mapping and indigenous issues. save them every month and archive onto the site. few days ago, we had a conference. folks came from different parts of world becuz of the twitter. not because of email marketing. people thought i was the leader or director becuz my writing/twittering in the back of the room with news. - Rosemarie McKeon
You have to have some way of publicizing your thoughts. A popular TV show would work just fine. Given then lack of Twitter or FF posts on Digg etc I would say they aren't yet ways of becoming a thought leader. - Todd Hoff
I think the blog is going to be the central hub of one's identity on the net. It's so cheap to host one. I think it will be the dial tone. So I think Wordpress is the biggest threat to Facebook - Stephen Pickering
Stephen: I disagree. My hub is going to be an aggregator. For now that's either Facebook, FriendFeed, or Plaxo or something like it or maybe Twitter since that's the defacto place most people come to pimp their blogs anyway. - Robert Scoble
Ken: that's a good point and one that I was trying to get to. In the future thought leaders will communicate using a number of different tools, not just 140 character messages. Even the Twitterers I follow the most and like the most are ones who use other tools to communicate with me. - Robert Scoble
Just cause people 'follow' you on FF doesn't mean they _follow_ you, if you follow. (Whee, that's one of those fun words that becomes silly and nonsensical if you repeat it enough. follow follow follow.) - Andrew C (✔)
But with all these widgets you can bring all these services into your blog, and the blog is so much more expressive of who you are, with personalized design elements and so much more flexibility - Stephen Pickering
I don't agree to be a thought leader you need to blog. I also don't agree you need an audience to be a thought leader. To be seen as a thought leader in public, you do. If your goal is to be a thought leader in any industry, then you need to speak your mind, directly to that arena and do it loudly enough to be heard. However you better be prophetic unless you already have an audience like Robert. And no I'm not saying Robert isn't one. I do see many people who are considered thought leaders simply spewing what other people said long before, but those people didn't have a platform. - Sheryl
Robert - great question and dialolgue here! Thought Leaders are wise folks that engage, lead, inspire and mentor their respective audiences by a *variety* of methods; including but not limited to blogs. For example, they may author and publish a book, launch a blog, speak at a conference, lead a discussion group, host a podcast, etc. Blogs are just 1 tool in the thought leaders' aresenal, albeit a very key tool at that as it's become an expected tool ... as in your case with JO. - Susan Beebe from BuddyFeed
When I google Stephen Pickering or Robert Scoble the first thing that comes up is our blogs - Stephen Pickering
Stephen: yes, but that's a historical problem. My blog has been around longer and has had lots more work and links to it. So Google counts it higher. For new users who don't have blogs the same will not be true. - Robert Scoble
I also think JO is a very bright man, but sometimes his thinking is about trends and assumptions, not reality. Reality can tell a very different story. - Sheryl
wow, great way to mine information here!!!! impressed. I truly attest to how great FriendFeed really is. - iTbay
Another key point: seeing a new developing trend, e.g. Steve Rubel's adoption of Posterous instead of his former tradtional blog site indicates two things: 1. he wants to speed up and simplify blog posting, and 2. he may feel that lifestreaming is a better way to connect, share and engage with his audience. I'm seeing that folks want more sound bytes, not thesis style content. - Susan Beebe from BuddyFeed
Sheryl / Ken - I disagree with you there. Audience is everything. That audience may be on Youtube, twitter or Friendfeed or blogs as Ken said, but ithout an audience (it can be a niche one) who are you leading? Where I'd disagree with Ken is that these are not the Platform these are only the medium. Previously in peer-reviewed journals the fact that a certain had to be reached to be published at all meant that you caould trust (more or less) what appeared on the basis that it got published. With social media though there is no barrier to entry so therfore the platform is your record over time. - Anton Mannering
A question, will you still do longer post and if so won't that be a blog, or is a blog only a blog if you call it a blog. - Kim Landwehr
But If I'm interested in Robert Scoble or Jesse Stay and I follow them, they should be able to monetize their energies and thoughts by way of their blogs. If all of their energies are on FriendFeed or Twitter or Facebook, its only pimping those services and putting money in their pockets - Stephen Pickering
I launched a new blog on 5/11/2009 and within only a matter of 2 weeks my blog was appearing on page 1 of my vanity search results on Google. Blogs are really fabulous for personal branding and what I call "personal real estate" on the web. - Susan Beebe from BuddyFeed
Susan, I agree, my blog was only born in March or so - Stephen Pickering
Some jewish guy once said "Do not hide your light under a bushel" Thought leaders who don't influence the world by doing or evangelising are just theorists who affect little. - Anton Mannering
TylerGullies- regarding issue reading FF on iPhone - use a FF client like the BuddyFeed app (no scrolling, etc) - Susan Beebe from BuddyFeed
And Blogs are so much more flexible. I still think these other services are ancillary, valuable of course but not a hub - Stephen Pickering
Anton: Hey! :) Thought leader doesn't necessarily imply you lead anyone but rather have thoughts that are unique and have potential to inspire. Having a blog will not make us so. Having a platform might, even if someone else is better. Example: Ken is brilliant. You know it, I know it, and he has been blogging longer than the vast majority of internet users. He comes up with amazing stuff, but who is paying attention? I do...I live with him. I believe, not to take a thing away from friend Robert here, he could give people LIKE Robert a run for their money with those thoughts but again, who is paying attention? Having a voice doesn't make you noteworthy. Having a blog doesn't make you a thought leader. And not having one doesn't prevent it either. :) - Sheryl
Yes you can be a thought leader without a blog or even be in public, its just a matter of scope of audience. You can be a Thought Leader within a Company, a department, within a community, etc. Believe or not, most people never heard of the people on these lists. So these are just Thought Leaders in areas that interest people that read Blogs, Tweets, Social Media or Tech. - manielse (Mark Nielsen)
But if you are a thought leader don't you want to monetize it? - Stephen Pickering
Stephen: I know some thought leaders who do it because they just want to be seen as the expert in that field. - Robert Scoble
Google monetizes, Facebook monetizes, Twitter and Friendfeed certainly plan to, so what's wrong with an individual? - Stephen Pickering
Hmm.. I disagree with you here Ken. I think that's 'Old Media' thinking. If I went on TV to speak about particle Physics everyone (especially particle phycicists) would be like "who the hell is this guy?". But the fact that I was on TV would give me a platform of a kind as people assume that the TV station checked me out. With new media there is no-one to check credentials so the only platform that is trustworthy is your own record over time. Twitter, blogs, youtube etc. are just tools to distribute the message. - Anton Mannering
think most true thought leaders find money to be a horrible metric. I know several now vested and moderately rich start up CEO's who are still frustrated because their ideas didn't get to be as big or as impactful as they want. Money is a horrible metric: just look at the rich CEO of AIG..thought leader? Smart? - James Watters
I bet Malcom Gladwell doesn't consider money a horrible metric - Stephen Pickering
Hey Sheryl. :) I disagree (I know you're shocked lol). YOu can't be a thought leader unless you're leading. And you can't be a leader without followers. There's nothing wrong with being brilliant and not being followed not all thinkers are leaders. Sometimes one mans great ideas aren't recognised until a leader picks them up and champions them. - Anton Mannering
Anton Particle physics is dead. We have strings now! - Stephen Pickering
Stephen - See I told you the physicists would be horrified. :) - Anton Mannering
Robert there are some out there that have others blog FOR them so they can be seen as thought leaders in their field. ;) - Jim Turner
The determinists were horrified by Einstein's findings and Einsteins was horrified by Quantum Mechanics. We need horrified physicists! - Stephen Pickering
Anton I am not shocked at all and I'm honored to even be involved in this discussion. Now, having sucked up, (was that a 'leading' statement?) I would say to you, I believe you're misinterpreting the word leader here. To be a leader you need only have the potential to influence, not that you have actually done it. It's about original ideas and thoughts, content if you will. Many people do a great job at publicly being thought leaders, but what you're saying is tantamount to Ken not being one and I completely disagree. He inspires me constantly! You imply one needs a LARGE audience to be a thought leader, and I couldn't disagree more. All you need is one person to believe what you have to say is amazing. - Sheryl
Ken - That my friend is exactly my point. Those credentials that you build over time... that is the platform! Everything else, as you said, is a stupid network, a collection of tools. - Anton Mannering
And Einstein was just a lowly patent clerk - Stephen Pickering
No serious thinkers or CEO types I know read Malcom; he is considered 'pop' - James Watters
Depends on the context I suppose. I don't think there is any arguing that Jack Welch (@jackwelch) is a thought leader. A notable early trait was his resistance from using a computer. - Rick Bucich
LOIC seems to like him :) - Stephen Pickering
I don't consider Welch a thought leader. He was an executer. Peter Drucker was the thought leader behind GE's massive resurgence - Stephen Pickering
Thought leadership is subjective. Case in point, what Rick above me said. I have no idea who Jack Welch is. He is not a thought leader to me, and yet he may be incredibly bright and articulate. That I have never heard of him doesn't make him less a thought leader. Only means he has his own niche. - Sheryl
Sheryl: Jack Welch ran GE for years and is widely seen as one of the best executives ever. - Robert Scoble
Stephen #ironic given the Loic discussion today :) Interesting that the other day Jack Welch said a dog could have run GE in the 90's because of positive macro trends; most company performance is due to industry trend - James Watters
That was him being modest. All the greatest are modest, Buffett, Sam Walton - Stephen Pickering
Ken, I was just thinking about Van Gogh in terms of this. What about the visionaries who are tragically 50 years a head of their time. Van Gogh could have blogged until his face turned blue. He was not going to be accepted and that is just the truth. He knew it, so he became a "do-leader" I guess you could say, and focused on being a prolific creator. - E-Advocate Network
Robert: it doesn't change my opinion that you've explained who he is. He may be a thought leader to you, but to me he is just a man on the street. Does that makes sense? Now...if I met him...and he said something that made my ears perk up, I would likely think differently. In the meantime, anyone may be a thought leader in their own circle. That one person has a big audience takes nothing from those who haven't got one. - Sheryl
Emily Dickinson never published a poem in her lifetime - Stephen Pickering
E-Advocate Network: Funny because that was exactly what Ken said to me before he wrote that down about Van Gogh! :) - Sheryl
Ken - No he wasn't. He was a brilliant man whose genius was only recognised after his death. Which inspired the expressionist movement in Germany. The leadership was not his though. In fact Nietzche had as much to do with that as anyone. - Anton Mannering
Ken - Picasso though was a thought leader par excellence - Anton Mannering
Too much invested in the concept of thought-leadership. I'm just happy to be participating in conversations about what I consider to be relevant thoughts and theories. It is first and foremost about context. I think this is a perfect case in point. - Jerry Schuman
You can be a thought leader via voice.... but more people will find you if you blog about what you talk about on-air and in podcasts. - Lisa Osborne
Scoble is the catalyst for this. I know I kiss ass, but its true, none of the other "important people" as Guy Kawasaki terms them engages us everyday folk like Scoble does. Why is that? He's as busy as the others - Stephen Pickering
Jerry: ^5 I couldn't agree more! - Sheryl
Lisa: I agree with you. I do a weekly podcast and I write a blurb about it. I also write the occasional blog post. Still, many people come to my site via search. - Sheryl
Yes, oh I'm not dissing Guy, I love Guy, Tim O'reilly, Leo, and all the rest - Stephen Pickering
E-advocate/Sheryl - Unfortunately if you're too far ahead of your time you're not a leader. It's tragic and horrible but there you are. The Country of the Blind by H.G. Wells is a cautionary metaphor. - Anton Mannering
Anton,and I have the scars to prove it. - Jerry Schuman
Anton: I love you! :) I don't think we're that far apart with thought's not really, I just think we have some minor differences ;-) - Sheryl
Does YouTube count as a blog? I think any form of user generated content can allow a person to step into an audience and be a thought leader. A blog is just a mechanism. I'm not talking about replacing a hammer with a saw either. I think there are plenty of mechanisms to get in front of an audience and we're likely to see many, many more. - Dave Saunders
Ken - Guy is an interesting case. Do you not listen to him because of the tools he uses or because you feel he has "worn out his credentials" so to speak? - Anton Mannering
No, I think he was just asking - Stephen Pickering
Ken: I don't mean to pry and I meant only in general terms. You response though indicates to me that you don't trust the messenger. - Anton Mannering
Sheryl: Oh no, I was caught yapping away about academics and artists. Anton: Agreed on Picasso- he achieved fame while alive. He was outstanding and much more articulate than Van Gogh. He had a slight edge- being "avant guarde" was somewhat interesting to the art world at the time. It still required heavy lifting for acceptance and Picasso had that brilliance. Other artists before him had to crack the academies. - E-Advocate Network
A blog or some other long-form, semi-permanent body of work that belongs to you I believe is required to be a "thought-leader". As both a producer and consumer, I think this will become even more important as information flow gets more fragmented, higher volume, and unfortunately, lower quality. FF, Twitter, et al are great for finding thought leaders and getting bits of insight but at the end of the day, real value comes from a smart person putting hours/days into a robust article/blog/essay. - David Ziembicki
Ken: It goes to my point earlier about the platform being the trust you have for the person not the particular tool they uses to transmit the message. Basically to me Platform = "The reason I listen to you". In the old days a soap box was used as a literal platform, and was used to "stand out from the crowd" and the crowd paid attention because you were higher up. As things developed the "platform" became more figurative. For instance a politicians "platform" is the fact he was elected. - Anton Mannering
Anton: The politician being elected may not be elected at all but they may have bought their way into office quite nicely ;-) - Sheryl
Michel De Montaigne became a thought leader without a blog. As did Adam Smith and Emile Durkheim! - Mark
Sheryl: That can happen. I would suggest though that in that case his legitimacy is questionsed and his "platform" becomes somewhat eroded. Everyone will start to question everything he does much more. :-) - Anton Mannering
Ken: I'm not so sure we are totally aligned here, but I'll be writing a blog post pulling together all my thoughts on this and you can call around and berate me if you think I'm wrong. LOL ;-) - Anton Mannering
Anton: In art that may be hard to find now. We expect it to be wierd, finally. For this discussion, an interesting question may be are there any thought leaders to whom a blog might greatly alter your perception of them? - E-Advocate Network
E-advocate - I agree somewhat re Art, but perhaps people are looking in the wrong place. Regarding your question: I don't think so. It would depend what was in the blog posts. If they continue the same quality using a different tool then great. - Anton Mannering
@Robert, being a thought leader has nothing to do with writing a blog or not. It is a label put on you by others. It does imply you need to express and interact over your thoughts very frequently, but that can be done anywhere. Given the broadcasting and interaction possibilities on Twitter and Friendfeed you would be heard faster there. I know from experience that writing long, thoughtful posts doesn't necessarily attract a big crowd (or I'm a crappy writer ;-) ). You can tell Jeremiah that writing thoughtful stuff makes you look smart. Interacting about it makes you a leader. - Alexander van Elsas
BTW on the general topic here neither Jeremy or Robert are thought leaders but the guys they talk to every day are. - Anton Mannering
Steve: that isn't what I asked, though. - Robert Scoble
Twitter and FriendFeed would be perfect for: Thought leaders in mathmatics, computer science or a similar field who can write a technical journal that revolutionizes their field, but just can not dumb down what they do and have never been good writers anyway. - E-Advocate Network
Hey, I have a blog, but whenever I try to do Thought leadership, Scoble slaps me down... then again, I usually deserve it... - The Web's Wendell Wittler
A great Twitter stream belongs the head of Warchild. She can rarely give away her location, let alone blog as she in war zones most of the time. She is a thought leader and we would never know her experiences if it was not for short form. For some it is not choice but the only way. - E-Advocate Network
Thought leadership is innovative thinking - this can be done in a narrative way on a blog, a visual way on video, and short succinct way here on FF/Twitter ... now thinking of it I think thought leadership is almost obsolete -- give our ability to crowd source ideas. I think the should be "pattern recognizer" or "synthesizer" or "insight spinner" or whatever .. - Beth Kanter
I misread this and thought you wrote, "Can you be a thought leader without a DOG?" Now that would be an interesting question too. - Amy℠
Actually you can be one thought leader that spread the idea of being a thought leader that don't uses a blog, you just have to show how - Felipe Lopes
absolutely - Patricia
Blog does not equal thought leader. In today's age, a blog is becoming one tool to present ideas and interact with others. - Ted Kinzer
Thought Leaders need media to spread their thoughts, share ideas- its not necessary they need to have blog.. look for yourself you will find numerous examples of them.. - Saravanan
Of course, but if you are a thought leader, a blog is a good place to share your thoughts. - Francine Hardaway
If you have a good thought dropping it into the right pond where the other fishies will munch on it and spit it back out would lead me to believe that FF with some heavy hitters subscribed to your feed. Not too many folks read my blog per google analytics but I like doing it so I do much like my aggregating things here. - Mathew A. Koeneker
You can certainly be a thought leader without a blog, IMHO. To say otherwise is to assume that all thought leadership must necessarily be only pertinent to the subset of populations that are connected to the Internet and that understand how to communicate using social media tools. I don't think anyone could credibly argue that all thought leadership is that narrowly constrained. That said, it certainly can't HURT. - Scotty Perkins
To be a Thought Leader you must have a) Original Ideas that are b) Somehow Disseminated, either c) Directly or through Credible Intermediaries to a d) Large Following and e) Sustained through Practice. and f) Influence Social/Governmental Decisions. So the First Critical Link is (b) .Today, dissemination of ideas occurs mainly through broadcast or dead-tree media. Increasingly, the Power Equation is beginning to favor Digital Online Media. But no, a Thought Leader doesn't need to have their own blog. It helps, however, to be Mentioned and Discussed in Blogs - Murli Nagasundaram
wow, you got to F), thats a heavy duty list. - James Watters
Holy crap, this thread proves my point. How could these many comments from everyone prove that Robert is being a thought leader. Robert, I can barely hear your voice in here. Case in point. Case closed. - Jeremiah Owyang
Robert, I wrote this for you: - Jeremiah Owyang
I responded my own thoughts in the comments of Jeremiah's post. I've got a blog post in the making I think, too - still putting together my thoughts on this. - Jesse Stay
Isn't friendfeed a form of microblogging? - Khürt Williams
I would say that FriendFeed is more of social discussion platform then microblogging. - Usman Bashir
Yeah, maybe, as social medias rule.. but a blog is an important item in the whole system. ;) - Thierry R. Andriamirado
Of course, you can. Being a thought leader means contributing original ideas that affect the way people think. You don't need a blog to do that. - Leslie Carbone
A media is required to express the thinking - thus 'thought leaders' actually 'do' rather than 'think' because without a medium, there is nothing to exchange. The issue about having a blog or not is meaningless - the choice of medium today is based upon it's ability to spread an expression, not an idea - and that means reproduction. Anything digital is reproducible - an expression shared is an expression that multiplies. An herein, the relationship to 'machine' expressions and 'human' expressions is where the blog becomes a form of distinction; machine readable expressions (aggregation) offers more granular knowledge than what most humans are capable of. Prose, rather than code, is ego centric - this form of entertainment only has so much 'use'. The ability to freely exchange each other expressions (embodied ideas) is more important than the form of the expression. What we need from 'thought leaders' is openness, not a medium defined protocol. - zeroinfluencer
"Can you be a thought leader without a blog?" Yes. - Greg J. Smith
Leaders are nothing, without people to help/to 'give directions' to. Blogs -and- other (social) medias are tools for them to do so. - Thierry R. Andriamirado from email
Which came first, thought leaders or blogs? Did thought leaders exist before the internet? Can you name one modern thought leader that doesn't have a blog? Not all thought leaders are good at spreading their thoughts to the masses, but they are smart enough to surround themselves with those that are (or perhaps they just attract them). Not every "thought leader" is a spring. Some are just "bottled water vendors". Some that are regarded as thought leaders are not the source, and are only parroting the real thought leader that remains known only to them. Remember the old saying "Behind every great man is an even greater woman"? Sometimes that still holds true. And some are just very good at recognizing good thoughts and ideas from little unknown people and aggregating them. - April Russo (FForever!)
April, yes - this is the difference between Synthesizers and Generators. The reality is that we are all 'thought directors'. - zeroinfluencer
Yes. In this age of collective thought, leaders are able to ask the right questions and engage people in insightful dialogue. Maybe we just need a feature or method for dialogue/thought leaders to synthesize threaded discussions like these in order to capture knowledge. - Steve Levin
I think you're over thinking it - Jesse Hattabaugh
Part of the issue is "thought leader" is community dependent. In order to be perceived as a thought leader, you have to be visible in the tools that that community uses. For example, I have been blogging much less since starting to use FriendFeed and Twitter, which connects me to one community, but disconnects me from my still large blog reader community. I tweeted and FriendFeeded a recent conference. Afterwards, my Director General asked me, "did you like the conference? I didn't see anything in your blog". Some communities are still mainly using RSS and blog reading to get info. - Richard Akerman
What i need is someone who wraps discussions like this up ;-) Otherwise: to many thoughts to follow! - erwin blom
Great thoughts ... from non-bloggers : - Meryl Steinberg
Wrap. - Jay Collier
Late to the discussion, but will answer anyway since I'm egocentric enough to think you'll be interested in my response. Yes, you can be a thought leader w/o a blog, Robert. You'd be a thought leader if you were standing on a street corner discussing English Muffins. It's who you are, not the medium you choose to express yourself with. However, as I'm proving by this long response, bloggers, especially those who think deeply about a subject before writing/talking about it tend to run on because that's how their thought processes work. Brief is hard to accomplish. So IMHO you'll be 'blogging' whether it's on an official blog or not. - Molly
Robert -- you're a thought leader in your respective medium. So no matter the tool you use, they'll follow you. So yes, you can be a thought leader with out a blog. Once you're an influencer people will watch your every move. Especially since the area in which you're a thought leader is the interactive space. We look to you for guidance. Now if you walked the public streets here in Kansas City, or even walked into a large business conference, I'd be shocked if anyone even recognized you for your thought leadership from your business/ work online. It's all relative. - Ramsey Mohsen
Yes you can. There were thought leaders before the era of blogs. Being influential is medium-independent. - Volkan Özçelik
Wow- Sorry if I repeat anything as I am tired and couldn't read everything posted before me.... YES, you can be a thought leader without a blog, but you do need to express long-form thoughts. Nobody will ever be a thought leader through Twitter, Friendfeed, or even Facebook (unless it is completely open). Twitter and Friendfeed, as we have all mostly agreed, continue the conversation, but do not supplement it. This is important to remember as 140 characters on Twitter is a blip, but usually doesn't encompass a whole thought. You can use videos, blogs, books, columns, etc to become a thought leader, but usually not until you do something to "prove yourself" first. - Daniel Zarick