Robert Scoble
The smartest and/or most successful people don't use Facebook, Twitter, or FriendFeed as much as other people.
I've been going through my list of contacts and noticed a trend. The people I'd put in the "most successful" category aren't even on any of these (Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, etc). And, as you go down the list of people who are highly successful, they might have accounts but most of those you'd put at the top of the list have far fewer tweets or Facebook items than those who aren't as successful. - Robert Scoble
Wait, have I traveled into the past? Scoble is using FriendFeed!!!! - Stephen Pickering
Stephen: I'm not very smart. :-) - Robert Scoble
define smart pls - Zachary Adam Cohen
there are still people who don't use either?? - Zachary Adam Cohen
I don't think it is specifically related to intelligence but rather to time commitments and goals. - Abraham Williams
You are right.. I can't find Ben Stein on twitter at all... - joebrooks
You're equating "smartest" with "most successful"? - Mark H
I would say that because of their success, they have not yet felt the need or any pressure to join. It would be superfluous. - Andrew Schwartzmeyer
No, you're very smart, you're an exception to the rule! hehehehehehe. But I do think there's something to your thesis, maybe collaboration is over rated - Stephen Pickering
Bill Gates and Steve Jobs became successful 30 years before Twitter, Facebook et al, were created. - Rex Hammock
Mark: even if you separate them my point remains the same. The most successful people don't use this stuff and neither do most of my rocket-science friends. - Robert Scoble
Smartest of WHAT people? All people in the world? Then, yeah, probably the SMARTEST people in the world don't use Twitter or Facebook. - Steven Harris
Agree that established folks probably feel less of a need to join. If Jobs was just starting out pushing the Apple brand, I'm sure he'd be all over it. - Adam Chlan
Again.. this theory *DOES* hold true. I found Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi both using twitter. - joebrooks
Steven: make a list of 10,000 people on Twitter (or, even 100). Put the ones you think are smart at the top. The stupidest at the bottom. I guarantee the ones on the bottom tweet more. - Robert Scoble
The smartest thought-leading geeks and new media developers and innovative marketers use these tools. I doubt the smartest brain surgeons are. - Rex Hammock
Robert: I'll let Gia know you don't think Brian's very smart then; he's on FB and Twitter. - Mark H
Ditto Abraham Williams - "I don't think it is specifically related to intelligence but rather to time commitments and goals". I bet they all have personal assistants of some description as well. - Cait
joe: if you think either of them write their own tweets I have a nice bridge to sell you (I met Nancy Pelosi's blogger when I was in DC). - Robert Scoble
Steven, I notice the omission. ;-) - Mary B: #TeamMonique from iPhone
Mark: Brian doesn't tweet as much as many other people. - Robert Scoble
Robert, you saying they don't tweet their own tweets? Isn't there a twitter TOS that violates? I'm sure Obama will start claiming its him again come 2012.. - joebrooks
Successful and smart aren't the same thing at all. But yeah I doubt the most successful people have time to update their status on Twitter. - Eoghann Irving has only done 889 tweets. I've done 28,000. Enough said. - Robert Scoble
Eoghann: again, separate out the rocket scientists. My point will remain the same. - Robert Scoble
I guess it depends on how you qualify and quantify 'success'. How do you define Robert? - Doug Girvin
Can we get a list of smart Twitterers as well? These Social Marketing folks are dragging the curve down. - Cait
My programmer list tweets a lot less than my PR list. :-) - Robert Scoble
It's about incentive. The people you list, Robert, have no incentive. Steve Jobs would completely blow every bit of god-like charisma he's built up over the years if he started twittering about his cats and his bowel movements like most twitter users do. - Mark "Rizzn" Hopkins
Hello New happy year Robert - ramazan cekic
Uber smart people like Bill Gates are way too busy to be on FriendFeed :) - Susan Beebe
Robert: I basically agree with you, I don't think genius level IQs are going to find Twitter very stimulating to post to. - Eoghann Irving
It's about incentive. Jobs, for instance, is successful already, and has not incentive to tweet. - Mark "Rizzn" Hopkins
RIght because Smart people have LIVES, we don't!!!! OK, I'm being slightly fecitious, but they are more focused on their project in general - Stephen Pickering
"if he started twittering about his cats and his bowel movements like most twitter users do" LOL @rizzn - Allen Stern
As one who tweets a lot, I'd say the amount of tweeting is not necessarily a good measure intelligence. Hee! - Steven Harris
Rizzn: take it down two levels then to people who are like Vic Gundotra, VP at Google. That level tweets a lot less than we all do. - Robert Scoble
Smart/successful people don't waste there time on mediums that bring them no or little value. - Abraham Williams
Any Nasa rocket scientists want to chime in here and tell me I'm full of it? - Robert Scoble
Not to mention, Jobs would blow every bit of god-like charisma he's built up over the years if he started tweeting his cat pictures and bowel movements, like most other twitter users do. - Mark "Rizzn" Hopkins
So if someone tweets a lot - Robert - then they're not successful/smart - Robert - right? - Mark H
Don't smart people ever screw off and waste time? - Steven Harris
Bill Gates had FriendFeed 20 years ago, he's already ascended to the 6th Epoch. - joebrooks
Mark: not necessarily. There are some exceptions. Mark Zuckerberg is doing a nice job of Facebooking his trip to India, but I think he has an ulterior motive to posting a lot. :-) - Robert Scoble
It was started by a guy who dropped out of college, so why would anyone use his silly poke service? - Eric
"Empty Vessels Make The Most Noise" . Does this prove it? - Ashish
Steven: yes, my point isn't that they NEVER screw off or waste time, just that they rarely do. - Robert Scoble
@Robert: You're also talking about doing vs talking about doing. A lot of us who are talkers aren't doers. It's very rare to find a good combo person (I'm thinking of Dave Winer, for instance, who codes a lot but writes a lot, too). - Mark "Rizzn" Hopkins
I'll bet there are some dumb NASA scientists. - Steven Harris
They work long hours doing real hard jobs and relax in the evenings instead of coming on here - Mark
I would say that the hardest working people don't use these services, but plenty of hard working people need to learn to work smarter. - Brian Joseph
ashish: yes. Mark: even Dave doesn't code THAT MUCH. I know people who write a LOT more code than he's written lately. - Robert Scoble
It's smart to be where your customers are and where you want to build relationships. Spend time on Twitter and Facebook only if you are contributing to the community and building meaningful relationships. Otherwise it would be a waste of time. - Deirdre Breakenridge
This isn't relaxing? - Steven Harris
Scobleizer, even you are wasting your time on most of them. Thought you were smart! - Eric
Wow, a new year and Robert is back on Friendfeed. - Elwin Witzke
Elwin: I aim to please. I never left, by the way. - Robert Scoble
True, but when you speak about where you think the right place to be is, crowds follow! - Elwin Witzke
Friendfeed might have a mini resurgence this year - Mark
There are better services they use! - Eric
Robert, are you saying you are not smart? I disagree. - Jesse Stay
There are elite CEO services that you cannot join. - Eric
(in other words, define "smart") :-) - Jesse Stay
Jesse: I'm no Brian Cox. - Robert Scoble
Well lets think about Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, when they get time off work, and they sit at their computers, What do THEY DO on them? - Mark
Jesse: and I'm no Bill Gates. - Robert Scoble
Maybe they are here but incognito. - Mark
sex chat. LOL - Steven Harris
So number of tweets is an indication of how smart one is? :) - Bjorgvin Thorsteinsson
Mark: that's probably true. I know Bill tried Facebook for a while. - Robert Scoble
They are on LinkedIn. - Eric
The most successful people are not using these social networks, because they don't need them anymore. These social networks are tools that can help you in becoming successful. - Luc Van Braekel
It all depends on the person and goals. I'm not smart, i'm not successful but I get followed. Most of the big names were made famous by other things. - Dave Hoffman / N3PRO
Robert, I'm not sure why a physicist would need to use Twitter in the first place - Jesse Stay
I can't imagine these guys playing flash games and digging shit and watching TWiT Live and clicking "like" on items. - Mark
Eric: there are tons of smart or successful people +on+ all of these services (I have a huge list on Facebook, for instance). It's just that they don't use these services as often as, say, me or Jesse. - Robert Scoble
Smart people, dumb people, funny people, emo people... See the theme here? People use social media. Considering that even if those people were on social media, they wouldn't talk to me nor would I probably offer something of interest to them. Stop try to validate social media... It's already valid. Really... It's OK... - Johnny
i do not see twitter and other social networks as time wasters or time suckers. I don't consider sharing, conversing and finding exceptionally valuable information wasteful. I think the people we consider the smartest guys/gals in the room 5 years hence will all be early adopters of the social networks under discussion - Zachary Adam Cohen
agree - Gregory Lent
Exactly, because they know better! They don't need to network. Take OPRAH for example, she can just sit on Twitter and get over 2 million followers. - Eric
The most successful people are too busy being rich and buying yachts to come on and do this - Mark
I think lots of scholars and academics need to network. Social media *can* help: - Steven Harris
Social Media is a tool, just like any tool not all tools are used in every profession. Some professions use certain tools more then others. It's only as relevant as the person makes it. - Dave Hoffman / N3PRO
The other successful people like aplusk do it because of the free publicity :D - Mark
Actually, you know what... They probably ARE on social media, just not under @billgates or @stevejobs. They probably use it like the other 99.9999999999999999% of us. Keeping in contact with close, personal friends. - Johnny
The smartest people are working on! - mytweetmark
lame ad ^ - joebrooks
Keep telling yourself its cool and clever to not follow back but the synergy in Twitter and FF is following and conversations that happen by serendipity. - WarLord
These people also know that these services are only temporary, and that a newer or better service will come out soon. So, they test the markets, and when they find something they like, they will jump on it, and use it. At the end of the day, all these services are tools. - Eric
You're only looking at people from earlier generations (read: before social networks) who have been successful for decades. A lot of young, up-and-coming successful/smart people use social networks because it's a part of this generation's culture already. - Evan Wondrasek from Android
Also, consider their age or the generation they were born. - Eric
Yeah, I can't say established people in any field are wrong for avoiding social media. No payoff for them. - Steven Harris
Except they *could* have the satisfaction of mentoring up and comers. - Steven Harris
They have nothing to prove to the world, Steve Wozniak doesn't need to tweet his life to everyone, he just has a place holder - Eric
Also too.. A lot of 'successful' people have accounts that are purely promotional or staffed by other people. You can have more than 1 Twitter account... 1 Professional and 1 Private... Also, maybe they are using it in ways you can't see like protected accounts and private rooms etc... - Johnny
Bill Gates, the most successful guy in the world according to most has an account He probably doesn't care what you have to say, so he doesn't follow you :-) - Eric
Billgates and uber rich/busy, get others to scan the airwaves and give them summaries of the import stuff..... isn't this what you do for rackspace robert. - Tristan Hambling
They probably realized there are better ways to reach people they find important as well. If they tweet something, less than 10% of their audience might read it. - Eric
what would Bill tweet? "Read a good review of Windows Mobile 7 at engadget" - Mark
Mark... @jerryseinfeld *adjust pants* - Johnny
Perhaps the most successful people are all too busy on Livefyre to bother with other social sites. - Mark H
Not an IQ issue, more like techy skills. People need to be able to do media, plus "get" it to be comfortable using it. Sorta like a non-native not being as contented out of their first language. - Ross
Can someone PLEASE tell me what the smartest and most successful people use? I want to be where they are! - Eivind
When you're famous enough that your message can get out through one-way media you have less of an incentive to deal with all the chaff of people talking back at you in two-way media. - Kevin Fox
I don't think that the definition of smart is someone too time starved to kick back and relax. Smart is a word that is gratuitously used without really defining context. It's arguable for example that the smartest people are trying to slow the world down a bit. Not speed it up. - Charles Frith
This conversation looks interesting, but I have to go learn a new API and respond to a user suggestion. Will somebody write a blog post summarizing the key points later? - Bruce Lewis
My New Years resolution is to not take Robert's bait... **** me. Too late. Let's be honest, if the smartest people in the world posted on Twitter and Facebook, much of it would be boring. Posts about advanced physics and financial calculus are probably not going to be the most exciting read. And the most succesful people in the world most likely don't have the time or a need for social networking. - Mark Davidson from BuddyFeed
That's because attention comes to them, they don't need to work for it. - Patricia
If I recall correctly, Bill Gates does read engadget. It gave them quite a thrill. - DGentry from Android
Ditto Patricia ... Use your keyboard. Be smart. People WILL notice. - Charlie Anzman
I wish I were smart. Where can I buy some smart around here? - imabonehead
I think Kevin Fox has it. For example, Tim O'Reilly uses twitter, but uses it for broadcast. - DGentry
Generally speaking, they don't need them. They need a different tool, one that condenses and refines the many voices. The tools you list don't do that. - Hayes Haugen
Smart enough to live a happy life is enough; with or without Facebook, Twitter, or FriendFeed. - نافرمانی مدنی
Why aren't the successful on Facebook? It has to do with their personal network structure. Those who have been able to mobilize vast resources are fully committed socially and have a mature and stable social graph. They are like a "full climax" forest - all resources are committed to the existing structure. They can get everything they need through existing channels. They don't need Facebook. - Neal Gorenflo
Oh, Robert. lol. - Mona Nomura
Interesting - the smart people you refer to have not a lot of vested interest in using these services. Social networking isn't how their peers work (as Neal points out above)....That's not to say that after some years of having these tools at our disposal that the smartest people won't be the ones who spend more time using them. The smartest people don't waste time on social networks. - guruvan (Rob Nelson)
Maybe smart/successful people don 't have to either sell themselves or something else. We are all marketeers on Twitter and Facebook as well to some extent. They no longer need that. (and if successful, you probably don't need to social network either because everyone wants to be your friend! ) - Technogran
It goes roughly like this. Working class = networks are for identity = use Myspace / my block, my gang. Middle class = networks are for seeking opportunity = use Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin / offline networking groups. Ruling class = networks for maintaining power, for transactions & flows of resources = use board rooms, exclusive clubs, executive teams. Learned this from FAS.research where we did a study of networks structure by class. Needless to say, I'm middle class or I wouldn't be here ;) - Neal Gorenflo
Classism within social networks? Bizarre. - Mona Nomura
Look at the conversation this post ignited. Wow. DGentry, Neal, G, and so many other great comments. Like Neal's comment the best so far. - Marc Ostrick
Define "successful"? I have a loving husband, a beautiful son, a wonderful family, great friends. I feel pretty darn successful. - Melly
Mellissa is absolutly right ! - ★ Soner Gönül
Robert, I enjoy interesting conversations with smart and successful people on FriendFeed, some of whom I was fortunate enough to know already, and some of whom I met here. Do they post less than others? Well, I only subscribe to people I find interesting, so I wouldn't know. You subscribe to everybody, so your assertion may be well-founded, but subscribing to everybody is a strange use of any of these social networking services, so whatever results is not relevant to the typical experience. - Ruchira S. Datta
Melissa, that's the point! "Success" in this thread has been defined as business people. There's more to be successful than purely in business. Smartest? Who cares! I don't put my friends into a "smart" or "stupid" categories - how do you define both anyway? - and don't prioritise the type of person I interact with or have on my "lists". - Kol Tregaskes
Oh, and for a direct counterexample: when we were liveblogging Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology 2009, FriendFeed automatically shut us down for commenting at such a high rate (thankfully the team swiftly let us back through). I highly doubt any of Robert's so-called "stupidest" people ever matched that. - Ruchira S. Datta
What did Rizzn say about cats ... wait a minute now .. - Charlie Anzman
The smartest people don't resort to comment bait. - Jason Williams
The smartest people don't comment on comment bait posts. Wait, what? - Jim #teamFFrank
successful people are too busy being successful to spend time on social networks? - otyx
the smartest comments don't wait for people - otyx
Thats what I always thought! - Frankie Gray
They're in the library. - sofarsoShawn
it is a time issue. I take part in these social networks when I have time - Francine Hardaway from BuddyFeed
What about Mark Zuckerbeg?!!?! Huh? Or Ev and that guy drinking the soup, aren't they smart & successful? - sofarsoShawn
You know why the "most successful" people don't use social information aggregation services? Because they have figured out that to be really successful you have to be able to be selectively ignorant of the information you could expose yourself to. Just because something is interesting doesn't mean that it will propel you toward your goals. Most of those "successful" people don't have (or want to make) time to do things that aren't moving them toward their goals. The rest of us aren't as motivated and would rather fritter away parts of our time doing things that make us feel good vs make us "successful". It's not a matter of the services being useless, it's a matter of the subset of people you mention not having a need for them. If something is important then their trusted advisors will let them know or they will do targeted research to find out. - Lindsay
Depends what one wants to be smart about or successful at. To be a smart and successful social networking guru, deep and frequent involvement would naturally be required. - Kathy Fitch
Yes, but the one path you point out "social networking guru" is about the only exception to the selective information rule. If you let yourself get distracted by stuff you can't immediately use to move you toward your goals you are not going to achieve them as quickly and thoroughly as you would otherwise. Not that there's anything WRONG with not being the "most successful". It's a tough job... not sure I'd want it if I could do it. - Lindsay
hey STEVE JOBS does uses twitter man.he commented last 3 days i RI8? - Rikhu Prasad
I'm curious, Robert, if you're saying that Twitter, FriendFeed and Facebook or Social Media in general is Marx said about religion, it's "the opiate of the people"? - Lon Cohen
Lon: is there social media other than Twitter, Facebook, or FriendFeed? Let me know. :-) I'm sure the same could be extrapolated to other systems, sure. - Robert Scoble
Agreed, Lindsay--I rather like being (productively, or so I think) distracted by a changing array of things, so being the singular guru of any one thing wouldn't appeal. Well, maybe a TOE guru could get away with it . . . - Kathy Fitch
@billgates already has 4 tweets out already and he's only a 4-hours old twitter n00bie. - Micah