Today, a fantastic battle of egos: the Scobleizer vs the Guru.
First, usability expert (let’s forget guru) Jakob Nielsen issues a seemingly innocuous article – note, doesn’t ‘post’ – about how shallow blog postings really add no value, particularly in B2B comms. Nielsen doesn’t run a blog. Someone else does it for him, kind of.
Then, a retort (can you retort to something that isn’t directed at you?). Robert Scoble, aka ‘Scobleizer’ (or, in Brit, Scobleiser), has a bit of a hissy fit claiming Nielsen’s article contains a lot of ‘gestures’, allegedly at him.
I find it interesting that essentially they’re writing about two different things. We could talk Long Tail here and say that Nielsen is referring to the head of the tail, that is, the ‘hits’ generally produced by pros. Scoble is firmly in the tail camp, that is, issuing short, sharp insights into social media that is much more the ‘amateur’ domain but contains some hits too (his being one).
As is always the case, the truth probably lies somewhere in between. Nielsen is right that you need to add value with real research and real insight: that’s probably closer to online journalism than blogging. Scoble is right in that you lose a lot of interactivity and immediacy by doing so.
However I think Scoble has the upper hand here. You can see it quite plainly by looking at the two links. Nielsen’s page, not being a blog, therefore doesn’t invite discussion – meaning refutation, rebuttal, affirmation and general comment. Scoble’s does, and contains all of those things and more. What is more interesting, single, one-off expert opinion or broadly informed mass debate? An event, or a process? I’d plumb for the process every time.
If you value both, you’re in the neck of the long tail. As I said, the truth lies somewhere in between.
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