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Live blogging: Robert Scoble

Scoble is videoing the person introducing him on the stage straight onto, his video site… A taste of things to come.

NOTE: the text below is precis if not in quotes.

“This is a great time to be a journalist.” There are tools and technologies now that weren’t here a year ago. 2008 will be seen as a great year of change.

Whilst talking to the audience Scoble has given his camera phone to a member of the audience, who is live streaming the content straight to the web, whilst others send him questions through Twitter, again streamed onto the same browser window.

Scoble shows by example.
Scoble shows by example.

He explains his recent experiences of TwitterVision, a mash-up of Twitter , FriendFeed and Google Maps. It displays in real time random messages from geographic locations.
Twitter Vision
Twitter Vision

Showing the power of microblogging. It reminds me of the new tool Rachel Nixon from NowPublic has just shown me which they’ve called Scan. It scans tweets on certain editorial topics in real time, and shows how that story is developing and has developed.

Scoble is now explaining the power of FriendFeed and why for journalists it allows him to communicate in a much deeper way: the amount of services he can aggregate using it (from Dopplr and YouTube to other RSS feeds), the speed in which it updates, the filters etc.

Question from audience: Can you explain why this enables deep conversation and not shallow?

Scoble responds: It allows me to communicate my life in a much deeper way, as in the past if I were to do this I would have had to persuade a publisher to print a book, it was expensive. Now it’s free. I can put up a long interview of Larry Lessig or something very short. Yes, sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference between types of conversation, but the audience helps, they engage, they tell you what is a good conversation. People get in touch, they join in. “When I screw up… the audience tells you”.

[But is this just because he’s Scoble, because he’s well known?]

Everbody has access, again this is a big change, he says.

[But that’s obviously not true. Scoble in this respect is an evangelist.]

Question from the audience: You are living the experiment, is that why you experience this?

Scoble responds: FriendFeed retards people from becoming all powerful, not the other way around. The person who has information that other people want to know, it will spread out, it doesn’t matter whether they are well known. News spreads. You have to figure out whether that information is credible or not.

He then admits to gaming this system. [He is a power user.]

Scoble: I put my life online… “This gets me into interesting things”.

“I have 3,000 friends [on FriendFeed] sending me information.”

Other tools Scoble uses
Google Reader (500 friends)
Twitter (20,000)

Q from audience: with all these friends, how is this useful?
“Choose your friends wisely”
“I follow everybody”
“The people you follow, define you”
“I suggest you follow people very slowly”

[Who has time for all this?]

Q: Is this circle just very small, and therefore dangerous?
Scoble: this is a world wide thing, it’s beyond geeks. There is still a bias towards tech passionate people, but McCain, for example, he doesn’t use a computer but his staff do.

Sitting here with two other journalists, we’ve decided that Scoble is now rambling. Time to press publish and then digest.

UPDATE: NowPublic’s Scan is explained in more detail here.

The importance of editorial curation

Brown’s keynote highlighted the importance of editorial curation. Magazine’s will become distinctive in the way they curate, your choice of stories as opposed to someone elses. Thinking it out for themselves.

Q from floor: How do you make it work economically, it sounds costly?

Brown: “If you don’t have a budget, get your self a point of view”