In just the past year I’ve clicked to fave 18,456 Tweets. It’s a stunning number, if you think about it, and I don’t know of any other tech blogger who has done more faves.
What am I learning? Well, for one, there’s important stuff that gets written that doesn’t get on Techmeme. Yes, the important stuff does, like when a blogger for Gizmodo gets his house broken into by the cops. That’s big time on Techmeme, but page through my faves and you’ll find lots of other stuff that Techmeme doesn’t touch.
Even for things that get on Techmeme, I’ve seen that stories break first on Twitter. Gabe Rivera, the guy who runs Techmeme, told me he’s noticed that too and said he’s about to add some Tweets to Techmeme. It will be interesting to see what he does.
But I’ve come to realize that curating great tech tweets is one thing I love to do and one way I can add a lot of value to the tech industry.
Tonight my boss, Rob La Gesse, agreed and — in a redesign of my blog that he worked on — we added a widget that displays my latest favorite Tweets on my blog. The widget itself is worth talking about: it’s done by Publitweet which is helping lots of journalistic organizations use Twitter on their sites. You’ll notice that Publitweet’s widgets include sharing links for Twitter and Facebook and include pictures and expand links to have more info. I really love the new widgets and you’ll see me use more of them in the future.
So, why do I fave tweets?
1. Because I like rewarding those who take the time to teach me something.
2. Because no other tech blogger was doing this and I felt it’s important to watch the industry.
3. Because it is a fun game to find something interesting in Twitter before anyone else does (I regularly beat big bloggers to news).
4. Because doing all those favorites has built a database that others can study. For instance, Favstar.fm builds a list of everyone I’ve faved here. Do you know definitively who your favorite Twitterer is? I do and can prove it.
5. Because I hate “Follow Friday.” It’s really lame to say “follow @scobleizer” but it’s not lame to have a stream of hand-picked Tweets that everyone can check out and find someone new to follow.
6. Because my favorites are part of my content streams on FriendFeed and, now, on my blog here. It lets me get some value out of my reading time. Plus, over on FriendFeed I can search through all of them, something I can’t do anywhere else.
7. Now that there’s an audience of people who read my faves I find that I get thanks from people who get faved because they get more traffic. Even better, now people DM me when they think they have a great tech tweet that I shouldn’t miss.
Anyway, I hope you all get some value out of my Twitter favorites. Even if you didn’t, I’d still do them because they are useful to me and that’s all that really matters anyway.
Oh, and I have a Twitter list of my favorite 500 Twitterers. I always look at this list first in the morning. It’s amazing how true the old adage is that says “past results are the best predictor of future results.” In other words, it’s amazingly true that whoever brought me value yesterday will probably bring me value tomorrow. To me this list is gold and is reason enough to have clicked favorite on all those Tweets.
But that gets me to a bigger point: WHY IS TWITTER DOMINANT IN THE TECH INDUSTRY?
See, I watch Google Buzz more than almost any other tech blogger. Same over on Facebook. They simply don’t have anywhere close to the numbers and quality of status messages that Twitter does. At least if all you care about is geeky topics. For normal people Facebook is dominant, but for the tech industry? Well, Twitter is very dominant.
Why is that? I believe it’s the little features like Favorites and the clients like TweetDeck and Seesmic. I’ve walked into more than one tech company and been greeted by black screens with Tweetdeck on them. I see those scattered around my employer, Rackspace, too. It’s how we keep in touch with our customers and make sure we keep them all happy.
The tech industry is a sharing industry. That ethos came out of the user groups that I’ve often attended (I’ll be attending a new one next week in Tel Aviv, Israel, and one met yesterday here to share info on iPad development). By having everything in public view, we’ve made it easier to share. Easier to favorite. Easier to retweet. Easier to search.
That’s why Facebook is trying to push for a more public world. Twitter is already there.