The tech blogosphere loves to study itself in a herd-like fashion.
Back in the old days we used to call this “Watching us watch them watch us watch me watch you watch them watch us watch ourselves watch everything.”
It’s a big house of mirrors.
A chorus of fooles and puppets. 🙂
Today the alpha bloggers woke up and realized a lot of people are following them on FriendFeed. From that some of them conclude that FF is better than Twitter. There’s another possible explanation.
First, let me tell you a story.
I was a laggard when I started using Twitter. A lot of people started using it before I did. I figured I’d forever be lagging behind them, but it didn’t work out that way because as soon as I started blogging about it here, my subscriber numbers over there zoomed past others whose blogs have fewer readers.
Also, the same thing happened when Mike Arrington discovered Twitter, even though he didn’t use it much, he had more followers than I did because his blog has more readers. Today he has twice as many followers as I do on Twitter.
And FriendFeed is tacking in the draft behind Twitter, it’s growing faster than Twitter did in its early days because people are talking about it not only on their blogs (as they did with Twitter) but also on Twitter itself. It’s bootstrapping off Twitter. Same with identi.ca.
It’s the coral reef thing I was talking about last year.
We noticed this with the growth of podcasting in 2004 into 2005. Once we had the right combination of features and content, it grew like a weed, growing in four months what it had taken the blogosphere four years to do (probably more, depending on what you want to call the start of blogging). It’s all part of the same bootstrap. Blogging, podcasting, twittering, friendfeeding, and whatever “ing” comes next.
It’s all part of one cosmos (not a mere sphere), and there will come a day (I hope) when it all is unified, otherwise we’re forever going to be chasing our news from place to place as it gets replicated in ever more awkward ways.