Robert Scoble’s linkblog is a wonderful idea. And, I do get quite a bit of traffic from it when he has chosen to link to me in the past, so I shouldn’t complain about it. But I’m going to anyway.
The reason I’m going to complain is that while I really love the concept of it, in practise I find it largely unusable. Why? Lack of full text posts. My guess is that Scoble himself wouldn’t subscribe to his own linkblog, as it currently stands. He has written many times about the necessity of full text posts, as he and many other people, such as myself, do the majority of their feed reading offline.
The thing that surprises me is that people actually complained about his original linkblog, where he used the full text of posts that he linked to. This is bizarre to me for a couple of reasons:
If he linked to you, it’s because you have chosen to syndicate your content using an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. These feeds are intended to make it easier to move your content around! Chances are, if he links to you, you’ve chosen to provide full text in your feed (he likely wouldn’t have noticed you otherwise), but in doing so you need to realize you are permitting your content to be moved around.
Scoble’s readers are among the most influential in the industry – when he links to you, you get noticed. And if your post is interesting (as he thinks it is), people will click through to your site.
RSS for me is the best thing to happen to the Internet, and at the same time the bane of my existence. I suffer from information overload, and wish that I could have the ability to view heavily filtered content, and just skim the cream off the top, if you will. Machine-based filtering isn’t at the point where it will be able to detect the odd, interesting post that doesn’t normally conform to my tastes, but an intelligent human being very well could.
So, while I’d love to read Scoble’s linkblog, it’s totally useless to me when reading offline. And that’s a real shame.