A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to interview Robert Scoble. We covered a wide range of topics. Some of the areas covered were: dealing with information overload, what's hot in social media, and as a result, Facebook, whether or not Google can be beaten at the search game, and what Yahoo! and Microsoft should do with their strategies.
One aspect of the discussion emerged from talking about Scobleizer, the blog were Robert regularly publishes his reviews, opinions, and commentaries about what's going on in the world of technology. He reads more than 700 blogs a day to find our what's hot, to help him determine where he should focus his investigative energy. He also monitors services like Twitter for the same reason, but also to get the news (he learned about the recent earthquake in Mexico City from Twitter, and is took 6 more minutes before the news was on the US Geological Survey web site, and over an hour before CNN had the news).
His overall role in our industry fits well into a favorite them of mine - that we live in the attention challenged era. We have access to way too much information, and we have way (way) too little time. It becomes a real challenge to figure out how to deal with it. This is driving a new type of role in our world (not just our industry), the information professional. This was a featured aspect of one of the interviews I did with Gary Price.
Information professionals basically help your sort through the information glut. Traditionally, the information professional had another title: librarian. But now the world is far more complicated, so that role is growing. So the role is broader than ever. Robert is a great example of this new type of information professional. That's what made the discussion about social media and text search so interesting.