In the wake of Google's shuttering of its beloved Reader service for RSS aggregation, I'm reading some posts rehashing the idea that simply following the right people or sources on Twitter is a better way to go.
Let's put aside the fact that we're not talking about a mutually exclusive choice and there's room for both in one's information-consumption workflow. I'm not saying that Twitter is useless as an information source or that a well-managed Tweetdeck won't provide great value.
Many of the sources that I rely on to stay out front actually do not use Twitter. The reason why I'm at all successful in what I do is that I try to ignore the majority of the social media punditocracy as much as professional responsibility will allow. Nevertheless, I must follow that group in any case, owing to said responsibilities. So, in that small but important slice of my media diet, relying on Twitter as a replacement for RSS would lower the signal-to-noise ratio to unacceptable levels. It would mean, for example, that my ability to contextualize information would almost totally evaporate during SxSW.
My point of view on many online-related matters tend to be unique and grounded in communications principles that many forget in the rush to be seen as "getting it". I'm told this is often why people seek my counsel. Using Twitter as an RSS replacement is more than just "media snacking"--it's an empty-calorie diet.
Sure, I can instead opt to focus on the somewhat less-cacophanous Twitter streams of media outlets, reporters, and so on. Even then, though, that's noisy. Social media, at least for me, is not "just another channel"; it's a means by which I can pay less attention to figuring out what I need to pay attention to.
Granted, my needs are unusual. In my role, I am called upon to parachute into clients representing diverse industries: automotive, energy, technology, packaging, consumer goods, business services, and many others... on a light week. I don't need to know everything @nytimestech has to say, but if it matters enough to someone that they'll spend more than 140 characters on it, it is very likely to matter to me.
So, I'm exploring alternatives, of course.
Curious that Orkut is stil ticking, especially given that its holdout markets in India and Brazil are moving away from it. Also, it's worth noting Google Reader's contribution to BuzzFeed's traffic relative to Google+.
It will be interesting to see what services will capitalize on this, serving a relatively small but highly vocal group of power users.