The difference between social flow and broadcast

Earlier today Steven Johnson and John Borthwick were on CNBC talking about the real time web.

At one point in the discussion the CNBC guys ask how can users handle this constant flow of data. They were wondering if all of this real time data was beyond what users can handle or manage.

Steven and John gave great answers but I thought it was funny question because at the same time the CNBC screen was filled with all sorts of streaming data that doesn’t have any filter on it whatsoever. Just look at that screen: tickers, news, “breaking news” etc coming in all over the video.

Twitter offers a flow that is quite different. In fact it’s the opposite of the CNBC broadcast. It starts with following people you think are interesting and it takes off from there.

Btw, here’s the actual video, it showed up on my Twitter feed 🙂