What we see here is a micromarket coup for aggregator/product folks — and an example for other companies. Want to know what you should do next? Find a blogger with a wide audience of users and ask him or her to ask us.I’m not so sure: are a handful of Scoble commenters really representative of the entire aggregator marketplace? I doubt it.
Blogs can be a one-stop shop for organizations to find out what should be in their next release.
If I’ve learnt anything in my 14 years of Internet time, it’s that the lurkers always far, far outweigh the posters: this has been true on mailing lists, true on Usenet, true on web forums, and I’m sure it’s true on blogs too. As I write this, there are 25 comments on Scoble’s post; but Scoble’s readership is far, far higher than that.
So, trusting blog comments to set “what should be in your next release”? Risky. As a focus group, it’s too self-selecting; too focussed on the pet wishlists of a few power users. Far better, I think, to use blogging as a public brainstorming exercise: to identify what you could do next.
And arguably, the best way to satisfy your power-users’ wishes is to build in powerful enough scripting for them to build their own solutions: there’s whole communities surrounding GreaseMonkey scripting in Firefox and AppleScript scripting in iTunes.
(Update: a similar response, to a different Scoble post, on the furrygoat experience. “Design by committee never works when it comes to building software. In fact, it leads to only one thing: feature creep.”)