Socialising with Scoble
Who do you go to for a view of the future of social networking?
How about a man who has over 100,000 Twitter followers and 1,300 or so Facebook friends - and that's after a recent cull.
A man who spends much of his day in front of a series of screens at his California home constantly monitoring and contributing to the social networking conversation about technology trends.
That man is Robert Scoble, technology blogger and networker extraordinaire, and I visited him at his house a few hundred yards from the Pacific at Half Moon Bay for a chat about the prospects for the networking companies in 2010.
As we talked, he kept up a constant flow of tweets, Facebook messages and blog comments, many about the upcoming news from Google - their press conference about the Nexus One phone is later today.
It was instructive to see this story ebbing and flowing across his multiple screens, like watching the beating heart of the techie conversation which seems to move faster by the minute.
As someone who has devoted far more of his time recently to Twitter than to Facebook, I expected Robert - or scobleizer as his Twitter handle goes - to be backing the 140 character service.
But he was in little doubt about who would triumph in the battle of the networks. "Facebook is dramatically bigger," he pointed out and went on to admit that Twitter is largely populated by geeks like him, while "real people" were on Facebook.
He also pointed out that Facebook was becoming an identity system, allowing its users to sign into various other sites or comment on blogs with their logins. With the average user already spending 55 minutes a day with the network, Facebook is trying to make them stick around even longer.
But Scoble thought that if there was a threat to Mark Zuckerberg's business it was from Google not Twitter:
"They have a new thing called Google profiles, which they haven't done much with yet - imagine if they coupled that with a news feed and real time search."
2010 could be the year that social networking comes of age, finally proving there's money to be made from friends and followers.
Facebook might float on the Nasdaq, Twitter may come out with the business model "secret sauce" to convince the doubters, and who knows perhaps there'll be a miracle recovery at MySpace.
But if Robert Scoble is to be believed we should also keep an eye on Google - the search giant just can't help butting in to every corner of the tech conversation.