Do You Know Robert?

bigdeal.pngIt’s funny how micro-focused I can get. I am continually reminded of how much I live in a bubble world, and it’s always nice to have that bubble popped.

Working in technology, I tend to assume that other people are geeky like me. They have Tivo, broadband, Macs, iPhones, blogs, hundreds of “friends” on Facebook/Twitter/network du jour. They know all about the stuff I live and breath every day, e.g. I’m shocked that dial-up is the only Interwebs available to some people and that dial-up is still a viable business model.

So, it’s funny when something you take for obvious is questioned, and you stop to answer it. Case in point. Voyagerfan5761 commented on my FriendFeed post:

I’m feeling lucky that I haven’t gotten any Scoble stuff in my feed yet. What’s the big deal with Robert, anyway? I hear about him but don’t know why.

It’s impossible to emote sarcasm efficiently online, but this struck me as odd. How can anyone online not know who Robert Scoble is? Especially someone with a blog. Oh wait, I live in a New Web bubble or echo chamber, take your pick, so I assume that he’s known to everyone. Then, I struggled to explain who he is and why he’s an influencer, an even sadder reflection on my bubble. This reminds me of a favorite story about Dave, the gangster, which I’ll happily tell you over drinks but not here.

Anyway, I’m not sure if Voyagerfan5761 was having a laugh at my expense, since this person is a heavy-duty Wikipedia editor, that may be. Or maybe I’m just having a Ron Burgundy moment.

The Ontario Emperor has some thoughts about Scoble, who could be the ultimate beta-tester. Maybe a product can’t leave beta until Scoble joins it and brings his entire network along. If this is true, expect to see GMail exit beta soon, after how many years.

I met Scoble in person at Lunch 2.0 at Oracle. He’s very personable, knowledgeable, and you can tell he loves his work. And his fame, not that there’s anything wrong with that. He lives in the open, and I have to credit him for having the thickest skin of anyone online.

Anyway, fodder for the coolest day on the calendar. Protip, explaining why a child’s birthday does not appear on the calendar every year is difficult. Do not attempt.

AboutJake

a.k.a.:jkuramot

24 comments

  1. Pingback: mrontemp
  2. Actually, Jake, I find Scoble pretty easy to ignore. Robert Scoble is to Jon Udell as Chris Matthews is to Jim Lehrer. As far as I can see, the only quality that separates him from a typical Engadget contributing author is Paris Hilton-like fame.

    I’m sorry if that comes across as overly harsh, but the guy just doesn’t light my fire.

  3. Actually, Jake, I find Scoble pretty easy to ignore. Robert Scoble is to Jon Udell as Chris Matthews is to Jim Lehrer. As far as I can see, the only quality that separates him from a typical Engadget contributing author is Paris Hilton-like fame.

    I’m sorry if that comes across as overly harsh, but the guy just doesn’t light my fire.

  4. I’m not a big fan of Scoble.. I heard about him but didn’t follow any of his stuff until his Kindle review (video). I found it to be pretty unprofessional and most of his critiques were pretty foolish and unrealistic…

  5. I’m not a big fan of Scoble.. I heard about him but didn’t follow any of his stuff until his Kindle review (video). I found it to be pretty unprofessional and most of his critiques were pretty foolish and unrealistic…

  6. The guy gets roundly pummeled for his work, but he sticks around and doesn’t seem to care. I respect that, even if I don’t care for what he says.

  7. The guy gets roundly pummeled for his work, but he sticks around and doesn’t seem to care. I respect that, even if I don’t care for what he says.

  8. Jake,

    Obviously you missed one of Scoble’s more recent posts, “Switching to Gmail.” 🙂

    I have never met Scoble personally, but I’ve had some (positive) exchanges with him on his blog and on Twitter.

    One thing that you can say for him, and for many other people interested in social media, is that they have a willingness to explore. Many of these explorers try out Gmail, or FriendFeed, or Google Reader, or whatever, just to see how they work. What’s more, many of them set up their own admittedly silly services, such as Club140 and Atlocals, because they can.

    In one sense it’s silly, but on the other hand it gives people ideas that can be applied to sites such as Oracle Mix.

  9. Jake,

    Obviously you missed one of Scoble’s more recent posts, “Switching to Gmail.” 🙂

    I have never met Scoble personally, but I’ve had some (positive) exchanges with him on his blog and on Twitter.

    One thing that you can say for him, and for many other people interested in social media, is that they have a willingness to explore. Many of these explorers try out Gmail, or FriendFeed, or Google Reader, or whatever, just to see how they work. What’s more, many of them set up their own admittedly silly services, such as Club140 and Atlocals, because they can.

    In one sense it’s silly, but on the other hand it gives people ideas that can be applied to sites such as Oracle Mix.

  10. Don’t worry, I wasn’t having a laugh. I’ve heard the name everywhere on the Web, but never really figured out who he is. Now I at least have an idea. 🙂

  11. Hmph, wish more blogging platforms had editable comments. (Though my own doesn’t, so who am I to talk?) Anyway, I think I should talk a little more about this subject.

    I have a sort of bubble, too, just like Jake. In my bubble, people like Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia), Kevin Fox (former UI designer at Google), and Paul Buchheit (the original developer of Gmail) are small-time celebrities, and a lot of people I talk to don’t know who they are at all. It’s only natural, I guess, that someday, someone would talk about someone I’ve never really understood all the hype about. Scoble has been that person for me, and Jake was the one who mentioned him.

    On the plus side of this, I now know something about who Robert Scoble is.

  12. Hmph, wish more blogging platforms had editable comments. (Though my own doesn’t, so who am I to talk?) Anyway, I think I should talk a little more about this subject.

    I have a sort of bubble, too, just like Jake. In my bubble, people like Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia), Kevin Fox (former UI designer at Google), and Paul Buchheit (the original developer of Gmail) are small-time celebrities, and a lot of people I talk to don’t know who they are at all. It’s only natural, I guess, that someday, someone would talk about someone I’ve never really understood all the hype about. Scoble has been that person for me, and Jake was the one who mentioned him.

    On the plus side of this, I now know something about who Robert Scoble is.

  13. @Voyagerfan5761: I can edit your comments 🙂 Hey, I’m digging FriendFeed, so I know who Paul is.

    Reputation and influence are funny things. Someone should write an algorithm that calculates the relative value of any give keyword . . .

    Oh.

  14. @Voyagerfan5761: I can edit your comments 🙂 Hey, I’m digging FriendFeed, so I know who Paul is.

    Reputation and influence are funny things. Someone should write an algorithm that calculates the relative value of any give keyword . . .

    Oh.

  15. @OE: I didn’t miss Scoble’s switch to GMail. It’s referenced in the post, i.e. maybe GMail will finally exit beta now that Scoble is giving it a good beating.

    You make a good point about how Scoble’s curiosity drives him to check out all kinds of new stuff. This is a hallmark trait of a geek. Plus, it’s nice to have someone working out the kinks first.

  16. @OE: I didn’t miss Scoble’s switch to GMail. It’s referenced in the post, i.e. maybe GMail will finally exit beta now that Scoble is giving it a good beating.

    You make a good point about how Scoble’s curiosity drives him to check out all kinds of new stuff. This is a hallmark trait of a geek. Plus, it’s nice to have someone working out the kinks first.

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