Scobleizer Weblog

Daily Permalink Wednesday, March 13, 2002

I knew a C# Developer's Conference would be an interesting idea. I already have a couple of speakers and folks interested. I love Radio weblogs. As soon as an idea hits the wire it spreads like a virus, hitting all sorts of interesting people.

Deborah Branscom and I talked about this today.

First, some more input. I'm listening to "Anatomy of Buzz" on my PocketPC (thanks which talks about how products and ideas gain acceptance by being passed around "invisible networks." Hell, what's more invisible than the weblogger network?

I'm going to read Malcolm Gladwell's book "The Tipping Point." Sounds like he makes similar points to "Anatomy of Buzz" written by Emanuel Rosen. Rosen's main point is that networks of people (er, word of mouth) are determining the success or failure of products and he gives some tips on how to reach these networks.

I guess I could be seen as a connector. I'm having lunch with lots of interesting people from lots of different lifestyles and points of view lately. I wish I could share more, but most of these lunches are "blog free zones" so gotta keep them under my hat for now.

By the way, who is this John Hiler guy? I agree with so many other webloggers that he's a great read! Yeah, John, you're right. When you get hot nothing can stop you. When you start smelling up the joint, like I've done lately, you can't buy a link.

In the words of my fellow weblogger user group members (yeah, I know, we haven't met in a while. That'll change soon) I'm a "B teamer." You know, someone who gets a few dozen to a few hundred visits a day.

The "A team" (folks like Dave and Glenn Reynolds and Evan) get that way because they spend hours on their weblogs every day and have incredible networks of people who feed them interesting stuff.

I just don't have the energy to put into it. Deborah says she doesn't either.

So, what have we decided to do? Write about what interests us and on our terms (infrequently as that may be).

Anyway, feed the meme machine. What's your meme? Mine is that a C# Developer's Conference or a Radio Developer's Conference would kick ass.

Hey, maybe I just need to scale back my dream a bit. Anyone up for camping in Yosemite this summer? We could have a Radio UserLand Camping User Group.

We could sit around a campfire and talk about all the cool Radio features that Dave and Jake have developed and how we're gonna use them to take over the world.

Hmmm. Someone pass me another beer.

Sam Ruby covers "Why I Weblog" this morning.

Why do I Weblog? Because Dori Smith told me to.

Seriously. I was helping to plan the CNET Live! conference in 2000 and she kept saying "you gotta have some sessions on weblogging."

"Huh?" I answered.

Then she told me to check out Zeldman and Dave and her own Backup Brain.

Who knew that after two weeks Dave would end up putting me on his blogroll along the left of Scripting News and taking me to Woz's Super Bowl party?

Or that I'd be #4 on the Radio list (despite not writing much for the past two months)?

But, I am amuzed by all the Dvorak talk. I have a Dvorak story of my own.

I ran into him a couple of times and thought he was pretty full of himself. I excused him of that sin, though, cause I have the same disease (you sorta gotta be full of yourself to go on TV every day, or write  a weblog every day).

Anyway, one day Patrick and I were on the set of Screen Savers (I used to help run Leo Laporte's chat room when he used to be on KGO Radio so he invited a few of the old-time "Laporteans" into the studio) and we bumped into John Dvorak.

He looked down at Patrick and said "hey, kid, wanna be a TV star?"

Patrick said "maybe."

"Well, then, all you gotta do is make sure the camera pays attention to you," Dvorak said.

Interesting advice. I saw Dvorak's attack on webloggers as nothing more than a ploy to get a whole bunch of webloggers to pay attention to him and point to him. Hell, it worked great!

Even I'm talking about him now. Sigh.

So, why do I Weblog?

For the same reason I posted on Prodigy and AOL in 1990. Or on CompuServe in 1993. Or on newsgroups in 1995. Or on the Web in 1996.

I love technology and this industry and wanted to talk to people about it.

At San Jose State University, when I was a journalism student in 1990-1992, I wrote a column called "The Spartan Geek." All about technology.

Also at SJSU I wrote more articles for the school newspaper in one semester than had ever been written before. I don't know of my record still stands, I hope some enterprising kid broke it.

Another reason? I write because I like to write.

Writing is an activity that requires you to think. It requires you to study other people's work. I appreciate having Radio's News Aggregator every day to help me in this task. (For the two people who haven't downloaded Radio yet that are still reading this far, Radio UserLand, the tool I'm using to write this, has a cool feature where it visits a bunch of Websites and builds an "all-in-one-page" newspaper for me from all of them -- this saves me time of visiting each site individually).

Writing lets me work out my feelings on a topic. And makes me feel connected to the world. Tens of thousands of people visited my site on the days after 9/11. There was nothing I could do (I was thousands of miles away from the disaster) so writing made me feel somewhat useful to the event. My son's pictures on that day still make me cry.

Do I need flow?

Now, this is an interesting question. Would I blog if I didn't have an audience? No.

Go back to the beginning of this post. I started my weblog because Dori told me to. So, she thought I had something to say to her, at least. So, I knew intimately that I had at least one person in my audience. Now, thanks to I know I'll get at least 15 people to read some, or all, of these words (I can tell by my referer and tracking logs that there are at least 15 people who will visit my weblog after it reports on

I doubt I'd write a weblog if I didn't know that there'd be someone reading my words, but I would write something. It just wouldn't be a weblog. When I'm weblogging, I always try to think of Dori, or Doc, or Dave, or Buzz, or Chris/Gretchen. It helps me focus my writings and spend some time thinking about what they'd want to read.

For instance, now I am thinking that I've written too much and that I've probably lost everyone. So, I gotta either wrap up, or make an interesting, pithy point here.


Another reason: Weblogging ties me into the community.

I've made tons of friends through weblogs. I got my current job through this weblog. Today, I'm having lunch with a weblogger. I've traveled the world because of weblogs. And, on April 4, I'm seeing the Space Shuttle launch because of my weblog.

So, weblogging has rewarded me immeasurably. It's also punished me from time to time. When an employer didn't like something I wrote, it causes me stress (and them, too!) Sometimes friends or family look at me with disapproving eyes and ask "why the hell did you write THAT?"

But, overall, it's been a good experience. I love Radio's email feature. I regularly visit other people's weblogs and click on the envelope and email them a nice note. Something like "I really like your weblog, thanks for using our software, if you're ever in Silicon Valley I'd like to meet you."

I started a weblogger user group and 40 people showed up to the first meeting. I only planned on having five.

Anyway, I'm rambling, and I need some coffee.

Thanks for dropping by. Why don't you start a weblog? Hey, you can always blame it on Dori. Heheh.

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Robert Scoble works at Microsoft. Everything here, though, is his personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. No warranties or other guarantees will be offered as to the quality of the opinions or anything else offered here.

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© Copyright 2004 Robert Scoble Last updated: 1/3/2004; 1:28:26 AM.