Scobleizer Weblog

Daily Permalink Friday, May 10, 2002

Hey, I just bought Star Wars tickets off of Much better than what I did last time (wait in line overnight).
Here's a picture I took of a surfer in Hawaii yesterday. The waves were so close to the beach that I took this picture with a point-and-shoot camera with a 70 mm lens.
David Singer blogged about my talk and said he disagreed that Google ranking weblogs high in its index is a good thing. I disagree. When I went looking for info about Orlando, I wanted individual people's opinions. I already got enough of the highly-polished commercial bullshit when I went to Disney's site. I wanted to hear from real people about what was good and what was bad. When I do get to Paris, I will look at David's comments about what he liked there. His comments, in my mind, are just as important as any "expert." I know, after reading David for a while, that what David likes, I'll probably like too.

I hope that Google continues putting real people's comments high on its lists.

There are more laptops per attendee here than at any other conference I've been to. Why? I think it's because the conference planners here made a big deal on the brochure about there being a wireless network.

It certainly has changed the conference experience. Everyone's batteries are dying. So, at every electrical outlet there are groups of people huddled around the power supply.

Here's a business opportunity. Rent batteries at conferences. While we're at it, rent wireless cards and laptops themselves. There's probably a significant business opportunity there, but you'd need a large inventory of batteries. Probably too capital intensive.

Steve Pilgrim says "there's got to be something more [to life]" than accumulation of stuff.

Well, I agree. Yesterday I watched four expert surfers perform on perfect waves here in Hawaii. The kind that you only see in Hawaii, or on TV.

It was a beach in the middle of nowhere. At the end of the road. No tourists. No crowds. Just the waves and these four surfers.

That's what there is to life. Just look for the wave, and make some art.

Who cares if no one is there to see it.

Of course, I have pictures. :-)

I want to go surfing.

Joseph Reagle of MIT made me think yesterday in my session on Weblogging.

Is Weblogging good for the ego? Reagle is concerned that blogging has become just another way for people to behave in a self aggrandizing fashion.

I am studying this behavior myself. There are some unwritten rules of weblogging. Things like "don't beg for links." Or, "if you are linked to often by a weblogger, you should reciprocate and link back."

If we really are to study the culture of the weblogging movement, that's the kind of thing we'd need to dig into.

Is it important to have an audience to write a weblog? I'll be honest. I used to be a link whore. Hell, I thought it was a hoot when Dave Winer first linked to me. I liked the attention.

Now, I have too many cool people reading this weblog. It's hard to take chances. My boss reads this. My family. My friends. And some of the most important people in the technology world read this.

Anyway, back to Joseph's point. He also said he is concerned when he hears that people have stopped weblogging because they didn't have enough traffic or no one wrote any comments on their weblog.

Well, shit. If you're gonna be a link whore, you better damn well learn how to do it before you give up due to lack of results. I guess some people give up skiing cause they can't figure out how to do it by the end of their first run, but it seems a pretty lame way to live to me. I'd rather master something before I give up on it. (Did I ever tell you about my $1,000 fish tank? Yeah, I kept alive some expensive fish. Then I realized that keeping a tank of fish was a stupid waste of money and time).

Do I write to get links? Or do I write for myself?

Well, actually, both. Does that make me a bad person? A bad weblogger? Probably.

Would I still do this if I knew no one was visiting? Definitely not the same way. Every time I write I think of my audience.

If I knew that none of them were reading this, would I do this the same way? Of course not. But I'd still publish on the Web. I'm compelled by some weird engine in my head to do so.

This isn't art (although after a few glasses of Merlot sometimes it may resemble art).

It's just that weblogging has gotten to be a responsibility for me, and I'm still fighting with myself about how to use that responsibility.

Certainly I can use it for trashy stuff. Certainly I can use it for some good. Certainly I can use it to harm people.

These are questions we all should worry about. But not too much. I figure all this stuff will come out in the wash at the end of the day. If people are abusing the responsibility, they'll be pointed out pretty quickly. And, if some people are weblogging purely to make their ego feel better, they'll quickly get bored.

I just met Aaron Schwartz here at the WWW conference. Boy is he young. Wow, to be smart and young again. Seize the world, Aaron. The future is safe in your hands. (He's still in high school).

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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; 1:33:44 AM.