Scoble: I’m not an edge case

It got a little heated at Search Champs today when someone said “Scoble’s an edge case.” I get a little defensive about that. Why? Cause today’s edge case is tomorrow’s mainstream user. Just ask Douglas Engelbart (the guy who invented the mouse). Everyone called him an edge case in the 1970s (he was even kicked out of the research community he told me cause his ideas were too “weird”).

Thanks to Dion Hinchcliffe for recording that session and pulling out my quote in audio. Lots of people were having fun with it after the session.

Comments

  1. I’m not following why you’d be defensive about it if it’s true. So today’s bleeding edge is tomorrow’s mainstream. And? You’re a tech person, as is the inventor of the mouse, so it’s expected for you to be on the edge of technology, and if that tech goes mainstream, isn’t that good? Being one of those themselves, about all I can get upset about is spending more money for flakier stuff so that I get it early (and not uncoincedantally, my Xbox 360 arrives tomorrow to meet the $400 of accessories I had to drop to be on the edge, just as I hear about an update in the works), but that is understood as the first part of “bleeding edge”

  2. I’m not following why you’d be defensive about it if it’s true. So today’s bleeding edge is tomorrow’s mainstream. And? You’re a tech person, as is the inventor of the mouse, so it’s expected for you to be on the edge of technology, and if that tech goes mainstream, isn’t that good? Being one of those themselves, about all I can get upset about is spending more money for flakier stuff so that I get it early (and not uncoincedantally, my Xbox 360 arrives tomorrow to meet the $400 of accessories I had to drop to be on the edge, just as I hear about an update in the works), but that is understood as the first part of “bleeding edge”

  3. Well, now that we are grown-up, we can think like grown-ups (well some of us). :)

    Recently walking down Haight-Ashbury again, I saw a crowd of 60s leftover feaak-out ‘didn’t-make-the-jump-to-Richie-Yuppie-Scum’ Hippies, so do I havfta be a Hippie to know they are Hippie’s? I’ll stick with my Kenneth Cole duds, and take showers daily, thank you very much. You need not be a Hippie, you just hafta have a good nose. ;)

    But as far as edge case, yah, easy. But the one or two tech successes, doesn’t wash over the oceans of failed tech. Half of Microsoft’s problem is marketing to the edge’ers or the developers, thinking it will mainstream later. Umm sorry, doesn’t happen that way.

  4. Well, now that we are grown-up, we can think like grown-ups (well some of us). :)

    Recently walking down Haight-Ashbury again, I saw a crowd of 60s leftover feaak-out ‘didn’t-make-the-jump-to-Richie-Yuppie-Scum’ Hippies, so do I havfta be a Hippie to know they are Hippie’s? I’ll stick with my Kenneth Cole duds, and take showers daily, thank you very much. You need not be a Hippie, you just hafta have a good nose. ;)

    But as far as edge case, yah, easy. But the one or two tech successes, doesn’t wash over the oceans of failed tech. Half of Microsoft’s problem is marketing to the edge’ers or the developers, thinking it will mainstream later. Umm sorry, doesn’t happen that way.

  5. Don’t let it get to ya Scoble, there’s always going to be haters, jealous people. I know I got the same kind of treatment today at work.

    Any chance, we could access what was said later in the discussion?

    Did you get around to making the Douglas Engelbart point?

    - LB

  6. Don’t let it get to ya Scoble, there’s always going to be haters, jealous people. I know I got the same kind of treatment today at work.

    Any chance, we could access what was said later in the discussion?

    Did you get around to making the Douglas Engelbart point?

    - LB

  7. LaBomba: yeah, I hope the whole meeting comes out. It was pretty interesting. I did make that point in a later exchange.

    Keith: I was defensive because it was used in a derisive context. There was a subtext of “we don’t need to listen to Scoble cause he is a weirdo that reads 840 RSS feeds.”

  8. LaBomba: yeah, I hope the whole meeting comes out. It was pretty interesting. I did make that point in a later exchange.

    Keith: I was defensive because it was used in a derisive context. There was a subtext of “we don’t need to listen to Scoble cause he is a weirdo that reads 840 RSS feeds.”

  9. Chris: I totally disagree that Microsoft markets to edge’ers. What exactly have we done in the past four years for edge cases (while they were still edge cases)?

  10. Chris: I totally disagree that Microsoft markets to edge’ers. What exactly have we done in the past four years for edge cases (while they were still edge cases)?

  11. Robert, you’re less an edge case and more of a fanboy.

    Even as an edge case, you have nothing to do with Engelbart other than your relentless name dropping. (I had lunch today. Douglas Engelbart, whom i’ve met and says nice things about me had lunch today too. I know this because Douglas Engelbart, who talked to me, told me he has lunch at the same time i do every day) Engelbart came up with an implementation and an idea that changed everything about computing. You’re a paid cheerleader and technophile. Do remember that he created, you report. There is in fact, a difference.

    You’re an edge case, because tech for the sake of tech is your altar. You talk about things like Technorati, (I really should visit that site one day), and blogging like they are critical to everyone on the planet, and i’m sure within your little world that consists of your family and your handjobian interactions with people like Winer, they do.

    But once you get outside of your weirdly limited technophile world, half the crap you go on about doesn’t matter. People just want phones for talking. Not running their world. People still use the newspaper. People see movies because the poster looks good. People don’t use the Internet as their only source of everything. They don’t care about blogs. They don’t know who Dave Winer is, or you are. They sure as heck don’t know who I am.

    They use tech if it provides a useful purpose. They don’t just buy crap because it’s new. They use things until they’re no longer useful, not just until they’re no longer new.

    You’re like the guy in the 60s who had to have the newest car, or the newest lava lamp. You’re not creating, you’re consuming. But if you think you represent the larger realm of people, you need a real reality check. You represent bloggers who think blogging matters. That’s all.

  12. Robert, you’re less an edge case and more of a fanboy.

    Even as an edge case, you have nothing to do with Engelbart other than your relentless name dropping. (I had lunch today. Douglas Engelbart, whom i’ve met and says nice things about me had lunch today too. I know this because Douglas Engelbart, who talked to me, told me he has lunch at the same time i do every day) Engelbart came up with an implementation and an idea that changed everything about computing. You’re a paid cheerleader and technophile. Do remember that he created, you report. There is in fact, a difference.

    You’re an edge case, because tech for the sake of tech is your altar. You talk about things like Technorati, (I really should visit that site one day), and blogging like they are critical to everyone on the planet, and i’m sure within your little world that consists of your family and your handjobian interactions with people like Winer, they do.

    But once you get outside of your weirdly limited technophile world, half the crap you go on about doesn’t matter. People just want phones for talking. Not running their world. People still use the newspaper. People see movies because the poster looks good. People don’t use the Internet as their only source of everything. They don’t care about blogs. They don’t know who Dave Winer is, or you are. They sure as heck don’t know who I am.

    They use tech if it provides a useful purpose. They don’t just buy crap because it’s new. They use things until they’re no longer useful, not just until they’re no longer new.

    You’re like the guy in the 60s who had to have the newest car, or the newest lava lamp. You’re not creating, you’re consuming. But if you think you represent the larger realm of people, you need a real reality check. You represent bloggers who think blogging matters. That’s all.

  13. Unrelated….

    But…just the new channel 9 vid, Carol Grojean VAVA VOOOM!!!! Ya, lucky guy Scoble.
    ;-)

    - LB

    BTW – John C. Welch, that has to be the crappiest designed, pathetic excuse for a blog i’ve seen in a while.

  14. Unrelated….

    But…just the new channel 9 vid, Carol Grojean VAVA VOOOM!!!! Ya, lucky guy Scoble.
    ;-)

    - LB

    BTW – John C. Welch, that has to be the crappiest designed, pathetic excuse for a blog i’ve seen in a while.

  15. Scoble, you are an edge case (not a very extreme one though — cellphones, blogs, RSS, nothing else). So was Englebart (most of what he wanted still hasn’t come true). So? Conversely, you haven’t told us why we do need to listen to you? I wouldn’t say you don’t need to be listened to because you harp on what is big at the moment. And I don’t see how claiming Englebart was an edge case, makes you relevent. Englebart created new ideas, concepts, devices, applications himself. He did so within a research community. But what about you? If you want to claim you are relevent, what is your claim to it?

    Otherwise, you are only a marketer who knows a little about a very narrow sphere of the internet world who is such an avid cheerleader you overhype and underappreciate so much more because your technical knowledge, power, and influence is truly so little.

  16. Scoble, you are an edge case (not a very extreme one though — cellphones, blogs, RSS, nothing else). So was Englebart (most of what he wanted still hasn’t come true). So? Conversely, you haven’t told us why we do need to listen to you? I wouldn’t say you don’t need to be listened to because you harp on what is big at the moment. And I don’t see how claiming Englebart was an edge case, makes you relevent. Englebart created new ideas, concepts, devices, applications himself. He did so within a research community. But what about you? If you want to claim you are relevent, what is your claim to it?

    Otherwise, you are only a marketer who knows a little about a very narrow sphere of the internet world who is such an avid cheerleader you overhype and underappreciate so much more because your technical knowledge, power, and influence is truly so little.

  17. Robert,

    You’re in very good company. DaVinci, Newton and Einstein were thought of as “edge-cases” during their lifetimes. So was Bill Gates.

    If being an “edge-case” means looking forward to the future with vision and passion, so be it.


    Jeff

  18. Robert,

    You’re in very good company. DaVinci, Newton and Einstein were thought of as “edge-cases” during their lifetimes. So was Bill Gates.

    If being an “edge-case” means looking forward to the future with vision and passion, so be it.


    Jeff

  19. “Edge case” – organic growth always is at the edges , that’s where life is theming !! Life in the center is always choked. Take a look at all ecosystems !!

    Yes, if you are an edge case , imho then its a good one and a good thing. What’s wrong with that ??

    Oh btw, so was leonardo di vinvi called an edge case in his time and ero too , likewise many of the old sages.

    So jus open a bottle of jesus juice and toast yourself-its a good thing !! :)-

  20. “Edge case” – organic growth always is at the edges , that’s where life is theming !! Life in the center is always choked. Take a look at all ecosystems !!

    Yes, if you are an edge case , imho then its a good one and a good thing. What’s wrong with that ??

    Oh btw, so was leonardo di vinvi called an edge case in his time and ero too , likewise many of the old sages.

    So jus open a bottle of jesus juice and toast yourself-its a good thing !! :)-

  21. Hi, Robert. Likely, you were offended by somebody calling you an “edge case” because your convicted monopolist employer followed – and continues – a pattern of calling its competitors essentially the same thing as means to discredit them.

    You know, being at the fringe isn’t really bad – especially if you really believe in the good your cause can do.

    I don’t find RSS particularly useful as a tool, but I can see how Microsoft does for its own sinister purposes.

  22. Hi, Robert. Likely, you were offended by somebody calling you an “edge case” because your convicted monopolist employer followed – and continues – a pattern of calling its competitors essentially the same thing as means to discredit them.

    You know, being at the fringe isn’t really bad – especially if you really believe in the good your cause can do.

    I don’t find RSS particularly useful as a tool, but I can see how Microsoft does for its own sinister purposes.

  23. “Carol Grojean VAVA VOOOM!!!! Ya, lucky guy Scoble.”

    Way to reduce her years of hard work down to her tits buddy. I’m sure your appreciation of her looks far outweighs anything she is accomplishing at Microsoft.

    re: Todays edge case is also tomorrows mainstream user.

    Todays edge case is also tomorrows nutjob who bet on a bad idea. Just because you are all alone on the ski trail doesn’t mean you are a trailblazer, you could just be lost.

  24. “Carol Grojean VAVA VOOOM!!!! Ya, lucky guy Scoble.”

    Way to reduce her years of hard work down to her tits buddy. I’m sure your appreciation of her looks far outweighs anything she is accomplishing at Microsoft.

    re: Todays edge case is also tomorrows mainstream user.

    Todays edge case is also tomorrows nutjob who bet on a bad idea. Just because you are all alone on the ski trail doesn’t mean you are a trailblazer, you could just be lost.

  25. Thanks LaBomba, I knew you’d hate it. In fact, when I was doing the redesign, every pixel, every line of CSS, every bit of text was driven by one deep, burning need:

    To make you hate it.

    I have achieved my dream.

  26. Thanks LaBomba, I knew you’d hate it. In fact, when I was doing the redesign, every pixel, every line of CSS, every bit of text was driven by one deep, burning need:

    To make you hate it.

    I have achieved my dream.

  27. Hold it Robert – in your ‘heated exchange’ you said: “I’m not an edge case, the world is following me.” You’ve written on a number of occasions – I’m not that important – or some such.

    Which is it and which world are you referring to?

  28. Hold it Robert – in your ‘heated exchange’ you said: “I’m not an edge case, the world is following me.” You’ve written on a number of occasions – I’m not that important – or some such.

    Which is it and which world are you referring to?

  29. Scoble’s ego grows by the day…

    Speaking of edge cases, still no answer as to why Microsoft dropped Windows Media Player for the Mac.

  30. Scoble’s ego grows by the day…

    Speaking of edge cases, still no answer as to why Microsoft dropped Windows Media Player for the Mac.

  31. Wait. Can’t we all just get along? I remember the Commodore vs the Atari’s… What is this… Be respectful to your fellow blogger’s, if you don’t like it, don’t read it or post on it… That simple.
    Keep up the Edge work Dude
    J.

  32. Wait. Can’t we all just get along? I remember the Commodore vs the Atari’s… What is this… Be respectful to your fellow blogger’s, if you don’t like it, don’t read it or post on it… That simple.
    Keep up the Edge work Dude
    J.

  33. Hey Mr. Edge, Office 12 becomes Office 2007 (yah forgot to leak that one, unlike Vienna), good moving forward, but creates a bad marketing perception that it be nothing to worry about for this whole year. ;)

  34. Hey Mr. Edge, Office 12 becomes Office 2007 (yah forgot to leak that one, unlike Vienna), good moving forward, but creates a bad marketing perception that it be nothing to worry about for this whole year. ;)

  35. I’ve still yet to work out what scoble actually does?

    Can anyone give me a clue as im confused to how someone who has done nothing can have such a whopping ego?

    I’m not trying to be offensive but i read this blog every day among many other blogs and it seems to be 90% waffle and name dropping, why do people care about your opinions on technology what have you done to justify that status?

    Sorry but I’m interested in ‘technology’ not Robert Scoble

  36. I’ve still yet to work out what scoble actually does?

    Can anyone give me a clue as im confused to how someone who has done nothing can have such a whopping ego?

    I’m not trying to be offensive but i read this blog every day among many other blogs and it seems to be 90% waffle and name dropping, why do people care about your opinions on technology what have you done to justify that status?

    Sorry but I’m interested in ‘technology’ not Robert Scoble

  37. There are probably SOME edge cases that become mainstream, but I’d bet that the vast majority remain edge cases, gradually reduce in frequency, or just disappear altogether.

  38. There are probably SOME edge cases that become mainstream, but I’d bet that the vast majority remain edge cases, gradually reduce in frequency, or just disappear altogether.

  39. #25, when you have people who try to make it so by repeatedly telling you that something is the way they say it is, you have a small window of opportunity in which things really do have to become the way you say they are. If they do, you end up looking smart. If you don’t, people catch on, you become irrelevant, and it’s difficult to regain traction in future.

  40. #25, when you have people who try to make it so by repeatedly telling you that something is the way they say it is, you have a small window of opportunity in which things really do have to become the way you say they are. If they do, you end up looking smart. If you don’t, people catch on, you become irrelevant, and it’s difficult to regain traction in future.

  41. edge cases and early adopters

    This week was the fourth version of Microsoft’ “search champ” program, and the first one where I’ve been heavily involved in the planning (rather than simply being an attendee). It was a great meeting, with some amazing people p…

  42. [...] Scoble sees “edge case” as a critical appellation, feeling (rightly) that in his past it’s been used as a derisive term standing in for strange, eccentric, radical, etc. It might have been used that way before, but it’s a misuse, and there’s no evidence Liz was trying to insult him. [...]

  43. They dropped WiMP:Mac, because it was a pile of crap, a SHAMEFUL pile of crap that the WM team just as shamefully let the MacBU take heat for.

    Amazing how Robert never got angry about that, especially since it would have been legitimate.

    Anyway, it sucked. The WM team was about as likely to make WiMP:Mac as feature complete as say QuickTime on Windows is, as they were to make their server run on Linux and provide the source code for free under a BSD license.

    So now, you’ve lost no real features, and it runs in a player that doesn’t blow chunks. It’s a win-win.

  44. They dropped WiMP:Mac, because it was a pile of crap, a SHAMEFUL pile of crap that the WM team just as shamefully let the MacBU take heat for.

    Amazing how Robert never got angry about that, especially since it would have been legitimate.

    Anyway, it sucked. The WM team was about as likely to make WiMP:Mac as feature complete as say QuickTime on Windows is, as they were to make their server run on Linux and provide the source code for free under a BSD license.

    So now, you’ve lost no real features, and it runs in a player that doesn’t blow chunks. It’s a win-win.

  45. [...] At the end of Microsoft’ Search Champ program, Liz Lawley called Robert Scoble an edge case because he reads 840 blogs. She did not use the term derisively. She went on the describe the difference between early adopter and edge case. In our house we tend toward early adoption, and sometimes I become an obsessive compulsive edge case. Liz Lawley: So what’s the difference? To me, an early adopter is someone who recognizes the value of a new technology or tool before it becomes widely used or accepted, and often evangelizes it to others. They recognize trends before they’re trends, and are the ones who are always acquiring the latest-and-greatest technical toys. An edge case is someone who’s on the extreme edge of an activity, regardless of whether they’re an early adopter. Someone who reads 840 blogs is an edge case. But so is someone who reads dozens of daily newspapers, or runs 10 miles every morning. Their choices may influence our behavior–those edge cases are great at recommending things to others–but most people will be far more moderate in their behavior. [...]

  46. If anyone can think for themselves, why are you whinging and cryingabout it?

    Someone doth protest too much.

  47. If anyone can think for themselves, why are you whinging and cryingabout it?

    Someone doth protest too much.

  48. Much too early to comment on Live Labs

    I’ve been reading several comments on one of Microsoft’s newest brainchilds: Live Labs. In fact, I was sitting two rows back at Search Champs when Dr. Gary Flake gave the speech about Live Labs that included Robert Scoble’s infamous …

  49. You *are* an edge case Robert but don’t worry, we *all* are. We just don’t realize it.

    I currently subscribe to hundreds of feeds but if things pan out they way I expect they will I’ll soon subscribe to none…. yet sample thousands.

    I expect the Feed Aggregator to go the way of the dodo, to be replaced by the Feed Grazer. Its a completely different model and it will be enabled by OPML directories and Reading Lists. When the World is an Outline we don’t have to wed ourselves to a tiny number of information flows (eg. 400) – instead we can graze everything.

    And we’ll all be edge cases :)

  50. You *are* an edge case Robert but don’t worry, we *all* are. We just don’t realize it.

    I currently subscribe to hundreds of feeds but if things pan out they way I expect they will I’ll soon subscribe to none…. yet sample thousands.

    I expect the Feed Aggregator to go the way of the dodo, to be replaced by the Feed Grazer. Its a completely different model and it will be enabled by OPML directories and Reading Lists. When the World is an Outline we don’t have to wed ourselves to a tiny number of information flows (eg. 400) – instead we can graze everything.

    And we’ll all be edge cases :)

  51. Information Overload – My Dirty Little Secret

    I’m willing to bet, though, that the pang of information overload is something that edge cases and mainstream internet users probably share. At some point, I bet that we’ve all felt overwhelmed looking at search results (no matter how organized), dec…

  52. I think just having a real website these days makes you an edge case.. or just blogging..
    by the way check out http://www.leathersaloon.com
    We are living on the edge of new technology every day by still utilizing the computer. Let’s keep it going for the future generations. We will all be looked at as “pioneers of blog” someday.

  53. I think just having a real website these days makes you an edge case.. or just blogging..
    by the way check out http://www.leathersaloon.com
    We are living on the edge of new technology every day by still utilizing the computer. Let’s keep it going for the future generations. We will all be looked at as “pioneers of blog” someday.

  54. [...] This Last Bit Reads Kinda Like a Prediction. With Vista looking like it’s maybe 6 or 8 months away I fully expect Adobe to crank things up on Apollo and won’t be surprised to see some Apollo related previews on Adobe labs between now and then. The timing on this is kind of significant in my opinion. The increased pace of web based application innovation that folks refer to as Web 2.0 has been surging for awhile now and while I don’t think it will fall off as dramatically as the dot com era, (it won’t get nearly as out of control either), I do think the shine will begin to wear off. If both Adobe and Microsoft have planned this correctly, just as the limitations of the RIA as we know it today becomes glaringly apparent (to non edge cases ’cause you edgies have thinking about this for years) there will be platforms available on which to build the applications that overcome those limitiations. And you know what, there’ll probably be room for both and any rumoured killings will be unlikely. [...]

  55. [...] What I liked best about Scoble’s “I am not an edge case!” declaration is how it encodes a deep respect for others’ needs and capabilities. He doesn’t set himself apart like you might expect from someone of his renown. Scoble’s manifesto reminds me of a comment made on Alex Barnett’s podcast about attention by one of his interviewees—I think Nick Bradbury—that “even brilliant users need simple solutions.” Alex continues on that theme with his post attention engines are not just for the geekosphere. His wife is not a geek, but she could use better help finding the information she wants to read on the Web. Many Web technologies could be made relevant for those disinclined to read 800+ feeds in one of today’s news aggregators. [...]

  56. Chris: I totally disagree that Microsoft markets to edge’ers. What exactly have we done in the past four years for edge cases (while they were still edge cases)?

  57. Chris: I totally disagree that Microsoft markets to edge’ers. What exactly have we done in the past four years for edge cases (while they were still edge cases)?