On the grid at OffTheGrid

OK, you have to picture this. A resort in the middle of nowhere that’s been here for 100 years (Theodore Roosevelt stopped here when he was planning the first national park). How weird is this resort? Well, its front driveway is a landing strip.

Now, look at the front porch. There’s nine geeks all on laptops checking their email, blogging, uploading videos, or watching the keynote from yesterday.

Yeah, Herschel Horton, that’s exactly where we are (he found an image on Google Earth of my mom’s house)

Eddie has first photos.

Laura Moncur has video from the Salt Lake brunch we had on the way here.

Anyway, the mix of people here is just perfect. There are a couple of families. A professor. A couple of CEOs. A couple of hard core geeks (one wrote the software for Microsoft’s wheel mouse). A few video bloggers. A few locals. A few eccentrics.

It’s Blogher meets Gnomedex. With no agenda other than to get to Chico, go swimming, and get on Wifi. Anyway, having fun in the sun.

30 people is a perfect size for a campout. That’s enough so that you get enough diversity and you get enough time with each person to really have a good conversation. We stayed up last night until about 3 a.m. just talking.

Richard White, founder of KikoCalendar and SlimTimer, which got a nice writeup in TechCrunch, was here and he was suprised to find some users of his product here.

John Masterson, founder of GrupThink brought his homebrew beer, which we’ll start consuming soon. Grupthink is lots of fun to browse through. It’s a site where you can get your questions answered.

Thanks to Jan McLaughlin for the photo. We just couldn’t stay off the grid. But, now it’s “jump in the pool” time. More later.

Comments

  1. LayZ probably doesn’t understand that there is more to the world than a dark little den. Probably the only the only time he’s seen scenery is when his mom hung a poster of mountains on his wall ;-)

  2. LayZ probably doesn’t understand that there is more to the world than a dark little den. Probably the only the only time he’s seen scenery is when his mom hung a poster of mountains on his wall ;-)

  3. Hi Robert:

    I’m glad you are enjoying your vacation, but I think you are missing important news regarding User Generated Content. I posted today at http://www.writingforfilm.com/articles/ about the Google/Viacom venture to place Viacom products on “independent” websites. BTW, I believe that it speaks to the strength of your blog that if you don’t discuss it, it doesn’t seem as if we are receiving full commentary or an important outlet for discussion.

    P.S.–LayZ and Chris–also responded to your comments.

  4. Hi Robert:

    I’m glad you are enjoying your vacation, but I think you are missing important news regarding User Generated Content. I posted today at http://www.writingforfilm.com/articles/ about the Google/Viacom venture to place Viacom products on “independent” websites. BTW, I believe that it speaks to the strength of your blog that if you don’t discuss it, it doesn’t seem as if we are receiving full commentary or an important outlet for discussion.

    P.S.–LayZ and Chris–also responded to your comments.

  5. I Told ya, Ya couldn’t do it! I do hope you talked to the constabulary so they are correctly identified as geeks and not escaped mental patients, as many of the gestures and mutterings are simular.

    And geekspeek in the hinderlands is a foreign language.

    “Blogger”?
    What kinda chain saw you got?
    How many cords do ya cut?
    Oh BLOGGER!
    You ain’t one of those cultists, are ya?
    How many of you, you got?
    What do you mean 50 million?
    I don’t see but a dozen of ya round here.
    You got a Membership card or ID?

    How come your pitcher box ain’t plugged into the wall? Wireless? How the hell ya know ya go power?

    Oh Blogger, Like them folks at that weird cafe don’t serve beef? Ya, they got them laptops too.

    Why the hell they call em laptops anyhow? Seems to me that when ya sit down you lap top is right there.

    You folks ain’t plannin on stayin are Ya?”

  6. I Told ya, Ya couldn’t do it! I do hope you talked to the constabulary so they are correctly identified as geeks and not escaped mental patients, as many of the gestures and mutterings are simular.

    And geekspeek in the hinderlands is a foreign language.

    “Blogger”?
    What kinda chain saw you got?
    How many cords do ya cut?
    Oh BLOGGER!
    You ain’t one of those cultists, are ya?
    How many of you, you got?
    What do you mean 50 million?
    I don’t see but a dozen of ya round here.
    You got a Membership card or ID?

    How come your pitcher box ain’t plugged into the wall? Wireless? How the hell ya know ya go power?

    Oh Blogger, Like them folks at that weird cafe don’t serve beef? Ya, they got them laptops too.

    Why the hell they call em laptops anyhow? Seems to me that when ya sit down you lap top is right there.

    You folks ain’t plannin on stayin are Ya?”

  7. Hey, PXLated, interesting you think you know me. If you and Scoble think the defintion of enjoying a beautiful part of the country like Montana is sitting on a porch with one and a half eyes on a laptop screen and half an eye on the scenery, well God love ya!

    As for me, I’m looking forward to my yearly two weeks at a Villa Suite at the Kea Lani in Maui. Where I won’t have a computer or cell phone, or PDA in site. The closest thing to technology will by my son with his DS Light.

    Then, of course, in January it’s St. Croix, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

    And I still maintain it’s pathetic that Scoble can’t stay “off the Grid” for less than an hour it seems. But hey, some people have a lower bar than I do for defining a vacation.

  8. Hey, PXLated, interesting you think you know me. If you and Scoble think the defintion of enjoying a beautiful part of the country like Montana is sitting on a porch with one and a half eyes on a laptop screen and half an eye on the scenery, well God love ya!

    As for me, I’m looking forward to my yearly two weeks at a Villa Suite at the Kea Lani in Maui. Where I won’t have a computer or cell phone, or PDA in site. The closest thing to technology will by my son with his DS Light.

    Then, of course, in January it’s St. Croix, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

    And I still maintain it’s pathetic that Scoble can’t stay “off the Grid” for less than an hour it seems. But hey, some people have a lower bar than I do for defining a vacation.

  9. And I still maintain it’s pathetic that Scoble can’t stay “off the Grid” for less than an hour it seems.

    It’s only “pathetic” if he wants to stay “off the Grid” and can’t… if he’s enjoying staying connected and blogging, it’s not really pathetic. You’re supposed to do what you like on vacation, whether that’s sitting in hot water, having good conversations until 3 AM, or surfing the web.

    It just sounded a little like, “Ewww gross, who uses computers for FUN? Society says you’re not supposed to do anything on vacation except stare at scenery. Conform, conform!”

    Some peoples’ idea of vacation is to lie on a beach all day. Other people climb mountains. Some people want to be in the wilderness, isolated, miles from everyone; other people want to go to Ibiza and dance in crowded clubs until 4 AM. Some want sensory stimulation; some want sensory deprivation. Some people want to eat; others want to go to a spa or retreat and fast.

    It’s not a “lower bar” than yours; it’s just a different one.

    But I think all people can agree on one thing:

    Montana?!? For vacation???? WTF is up with that???
    :-)

    LOL @ Alan: “Blogger? What kinda chain saw ya got?”

    Aye-yuh, I think “Bloggers” must be one o’ them cults. Saw one of ‘em standing out in the field, talkin’ to himself a mile a minute. Didn’t have no telephone or nothin’. Asked him who he’s talking to, he taps the side of his head and tells me he’s got a blue tooth. Bunch of crazy mixed-up people, them bloggers…

  10. And I still maintain it’s pathetic that Scoble can’t stay “off the Grid” for less than an hour it seems.

    It’s only “pathetic” if he wants to stay “off the Grid” and can’t… if he’s enjoying staying connected and blogging, it’s not really pathetic. You’re supposed to do what you like on vacation, whether that’s sitting in hot water, having good conversations until 3 AM, or surfing the web.

    It just sounded a little like, “Ewww gross, who uses computers for FUN? Society says you’re not supposed to do anything on vacation except stare at scenery. Conform, conform!”

    Some peoples’ idea of vacation is to lie on a beach all day. Other people climb mountains. Some people want to be in the wilderness, isolated, miles from everyone; other people want to go to Ibiza and dance in crowded clubs until 4 AM. Some want sensory stimulation; some want sensory deprivation. Some people want to eat; others want to go to a spa or retreat and fast.

    It’s not a “lower bar” than yours; it’s just a different one.

    But I think all people can agree on one thing:

    Montana?!? For vacation???? WTF is up with that???
    :-)

    LOL @ Alan: “Blogger? What kinda chain saw ya got?”

    Aye-yuh, I think “Bloggers” must be one o’ them cults. Saw one of ‘em standing out in the field, talkin’ to himself a mile a minute. Didn’t have no telephone or nothin’. Asked him who he’s talking to, he taps the side of his head and tells me he’s got a blue tooth. Bunch of crazy mixed-up people, them bloggers…

  11. You can tell they’re on vacation because their shoes are off. These guys know how to relax!

  12. think you are missing important news regarding User Generated Content.

    Oh he misses upwards of 90% of real news. But well, in his defense, it’s been an Evangelistic Overhyping Geeky Microsoft-insider, Silicon Valley party and name drop, geeky clueless (and annonying) A-Lister blog, but “UGC” itself is considered an exploitative terminology, might want to alter the pitch there. Robert’s starting up a more content-based blog, give him time. Just all the start-uppy cushy move and vacational two to three month hire-in modes…

  13. think you are missing important news regarding User Generated Content.

    Oh he misses upwards of 90% of real news. But well, in his defense, it’s been an Evangelistic Overhyping Geeky Microsoft-insider, Silicon Valley party and name drop, geeky clueless (and annonying) A-Lister blog, but “UGC” itself is considered an exploitative terminology, might want to alter the pitch there. Robert’s starting up a more content-based blog, give him time. Just all the start-uppy cushy move and vacational two to three month hire-in modes…

  14. karim, that’s my point. Scoble said he was going to stay off the grid, but like a crack whore, he cant’

  15. karim, that’s my point. Scoble said he was going to stay off the grid, but like a crack whore, he cant’

  16. I mean, hell, look how white those legs are. Talk about someone spending time in a dark little den! ;-)

  17. Ugh, I wish I hadn’t slept in so late on Sunday. I had planned on making a day trip down there. Maybe I’ll catch 2.0

  18. Ugh, I wish I hadn’t slept in so late on Sunday. I had planned on making a day trip down there. Maybe I’ll catch 2.0

  19. @12. Just because they offer it doesn’t mean you HAVE to partake. Particulary when it was YOU that said you were going to be “off the Grid”.

    Karim, yes, excellent points about what people define as a vacation. It seems, however, most everything you describe is people doing things that aren’t a part of their day to day work lives. I know very few people that go on vacation with the intent of doing what they do every day when they are NOT on vacation. But, again, if that’s some people’s definition of relaxing….taking my everyday life to a different venue, God love ‘em.

  20. @12. Just because they offer it doesn’t mean you HAVE to partake. Particulary when it was YOU that said you were going to be “off the Grid”.

    Karim, yes, excellent points about what people define as a vacation. It seems, however, most everything you describe is people doing things that aren’t a part of their day to day work lives. I know very few people that go on vacation with the intent of doing what they do every day when they are NOT on vacation. But, again, if that’s some people’s definition of relaxing….taking my everyday life to a different venue, God love ‘em.

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    A g-WH!Z exclusive/scoop on an EVDO capable Linksys router for your car, van, blogmobile, home, movie star trailer, yada yada You saw it first here.

  22. Robert Scoble Creates a New TV Pilot called “Off The Grid”

     A group of techies meet at a mysterious remote ranch in Montana for a week long “Off The Grid” campout to discuss the future of the internet and how to improve it.  Cast members include a couple of CEOs, a couple of hard core gee…

  23. Robert Scoble Creates a New TV Pilot called “Off The Grid”

    A group of techies meet at a mysterious remote ranch in Montana for a week long “Off The Grid” campout to discuss the future of the internet and how to improve it. Cast members include a couple of CEOs, a couple of hard core geeks, some video bloggers, the Professor and MaryAnn (what – that is a different show!). Robert Scoble is played by Brad Pitt!

  24. Robert Scoble Creates a New TV Pilot called “Off The Grid”

    A group of techies meet at a mysterious remote ranch in Montana for a week long “Off The Grid” campout to discuss the future of the internet and how to improve it. Cast members include a couple of CEOs, a couple of hard core geeks, some video bloggers, the Professor and MaryAnn (what – that is a different show!). Robert Scoble is played by Brad Pitt!

  25. I thought Phillip Seymour Hoffman (reviving his Scotty J character from “Boogie Nights”) would play Scoble.

  26. I thought Phillip Seymour Hoffman (reviving his Scotty J character from “Boogie Nights”) would play Scoble.

  27. to discuss the future of the Internet and how to improve it.

    Oh brother, like people would pay $10 to see that, some VIPish self-important ego-flare up talker. No you need some sort of intrigue, some sort of mystery beyond just the ‘cabin’, some sort of end-of-the-world play, that is if you want to make it a hit movie. Don’t quit your day job, Hollywood ain’t gonna come calling.

    So rather…

    A group of techies meet at remote underground bunker in a Montana to discuss their plan to control the Internet, bringing world governments to their knees, recreating themselves as a facist-styled new economy ruling body. Their plan is put in motion, indirectly spawning World War III in the process.

    And not of the Disneyified Jack Ryan slash Bruce Willisified rides-the-deathly comet saves-the-world kick; no this would work best as a cautionary Orwellianish Shakespearean tragedy.

    Of course a ‘Thank You for Smoking’ flavored satire or a lightheaded Christopher Guest-styled ‘mockumentary’ could also work, but won’t be as blockbusterish.

  28. to discuss the future of the Internet and how to improve it.

    Oh brother, like people would pay $10 to see that, some VIPish self-important ego-flare up talker. No you need some sort of intrigue, some sort of mystery beyond just the ‘cabin’, some sort of end-of-the-world play, that is if you want to make it a hit movie. Don’t quit your day job, Hollywood ain’t gonna come calling.

    So rather…

    A group of techies meet at remote underground bunker in a Montana to discuss their plan to control the Internet, bringing world governments to their knees, recreating themselves as a facist-styled new economy ruling body. Their plan is put in motion, indirectly spawning World War III in the process.

    And not of the Disneyified Jack Ryan slash Bruce Willisified rides-the-deathly comet saves-the-world kick; no this would work best as a cautionary Orwellianish Shakespearean tragedy.

    Of course a ‘Thank You for Smoking’ flavored satire or a lightheaded Christopher Guest-styled ‘mockumentary’ could also work, but won’t be as blockbusterish.

  29. [...] I’ve just returned from Robert Scoble’s “OffTheGrid” camp in the Paradise Valley of Western Montana (pictured above, at dawn, from my sleeping bag in the front yard of the house). A very interesting and smart group of people discussed all matter of topics, including Web 2.0, the merits of tabs versus spaces in programming, the crisis in the Middle East, blogging & democracy in China, the future of education in America, really really high end digital video cameras, and various challenges of content aggregation and distribution. And that’s just what I remember offhand. [...]

  30. For the record, I was only a cog in the mighty Kiko.com wheel but perhaps after some of John’s homebrew I got a little carried away. Sure we got on the grid occasionally, but for the most part it was about finding a human connection not an internet one. Great time, kudos to Scoble and everyone else that showed up.

  31. For the record, I was only a cog in the mighty Kiko.com wheel but perhaps after some of John’s homebrew I got a little carried away. Sure we got on the grid occasionally, but for the most part it was about finding a human connection not an internet one. Great time, kudos to Scoble and everyone else that showed up.

  32. Hi Robert and Maryann
    I hope that you are enjoying the fishing, or even the thought of it, and relaxing as the world keeps spinning. Let the porch swing rock you, and it will all be here when you get back.

    Daniel

  33. Hi Robert and Maryann
    I hope that you are enjoying the fishing, or even the thought of it, and relaxing as the world keeps spinning. Let the porch swing rock you, and it will all be here when you get back.

    Daniel

  34. Hola!

    I’ve made my travel Vlog http://www.ivebeenplaces.com inspired and educated by Scobleizer industry stories. I have some big plans for it, I would appreciate some feedback. E.g. on video format, user interface, content …

    Also, I plan to get a world map so you can click each place where I have a video. On the other hand, the immediate video playing might be better, right after you load the page?

    Thanks,
    Nick

  35. Hola!

    I’ve made my travel Vlog http://www.ivebeenplaces.com inspired and educated by Scobleizer industry stories. I have some big plans for it, I would appreciate some feedback. E.g. on video format, user interface, content …

    Also, I plan to get a world map so you can click each place where I have a video. On the other hand, the immediate video playing might be better, right after you load the page?

    Thanks,
    Nick

  36. T’was Grand!
    Fresh back from Off the Grid, Tanja and I are once again in Oakland, already working on some of the ideas that were thought up in Montana. Thanks for the hospitality – it was a bold experiment and it turned out wonderfully!
    Best,
    Oscar

  37. T’was Grand!
    Fresh back from Off the Grid, Tanja and I are once again in Oakland, already working on some of the ideas that were thought up in Montana. Thanks for the hospitality – it was a bold experiment and it turned out wonderfully!
    Best,
    Oscar

  38. Wow, nice job on the show, great editing and production, sorta a quirky Alton Brown styled show…

  39. Wow, nice job on the show, great editing and production, sorta a quirky Alton Brown styled show…

  40. @ Richard White – Yes, it was the human connections that mattered; even when on-the-grid at Chico Hot Springs it was questions and answers, curiosity and information exchanged.

    My take on the weekend is here: Eyes Off-the-Grid Geek Camp. Music by Patrick Scoble – thanks Patrick!

  41. @ Richard White – Yes, it was the human connections that mattered; even when on-the-grid at Chico Hot Springs it was questions and answers, curiosity and information exchanged.

    My take on the weekend is here: Eyes Off-the-Grid Geek Camp. Music by Patrick Scoble – thanks Patrick!