Opacity is evil?

I love this quote from Steve Sloan: “opacity is evil.” I totally agree with that when it comes to public institutions. The way our tax money is being spent should be done transparently. I doubt we’ll ever get there.

I look at yesterday’s events regarding PodCamp. Would I have done anything differently if we had been totally transparent? No. I told an audience yesterday that I live my life expecting that whatever I do or say will get on the front page of the New York Times. That makes people uncomfortable.

It is an uncomfortable life sometimes. Particularly when people don’t do their homework before jumping to conclusions.

I wish bloggers called and tried to get my side of the story before making attacks and tried to present both sides of the story, even if their side of the story is right and mine is wrong. I thought blogging was about being fair, and open, and different than what existed before. I guess not.

Hey, I live in a dream world. I know.

Comments

  1. But blogging worked, Robert! Someone blogged their view of the world. You corrected the record quickly by providing your, and more complete, side.

    Mission accomplished. (ooops, bad phrase).

  2. But blogging worked, Robert! Someone blogged their view of the world. You corrected the record quickly by providing your, and more complete, side.

    Mission accomplished. (ooops, bad phrase).

  3. Nick: but in my ideal world I wouldn’t need to respond to an attack because in my ideal world that blogger would have been fair, would have been complete, would have called first, and would have gotten my side of the story as well as his first.

  4. Nick: but in my ideal world I wouldn’t need to respond to an attack because in my ideal world that blogger would have been fair, would have been complete, would have called first, and would have gotten my side of the story as well as his first.

  5. I wish bloggers called and tried to get my side of the story before making attacks and tried to present both sides of the story, even if their side of the story is right and mine is wrong. I thought blogging was about being fair, and open, and different than what existed before. I guess not.

    So then this would be yet another case of you saying “being correct is better than being first”? Because you know, you’ve done that before, and then crapped all over it the first chance you got. Why should anyone make the effort and extend to you a courtesy that you’ve been rather unable to extend to others? You’ve *not* been good about waiting to get all the facts before demanding someone’s head, yet now you want others to do that for you?

    Come on Robert, you must be able to see the disconnect here.

  6. I wish bloggers called and tried to get my side of the story before making attacks and tried to present both sides of the story, even if their side of the story is right and mine is wrong. I thought blogging was about being fair, and open, and different than what existed before. I guess not.

    So then this would be yet another case of you saying “being correct is better than being first”? Because you know, you’ve done that before, and then crapped all over it the first chance you got. Why should anyone make the effort and extend to you a courtesy that you’ve been rather unable to extend to others? You’ve *not* been good about waiting to get all the facts before demanding someone’s head, yet now you want others to do that for you?

    Come on Robert, you must be able to see the disconnect here.

  7. Also, the disconnect between most of your post (and yesterday’s repeated exhortations in your comments on the “PodCamp email taken out of context…” post to the conference organizer who showed up, JVO, to keep conference planning communications out of the public eye) *really* aren’t consistent with the following statement:

    > I told an audience yesterday that I live my life
    > expecting that whatever I do or say will get on the
    > front page of the New York Times.

  8. Also, the disconnect between most of your post (and yesterday’s repeated exhortations in your comments on the “PodCamp email taken out of context…” post to the conference organizer who showed up, JVO, to keep conference planning communications out of the public eye) *really* aren’t consistent with the following statement:

    > I told an audience yesterday that I live my life
    > expecting that whatever I do or say will get on the
    > front page of the New York Times.

  9. “I wish bloggers called and tried to get my side of the story before making attacks and tried to present both sides of the story, even if their side of the story is right and mine is wrong. I thought blogging was about being fair, and open, and different than what existed before. I guess not.”

    I totally agree mate. It’s always a blogger’s right to blog. And when we live in the public eye we always expect to get blogged about.

    But yeah, you’d think people would ask (and no that’s honestly not a jab, I’m simply agreeing).

  10. “I wish bloggers called and tried to get my side of the story before making attacks and tried to present both sides of the story, even if their side of the story is right and mine is wrong. I thought blogging was about being fair, and open, and different than what existed before. I guess not.”

    I totally agree mate. It’s always a blogger’s right to blog. And when we live in the public eye we always expect to get blogged about.

    But yeah, you’d think people would ask (and no that’s honestly not a jab, I’m simply agreeing).

  11. Robert, I have to agree with the others in their sentiment that you have not at all lived by that ethos. I’ve always had the take-away that you are a post first, let others correct type.

  12. Robert, I have to agree with the others in their sentiment that you have not at all lived by that ethos. I’ve always had the take-away that you are a post first, let others correct type.

  13. PXLated: and I’ve been wrong when I’ve done that, haven’t I?

    On the other hand, I did apologize and fix my mistakes when they were pointed out to me.

    Brian: that blast wasn’t totally mistaken. That guy definitely benefits from spammers linking to his site and using his software. Something he certainly hasn’t seemed to care about. That almost puts him on the same level as the spammer. But, yeah, I should have done my homework in that instance too.

  14. PXLated: and I’ve been wrong when I’ve done that, haven’t I?

    On the other hand, I did apologize and fix my mistakes when they were pointed out to me.

    Brian: that blast wasn’t totally mistaken. That guy definitely benefits from spammers linking to his site and using his software. Something he certainly hasn’t seemed to care about. That almost puts him on the same level as the spammer. But, yeah, I should have done my homework in that instance too.

  15. Brian: yes, there is a disconnect there. Some things should be private, some public. What’s happening is now we don’t know what’s private and public anymore. It leads to friction, misunderstandings, and more. It’s interesting times we live in, that’s for sure.

  16. Brian: yes, there is a disconnect there. Some things should be private, some public. What’s happening is now we don’t know what’s private and public anymore. It leads to friction, misunderstandings, and more. It’s interesting times we live in, that’s for sure.

  17. ROB’T WHEN YOU SAY THINGS LIKE “…PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS. THE WAY OUR TAXES $ IS BEING SPENT SHOULD BE DONE TRANSPARENTLY. I DOUBT WE’LL EVER GET THERE.” YOU RISK SOUNDING LIKE ANOTHER UN-EVOLVED DOT COM DOOFUS. JOIN THE THOUSANDS OF OTHERS WHO ARE WORKING HARD TO REMIND THOSE BOZOS IN GOV’T THEY WORK FOR US NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. WE ARE THE GOV’T REMEMBER? HOW’S THIS FOR STARTERS?
    WHEN WE PAY OUR TAXES WE EARMARK EXACTLY WHAT WE WANT OUR $ TO
    FUND. WE ALWAYS HEAR POLITICIANS TALKING ABOUT EARMARKING FUNDS FOR THEIR PET PROJECTS. NOW ITS OUR TURN. GET INVOLVED GET YOUR LOYAL READERS INVOLVED. IT’S THE ONLY WAY TRANSPARENCY IN PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS WILL BE ACHIEVED…

  18. ROB’T WHEN YOU SAY THINGS LIKE “…PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS. THE WAY OUR TAXES $ IS BEING SPENT SHOULD BE DONE TRANSPARENTLY. I DOUBT WE’LL EVER GET THERE.” YOU RISK SOUNDING LIKE ANOTHER UN-EVOLVED DOT COM DOOFUS. JOIN THE THOUSANDS OF OTHERS WHO ARE WORKING HARD TO REMIND THOSE BOZOS IN GOV’T THEY WORK FOR US NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. WE ARE THE GOV’T REMEMBER? HOW’S THIS FOR STARTERS?
    WHEN WE PAY OUR TAXES WE EARMARK EXACTLY WHAT WE WANT OUR $ TO
    FUND. WE ALWAYS HEAR POLITICIANS TALKING ABOUT EARMARKING FUNDS FOR THEIR PET PROJECTS. NOW ITS OUR TURN. GET INVOLVED GET YOUR LOYAL READERS INVOLVED. IT’S THE ONLY WAY TRANSPARENCY IN PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS WILL BE ACHIEVED…

  19. Elvis: can you please turn your caps lock key off? It’s rude and it makes you sound like you’re shouting. Not to mention it’s very hard to read because our eyes look at the shapes of words and when you make all words look like rectangles it slows down comprehension greatly.

  20. Elvis: can you please turn your caps lock key off? It’s rude and it makes you sound like you’re shouting. Not to mention it’s very hard to read because our eyes look at the shapes of words and when you make all words look like rectangles it slows down comprehension greatly.

  21. That’s why I love you, Robert, because you live in a dream world. Gotta get some thick skin. All my life people have thought I had some sort of duplicitous agenda. But nope — wysiwig. Drives people nuts.

    By the way, when you meet Sam, you will find out she has a cat named Woot

  22. That’s why I love you, Robert, because you live in a dream world. Gotta get some thick skin. All my life people have thought I had some sort of duplicitous agenda. But nope — wysiwig. Drives people nuts.

    By the way, when you meet Sam, you will find out she has a cat named Woot

  23. I am living in dream world too. Dream creates vision. Vision leads to plan. Plan turns into action. Action becomes Reality.

    I am living in between Dream and Reality. I create things because I dare to dream. So Robert, don’t ever give up dreaming. Don’t let anyone discourage you from dreaming.

    Many people didn’t realize how difficult it is to find excellent attractive intersting speakers. Not all successful executives are interesting to listen to. When someone as busy as Robert Scoble is willing to take time off to travel from coast to coast on top of his work load working for a startup in SV, the public should be more polite and be more understanding. Web 2.0 Startup, unlike Web 1.0 dot burst, is more conversative in budget and spending. There is no IPO. It is just VC money and business model to make profits. And Robert is not another executives that make fortunes from the dot boom. Be more considerate before you critize.

    I’ll share with you how difficult to find expert speaker. It took me 6-9 months time to invite Adobe expert to speak. I personally spend 3 hours doing Adobe usability skipping my lunch so that I can gather more contacts to help me search for the right speaker. At least I have gathered 3-5 different sources and jump though many loops to get final approval. I wait and wait and wait. I ask and ask and ask.

    Getting an expert speaker can turns things around in the community. I like to thanks James Ward publicly. Due to our curiosity and passion, James has given us something that was so exclusive. He made a brand new unreleased presentation with web app, talked outside the box on Javascript 2, Actionscript 3, Flashplayer 9, compared Flex with standard AJAX on load time with actual live test. And Adobe gives us a commercial license for prize and free SDK CDs for our developers. It is beyond the standard presentation for a paid conference. We are just a local tech group.

    As a result, a Foothill college instructor is planning to teach Flex. Our members are talking about designing Flex app. The impact is deep as the words get out.

    I would think twice or three times before jumping on an established speaker on such minor issue.

    If I have 20 hours to volunteer in organizing an event, I rather spend 20 hours on marketing and promoting the events, work on the program than letting these kind of unfortunate incidents happened or negativities. It is waste of time on both parties and no one win.

    I hope I can light up here a little bit.

  24. I am living in dream world too. Dream creates vision. Vision leads to plan. Plan turns into action. Action becomes Reality.

    I am living in between Dream and Reality. I create things because I dare to dream. So Robert, don’t ever give up dreaming. Don’t let anyone discourage you from dreaming.

    Many people didn’t realize how difficult it is to find excellent attractive intersting speakers. Not all successful executives are interesting to listen to. When someone as busy as Robert Scoble is willing to take time off to travel from coast to coast on top of his work load working for a startup in SV, the public should be more polite and be more understanding. Web 2.0 Startup, unlike Web 1.0 dot burst, is more conversative in budget and spending. There is no IPO. It is just VC money and business model to make profits. And Robert is not another executives that make fortunes from the dot boom. Be more considerate before you critize.

    I’ll share with you how difficult to find expert speaker. It took me 6-9 months time to invite Adobe expert to speak. I personally spend 3 hours doing Adobe usability skipping my lunch so that I can gather more contacts to help me search for the right speaker. At least I have gathered 3-5 different sources and jump though many loops to get final approval. I wait and wait and wait. I ask and ask and ask.

    Getting an expert speaker can turns things around in the community. I like to thanks James Ward publicly. Due to our curiosity and passion, James has given us something that was so exclusive. He made a brand new unreleased presentation with web app, talked outside the box on Javascript 2, Actionscript 3, Flashplayer 9, compared Flex with standard AJAX on load time with actual live test. And Adobe gives us a commercial license for prize and free SDK CDs for our developers. It is beyond the standard presentation for a paid conference. We are just a local tech group.

    As a result, a Foothill college instructor is planning to teach Flex. Our members are talking about designing Flex app. The impact is deep as the words get out.

    I would think twice or three times before jumping on an established speaker on such minor issue.

    If I have 20 hours to volunteer in organizing an event, I rather spend 20 hours on marketing and promoting the events, work on the program than letting these kind of unfortunate incidents happened or negativities. It is waste of time on both parties and no one win.

    I hope I can light up here a little bit.

  25. Sorry didn’t mean to shout! …didn’t reallize my caps were on…WORKPLACE computer seemed to have aa stucck keysss. I will communicaate from home
    Thank you for your interesst…..

  26. Sorry didn’t mean to shout! …didn’t reallize my caps were on…WORKPLACE computer seemed to have aa stucck keysss. I will communicaate from home
    Thank you for your interesst…..

  27. Hi there Robert,
    I realize this reply comes several days after the fact, but I’ve been sitting back and watching the progress of this situation.
    As I explained to someone else involved in this particular fiasco, it seems no one really knows what is an “appropriate” reaction to blog posts. I’ve been seeing this for years in various blogging and online journal communities.
    It seems that when someone blogs something in the heat of the moment, the “document” that results is subject to intense criticism because it isn’t a passing thing (the way natural speech is). This “document” stays on the internet, unless of course one retracts it or apologizes, but that isn’t often the case because a lot of (proud) bloggers feel that they should be allowed to post whatever they want, cause isn’t that the whole point? Freedom of speech? And yes, that is the point. But it works both ways, so they can’t really yell at someone for criticizing things they have posted. (I call this the meta-blogging paradox.)
    I do find it particularly amusing to note though, the reaction that people had to that particular post on the podcampnyc blog. If I understood the comments correctly, it seemed that some readers hastily abandoned ship when it came to that blogger. I’m specifically talking about Brad Gibson’s reply: “Why wouldn’t you pay expenses for a guy who busts his butt for the blogging and podcasting communities? Isn’t Scoble a draw? What kind of a businesss person are you? Never mind… Now unsubscribed from iTunes. Guh-bye!” After all the criticism of the blogger’s hasty judgment of your actions, the replies we are seeing are judging him just as hastily!
    Now, I’m inclined to think it was all a misunderstanding, with an “inappropriate” blog post and some “inappropriate” replies in return. I’m not sure what exactly the resolution was (I hope apologies were made on both sides), but it still leaves us with this question of what is “appropriate” and “inappropriate” when it comes to blogging, and should we really be telling people they can’t post things hastily like he did? (Sometimes we get some great ideas from posts like that.) Doesn’t that go against the idea of being open? He was pissed off about something. He looked like an ass for not getting the story right, and you looked like an ass for criticising him of deliberately trying to humiliate you. And maybe I look like an ass, cause what the hell do I know about blogging anyway, BUT, that’s ok! I think as long as people keep communicating we can get to what really matters. The problem I have is when people get so frustrated by an argument that they walk out on it, cause how can you ever clear it up if you stop communicating?
    I think people need to take themselves a little less seriously, and take things a little less personally and try to keep in mind that blogging is NOT like having a real life conversation, where you can explain what exactly you meant by what you just said and add a caveat about how you had a shitty day here and change the wording there, all somewhat immediately. Blogging is more permanent than that.
    Personally, I think it’s good to respond to posts immediately and give it your gut reaction. And I don’t condemn anyone for responding in that way, even if what they say in that moment really pisses me off or makes me think they’re an ass. Communication is tricky enough when you’re face to face with someone, but when you take away our ability to detect someone’s level of frustration or sarcasm or know if they’ve misunderstood what was meant by something you said… well, that’s just a whole other level of messy.
    I’m absolutley fascinated by this (by the way, I’m a linguistics student, in case you couldn’t tell) and I would love to hear your feedback – or the comments of anybody who happens to read this.
    Sorry to leave such a massive comment on your blog.
    And finally, thanks for allowing me to see this whole thing play out. It’s been rather intriguing and I hope that nobody was too offended and there are no grudges. :)

  28. Hi there Robert,
    I realize this reply comes several days after the fact, but I’ve been sitting back and watching the progress of this situation.
    As I explained to someone else involved in this particular fiasco, it seems no one really knows what is an “appropriate” reaction to blog posts. I’ve been seeing this for years in various blogging and online journal communities.
    It seems that when someone blogs something in the heat of the moment, the “document” that results is subject to intense criticism because it isn’t a passing thing (the way natural speech is). This “document” stays on the internet, unless of course one retracts it or apologizes, but that isn’t often the case because a lot of (proud) bloggers feel that they should be allowed to post whatever they want, cause isn’t that the whole point? Freedom of speech? And yes, that is the point. But it works both ways, so they can’t really yell at someone for criticizing things they have posted. (I call this the meta-blogging paradox.)
    I do find it particularly amusing to note though, the reaction that people had to that particular post on the podcampnyc blog. If I understood the comments correctly, it seemed that some readers hastily abandoned ship when it came to that blogger. I’m specifically talking about Brad Gibson’s reply: “Why wouldn’t you pay expenses for a guy who busts his butt for the blogging and podcasting communities? Isn’t Scoble a draw? What kind of a businesss person are you? Never mind… Now unsubscribed from iTunes. Guh-bye!” After all the criticism of the blogger’s hasty judgment of your actions, the replies we are seeing are judging him just as hastily!
    Now, I’m inclined to think it was all a misunderstanding, with an “inappropriate” blog post and some “inappropriate” replies in return. I’m not sure what exactly the resolution was (I hope apologies were made on both sides), but it still leaves us with this question of what is “appropriate” and “inappropriate” when it comes to blogging, and should we really be telling people they can’t post things hastily like he did? (Sometimes we get some great ideas from posts like that.) Doesn’t that go against the idea of being open? He was pissed off about something. He looked like an ass for not getting the story right, and you looked like an ass for criticising him of deliberately trying to humiliate you. And maybe I look like an ass, cause what the hell do I know about blogging anyway, BUT, that’s ok! I think as long as people keep communicating we can get to what really matters. The problem I have is when people get so frustrated by an argument that they walk out on it, cause how can you ever clear it up if you stop communicating?
    I think people need to take themselves a little less seriously, and take things a little less personally and try to keep in mind that blogging is NOT like having a real life conversation, where you can explain what exactly you meant by what you just said and add a caveat about how you had a shitty day here and change the wording there, all somewhat immediately. Blogging is more permanent than that.
    Personally, I think it’s good to respond to posts immediately and give it your gut reaction. And I don’t condemn anyone for responding in that way, even if what they say in that moment really pisses me off or makes me think they’re an ass. Communication is tricky enough when you’re face to face with someone, but when you take away our ability to detect someone’s level of frustration or sarcasm or know if they’ve misunderstood what was meant by something you said… well, that’s just a whole other level of messy.
    I’m absolutley fascinated by this (by the way, I’m a linguistics student, in case you couldn’t tell) and I would love to hear your feedback – or the comments of anybody who happens to read this.
    Sorry to leave such a massive comment on your blog.
    And finally, thanks for allowing me to see this whole thing play out. It’s been rather intriguing and I hope that nobody was too offended and there are no grudges. :)