Idiocy and blogging

Dave Winer wrote me a nice compliment today.

“The other day at lunch I was telling the Uncov guys that despite what they may think, Scoble really is brilliant, read this piece, I feel completely vindicated (though sometimes I read his stuff and shake my head in disbelief at how he could be so wrong).”

Oh, that brings up something I’ve been thinking about for a while:

If you aren’t willing to look like an idiot in public (or, even, prove that you ARE one) you won’t be a really great blogger.

Lately I’ve found that I’ve started worrying about LOOKING like an idiot to all of you and it’s stilted my writing. I started worrying about getting a better “rank” (whatever the heck THAT means). And all the hubris-filled-bullpucky that goes along with this stuff.

If you asked me whether I wanted to be invited to an Apple or Google press conference I’d drool on the floor and say “yes, yes, yes.” Now that I’ve been? I really can’t understand why I thought that at one point. It was a major flaw in my thinking.

But I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately. Who are the guys who I’d rather hang out with?

People who prove they are human.

Human beings make mistakes.

Human beings aren’t always smart. Even the smartest ones. Remember Douglas Engelbart, the guy who invented the mouse and many of the concepts you’re using today to read my blog? He got kicked out of the research industry in the 1970s cause he was weird. He wasn’t afraid of telling you what he thought the world would one day look like.

Anyway, back to being human. The best baseball players only hit the ball 33% of the time. And that’s the BEST ones.

So, excuse me if I sound like an idiot a lot of the time. Just hit “J” on your Google Reader and move along to a smarter post.

And if you’re expecting me to be smart here you’ll be sorely disappointed. I’d recommend reading my link blog instead. Why? That’s where I put all the smart stuff.

In the meantime, if you worry about looking like an idiot you’ll never take risks and you’ll never explore yourself. More idiocy ahead! :-)

56 thoughts on “Idiocy and blogging

  1. I am always surprised when you are used as a punching bag. I like what you do and I appreciate your enthusiasm. I often disagree with you but I am never turned off because I think you are genuine. I am getting tired of the culture of bullying in the blogging world. Sadly, I expect it to only get worse.

  2. I am always surprised when you are used as a punching bag. I like what you do and I appreciate your enthusiasm. I often disagree with you but I am never turned off because I think you are genuine. I am getting tired of the culture of bullying in the blogging world. Sadly, I expect it to only get worse.

  3. Good post, Robert.

    Blake @13: The best students are right more than 90% of the time on ESTABLISHED topics. E.g. if you’re studying chemistry, many of the basic parts of the Periodic Table are well-worked-out, well-understood, and you can be expected to learn it and get it “right”. E.g. we know for sure the dates of the battles in the Revolutionary War. Et cetera.

    But with his early-adopter, wide-gauge enthusiasm for everything NEW, Robert isn’t dealing in established topics. For better or worse (or indifferent, or just weird), he chooses to inhabit part of the EDGE of our knowledge. So expecting 90% success or accuracy or “correct”-ness doesn’t even make sense in terms of what he does. We can expect 99% correctness in his English grammar, but otherwise — it’s all one long, ongoing experiment.

  4. Good post, Robert.

    Blake @13: The best students are right more than 90% of the time on ESTABLISHED topics. E.g. if you’re studying chemistry, many of the basic parts of the Periodic Table are well-worked-out, well-understood, and you can be expected to learn it and get it “right”. E.g. we know for sure the dates of the battles in the Revolutionary War. Et cetera.

    But with his early-adopter, wide-gauge enthusiasm for everything NEW, Robert isn’t dealing in established topics. For better or worse (or indifferent, or just weird), he chooses to inhabit part of the EDGE of our knowledge. So expecting 90% success or accuracy or “correct”-ness doesn’t even make sense in terms of what he does. We can expect 99% correctness in his English grammar, but otherwise — it’s all one long, ongoing experiment.

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