It's time for the geeks to sit down and shut up

Eight years ago, during the last downturn, I would have supported things like Scrapplet with open arms. If you look at it the geeky way Scrapplet is incredible: it lets you drag and drop pieces of the web over to your canvas and create a new web page. The technology underneath — all developed by one guy, Steve Repetti, is absolutely incredible.

But it is way too unapproachable for normal people.

Why would I have supported it last time and not this time? Last time we didn’t have so many choices about where to put our attention. There was no iPhone. No Facebook. No Twitter. No PlayStation3. No Xbox. Etc. Etc. This time the small companies are still getting funded so there still is enough for TechCrunch to talk about and TechMeme to link to. Last time those two didn’t even exist. There simply isn’t room in the marketplace for a geeky technology like there was last time. Sorry Scrapplet.

Here, quick, read Webware’s post on the Scrapplet. Then read TechCrunch’s post. And finally, check out Louis Gray’s post.

Do you have a clue what this thing does yet?

I do, but only because Steve gave me a demo and, even, made me a page to demonstrate some of the key things behind the technology.

The problem is that Steve can’t give everyone in the world a demo.

And the other problem is that the world has changed. We’ve become a nation of Twitterers and Facebookers. Not of people who want to geek around and build mashups of our own. We want to push a button and have it all done for us. Which is why Twitter is the ultimate tool and why so many think the little-bit-more-complex friendfeed is awful.

If you can’t handle friendfeed you definitely can’t handle Scraplet.

So, here’s the deal: Ripetti is onto something here — being able to embed any code, URL, or drag and drop pieces of pages into the editor here is extremely powerful and the fact that he got all the geeky bloggers to talk about it demonstrates he got us all hot and bothered over the weekend. But he needs to go back and find a much simpler way to bring his technology to the masses.

Until he does it’ll only be us geeks playing with it.

Comments

  1. Yup, I know. Scrapple IS advanced, geeky, and in many ways way too much for the average folks!

    Now that I got the hard part done…the real hard part kicks in; as you said: “making it available to the masses”

    I’LL TAKE THAT CHALLENGE and look forward to your continued support, guidance, and criticism!

  2. Yup, I know. Scrapple IS advanced, geeky, and in many ways way too much for the average folks!

    Now that I got the hard part done…the real hard part kicks in; as you said: “making it available to the masses”

    I’LL TAKE THAT CHALLENGE and look forward to your continued support, guidance, and criticism!

  3. Robert: Yup, I know. Scrapple IS advanced, geeky, and in many ways way too much for the average folks!

    Now that I got the hard part done…the real hard part kicks in; as you said: “making it available to the masses”

    I’LL TAKE THAT CHALLENGE and look forward to your continued support, guidance, and criticism!

  4. Robert: Yup, I know. Scrapple IS advanced, geeky, and in many ways way too much for the average folks!

    Now that I got the hard part done…the real hard part kicks in; as you said: “making it available to the masses”

    I’LL TAKE THAT CHALLENGE and look forward to your continued support, guidance, and criticism!

  5. Scrapplet does have some work to do. As I mentioned in my post, it is beta, and I struggled with it myself at first. But the answer is not to ignore the “edge” stuff that’s out there, but instead to provide feedback and see if it has value. There will always be room (or a niche) for geeky things and geeky people to write about them. And after the early adopter phase, they grow.

  6. Scrapplet does have some work to do. As I mentioned in my post, it is beta, and I struggled with it myself at first. But the answer is not to ignore the “edge” stuff that’s out there, but instead to provide feedback and see if it has value. There will always be room (or a niche) for geeky things and geeky people to write about them. And after the early adopter phase, they grow.

  7. I’d say Ripetti’s strategy needs to revolve around how to get this incorporated into MySpace profiles. It’s an ugly service in terms of purely visually appealing, so any geek that knows HTML will take a few extra minutes and build a site themselves. MySpace users, on the other hand, want this sort of mess on their profiles. They would eat it up.

  8. I’d say Ripetti’s strategy needs to revolve around how to get this incorporated into MySpace profiles. It’s an ugly service in terms of purely visually appealing, so any geek that knows HTML will take a few extra minutes and build a site themselves. MySpace users, on the other hand, want this sort of mess on their profiles. They would eat it up.

  9. Someone had to say it… kudos to Scoble.

    P.S. Robert: did i miss some impressive “technology” here (perhaps it was not exemplified on “your page”) or are you just *that* kool-aided up over some iframes and a little RSS parsing?

  10. Someone had to say it… kudos to Scoble.

    P.S. Robert: did i miss some impressive “technology” here (perhaps it was not exemplified on “your page”) or are you just *that* kool-aided up over some iframes and a little RSS parsing?

  11. I played around w/ Scrapplet, it is a bit messy and disorganized. Like you said people who’ve just heard of web 2.0 will have a hard time figuring it out. Once you put some time into it thought, it’s fun to play w/ .

  12. I played around w/ Scrapplet, it is a bit messy and disorganized. Like you said people who’ve just heard of web 2.0 will have a hard time figuring it out. Once you put some time into it thought, it’s fun to play w/ .

  13. yea they def have some work to do but the concept is pretty nice in my eyes and yea we need more crazy innovations its kinda like what can we look forward to for the next ten years theyre already social media like myspace and online shopping like http://www.tycromedia.com and amazon whats next

  14. yea they def have some work to do but the concept is pretty nice in my eyes and yea we need more crazy innovations its kinda like what can we look forward to for the next ten years theyre already social media like myspace and online shopping like http://www.tycromedia.com and amazon whats next

  15. Finally,i know why techrunch miss you so much。this post is super!really!
    when i used the ccraplet,i feel a little hard to use,but just feel because techcrunch with so hot words to it~but you,scoble~your advise i think can make scraplet move to masses!i think when it has done,Scraplet can push the socialmedia into a new market!the younth!they like the simple thing!

    thank you~

  16. Finally,i know why techrunch miss you so much。this post is super!really!
    when i used the ccraplet,i feel a little hard to use,but just feel because techcrunch with so hot words to it~but you,scoble~your advise i think can make scraplet move to masses!i think when it has done,Scraplet can push the socialmedia into a new market!the younth!they like the simple thing!

    thank you~

  17. Twitter having less than 2mio users is probably also still Geeky.
    The mass market hasn’t discovered Twitter yet.

    Services that are not geeky are YouTube, Google and SMS (texting).

    Scrapplet is Geeky but a bit more complicated than Twitter.

  18. Twitter having less than 2mio users is probably also still Geeky.
    The mass market hasn’t discovered Twitter yet.

    Services that are not geeky are YouTube, Google and SMS (texting).

    Scrapplet is Geeky but a bit more complicated than Twitter.

  19. Sorry to say but I totally agree with Engago. Just the other day I linked to my twitter page on my Facebook profile and none of my non-geeky friends had a clue about it. They weren’t interested at all.

  20. Sorry to say but I totally agree with Engago. Just the other day I linked to my twitter page on my Facebook profile and none of my non-geeky friends had a clue about it. They weren’t interested at all.

  21. I am not a true geek. I only play one on TV. Seriously, I love all things Web, but I am completely self-taught and at an intellectual disadvantage. That being said, I am fascinated with Scrapplet and I have been slogging through it for the past few days, ever since I saw Louis Gray’s post. I will admit that it is a bit thick compared to other sites / apps / services I have played with, but I love its potential. And, it is not completely out of my reach – I have some barebones growing over there and plan to work more on it a little later.

    I think the bigger problem is the ever-growing number of these apps / sites / services being offered. You point it out in your third paragraph. If we are inundated with options, we, being lazy humans, will elect the easiest option available.

    So, unapproachable? No. A wind-driven Hinckley yacht in a sea of motor boats? Yes.

  22. I am not a true geek. I only play one on TV. Seriously, I love all things Web, but I am completely self-taught and at an intellectual disadvantage. That being said, I am fascinated with Scrapplet and I have been slogging through it for the past few days, ever since I saw Louis Gray’s post. I will admit that it is a bit thick compared to other sites / apps / services I have played with, but I love its potential. And, it is not completely out of my reach – I have some barebones growing over there and plan to work more on it a little later.

    I think the bigger problem is the ever-growing number of these apps / sites / services being offered. You point it out in your third paragraph. If we are inundated with options, we, being lazy humans, will elect the easiest option available.

    So, unapproachable? No. A wind-driven Hinckley yacht in a sea of motor boats? Yes.

  23. Seriously, I think it’s cool – I am interested in using it. I don’t care if anyone else is using it. In fact, in many ways I’d prefer it if only the ‘geeks’ use it. Now that the web is all about trying to appeal to the dumb cheerleaders I’m using the Internet to get away from I guess it’s time for me to go outside.

    Also, I hate Scoble.

  24. Seriously, I think it’s cool – I am interested in using it. I don’t care if anyone else is using it. In fact, in many ways I’d prefer it if only the ‘geeks’ use it. Now that the web is all about trying to appeal to the dumb cheerleaders I’m using the Internet to get away from I guess it’s time for me to go outside.

    Also, I hate Scoble.

  25. So, I’ve known Robert for a while and he’s been really good to me and the things I done over the years, including Scrapplet. Before he released his review, he sent me a note that he was “kinda throwing me under the bus” cause of the “geekiness” of Scrapplet. He said he was sorry and went on to say for me to not take it personally and that Scrapplet (and me) would be better for it. Well — I just want to say: HE IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! (And, no, I’m not offended at all — I’m thankful!)

    If Scrapplet were ONLY a geek product, then he would have been off base…but it’s not (or at least I hope its not eventually!)… He did not throw me under the bus, he sounded the rally call for me to do better. So, this is the part when I encourage and thank all of the early adopters and brave souls, and crawl back into my cave to emerge after the holidays. Robert has invited me to a video interview mid-January. Look for, and expect, lots more goodies — for the masses too! All suggestions are appreciated and did I happen to mention the I LOVE THE SOFTWARE BUSINESS!!!

  26. So, I’ve known Robert for a while and he’s been really good to me and the things I done over the years, including Scrapplet. Before he released his review, he sent me a note that he was “kinda throwing me under the bus” cause of the “geekiness” of Scrapplet. He said he was sorry and went on to say for me to not take it personally and that Scrapplet (and me) would be better for it. Well — I just want to say: HE IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! (And, no, I’m not offended at all — I’m thankful!)

    If Scrapplet were ONLY a geek product, then he would have been off base…but it’s not (or at least I hope its not eventually!)… He did not throw me under the bus, he sounded the rally call for me to do better. So, this is the part when I encourage and thank all of the early adopters and brave souls, and crawl back into my cave to emerge after the holidays. Robert has invited me to a video interview mid-January. Look for, and expect, lots more goodies — for the masses too! All suggestions are appreciated and did I happen to mention the I LOVE THE SOFTWARE BUSINESS!!!

  27. I guess I qualify as a geek, been in IT & software for 10 years now..I’ll have to check it out. Sounds kind of interesting actually – but then again, I’m a geek, I can admit it and I can move on with my life…Thanks for the info and best of luck with Scapplet Mr. Repetti.

    Bruce

  28. I guess I qualify as a geek, been in IT & software for 10 years now..I’ll have to check it out. Sounds kind of interesting actually – but then again, I’m a geek, I can admit it and I can move on with my life…Thanks for the info and best of luck with Scapplet Mr. Repetti.

    Bruce

  29. Steve, you have been very dignified in way you handled this criticism. It’s great that you have friends looking out for your best interest, but who ever said that you have to become a mainstream success, in order to be successful. This might sound like a strech, but when D&D first came out it was printed in four pamphlets and a set of dice. Nothing was could be more geeky! But, we figured it out and Gary Gygax went on to make hundreds of millions of dollars from geeks! I haven’t tried Scrapplet yet, but it sounds really cool. You also must be very talented to pull this off. From your replies, it soundslike you’re going to make it the very best that you can. That’s all that matters. I think the comments here are actually very constructive. Robert obviously set the tone on the heavy side, but that might have been just to draw attention. I hate to quote Donald Trump, but ” any publicity is good publicity”. I honestly can’t wait to try it now!

  30. Steve, you have been very dignified in way you handled this criticism. It’s great that you have friends looking out for your best interest, but who ever said that you have to become a mainstream success, in order to be successful. This might sound like a strech, but when D&D first came out it was printed in four pamphlets and a set of dice. Nothing was could be more geeky! But, we figured it out and Gary Gygax went on to make hundreds of millions of dollars from geeks! I haven’t tried Scrapplet yet, but it sounds really cool. You also must be very talented to pull this off. From your replies, it soundslike you’re going to make it the very best that you can. That’s all that matters. I think the comments here are actually very constructive. Robert obviously set the tone on the heavy side, but that might have been just to draw attention. I hate to quote Donald Trump, but ” any publicity is good publicity”. I honestly can’t wait to try it now!

  31. [...] I would suggest that there are two challenges that can make it hard for social media sites to make money. First, there are so many social media sites now that users are confused. There’s a lot of experimentation, but people are still not sure. I refer you to Overdrive’s social media map for social media marketing which is merely a partial list of social media tools and sites, but is almost overwhelming. Second, we now expect things to be very easy and won’t deal with any tools that are overly complicated or where the developer cannot quickly explain what it is and how to use it. For this point I end with the wise words from Robert Scoble in his post: “It’s time for the geeks to sit down and shut up.” [...]