Why I’m in a malaise…

I’ve been in a blog malaise lately. It’s getting harder and harder to write. Why? The stakes are going up. Not for me, I really don’t care. But for the people I’m writing about and who want access to my audience. When I started writing a blog back in 2000 there weren’t any startups. In fact, the news of that day was how the startup world was being cleaned out.

I didn’t have the words for what was happening to the industry, and to me, but Mike Arrington, this morning, put his finger on it: Times are good, money is flowing, and Silicon Valley sucks.”

That explains why I have been avoiding my email lately. I have a folder called “software I want to try.” It’s a lot smaller than all the other folders in my Outlook. It has things like Radar.net and Scrapblog and Buzzword. But I look at my “things I might blog someday” folder and it has more than 1,000 items from companies hoping I’ll video them, or write about them.

There’s still a lot of magic in the valley. This past weekend’s Maker Faire demonstrated that to me. I found it ironic that my favorite meeting of the day was with a club of crafts people who had nothing to do with technology. They were doing it just for the sheer love of it. There’s still a lot of people in the valley who are doing it “for the love of it.” But they are getting obscured by the money, and the sheer volume of stuff coming out.

Just look at TechMeme lately. It’s not about building stuff. You don’t see Ajaxian or the Make Blog on TechMeme. You see Wallstrip selling for a few million to CBS.

I too look wistfully back at the days when we had almost the entire Social Software industry in one little coffee shop back in 2002 — none of whom were talking about making billions of dollars. Back then it was more like the Homebrew Computer Society, where geeks came to show off their stuff (and everyone was pretty much not getting paid anyway so of course we were doing it just for the love of it). Plus getting a link back then was so much easier cause the stakes were so much lower (and there just wasn’t any competition anyway). That’s why I’m focusing more on my link blog lately. Back then it was a good month when we had 100 good blog posts. Today it’s an average day when we have 100 good posts A DAY.

One thing I’m learning to say is “no.” It’s a real pain in the behind, but with a kid on the way I’m being forced to say no to a whole raft of things. Another thing I’m trying to learn to do is to pick some stories that I do for myself. Photowalking is a great example. Or drinking beer with Second Lifer James Au was another. Those are things I do for myself and looking at comments about them they resonate with all of you a lot more than yet another Web 2.0 CEO announcing yet another product aimed at taking on a specific market segment.

But there’s always that business pressure that Mike’s talking about. I’m feeling it too, so I can’t imagine the kinds of pressure that Mike is getting to cover companies.

Kara Swisher, of the Wall Street Journal, has some good advice for us: “just say no.”

Published by

Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology for Rackspace's startup program. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books ("The Age of Context," a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at http://amzn.to/AgeOfContext ), YouTube, and many social media sites where he's followed by millions of people. Best place to watch me is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble

Comments

  1. I disagree with you on so many levels.

    “There’s still a lot of magic in the valley. This past weekend’s Maker Faire demonstrated that to me.”

    Wasn’t most of that for robotics?
    As far as internet startups, they are mostly going bust these days, unlike in 2000 when anything was worth something as long as it had 1000 members and was online.

    “I too look wistfully back at the days when we had almost the entire Social Software industry in one little coffee shop back in 2002″

    http://freemyspace.com/history.htm

    Not 2002, but in 2003 CD Universe and beverly hills bank mogul Brad Greenspan was hell bent on copying Friendster, and filling it with parties and celebrities. Hardly a coffeeshop type of scenario. The only SN site to preceed that was Friendster itself. Were you in a coffee shop with them?

    “none of whom were talking about making billions of dollars. Back then it was more like the Homebrew Computer Society, where geeks came to show off their stuff”

    Greenspan never talked about anything BUT that.
    Jon Abrams on his side was hell bent on patenting linking friends on a page as an invention
    http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=7%2C069%2C308.PN.&OS=PN%2F7%2C069%2C308&RS=PN%2F7%2C069%2C308

    Not worried about money indeed. Perhaps because all those people were already extremely rich.

    Homebrew not.

    When I hear homebrew club, I think of the small computer club, that Woz was in with Altair 8800’s which Bill Gates tried to destroy in the 1970’s because they were pirating his Ill33te basic software, which Monte Davidoff coded for him.
    Not rich Valley snobs with their eyes on the prize.

  2. I disagree with you on so many levels.

    “There’s still a lot of magic in the valley. This past weekend’s Maker Faire demonstrated that to me.”

    Wasn’t most of that for robotics?
    As far as internet startups, they are mostly going bust these days, unlike in 2000 when anything was worth something as long as it had 1000 members and was online.

    “I too look wistfully back at the days when we had almost the entire Social Software industry in one little coffee shop back in 2002″

    http://freemyspace.com/history.htm

    Not 2002, but in 2003 CD Universe and beverly hills bank mogul Brad Greenspan was hell bent on copying Friendster, and filling it with parties and celebrities. Hardly a coffeeshop type of scenario. The only SN site to preceed that was Friendster itself. Were you in a coffee shop with them?

    “none of whom were talking about making billions of dollars. Back then it was more like the Homebrew Computer Society, where geeks came to show off their stuff”

    Greenspan never talked about anything BUT that.
    Jon Abrams on his side was hell bent on patenting linking friends on a page as an invention
    http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=7%2C069%2C308.PN.&OS=PN%2F7%2C069%2C308&RS=PN%2F7%2C069%2C308

    Not worried about money indeed. Perhaps because all those people were already extremely rich.

    Homebrew not.

    When I hear homebrew club, I think of the small computer club, that Woz was in with Altair 8800’s which Bill Gates tried to destroy in the 1970’s because they were pirating his Ill33te basic software, which Monte Davidoff coded for him.
    Not rich Valley snobs with their eyes on the prize.

  3. Chris: Maker Fair was mostly about Crafts, if you counted the booths. Robots only played a small part. A sexy part, yes, but a small part.

    Friendster? Easy to ignore cause there was only one. Now I know of several companies that are trying to do stuff like PayPerPost.

    I was thinking more like Blogger, Live Journal, Six Apart, UserLand, etc. That’s who showed up in the early days.

    Back in 2002 we were lucky if there was one party in San Francisco every few months. Now there’s one almost every night.

  4. Chris: Maker Fair was mostly about Crafts, if you counted the booths. Robots only played a small part. A sexy part, yes, but a small part.

    Friendster? Easy to ignore cause there was only one. Now I know of several companies that are trying to do stuff like PayPerPost.

    I was thinking more like Blogger, Live Journal, Six Apart, UserLand, etc. That’s who showed up in the early days.

    Back in 2002 we were lucky if there was one party in San Francisco every few months. Now there’s one almost every night.

  5. You got to be a major influential blogger by blogging about what you wanted, by being friendly and being real.

    So, my suggestion is, just keep doing what you’ve been doing. Blog about what interests you.

    That a startup or VC is having a crisis because major bloggers aren’t mentioning them doesn’t you have to have a crisis about it too. (easy to say, harder to do, I know.)

  6. You got to be a major influential blogger by blogging about what you wanted, by being friendly and being real.

    So, my suggestion is, just keep doing what you’ve been doing. Blog about what interests you.

    That a startup or VC is having a crisis because major bloggers aren’t mentioning them doesn’t you have to have a crisis about it too. (easy to say, harder to do, I know.)

  7. Bob: that’s good advice. I get more joy out of having interesting conversations with interesting geeks than anything, which is probably why I like doing my video show more than my blog lately.

  8. Bob: that’s good advice. I get more joy out of having interesting conversations with interesting geeks than anything, which is probably why I like doing my video show more than my blog lately.

  9. Robert: I totally agree with you. Every day I’m brought down a little more by the emphasis on $$ I see everywhere in the blogosphere. If we make this just about money, we become just like the corporate culture from which many of us have released ourselves. I have lots to say, but it’s this that has stopped me from creating my own tech blog. I’m just not that interested in the money. I’m interested in the creative possibilities of the tech revolution.

    So how about if those of us who care about that side of blogging try to turn it around. We need more content like your Photowalking series, blogs that teach skills, blogs that investigate the cultural effects of blogging, and blogs that celebrate diversity. What we don’t need are more posts from every corner about monetizing, advertising, and pushing look-alike start-ups.

    Jan

  10. Robert: I totally agree with you. Every day I’m brought down a little more by the emphasis on $$ I see everywhere in the blogosphere. If we make this just about money, we become just like the corporate culture from which many of us have released ourselves. I have lots to say, but it’s this that has stopped me from creating my own tech blog. I’m just not that interested in the money. I’m interested in the creative possibilities of the tech revolution.

    So how about if those of us who care about that side of blogging try to turn it around. We need more content like your Photowalking series, blogs that teach skills, blogs that investigate the cultural effects of blogging, and blogs that celebrate diversity. What we don’t need are more posts from every corner about monetizing, advertising, and pushing look-alike start-ups.

    Jan

  11. I personally would much rather read thoughts that you have after a photowalk or a beer with someone than a news story. You have great commentary on news, as well, but I think there’s too much of that, personally. (Not just here, in the blogosphere in general)

    Congrats on the kiddo, and good luck learning to say no!

    -Ricky

  12. I personally would much rather read thoughts that you have after a photowalk or a beer with someone than a news story. You have great commentary on news, as well, but I think there’s too much of that, personally. (Not just here, in the blogosphere in general)

    Congrats on the kiddo, and good luck learning to say no!

    -Ricky

  13. When you referred to social networking, I assumed you were talking about FOAF stuff like Friendster and Hi5, and not blogs.

    Journals existed far before 2002, but you’re right, they became popular about around that time. I wouldn’t call them social networks though, because there is no group of contacts or anything to maintain online relationships in a blog format.

    If you were to interpret what you wrote as the real pioneers of social networking being small coffee shop types that came together for the sake of computing, and not for total greed, I would still say that’s inaccurate.

    I am not up to date on how blogging became popularized, so that’s another story.

  14. When you referred to social networking, I assumed you were talking about FOAF stuff like Friendster and Hi5, and not blogs.

    Journals existed far before 2002, but you’re right, they became popular about around that time. I wouldn’t call them social networks though, because there is no group of contacts or anything to maintain online relationships in a blog format.

    If you were to interpret what you wrote as the real pioneers of social networking being small coffee shop types that came together for the sake of computing, and not for total greed, I would still say that’s inaccurate.

    I am not up to date on how blogging became popularized, so that’s another story.

  15. Robert,

    I’d bet a good chunk of what you’re feeling right now is information fatigue pure and simple. It’s a real and common affliction that reporters and bloggers, tech people and online people suffer from. And you’re all four! There is a finite amount of information, and decisions about information, you can comfortably process in a given period.

    If I had one overall solution, that would be my next book (g), but in the meantime, a few suggestions/ideas:

    1. Find people you trust and divvy out some of your feed foraging to them – I’ll volunteer re microISVs (Michael L. will vouch for me), but you need a circle of people doing what you’re doing re google shared feeds. (we used to call them editors back in the day.) BTW – I’m using yours to cut my information diet – Thank you!

    2. Clean up loose ends – how are you wrapping your stories? In GTD parlance, are you doing a postmortem re final takeaway, lessons learned, who to follow and putting that into some sort of trusted system? Are you closing the open circuits you’re constantly creating? It’s not just GTD – every professional reporter I know does this too.

    3. Know your newshole. That was the slice of the newspaper you own and you’re expected to fill to keep your job. Nowadays its understanding how many really good stories you can video/blog in a month. Slot them – and leave time and mental energy to step back from your “beat” and see the bigger picture.

    Cheers,

  16. Robert,

    I’d bet a good chunk of what you’re feeling right now is information fatigue pure and simple. It’s a real and common affliction that reporters and bloggers, tech people and online people suffer from. And you’re all four! There is a finite amount of information, and decisions about information, you can comfortably process in a given period.

    If I had one overall solution, that would be my next book (g), but in the meantime, a few suggestions/ideas:

    1. Find people you trust and divvy out some of your feed foraging to them – I’ll volunteer re microISVs (Michael L. will vouch for me), but you need a circle of people doing what you’re doing re google shared feeds. (we used to call them editors back in the day.) BTW – I’m using yours to cut my information diet – Thank you!

    2. Clean up loose ends – how are you wrapping your stories? In GTD parlance, are you doing a postmortem re final takeaway, lessons learned, who to follow and putting that into some sort of trusted system? Are you closing the open circuits you’re constantly creating? It’s not just GTD – every professional reporter I know does this too.

    3. Know your newshole. That was the slice of the newspaper you own and you’re expected to fill to keep your job. Nowadays its understanding how many really good stories you can video/blog in a month. Slot them – and leave time and mental energy to step back from your “beat” and see the bigger picture.

    Cheers,

  17. Wow… advice day (and thanks for keeping the comments open despite your battle with the spammers!).

    Grandpa gave me two bits of guiding advice:

    1) Do what you love and the money will follow. (So far, so good.)
    2) Pay yourself first… meaning savings. (AWESOME advice!)

    I had an overabundance of opportunities in a new gig in 1997. It was, simply put, overwhelming. And a management consultant spent a lot of effort with me on my time management style in early 1999. Know what the outcome of that was? The bet way to manage this crud is to say “No”. Read Harvey McKay, Drucker, Covey, Peters, Merlin, whoever… Just say, “No.” It’s hard, it ruffles feathers. But, the person who’s really passionate about what they’re proposing isn’t going to take “No.” They’re going to pester the bejesus out of you. THOSE *ARE* the people you want to seriously consider committing to. Not a given. Just they believe in what they’re asking of you. Everyone else may have fine ideas. They just lack passion and determination to bust through. Know the difference and you’ll stay the star you’ve already become!

  18. Wow… advice day (and thanks for keeping the comments open despite your battle with the spammers!).

    Grandpa gave me two bits of guiding advice:

    1) Do what you love and the money will follow. (So far, so good.)
    2) Pay yourself first… meaning savings. (AWESOME advice!)

    I had an overabundance of opportunities in a new gig in 1997. It was, simply put, overwhelming. And a management consultant spent a lot of effort with me on my time management style in early 1999. Know what the outcome of that was? The bet way to manage this crud is to say “No”. Read Harvey McKay, Drucker, Covey, Peters, Merlin, whoever… Just say, “No.” It’s hard, it ruffles feathers. But, the person who’s really passionate about what they’re proposing isn’t going to take “No.” They’re going to pester the bejesus out of you. THOSE *ARE* the people you want to seriously consider committing to. Not a given. Just they believe in what they’re asking of you. Everyone else may have fine ideas. They just lack passion and determination to bust through. Know the difference and you’ll stay the star you’ve already become!

  19. Robert, there’s no requirement other than the voices in your head making you post as relentlessly as you think you must. Your S/N ratio has, honestly, been getting steadily worse, but then again, now you don’t have Microsoft feeding you a steady diet of topics.

    You’re going to have to post less, but say more or else reading your stuff is going to be pointless, since all it will be is a list of “crap robert read today”, and you can find that all over the place.

  20. Robert, there’s no requirement other than the voices in your head making you post as relentlessly as you think you must. Your S/N ratio has, honestly, been getting steadily worse, but then again, now you don’t have Microsoft feeding you a steady diet of topics.

    You’re going to have to post less, but say more or else reading your stuff is going to be pointless, since all it will be is a list of “crap robert read today”, and you can find that all over the place.

  21. Wow — if you’re tired from writing about all these topics, imagine us (the readers) and how overwhelmed we are.

    I’ve actually felt guilty that I rarely watch any of your videos anymore, because I just don’t have room in my head for one more “way cool thing” that might grow into something. I’d encourage you as others above — return to writing more about concepts and issues. If someone wants you to write about them, have THEM make a 5-minute video and post it to YouTube.

    If it gets “X” number of comments, then you feature them. Let the market decide.

    (I did like the part of the WSJ article about the CEO crying on the phone. Those are the kids who took my lunch money in junior high.)

  22. Wow — if you’re tired from writing about all these topics, imagine us (the readers) and how overwhelmed we are.

    I’ve actually felt guilty that I rarely watch any of your videos anymore, because I just don’t have room in my head for one more “way cool thing” that might grow into something. I’d encourage you as others above — return to writing more about concepts and issues. If someone wants you to write about them, have THEM make a 5-minute video and post it to YouTube.

    If it gets “X” number of comments, then you feature them. Let the market decide.

    (I did like the part of the WSJ article about the CEO crying on the phone. Those are the kids who took my lunch money in junior high.)

  23. “The stakes are going up. Not for me, I really don’t care. But for the people I’m writing about and who want access to my audience.”

    This is the part of “corporate blogging” that you might not have had time to fully experience, back when Microsoft hired you to “start blogging”. It’s one thing for an isolated individual to write whatever they think; it’s another for an individual who is also a member of a group to find something useful to say. When parachuting into Microsoft it took time to learn the other members of your group… here, you’re seeing the other interests right from the start.

    I bet your case is particularly hard, with lots of people trying to touch you up for sending some public attention their way. Do some people see you for your function in the blogging ecology, rather than for the person you actually are…?

  24. “The stakes are going up. Not for me, I really don’t care. But for the people I’m writing about and who want access to my audience.”

    This is the part of “corporate blogging” that you might not have had time to fully experience, back when Microsoft hired you to “start blogging”. It’s one thing for an isolated individual to write whatever they think; it’s another for an individual who is also a member of a group to find something useful to say. When parachuting into Microsoft it took time to learn the other members of your group… here, you’re seeing the other interests right from the start.

    I bet your case is particularly hard, with lots of people trying to touch you up for sending some public attention their way. Do some people see you for your function in the blogging ecology, rather than for the person you actually are…?

  25. I hadn’t read the rest of the comments until now.

    No startup is going to make or break on what Robert Scoble says about them. If you have a winning developer team and plenty of money behind it, count that as being way ahead of a positive critique from Mr. Scoble. You can flat out purchase very cheap marketing on something called adwords.

  26. I hadn’t read the rest of the comments until now.

    No startup is going to make or break on what Robert Scoble says about them. If you have a winning developer team and plenty of money behind it, count that as being way ahead of a positive critique from Mr. Scoble. You can flat out purchase very cheap marketing on something called adwords.

  27. I would counter this with the words a lull before the storm. The Valley has been going hell for leather for the best part of two years on the Web 2.0 bandwagon.

    Now it needs a break and in many ways us Europeans are just warming up with Web, Mobile, IPTV startups.

    Web 3.0 or whatever we will call it will soon appear with GData, Microformats and other stuff. The Valley will see new companies beyond just social networks appear with new models and new energy. It’s not a bubble but it might need a breather or we will see more stupid deals like MSFT paying $6bn for aQunita.

    If they were going to pay that much why didn’t they bid for DoubleClick all the way. And how big is the MSFT war-chest? Who else will they buy now that they have woken up. i.e Tellme, aQuinita

    More to the point who should they buy? Yahoo should buy Zimbra and Technorati. As I said the Web 2.0 era is far from over as the big boys step in to buy up the market.

    Bring on Web 3.0 and let the fun begin again!!!

  28. I would counter this with the words a lull before the storm. The Valley has been going hell for leather for the best part of two years on the Web 2.0 bandwagon.

    Now it needs a break and in many ways us Europeans are just warming up with Web, Mobile, IPTV startups.

    Web 3.0 or whatever we will call it will soon appear with GData, Microformats and other stuff. The Valley will see new companies beyond just social networks appear with new models and new energy. It’s not a bubble but it might need a breather or we will see more stupid deals like MSFT paying $6bn for aQunita.

    If they were going to pay that much why didn’t they bid for DoubleClick all the way. And how big is the MSFT war-chest? Who else will they buy now that they have woken up. i.e Tellme, aQuinita

    More to the point who should they buy? Yahoo should buy Zimbra and Technorati. As I said the Web 2.0 era is far from over as the big boys step in to buy up the market.

    Bring on Web 3.0 and let the fun begin again!!!

  29. Not being a techie guy, the Interknob and recently social media, has always been a tool to me, not an end in itself. Most important to me is poetry, fiction, drama, and the other heap of decidedly unhip, nontech stuff. The technology gave me a way to reach out, to convincingly and easily take the fruits of my feverish head and make them a part of the real world. I have to say that from that point of view, it’s really never been better. I may never get HBJ to publish a 250-page novel in metrical verse on a metaphysical painter and racism but as long as I can rely on Morpheme Tales to do so, I’m always going to be a little happier than I would have been without it. From an insider’s p.o.v. could be a little grim, from us garage tinkerers, it’s never been better.

  30. Not being a techie guy, the Interknob and recently social media, has always been a tool to me, not an end in itself. Most important to me is poetry, fiction, drama, and the other heap of decidedly unhip, nontech stuff. The technology gave me a way to reach out, to convincingly and easily take the fruits of my feverish head and make them a part of the real world. I have to say that from that point of view, it’s really never been better. I may never get HBJ to publish a 250-page novel in metrical verse on a metaphysical painter and racism but as long as I can rely on Morpheme Tales to do so, I’m always going to be a little happier than I would have been without it. From an insider’s p.o.v. could be a little grim, from us garage tinkerers, it’s never been better.

  31. Robert,

    I have a pretty simple comment. The money is a side effect of successfully creating something new. Adoption equals revenue or equals attention (which these days turns into revenue). At that point the idea has a life of its own. I have been around this for a long time now and I can remember listening to early users of IRC complain about instant messaging or users of The Well talk about how special that early community was.

    We are all in the change business but sometimes that process grinds up some very special experiences. Don’t worry. More special things are on the way. Like everything, we don’t own these experiences and we cannot hold onto them.

    Take a day off and look at the ocean instead of a computer.

  32. Robert,

    I have a pretty simple comment. The money is a side effect of successfully creating something new. Adoption equals revenue or equals attention (which these days turns into revenue). At that point the idea has a life of its own. I have been around this for a long time now and I can remember listening to early users of IRC complain about instant messaging or users of The Well talk about how special that early community was.

    We are all in the change business but sometimes that process grinds up some very special experiences. Don’t worry. More special things are on the way. Like everything, we don’t own these experiences and we cannot hold onto them.

    Take a day off and look at the ocean instead of a computer.

  33. You’re burning out…..find a hobby, take a vacation here to Port Angeles.
    Blog for fun, fun fun fun.
    Blog with geeks, blog for weeks
    Blog with marbles in your cheeks
    Blog your troubled life away
    but don’t forget that blogs are play.

  34. You’re burning out…..find a hobby, take a vacation here to Port Angeles.
    Blog for fun, fun fun fun.
    Blog with geeks, blog for weeks
    Blog with marbles in your cheeks
    Blog your troubled life away
    but don’t forget that blogs are play.

  35. As a lifelong resident and native to Silicon Valley, please allow me to remind everyone that it’s not just about software (I’ll be generous and be more general than ‘web’).

    From our heritage to our future, we are technology, from hardware to biology and everything in between– and software is part of that.

    Why are there so many powerful companies anchored here, like computer makers, chip makers, search engines and more?

    Why is this one of those world targets for terror attacks? It’s not because of the 43rd consecutive launch of a social media site.

    It’s far, far, far bigger than that.

    That is the key.

  36. As a lifelong resident and native to Silicon Valley, please allow me to remind everyone that it’s not just about software (I’ll be generous and be more general than ‘web’).

    From our heritage to our future, we are technology, from hardware to biology and everything in between– and software is part of that.

    Why are there so many powerful companies anchored here, like computer makers, chip makers, search engines and more?

    Why is this one of those world targets for terror attacks? It’s not because of the 43rd consecutive launch of a social media site.

    It’s far, far, far bigger than that.

    That is the key.

  37. I agree with Robert – I’m not sure I agree that its better to go back. What I do agree with is the need for stronger BS meters and listening to opinions from those outside our industry for regular reality checks.

  38. I agree with Robert – I’m not sure I agree that its better to go back. What I do agree with is the need for stronger BS meters and listening to opinions from those outside our industry for regular reality checks.

  39. what is with you guys? one blogger writes that he/she is depressed & the rest follow suit? its what i always assumed about this echo chamber mentality. you just blather on and repeat what the other guys say. a complete waste of originality.

    know what? i’m going to be ecstatic that you and arrington and the rest take “a breather.” you won’t be missed

  40. what is with you guys? one blogger writes that he/she is depressed & the rest follow suit? its what i always assumed about this echo chamber mentality. you just blather on and repeat what the other guys say. a complete waste of originality.

    know what? i’m going to be ecstatic that you and arrington and the rest take “a breather.” you won’t be missed

  41. The current climate is being ruined by the very people who created it. Blogs, wikis, twitter, jaiku, sphere, technorati…all created by a geek community keen to cash in on its ability to create software or programs that VC’s would pay money for.

    The result is that very few of these “technologies” have any stickinesss, being nothing but a passing phase. There is no built-in longevity.

    As a result, many of them never make the mainstream. Geeks are quite simply producing ideas for other geeks, never giving the “mainstream public” the time or chance to watch, learn and implement one idea before the next “big idea” comes along.

    Just because people buy online doesn’t mean they live online.

  42. The current climate is being ruined by the very people who created it. Blogs, wikis, twitter, jaiku, sphere, technorati…all created by a geek community keen to cash in on its ability to create software or programs that VC’s would pay money for.

    The result is that very few of these “technologies” have any stickinesss, being nothing but a passing phase. There is no built-in longevity.

    As a result, many of them never make the mainstream. Geeks are quite simply producing ideas for other geeks, never giving the “mainstream public” the time or chance to watch, learn and implement one idea before the next “big idea” comes along.

    Just because people buy online doesn’t mean they live online.

  43. Paul, probably because the geeks look to esoteric to the everyday people (and might get severely rejected big time) and the everyday people look like mundane, culture-less and pedestrian.

    Both sides are probably right, and it’s always amusing when one side takes control. Hell part of the reason I love mySpace is because of how irritated geek snobs get at how horrible it all looks.

    Damn kids today!

  44. Paul, probably because the geeks look to esoteric to the everyday people (and might get severely rejected big time) and the everyday people look like mundane, culture-less and pedestrian.

    Both sides are probably right, and it’s always amusing when one side takes control. Hell part of the reason I love mySpace is because of how irritated geek snobs get at how horrible it all looks.

    Damn kids today!

  45. Most web 2.0 sites are crap and won’t stick around. Everyone knows this, but you dont need to be an elitist and get angry because Arrington got angry. Aww everyone likes the local band that i liked FIRST. Wah wah. Sure there are a lot of douchebags who only cared about Tech when they read from their real estate or telecom office that Youtube or Myspace got acquired. And now we have to deal with them. Most of them are idiots and lets hope they leave soon, but some of them are as excited about new technology as you are, maybe more.

    They havent had their head cooking in front of a CRT monitor for 15 years; maybe they have some new insight and ideas.

    But tech companies are not for people who just want to make big money, and those people are easy to spot and will tell you their desires very quickly. Its for people who actually care about software, hardware, the web— people who loved it and used it and lived it before it was sexy or the next goldmine. Screw them, they’ll jump on the next passing ship anyways.

  46. Most web 2.0 sites are crap and won’t stick around. Everyone knows this, but you dont need to be an elitist and get angry because Arrington got angry. Aww everyone likes the local band that i liked FIRST. Wah wah. Sure there are a lot of douchebags who only cared about Tech when they read from their real estate or telecom office that Youtube or Myspace got acquired. And now we have to deal with them. Most of them are idiots and lets hope they leave soon, but some of them are as excited about new technology as you are, maybe more.

    They havent had their head cooking in front of a CRT monitor for 15 years; maybe they have some new insight and ideas.

    But tech companies are not for people who just want to make big money, and those people are easy to spot and will tell you their desires very quickly. Its for people who actually care about software, hardware, the web— people who loved it and used it and lived it before it was sexy or the next goldmine. Screw them, they’ll jump on the next passing ship anyways.

  47. I like what Paul Fabretti wrote above.

    Also, Robert. You say “with a kid on the way”. A fascinating expression. Seems almost to contain some denial of what’s really happening. It’s not a kid: it’s a baby. A baby is on the way. Babies are a lot more immediate than kids. Kids arte something you have i a few years time (when the babies grow up). “Kids” sounds easier than “babies”.

    Maybe it’s a guy thing. (Can’t remember what I used to say. I’ve got four school age kids)

    Maybe women have babies and guys have kids.

  48. I like what Paul Fabretti wrote above.

    Also, Robert. You say “with a kid on the way”. A fascinating expression. Seems almost to contain some denial of what’s really happening. It’s not a kid: it’s a baby. A baby is on the way. Babies are a lot more immediate than kids. Kids arte something you have i a few years time (when the babies grow up). “Kids” sounds easier than “babies”.

    Maybe it’s a guy thing. (Can’t remember what I used to say. I’ve got four school age kids)

    Maybe women have babies and guys have kids.

  49. I agree with some previous advice that less output would be a good idea. Maybe less input too.

    Do you *really* need to be the most prolific Google Reader user to find interesting things to write about? I don’t even have time to follow along in your Link blog and I’m semi-retired.

    As far as relevance goes, you need to avoid reporting on some things, but I don’t think it has to do with product endorsements, advertising, etc. Two examples:

    Popfly: a very early Alpha test, not working yet, or well, or available to most people who read your blog about it and still don’t know what the heck is so great about it. Microsoft is trying to become web-savvy. Great. What people are interested in is actual working examples that they can actually turn this stuff out. My guess is you still have some personal allegiance to MS that puts their stuff closer to the top of the list than it should be.

    Then there was that product that found you in the lobby of the Web 3 conference (juke? joof? zoop? who can keep up these days?)… the guys from Florida, who’s new, unheard of product could roll just about everybody else’s product together onto one web page. Sounded almost too good to be true. And was. I signed up. Got the reminders in the mail. Got the “One day early” access, which overloaded their servers. Got the message that they were seriously re-working the service for performance and would hear from them later. “Later” has come and gone. And I’ve already forgotten the name of the product and deleted the old e-mails.

    Probably would have been better for their company/product and for your readers/viewers if this thing were closer to production and you had already seen a preview of it before the several hundred people (many of whom probably blogged about it themselves) all jumped onto the not-ready-for-prime-time service at once.

    If you mention one good/interesting thing every few days that I haven’t already heard of it is probably worth visiting your blog to find out about it. If on the other hand I give away my e-mail address for one thing after another that never even launches, I’m probably better off not relying on your picks. The S/N ratio hasn’t gotten unbearable yet, but it has gotten worse.

    Throttling back would probably be a good idea on many levels.

  50. I agree with some previous advice that less output would be a good idea. Maybe less input too.

    Do you *really* need to be the most prolific Google Reader user to find interesting things to write about? I don’t even have time to follow along in your Link blog and I’m semi-retired.

    As far as relevance goes, you need to avoid reporting on some things, but I don’t think it has to do with product endorsements, advertising, etc. Two examples:

    Popfly: a very early Alpha test, not working yet, or well, or available to most people who read your blog about it and still don’t know what the heck is so great about it. Microsoft is trying to become web-savvy. Great. What people are interested in is actual working examples that they can actually turn this stuff out. My guess is you still have some personal allegiance to MS that puts their stuff closer to the top of the list than it should be.

    Then there was that product that found you in the lobby of the Web 3 conference (juke? joof? zoop? who can keep up these days?)… the guys from Florida, who’s new, unheard of product could roll just about everybody else’s product together onto one web page. Sounded almost too good to be true. And was. I signed up. Got the reminders in the mail. Got the “One day early” access, which overloaded their servers. Got the message that they were seriously re-working the service for performance and would hear from them later. “Later” has come and gone. And I’ve already forgotten the name of the product and deleted the old e-mails.

    Probably would have been better for their company/product and for your readers/viewers if this thing were closer to production and you had already seen a preview of it before the several hundred people (many of whom probably blogged about it themselves) all jumped onto the not-ready-for-prime-time service at once.

    If you mention one good/interesting thing every few days that I haven’t already heard of it is probably worth visiting your blog to find out about it. If on the other hand I give away my e-mail address for one thing after another that never even launches, I’m probably better off not relying on your picks. The S/N ratio hasn’t gotten unbearable yet, but it has gotten worse.

    Throttling back would probably be a good idea on many levels.

  51. As a small-time (mature age) student, and recent tech fanatic (read 5-ish years) I have noticed the decline from true innovation as headlines, to the present trend of copying anything successfull, and the multitude of “similar” boutique products.

    I have a few thougts as to why the current glut of really cool, but boutique, or niche products, depress pple like you.

    The sheeer volume of inovation, and the ammount of takeover activity of best-in-field, re-inforces this to me. Following is an example (ME) of why the more things accelerate, the more they stay the same. I am an early-adopter & tester. But, I have a limited ammount of time, and a lot of passion to absorb… stuff.

    So why do I think a bust is coming?
    Why do I think Robert Scoble is exasberated?
    Why will most start-ups fail, (as in the last bust)?

    One reason M’soft and Google (as the most obvious EXAMPLES) will succeed and others fail in the inevitable “bust”, (which is really just an economic consolidation in any other feild), is beacuse of their sheer size (financialy and product breadth), and therefore capacity to COPY, or emulate a wide variety of products, and therefore pick up users like me. Note: I don’t believe either are particulariy great INOVATORS, although both DO, but producing acceptable competitors is just as profitable…

    I love so many products, but I keep going back to a single login at google.

    WHY.

    1. Great email, with availability wherever I am…
    2. Reader, ONE of the best, available anywhere, and (with a few scripts) integrated with mail…
    3. Calander… integrated with mail, and flexible (also using a few scripts)
    4. igoogle, one stop-shop…
    5. Desktop, (Which I Love) avails me of the ability to search across my computers…

    Absolutely none is a killer app. (well Mabye reader, as I HATE most of the client apps and love the cross-computer availability); But with google docs, Picasa (Which I love) and other products, I have an integrated, worldwide available, single log-in AND with a laptop and PC, as well as using Uni and other computers, if I back-up current docs, bookmarks, and so-on I can acess them any-where.

    Interestingly, (as an Aussie Student) I recently downloaded MS Office 2007 Ultimate for a few dollars, and I am really liking the tools in it. However I still find collaboration and so-on easier with google. HOWEVER, they now have a pretty complete package for even a casual user. BUT I paid $75_00, and would never pay the list $1150… So even the nearest comp loses easily.

    Probably not one of the Google apps will ever be best in field, but if I go on holidays and get on a freinds computer, I sign on once…

  52. As a small-time (mature age) student, and recent tech fanatic (read 5-ish years) I have noticed the decline from true innovation as headlines, to the present trend of copying anything successfull, and the multitude of “similar” boutique products.

    I have a few thougts as to why the current glut of really cool, but boutique, or niche products, depress pple like you.

    The sheeer volume of inovation, and the ammount of takeover activity of best-in-field, re-inforces this to me. Following is an example (ME) of why the more things accelerate, the more they stay the same. I am an early-adopter & tester. But, I have a limited ammount of time, and a lot of passion to absorb… stuff.

    So why do I think a bust is coming?
    Why do I think Robert Scoble is exasberated?
    Why will most start-ups fail, (as in the last bust)?

    One reason M’soft and Google (as the most obvious EXAMPLES) will succeed and others fail in the inevitable “bust”, (which is really just an economic consolidation in any other feild), is beacuse of their sheer size (financialy and product breadth), and therefore capacity to COPY, or emulate a wide variety of products, and therefore pick up users like me. Note: I don’t believe either are particulariy great INOVATORS, although both DO, but producing acceptable competitors is just as profitable…

    I love so many products, but I keep going back to a single login at google.

    WHY.

    1. Great email, with availability wherever I am…
    2. Reader, ONE of the best, available anywhere, and (with a few scripts) integrated with mail…
    3. Calander… integrated with mail, and flexible (also using a few scripts)
    4. igoogle, one stop-shop…
    5. Desktop, (Which I Love) avails me of the ability to search across my computers…

    Absolutely none is a killer app. (well Mabye reader, as I HATE most of the client apps and love the cross-computer availability); But with google docs, Picasa (Which I love) and other products, I have an integrated, worldwide available, single log-in AND with a laptop and PC, as well as using Uni and other computers, if I back-up current docs, bookmarks, and so-on I can acess them any-where.

    Interestingly, (as an Aussie Student) I recently downloaded MS Office 2007 Ultimate for a few dollars, and I am really liking the tools in it. However I still find collaboration and so-on easier with google. HOWEVER, they now have a pretty complete package for even a casual user. BUT I paid $75_00, and would never pay the list $1150… So even the nearest comp loses easily.

    Probably not one of the Google apps will ever be best in field, but if I go on holidays and get on a freinds computer, I sign on once…

  53. May I chime in? I know what you mean. I’m feeling it too in France. It’s the “suits”. When guys in suits came to see what bloggers picnics were about, you knew times were a-changing. I trace the sea change to the YouTube/Google deal.

  54. May I chime in? I know what you mean. I’m feeling it too in France. It’s the “suits”. When guys in suits came to see what bloggers picnics were about, you knew times were a-changing. I trace the sea change to the YouTube/Google deal.