Thursday, October 28, 2010

Does Robert Scoble Know Me?

Scoble, Longhorn EvangelistImage via WikipediaMaybe he does. Likely he does not. I have left a few comments at his blog. I have retweeted a few of his tweets. I have a Direct Message from him on Twitter, and I know enough about him to know that does not make me special. I mean, that guy has thousands of "friends" on FourSquare. He asks to be stalked. I don't think he has self esteem issues. I think he is a social media guinea pig to himself. He wants to go out there and try it out. He once retweeted one of my tweets. He has replied to one or more of my comments at his blog.

I don't think Robert Scoble knows me. Although if we were living in the same town, I would know ways to make sure he did. Fred Wilson is a blogger. And he knows me. He is quite a player in tech.

But that's not the point. The point is it is not really that important if Robert Scoble knows me. Yeah, you can follow celebrities on Twitter, but you can't exactly have conversations, even short ones, with them. There are many people who follow them and reply to their tweets.

Robert Scoble need not know you for the blogosphere to become meaningful. There is huge richness in the blogosphere, there are seams of people who are not big and famous, they don't make it to the news, likely never will. But they are there. They are fun. They are interesting. They educate. They share. These are normal people. They went to school. They went to work. They expect to retire. They walk the sidewalks. They ride the trains. They might even be upper middle class. But they take pains to emphasize they are not rich. They have vivid memories of having worked minimum wage jobs when at high school, perhaps.

I have said this time and again. Blogger is my favorite social media platform. I like blogs that are well written by real people who really, truly intend to share thoughts and experiences. These are writings that you would never otherwise see. They were not going to get book deals. They were not going to even write. And it is not possible they might ever had a chance to share the stories with their grandchildren. Grandchildren will not consume a post a day accumulated over years, decades.

The people out there, there are people out there. They read. You know they do. You got page hits. When you get into conversations with such bloggers, when you leave comments at their blog, when you send them an email, you strike a very real conversation.

I came across one such blogger today. Someone Rob I follow on Tumblr had a real nice blog post about investing, I liked it so much I decided to hop over to his Twitter page where he had just so happened to retweet a tweet from big name VC Brad Feld who I have exchanged emails with before. Brad Feld had tweeted a blog post: Problem Sets and Poetry: How MIT Made Me Who I Am Today.

I know enough about Brad Feld to know he is a proud frat boy from his MIT days. His alma mater is big to him. So I thought it was an act of pride, and it perhaps is. I think it is.

But then I proceeded to the blog post, and read the About page and was thrown a little off balance.
I’d pay more for an adults-only flight.
I proceeded to read a few of the posts. And the humanity of the person came through. The MIT post itself is great.
A seemingly simple problem set from freshman classes like 18.01 (Single Variable Calculus) or 7.013 (Introductory Biology) could knock me down to my knees and engulf me with the despair of total inadequacy. I still remember the deflated feeling of struggling for hours on end on a problem only to realize I was on the wrong track.
You think you are the top student in class at high school and then you end up some place where everyone was the top student at high school. It can be great. It can also be a downer.

I sent her an email. I replied to one of her tweets. I left a few comments at her blog. I encourage you to read some of her posts. They are great. You don't have to be a lawyer - I am not, or a New Yorker, or a MIT person - I am not - to enjoy them and learn from them, and want to to thank her for sharing.

Problem Sets and Poetry: How MIT Made Me Who I Am Today
About Me (in 300 Words)
Inaugural Post
Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Part V - Money, Money, Money
Routine, Not a Productive One, Yet
Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Part II - Do I Want to Stay in Law?
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do: Part I - The Allure of Partnership
Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Part IV - Dealing with the Emotional Niggles
The Story So Far
The Straw that "Chipped" the Camel's Back
Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Part III - The Risk Factors of Quitting Law
Our Nutty Adventure: Part IV - The End
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