Was SJSU Scobleized?

Let me tell you one of the things I love about the fact that I work at a university. There are always interesting people giving talks about random things. Actually, I’ve never attended one of these talks before. I’ve thought some of them have looked interesting, but I never really thought they were available to me. I feel bad about leaving my desk during the work day, you know, I want to be a conscientious employee and all that.

Yesterday there were two big talks. One given by Gerald Cory entitled “New Insights into the Foundations of Free Enterprise Theory and Economics from Evolutionary Neuroscience.” Yeah, that one wasn’t really for me. The second was “Into the Blogoshpere, Why Weblogging Changes the Way People Communicate” by Robert Scoble. Boy, talk about a topic right up my alley! I went running to my boss, asking if I could go. You know, she didn’t even ask why I wanted to go, she just said, of course you can!

Just so we are clear, there are two reasons why I wanted to go. First, of course, I blog. I’ve been blogging for over two years now. I enjoy it, and I enjoy hearing what other people have to say about it. Second, I’ve been trying to think about a topic for my Instructional Technology Masters project. I think I’d like to focus on learning/teaching on pda’s and cell phones. With blogging becoming a new way for teachers to communicate their points, and more and more of us using trios and cell phones to put information into our blogs, I thought this would be an excellent talk for me to attend. I just hoped that maybe the topic would be brought up.

So, off to the talk I went. Hosted in the ever lovely Martin Luther King Jr. Library. God, I love that place, but I digress.

Honestly, at first I was a bit disappointed by Mr. Scoble. He seemed to be just another computer geek that made it big, and was tooting his own horn. After dating several computer geeks that had done the rise up the corporate ladder thing (ie., made a ton of cash because they were at the right place at the right time) and thought that entitled them to something, I’m not really impressed with geeks who like to blow their own horn. They are a dime a dozen here in Silicon Valley.

However, once he got past the tooting, he starting talking how blogging was changing journalism. This was interesting. Very interesting. He spoke about how September 11 really was the turning point for blogging. You could wait and get old news from the normal news channels, or, you could turn to bloggers and get up to date news about what was going on. I know that is what I did. I remember reading gigglechick to try and figure out what was going on.

Mr. Scoble went on to introduce some bleeding edge technologies, and suggested some books to read. He was very open to questions, and did a nice job allowing others in the audience to voice their opinions. He even opened a Skype call, with a podcaster in Australia. (Ok, so he was actually in Seattle, but he had that cute Australian accent, and after hearing that who cares what he said.) That, my friends, was very cool.

What I found the most interesting was when the journalism professors started talking about the whole cellphone/blogging/teaching concept towards the end of the talk. You could smell the excitement in the air. I think they wished that was the topic of discussion, just like I did. I really thought there would have been more professors in the audience, looking for the same talk that I was looking for. Maybe they weren’t there because it wasn’t marketed as that kind of talk.

All and all, it was a great talk, and since I know it’s ok to go to such a thing, I bet I go again sometime. I’m also going to plant a bug in my professors ear and suggest that we find some others that would be willing to talk on the cellphone/blogging/teaching concept. I bet it would draw a good croud.

If you want to read about Robert Scobles impressions of the talk, check out his blog. The Spartan Daily also had an article about the talk in Thursday’s paper.


  1. Wow!  sounds very interesting…

    I’ll check out his blog… Scoble would never come to M-town.

    We are lo-fi.