Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Geek Dinner Scobletastic

Robert and I went to the Geek Dinner organized by Dave Winer last night in Berkeley. Thanks, Dave, for organizing it (and I hope you didn't get stuck with a huge tab!).

It was a huge crowd (well, many more than the 25 who were supposed to attend!), and it was a blast. An interesting crew, including young entrepreneurs and old entrepreneurs, tech analysts and tech writers (and if you ever want to have an entertaining 5 minutes, ask Marc Canter what he's up to; I'm still in awe of that guy's personality).

I loved listening to the patter between Scoble and Steve Gillmor. About 10 of us stood outside the restaurant in the cold--not quite arguing, but not quite agreeing on anything either. Everyone was contributing, but Scoble and Gillmor were the main attractions. Steve has been a respected voice in this industry forever, and he sure doesn't lack for opinions (especially when it comes to Microsoft). Scoble is not a Microsoft apologist by any means (he has no problems saying things like "MSN search sucks"), but he'll stick up for the Redmondonians when they're getting something right.

What impresses me most about Scoble each time I meet him is how much he respects the audience. He's keenly aware that he has an audience because he's honest, and he truly believes that only being honest with his audience will keep them subscribing to his feed. He's also incredibly enthusiastic: he really, really loves technology, and seems to love the fact that he gets to write about it every day. He's not the kind of guy who loves to bash technologies and companies just to show how smart he is. Quite the opposite: I think Robert likes nothing better than finding something cool and sharing it with the world. And that love of technology is what has given him millions of readers.

Scoble (by the way, does that guy sleep? He was blogging until 4 am, then back at it before 8!) said this morning that he and Steve went and sat in a cafe 'til 1:00am, and Scoble finally started getting the gist of what Steve was saying. I would love to have been a fly on the wall there; they were both on fire with ideas.