A Blog by Scott Isaacs

Month: March 2005

Scoble vs. Tinkler

So, Robert Scoble recently posted on why he is such an extremist (my own words) when it comes to being pro-RSS.  He claims that it builds relationships.  Brian Tinkler commented on his blog that, while RSS is a great and important technology, it could never replace the human element when it comes to relationships.  In Scoble’s follow-up post he says that he is “getting beaten up” by Brian’s comments.

Here is what I posted as a comment on Scoble’s blog:

I don’t think Brian Tinkler was discrediting the use and importance of blogs or RSS. He was just stating a truth that technology can never replace the human factor when it comes to building relationships. I subscribe to [Scoble’s blog] via RSS, but have no relationship with Scoble, and I doubt that my subscription would ever cause him to do any type of business with me.

However, if I got to know him, and had conversations with him — then I would be building a relationship. I used to work at a newspaper, and I had no more relationship with the authors of the articles that I read than I do with Scoble, or any other blogger, or any other company with an RSS feed.

Reading the articles, blogs or RSS items may help me learn more about the provider (author, company, etc.), but doesn’t go very far in creating a relationship.

On the other hand, if I already had a relationship with Scoble, then me subscribing to him and him subscribing to me very well could help strengthen our relationship.

But until we create artifical intelligence, technology will never “create” relationships — merely transfer information and possibly discover possible relationships.

[Edited and styled for use in this post.]

Like Brian, I, too, am a fan of Scoble overall, and I still plan to read him everyday because I see a lot of things there that I might otherwise miss. However, in my own opinion, Scoble is using the phrase “building relationships” in place of “gathering information”.  I can read internal blogs, personal blogs, press releases, newsletters, newspapers, journals, magazines or any other written information 24 hours a day, but have absolutely no relationship with the provider.

A relationship is a two-way connection or association.  I have a relationship with my wife, Kelly.  I have a relationship with my boss.  I have a relationship with my bank.  I have a relationship with my mortgage company.

I don’t have a relationship with Scoble, or any other supplier of some RSS that I comsume.  Likewise, just because you are reading my blog, doesn’t imply that you have a relationship with me.

Maybe it’s just semantics, but as ardent as Scoble has been on the topic lately, I’m tending to think that he is under the impression that he is actually building relationships by consuming RSS.  I have no doubt of the importance of RSS, and that it can play a critical role in supplying information in a timely, standardized manner, but let’s not lose scope of things.  It’s just XML — angle brackets, letters, numbers and a few equals signs and quotation marks. I’m a software developer and have written a number of CRM systems, and even those, with the word “Relationship” (Customer/Contact Relationship Management) in their name, don’t really build relationships — they are just a tool to track them.

The relationship comes from communication.  Anyone agree or disagree?  Leave a comment or e-mail me and let’s begin building our own relationships.


(P.S.  Just to be clear, I personally know Brian Tinkler through my involvement in the WI .NET Users Group.)

Deeper in .NET 2005

As you may or may not know , I am pretty heavily involved in the local .NET community and serve as the Vice President of the WI .NET Users Group.  Well this weekend, March 5, is our third annual day long extravaganza – Deeper in .NET 2005

Well, I don’t know if extravaganza is the right word.  Let me check.

(Searching the web…)

OK, Dictionary.com defines extravaganza as “an elaborate, spectacular entertainment or display”.  I guess extravaganza is the right word after all.

I am SO excited about this.  I’m such a geek.  Our group is one of the 10 largest .NET user groups in the world!  And get this: This is going to be the largest .NET user group event ever!!  Right now we already have over 400 registrants.  If you’re going to be anywhere near Milwaukee this Saturday, you need to be there.  But register now so you can be sure to get in and get fed — mentally and literally (there’s lunch).

We’ve got an awesome lineup of speakers:

Topics look great too!  Distributed objects, ASP.NET 2.0, Smart Client…

To top it off, Jacob Cynamon is hosting a lunch Q&A session featuring Scott Guthrie, Chris Mayo, Rob Howard, and Jason Beres who will answer questions regarding .NET architecture and design considerations not covered in their presentations.  Watch for the e-mail to come out to all registered WI .NET UG members soon.  If you want to know more about this, then you need to register on the WI .NET UG site.

It’s this Saturday, March 5, 2005 at the Radisson by Mayfair Mall.  Late registration and check-in starts at 7:00 AM and things get kicked off at 7:45.

Seriously, you should check it out!  I’ll be there all day — come see me and say hi!

Headline: Firefox Not Safe!

OK, so there’s already an updated version that fixes the problem.  But there is (was?) a problem!

It seems that Firefox was invincible because no one was attacking it.  Now there are 25 million Firefox users.  Now there are exploits.

For the record, I occasionally use Firefox myself.  It is a fine browser, although I’m not a fan of tabbed browsing.  I’m primarily a Microsoft fan, but have a few open source items that I use and appreciate.

INETA Academic Committee

Well, I have officially joined the “INETA Academic Committee Student Committee” (quite a mouthful).  I participated in my first conference call tonight, and it looks like I might be assisting in the development of a new site for the Student Committee.  I’m still learning about the role of these committees.  I even had to have a cheat sheet of various acronyms and definitions e-mailed to me in order to make sense of what was happening in the meeting.

I’m actually kind of excited about this.  When Brian Tinkler first asked me about getting involved with INETA a year or two ago, I was hesitant.  Since I am already involved in the local .NET community as the vice president of the WI .NET Users Group, I didn’t think I would have enough time.  Plus I didn’t think I could bring anything substantial to the table.

Well, the time availability hasn’t changed much (actually, I’m busier now than ever), but I’m excited to be involved anyway!

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