Why People Like Robert Scoble Matter

June 6, 2009

As has been well published in the local Twitterverse/Blogosphere, Robert Scoble visited Blacksburg, VA yesterday. For those who don’t know who he is, Handshake 2.0 has a good summary. The RNR has had a budding Social Media footprint for a while now, but the visit from Mr. Scoble is one of the few events that ties us back to the Internet ground zero of Silicon Valley.

Why is this noteworthy? Well, stemming from his interview with the Roanoke Times yesterday, a bit of a communication issue arose involving the web presence of the restaurant where the event occurred.   There’s a good discussion on Robert’s friendfeed. The issue to me centers around an “old-media” perspective on Internet marketing. Robert suggested that the chef should communicate with customers about the menu. The reporter interpreted this as the restaurant needs to post its menu on the website. Being that the website already contains the standard menu, the restaurant took offence and a rather awkward correction is added to the end of the article.

To me, this is a teachable moment, and an example of why we need “high-tech evangelists” like Mr. Scoble. Most of us who are tuned into social media would have known exactly what he meant – the chef should reach out to customer’s collaboratively in real time and develop a dynamic menu that reflects timely feedback. The unfamiliar interpreted the suggestion in a very flat manner. I hope, as a result of the continued discussion of the matter, that the light goes on in many new people’s heads as to what the collaborative web is all about.

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One Response to “Why People Like Robert Scoble Matter”


  1. Thoughtful commentary, Jim. Added link to your post to Stuart Mease’s interview with Scoble.

    http://www.handshake20.com/2009/06/stuart-mease-scobleizes-the-scobleizer.html


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