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SXSWi ’08: Scoble Bumrushes Panel: ‘I Don’t Trust What I See In Blogs For 24 Hours’

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Not his panel? No problem according to Bob Scoble, who leapt to the mike multiple times at a Saturday talk.

In a two-man panel that often seemed more needling accusation than challenging question, Forbes Silicon Valley bureau chief Quentin Hardy and Google senior director of information systems Doug Merrill kept a 100-person crowd on its toes with a spirited back-and-forth on navigating the glut of media we encounter today [Merrill: "I want to be searching [the Web with more context." Hardy: "Well, you're the one with Google on your card."] But the real fun started when, unable to keep from entering the conversation a second longer, leapt up from his front-row seat and literally ran to the mike to rebut not the panelists, but a fellow audience member. What got Scoble so fired up?


The neverending push-pull between old media and new, natch. Immediately before him, a self-proclaimed “old-media” journalist asserted to the group at large in a question that wasn’t that blogs didn’ contain “real information,” and that she didn’t understand why their proliferation of coverage was getting preferenced over old print saws.

Scoble couldn’t refrain from running mike-ward to counter her. “I’ve gone on CNBC, I’ve written for magazines,” he charged. “They didn’t improve my Google ratings at all. None of these things has helped the way blogging has. If you want better ratings, you don’t go to the mainstream media.”

Other hackle-raisers:

Hardy: “Authenticity is at issue. How many liars are writing high-voltage works of fiction and publishing them as memoirs? You can get music for free online, yet you still have people flying here to Austin to see live bands. It’s authority as relative scarcity.”

Merrill: “Human filtering’s pretty weak. I want there to be a chorus [of those combing through content online], none of whom agree, so we can look back and say ‘did we do the right thing?’”

“What is linking, if not granting authority because someone said it was so?”

“Traditional media is hobbled by its cost structure. New media is competitively advantaged over traditional media.”

Scoble (in mike trip No. 2): “If you try hard enough, you can find a source to tell you anything. I don’t trust what I see in blogs for at least 24 hours. The publishing wold now cleanses itself after publication. Before it’d cleanse itself before publication. I like this way better, because at least now the guy you’re writing about has a voice.”

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