Category: Scobleizer

Scoble is right: Portland deserves more geek cred

Wow. Two Scoble mentions in one week. Who’d of thunk? (For those curious types, the other Scoble mention.)

Aaron Hockley shook me from my travel stupor, highlighting Scoble’s recent post “Israel: A country too far from Mike Arrington’s house” and advising me that the post was “perfect fodder for a Silicon Florist post. ”

He’s right. It is.

Scoble’s post is mostly about Israel. And, honestly, I have to agree with him. I had the opportunity to work with a Portland startup whose development team was in Israel. And I also got to work with some Israeli developers at another not-so-startup gig in Portland.

Scoble nails it. It’s an amazing tech scene over there.

But that’s not why I’m posting.

I’m posting because he also says this:

I’ve started noticing a trend: that the further away a tech area is from Silicon Valley the less respect that area will get…. Do you agree or disagree that people, companies, countries can get the respect and/or tech industry PR they deserve if they are far away from Silicon Valley?

And I can’t even begin to tell you how happy this makes me. How thrilled I am to hear this kind of thinking. You mean, there might actually be something interesting happening in technology outside of Silicon Valley? Do you think?

But, as to his question, that’s a bit more difficult. Because I honestly don’t know. It’s really, really hard to get folks in the Valley to pay attention to folks outside of the Valley.

There is a ton of noise down there. And what’s more, there’s always the potential for face-to-face meetings. There’s real, honest-to-goodness networking. Like the stuff we do around here with Portland Lunch 2.0, Ignite Portland, and BarCamp Portland.

But the access points are entirely different.

Down there, you have access to a bunch of people like Arrington, Scoble, Om Malik, Jerimiah Owyang, Jason Calacanis, Scott Beale… the list goes on and on. Up here? You can only bug Marshall Kirkpatrick for coverage about five to six times a week before he starts getting upset. (Trust me, I’ve tested this limit, time and time again.)

Now, Scoble’s been to Portland before, so I know he’s aware of some of the stuff happening up here. But he’s not here enough. We’re not connected enough.

Down there, there’s more potential:

I’ve noticed this when I visited MySpace: they were so excited when I visited because they say that tech bloggers never visit. I was thinking back to my own experiences. Yes, that’s true. Facebook employees regularly meet up with us at parties and dinners and conferences. We run into MySpace employees far less often. These personal connections turn into stories on blogs.

And yes, while it’s nice and quaint that I try to make sure your projects are getting coverage here on the little ol’ Silicon Florist blog, that’s only going to get us part of the way. And a small part of the way, at that.

Ideally, I’d really like to see Portland getting the credit it deserves—on a regular basis—in more well-read publications, like TechCrunch, Scobelizer, GigaOm, and ReadWriteWeb. And The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the San Jose Merc.

We’re on the right path. And the tide is starting to turn. But there’s still a long ways to go.

I’d be interested in your thoughts on how we can continue to grease the skids. What more can I be doing to help you? What more can we be doing as a community to get the startups here in Portland more of the attention they deserve?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Is Jive CMO Sam Lawrence the next Robert Scoble?

Portland-based Jive Software has been all over the blog world as of late with their release of Clearspace 2.0. But that’s not the only place they’re turning heads.

Jive’s Chief Marketing Officer, Sam Lawrence, has rapidly become a social-media phenom on Twitter and on his blog, Go Big Always (which coincidentally uses the same Justin-Kistner designed WordPress theme that adorns Silicon Florist).

Now, Portland’s Marshall Kirkpatrick is hinting that Lawrence may be the next Robert Scoble, given how readily his social media presence jumps to mind:

When we asked for examples of people doing this kind of work well on Twitter, the first name that flooded our replies inbox was Jive Software’s Sam Lawrence.

For those of you unfamiliar with Scoble, Kirkpatrick provides a short and sweet primer:

Robert Scoble blazed a big trail by blogging and producing video as a technical evangelist for Microsoft from 2003 through 2006. No longer at Microsoft, Scoble now produces media for media’s sake at FastCompany.tv. Others have followed his lead, knowingly or not, and job titles like “social media evangelist” are no longer nearly as rare as they used to be.

As for me, I’ve seen the power of Sam’s influence in a variety of media. And it continues to grow on a daily—if not hourly—basis. His bursting on to the social-media scene has been nothing short of explosive. And I continue to be impressed with his growing influence and impact.

That’s good for Jive. But it’s also good for us here in the Silicon Forest.

We could be witnessing the emergence of another true A-Lister, right here in our own backyard. And that, gentle reader, could be huge for the Portland startup scene.

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