[Robert Scoble at QDT in Tribeca]
Today we present to you an interview with Robert Scoble, possibly best originally known for his work as a Microsoft evangelist, where according to The Economist, he “succeeded where small armies of more conventional public-relations types have been failing abjectly for years: he has made Microsoft, with its history of monopolistic bullying, appear marginally but noticeably less evil to the outside world…”
At about 6:30 last night, we saw a message from Robert on Twitter welcoming everyone to a lower Manhattan bar to hang with him and the Fast Company team. PRNewser headed there for a post work drink and spoke to Robert about what technologies he is keeping a close eye on in 2008, how to best get in touch with him, and his upcoming speaking appearance at the Mediabistro Circus.
PRNewser: Hi Robert, so we’re here in New York City.
PRNewser: So, what technology are you most excited about for the next year, for 2008. I know there’s a lot out there.
RS: Well, that’s a broad question because, well lets take it to consumer electronics.
RS: Well the CES show this year, the show was all about HDTV, and mobile. Mobile phones, and certainly all the early adopters are getting iPhones, and also Nokia. A lot of us are carrying both phones because the Nokia does video and we can do live streaming over our Nokia phones, and then the iPhone is for everything else.
PRNewser: Do you think all phones will eventually have the Nokia N95 capability, and if so, when?
RS: I think eventually. iPhone needs to get 3G and it needs to get the video capability before it can really do what the Nokia does. See 3G gives you half the bandwith, so with my Nokia I can stream video to the internet, it’s really great.
PRNewser: What do you think about iPhone as “the next platform?”
Um, well it certainly is that. The SDK just came out into beta tests, and a lot of developers are trying it out. Because it is just so beautiful and the interaction with the web is just far superior than the Nokia. You’re going to see a lot more user oriented stuff on the iPhone. The Nokia will come back I think, it will come back by the end of the year with something else, so it’ll be interesting to watch that fight.
In terms of other technologies that are interesting, social networking is certainly hot right now.
PRNewser: Of course.
RS: You know, which one’s gonna win? Facebook, Myspace, Bebo just got bought by AOL for 800 and something million dollars, etc etc. And, um surely there is a lot of conflict in that world over who is going to be the best social network.
PRNewser: A lot of people I’m sure try and get in touch with you to plug you know, whatever “techware” they have going on.
PRNewser: What is the best way for people to get in touch with you?
RS: They can just call me. Give me a call. It’s your call.
PRNewser: Well you do have your phone number on your blog, you drop it on Twitter, how does that work? How many calls do you get a day? Do you get a lot of prank calls from people?
RS: I don’t get a lot of those calls, because the phone, it gives me your identity and if you call me I can call you back. So, if you call me with something idiotic, I can call you back at three in the morning and bother you too. So right there’s that built in trust with the phone. I guess that’s one way to contact me. I get a lot of email, so if you’re sending me an email, if you want to rise above the clutter, put something on it, say “hey!”
PRNewser: How many email addresses do you have?
RS: Um, three. But they all forward to each other. You can go to Robert Scoble at Hotmail.
PRNewser: What are you looking to really get into with FastCompany.tv. I saw the Mahalo interview. What are you looking to focus on?
RS: We’re doing innovation in business, so that can be many tech companies, because tech companies in general are innovative.
At General Motors or Proctor and Gamble you’re limited, because you’re big and all of these are coming at you with these new ideas. So we were at IBM last week and we moved an atom across a piece of copper, that was really cool. [Laughter] And, that’s the fun stuff. There’s a lot of new stuff coming out.
PRNewser: Well, we look forward to having you at the Mediabistro Circus, it’ll be good to have you back in New York.
RS: Yeah, that’s coming up soon, man it’s so fast. It seems like so far away and I’m like ‘yeah, I’ll do that.’ [Laughter]
PRNewser: How many speaking engagements do you do a year?
RS: I’d say 20, or about two a month probably.
PRNewser: What are your favorites?
RS: Favorite conference or favorite speaking engagement?
PRNewser: Either or.
RS: My favorite conference so far has been Davos, the World Economic Forum. The people there were really incredible.
PRNewser: Well Robert, thank you so much.