Alan Wolk made an important point for marketers: do not get blinded by “Scoble blindness.”
What is “Scoble blindness?” Making products just for Scoble, or thinking that I, or my behaviors online, represent the mass market. Alan is right. They do not. But more on that later.
Here Seagate, our premier sponsor over on FastCompanyTV (they have sponsored my video shows for several years now, which lets me go around the world and meet the top tech entrepreneurs and innovators), shows they get this better than anyone with its introduction of Seagate’s FreeAgent|Theater HD media player (we have exclusive video to show you what the device does). The New York Times wrote up more on the device.
Did they make a geeky media center device that can do everything that geeks want? That will thrill me and my fellow geeks? No.
They saw that normal people (those people who don’t yet know what Twitter or friendfeed are) are having tons of troubles just getting the photos they shot on their new digital camera up on their big HDTV. Or, maybe they got a new FlipCam HD and they want to play their videos on their screen to show their neighbors.
They saw that normal people don’t yet care about playing YouTube videos or doing Internet stuff like I do on my MacMini (and you probably do too).
So, they designed a product for the rest of the people. Here’s why the geeks might care too. My dad, for instance, wants to see videos and photos I shot of our 16-month-old son, Milan. But he doesn’t want to go to the trouble of going to Flickr, looking through all the pictures I shot of tech execs and other things, just to find the photos I shot of Milan.
Using Seagate’s new FreeAgent|Theater I just bring a hard drive over with those videos and photos, plug it into the USB port on the new device, and they show up on his HDTV. It’s that simple. No setting up Internet accounts. No struggling with going through all my other stuff.
Will I have one attached to my TV? No, I already have a bunch of ways to view that content (and have had for years) but will I get my dad one? Absolutely! Now I can bring him new videos and photos just by bringing a hard drive over. Cost? $130 (plus the cost of the USB-hard drives). Comes out this spring.
That’s a good example of avoiding “Scoble blindness.”
Now, in regard to Alan’s post, I think he got a lot wrong about what I do. I travel the world and talk with tons of “normal people.” I understand them a lot better than you will ever get from my blog. But I am not passionate about having conversations with them about technology. They don’t read blogs, they don’t hang out on twitter, and they aren’t addicted to friendfeed yet. So, excuse me if I’ll stay focused on what I’m passionate about here and on Fast Company TV: bringing you the most interesting people and ideas in the tech industry.
You can’t serve everyone in a blog. If I started writing posts for “normal people” then the advanced people in the audience would get turned off. This morning I spoke to an audience at the Consumer Electronics Show that was very advanced. How do I know that? Most of the audience was using TweetDeck. If I started talking to them about basic stuff like “this is Google, here’s a blog, here’s a YouTube video” they would have laughed me off the stage.
So, I’ll take the “Scoble blindness” abuse in stride. That means that I’ve done a great job of serving the audience I want to serve: you!
UPDATE: Want to try one? We’re running a Twitter contest to get some into your hands. More details on that shortly.