The new Silicon Valley bribe
I just sent some TwitBitz to +Gabe Rivera
for the bribe) in a pathetic attempt to get him to post more here.
See, I actually get why he doesn't (he runs Techmeme, the website I generally start my mornings with at http://techmeme.com
). Gabe can't let Google take over the news world the way I laid out this morning at https://plus.google.com/111091089527727420853/posts/Fkrt4bk37tX
. If things actually work the way I think they will work Techmeme becomes less and less relevant. So, Gabe will need a lot more than some virtual currency to get him to pour value into Google's pocket the way I've been doing lately.
This also shows something else. That if you have an API you can make fun games on top of these social streams. Google+ doesn't have TwitBitz yet but I bet it will by the end of the year.
It also shows something else, which has been going around the news lately. Silicon Valley has always had private networks where influence is passed around. I'm sure if someone like Ron Conway whispered in Gabe's ear "turn on Scoble again and I'll fund your A round" that I'd be added into Techmeme faster than Steve Jurvetson's Tesla on freeway 280 goes.
This is what I don't get about all the +michael arrington
hate I've been seeing course through blogs lately. He's just making transparent the influence network that already exists in Silicon Valley.
The problem is that there's a little rule: you don't talk about the network.
You don't talk about how a startup gets some funding from some investor who then puts that app on his iPhone and has your app as an example of the next cool thing. You don't talk about the incubators and their networks of hundreds of powerful alumni that can help a company get both the hype and the help to get past the "eating ramen" stage.
You don't talk about how that investor tweets about your app, how that investor makes sure that PR companies go into action hosting parties at SXSW, or how that investor makes sure that the right journalist at the right blog gets the early first look.
I'm part of this game. I know it. Everyone who visits me knows it. Everyone who watches me, and other tech bloggers, knows it.
I actually think Mike did us all a big favor for trying to just be up front about it and transparent about it. One thing I've learned about Mike over the years. You might not like his tactics but he is always consistent about them and is transparent about what he's doing. If you are out of his network he doesn't do it behind your back, like quite a few other Silicon Valley insiders do. He just tells you to your face you're out.
His integrity there is very strong with me.
The other journalists who are having a field day with Mike this week just prefer ye olde Silicon Valley bribe where they get traded a keynote on stage for an exclusive bit of news here or there for other things and all that "bribery" is done behind closed doors or in private emails instead of out in the public, which is where Mike usually does his influencing.
It's one reason why I prefer to learn about companies by accident, on my own, like I did with Instagram or Flipboard. I saw both before they had a real chance to work the Silicon Valley bribe, er, PR network.
One thing people don't like about me is that I am self promotional. Look at me, I ask. Share me, I ask. Link to me, I ask.
But I do those things in public and I do those things so I can always shine the camera back on other people and companies. You'll notice that my camera at http://youtube.com/scobleizer
always aims away from me. For being such a self-promotional baahhhsttttaarrrrddd I try to spread it around. I notice that often you'll see my + 1s standing alone on other people's posts.
That is the new Silicon Valley bribe. Why do I do that? In hope that someday you'll + 1 me when you find something I've done cool. It generally works, too. Reciprocity is an important value in social networks.
That method is better than the private Silicon Valley influence bribes I often get. Other people send me DM's asking for the promotion. Or emails, or call me on the phone (it's why I put my email on my blog, it's email@example.com and my cell phone is always on my blog too, it's +1-425-205-1921 ).
I far prefer to learn about companies without the Silicon Valley bribe, which is why I love Google+. Just leave a short pitch here with a URL so we can all check you out together!
That said, I'm going to be at the Demo conference tomorrow and the Techcrunch Disrupt event on Tuesday. One thing about that, I don't have an invite so I'll be sitting on the bench out front. Come outside to see me and just show me something cool. You don't need to bribe me, you don't need to be a Rackspace customer, or even pay to get inside TC Disrupt.
So, here's a bribe-free zone. What companies should we pay attention to this week?
Comments are open, the first 500 get a freebie! :-)