Scoble's New Thing: Building 43
Saturday, March 14, 2009; 1:30 PM
A week ago we reported that blogger Robert Scoble is leaving his current job running FastCompany TV. Now he's going to start talking about his new project - a new content and social networking community called Building 43, which he's building in partnership with his new employer, Rackspace.
Regarding the name Building 43: "The first time I visited Google they gave me a tour of Building 43. I found it to be a fanciful place where not only did the founders have offices, but they had this fun board in the lobby called "Google's Master Plan." VC Steve Jurvetson has a picture of that board here - seemed like a good metaphor for a community that's for people who are fanatical about the Internet. Make Building 43 open to everyone."
Why Rackspace, a hosting provider? Scoble says he visited the company a year ago and was impressed with their approach to building communities and technologies. It's also a good fit, he says, because the company has touch points with thousands of other companies (providing hosting and other services). A focus of Building 43 will be visiting and profiling these and other companies, with a look at how they grow over time.
I asked Robert how Building 43 will differ from Channel 9, the Microsoft video channel that he started in 2004 that tries to create discussions between Microsoft, its users and developers. His response:
I was one of five guys who started that and, yes, we broke a lot of corporate rules. We put customers on the home page who could write "Microsoft sucks" and we wouldn't take that down. We didn't follow the color guidelines of Microsoft's branding department. Channel 9 was one of the first corporate sites to have RSS feeds everywhere. It was also one of the first to have a wiki.Building 43 will definitely live by that same philosophy, but it will go a lot further. First, our content will be available via Creative Commons so you can use our videos or photos or other media on your own sites. You can cut it up, edit it, or claim it as your own. Second, Building 43 is not a place. It's not a website. It's a distributed community and you'll engage with Building 43 on your favorite social network. No need to visit http:/
Robert says his personal blog will remain a separate property, but he'll move it from Wordpress to Rackspace hosting to "make that a showcase for new blogging technology (like the various commenting plugins that let you federate comments to friendfeed, for instance)."