Montana Jones

Montana n: A state of the northwest United States bordering on Canada. Admitted as the 41st state in 1889. The fourth largest state in the union, it includes vast prairies and numerous majestic mountain ranges.
Syn: Treasure State, Big Sky Country, Last Best Place.

Jones n: slang. An addiction or very deep craving.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Scobel is in Montana

Robert Scobel is in Montana. He is a Microsoft employee and evangelist, popular A-list tech blogger. Spokesperson for a great many things internet, blog and Microsoft related. He is also here under unfortunate circumstances. His mother has been hospitalized due to a stroke and his visit has not necessarily been pleasant. Check his blog for the details, he is being quite candid.

Scobel has made some interesting observations on Montana life during his time here. He is learning that Montanans define community a little differently than is done in Redmond Washington. He has correctly identified the rural link for the power behind Microsoft and Google and the whole wide internet. He is finding a new take on his tech focus from "outside the Silicon Valley or Puget Sound bubbles."

Mr. Scobel, I am sorry for the circumstances of your visit. The very idea of spending mothers day with your mom in the hospital is heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing your story so well.

It pleases me that you have found some positive things in your visit to Montana. You have mentioned the community and scenery and a new viewpoint from small town America.

So, I've been thinking about what it'll take to get these folks to try something new. Hey, the iPod still hasn't gotten here, so don't even ask about podcasting, RSS, or tagging. Interestingly enough, blogging has been heard about here. One older lady who visited my mom saw that I was blogging and she said "oh, blogs are the things that's keeping the media honest."

We do have iPod's here. We also have internet, blogging, RSS and tagging. If you look closely you will find plenty of URL's and the internet is very much a part of our lives and businesses. We know about the highly wired and connected lifestyle and we have chosen to live differently. Every Montanan I know has spent time in big cities and elsewhere in the world and they bring back with them technical skills, wisdom and tools for a variety of tasks. I myself am a former web developer, programmer and all around geek.

Try thinking a little farther outside the bubble. We do not live like you are accustomed to in Silicon Valley and it's not because we have not tried anything new. Small town middle America has simply prioritized differently. We do use the tools you make in Redmond, but life for most of us does not revolve around these tools like you are accustomed to with your peers. It is not a matter of making us try something new. It will not improve our lives to make podcasting a higher priority. Although I for one would enjoy that Wifi network you suggest. Keep in mind that we have unique problems here and new ways of doing things can sometimes make life more difficult for us.

I'm glad you came to visit Robert. I am glad you were able to spend time with your family and to see some good things here. I hope you will be able to take a little piece of Montana style back to Microsoft with you. If you ever need to get out of your bubble again I can suggest some very pleasant places in Montana where you will not be troubled with computers, E-Mail, blogs, podcasts, cell phones or even electricity.

My sincere and heartfelt best wishes for you and your family.

Montana Jones


Hey Montana bloggers, who wants to go to dinner with Mr. Scobel? Unfortunately I am in the wrong part of the state or I would take up his invitation in a heartbeat. Anyone near Bozeman or Livingston feel up to organizing a MT blogger bash?

I'm in Bozeman, as is Rob. I don't know if either of us are capable of organizing a Blogger Bash though. :/ I just suck at planning, and I don't know how work is treating Rob.
Mostly, work has been treating me like a baby treats a diaper, but I'll think on a get-together. It'd be fun.
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