Robert Scoble tried to IM me the other day. I wasn’t at my computer, so all I saw when I returned to the machine a few hours later was “If you’re around, ping me”. My gut feeling told me that this had something to do with my rants(here,here) about the pricing schema of the PDC, but I wasn’t sure what he had to say about it. Naturally, I started day dreaming.
Scoble: “Hey Roy. How are you?”
Me: “Hi Robert. Fine, and you?”
Scoble: “Great! Listen, the guys up here have been paying lots of attention to your posts about the PDC pricing, and we’ve come up with two decisions:
One – The PDC prices will be lowered to 500$ based on your recommendation
Two – We want to invite you and 3 friends to the PDC, all expanses included, because we think the Israeli developer community has been neglected for too long, and want to show you our appreciation for bringing that to our attention.
What do you think?”
Well, that’s not how it went.
We did have a very nice conversation about the PDC subject, though. He explained to me some of the details of why the PDC can’t be done in Europe(MSFT can’t allow its devs to go overseas for a week, it would cost too much) and then , what followed, was basically me somehow ranting and spilling my guts out for someone whom I don’t really know. I still don’t get why I did that, but it was a good feeling. It was the kind of talk that you can only get on a chat session with a stranger from Microsoft…
I told him how I feel trapped and not being able to attend all the important conferences. I told him that down here in Israel, we’ve got a small community of die-hard developers that are just itching to do something with Microsoft, to be involved, to chip in, to be part of this ‘coolness’ factor.
This is something people in the US don’t really get. If you’re in the USA, you can easily enough get to any conference you want (if you have the admission fee on hand). Down here, and in other places I presume, even if you did have the money to get in, you still need to take a long, 12 hour flight, which costs a big load of money , just to get the chance to get in to a conference.
And don’t get me started on meeting the most important people in the industry. Hey, anytime scoble writes “We’re having a weblogger dinner at so and so…” I’m reminded of this fact. What are the chances of people like Don Box, or Chris Sells or all the other cool .Net celebs ever coming to Israel? Practically zero. This barrier is tough, and I think a big part of my rants about the PDC were rooted in this inner anger of why things sometimes really suck on this angle. Of course, I still support and back up everything I said, because the pricing still totally sucks.
Anyway, Scoble was a real sport about it, and I think that he “got” me.
Hey scoble, how about you coming down here for some Longhorn evangelism sometime? I’ll even throw in a weblogger dinner just for you! J