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Rackspace backs blogger Scoble to popularise Web 2010

Site explores dynamics of next generation websites

By CBR Staff Writer

Web hosting company Rackspace Inc has hired former Microsoft product evangelist and renowned blogger Robert Scoble to explore the preferences and hosting needs of developers and businesses building web 2.0 heavy web sites.

The company has backed the development of a new website known as Building43, which Scoble has dubbed a site for people who are fanatical about the internet, though he is keen to stress it is more a community of people with shared interests than a blogging site.

It is designed to carry Twitter and real-time friendfeed content, video channels, Facebook and wiki contents, Scoble told us. “It’s similar but also slightly different to what I was doing at Channel 9 and Microsoft. The Microsoft blog had a very inward focus,” he said, whereas Building 43 is all about what developers and innovative small businesses are doing with latest web 2.0 tools.

Scoble was part of the Channel 9 MSDN Video team, where he produced videos that showcased Microsoft employees and products. Considered highly influential in some circles, Scoble also has the dubious honour of becoming the first person to earn the moniker of ‘spokesblogger.’

Although Rackspace is sponsoring the development of Building43, Scoble said his site is not about pushing Rackspace. “It’s about pulling information and building a community. Some of this stuff may not look that important right now in the context of enterprise computing, but it is.” 

He uses the term ‘Web 2010’ to describe sites that take advantage of social networking, real-time microblogging messages, high-definition video, cog computing, and the like. “So many web sites still look as though they were built in 1984. They have none of the attributes of the post Web 2.0 world,” he explained.

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“The world has changed in the last four years and businesses, I’m convinced, will need to react to this new ‘2010’ world. It might take them until 2015 to really get on board, but I want to help now.” he noted in his blog postings.

Scoble said he was travelling all over the world, meeting and talking with people who are exploring Web 2010 and doing things differently. “I’m on the search for great ideas, and proposals I can bring back into Rackspace. Think of it as R&D.” The objective behind Building43 is straightforward enough, he said. “The goal is simple – make it easier for businesses to use the new internet to improve their business results.”

The notion is that Web 2010 developers have needs that are different from other website developers, and by getting the inside track Rackspace could tailor its market proposition and its service offerings to better appeal to the emerging needs of businesses looking to their host next-generation website assets.

As well as offering traditional hosting services, Rackspace is busy putting together a portfolio of on-demand cloud services. Wherever possible these are hosted out of regional data centres, and range from pay-as-you go Linux and soon Windows server instance provisioning, to online backup and on-demand storage, and content serving.

The company has said it wants to combine cloud service offerings with more traditional hosting, email and managed services into hybrid services that have an extremely low cost of entry and which can be shaped to match specific business requirements.

Building 43 is at https://www.building43.com/.

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