Rackspace have just launched the long anticipated Building43 in an effort Scoble describes as, "helping usher businesses into 2010." Said teammate Rocky Barbanica, "Companies can gain so much insight through the people on Twitter, Friendfeed and Facebook. We're hoping to help them talk and listen to their customers."Robert Scoble and
Scoble describes the project as "a community for people who are fanatical about the Internet." What exactly does that mean? Scoble gave ReadWriteWeb a demo to explain.
Essentially, Building43 is a community/hashtag/label for a series of resources that are one part TED talk, one part wired mentorship, and one part echoing town hall. The Building43 team stresses that they are not a destination site. Instead, community members can contribute educational videos, reviews, images and blog posts through various third-party social media tools. As a testament to free resources, Building43 is a simple WordPress site. Nevertheless, the methods employed and the content of the community are anything but cheap.
Some of the site's early content includes videos of Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh and his 400 employee Twitter operation, Four Seasons marketing director Kelly Nelson who is the first to officially tweet across an 82-hotel chain empire, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg teaching his dentist father how to leverage the Facebook social graph for business. Other project contributors include Guy Kawasaki, Twitter investor Fred Wilson and a number of experts in SEO, iPhone development, social media and marketing. Building43 hopes that in the future, the community will become a self-sustaining ecosystem where technologists, business leaders and the general population will join forces to learn from each other.
When asked about the project's peculiar name, Scoble replied, "I was trying to think of a metaphor for something that signified the center of the internet for both techies and business people. When I saw Google's Building 43, complete with its master plan, I knew it was a good name."
Although Scoble has interviewed tech leaders in the past for Channel 9, this project, much like Google search, aims to collect and highlight disparate resources on the internet. The effort is less about Robert Scoble as the community touchstone and more about tech-based business mentorship and collective dialogue. In fact, many project followers will be surprised to see that the Community43 page contains a live feed of dialogue from Scoble's FriendFeed. In other words, if you're one of the thousands who've made a comment about the project, you're already a part of the Building43 community. In this way Building43 travels to where dialogue already exists.
Said the project's lead engineer Rob La Gesse, "If we can help companies save money and hire new employees, we might just be able to help improve our economy." La Gesse's hopes will only really be realized if web-based content producers take the time to tag and add their business tips to the Building43 cause. We'll just have to wait if crowd sourced tools really can really make that leap. To watch the live launch of Building43 visit Robert Scoble's Kyte Channel.
Disclosure: Rackspace is a RWW sponsor.