Scobleizer Weblog

Daily Permalink Monday, September 16, 2002

Thanks to Chris Pirillo for snapping me out of my blog-free rut that I've been in.

I had dinner with Chris and Gretchen on Saturday night and Chris showed me some stuff that just got me fired up about this industry again.

I want a new computer. His is so freaking fast. Nothing like having a 2.4GHz machine.

Being around Chris you start seeing this industry as fun again. It's definitely what I needed.

What did he show me? Moveable Type for one. I'm pretty impressed. Although I didn't see enough to make me move off of Radio.

And a tool called "Top Style" which lets you build standards-based Web sites. I've been playing with it the past few days and it's awesome for building CSS and XHTML-based Web sites and templates.

Which brings me to standards and Web sites.

You all might know that I planned the Web Builder conference that happened last week in Las Vegas. What fun. I got to hang out with Jeffrey Zeldman, Molly Holzschlag, Jason Kottke, Meg Hourihan, Dori Smith, Scott Johnson, Marc Canter, and many other geeky Web types.

This conference came at a great time for me since I really wanted to brush up on my Web skills. Molly's XHTML workshop was just the ticket.

I sat in on Zeldman's many talks and I'm now convinced that I should support standards 100%. Of course, this weblog ain't yet standards compliant. But, what's really cool about weblogging with content management tools is that I can make every page in this site standards-compliant just by changing the templates. Imagine if I'd been doing this in Microsoft FrontPage. Yuch.

Speaking of which. Why does Microsoft refuse to have anything to do with any Web design conference? It's like Microsoft totally doesn't care about the Web. Oh well. The Web goes on. 400 attendees at the Web Builder conference can't be sneezed at. Too bad FrontPage hasn't been upgraded yet like Macromedia and Adobe's Web tools have been.

Which is interesting given that Microsoft now wants us to use browsers on PocketPCs and Phones and maybe even things like the XBox soon. Doesn't a standards-based approach make sense to Microsoft, even if it does own most of the Web browsers out there?

Anyway, in addition to not having Microsoft there, it was weird to have a total lack of any vendor participation in this show. What a contrast to two years ago when there were 30 or so exhibitors and several sponsors.

Two years ago if you had a Web tool and wanted to get noticed, you'd need to spend about $50,000. Today you could spend $5000 and actually get more exposure.

It's actually a great time to start a company selling Web tools. The barriers to entry are low. You can find lots of great employees and lots of office space. And you can get noticed with a pretty low marketing budget.

Can anyone say "the VC's are ignoring good opportunities?"

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Robert Scoble works at Microsoft. Everything here, though, is his personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. No warranties or other guarantees will be offered as to the quality of the opinions or anything else offered here.

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© Copyright 2004 Robert Scoble Last updated: 1/3/2004; 1:43:54 AM.