Scobleizer Weblog

Daily Permalink Monday, January 20, 2003

Ari Pernick says Microsoft isn't done.

Ahh, NEC has a new president. I can't wait to see what changes this brings, but my group is already working on switching from just a hardware-focused group to one that sells software solutions to Enterprises. This just punctuates that changes are afoot at NEC.

By the way, there is no way I can afford a ticket this year to the O'Reilly conference. Hopefully someone will sneak me a pass. I'll bring my NEC Tablet, which is definitely going to be Emerging Technology.

Glenn Fleishman and I are gonna get a weblogger dinner together at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference. I live about a mile from where the conference will be held and there's absolutely nothing around here. Well, except for strip-mall crap. I know a great Indian place that always has awesome food and not many patrons -- about a 20-minute drive from the conference site. Anyone up for Indian? Or, maybe something more off the beaten path like this place in Alviso. I wonder what the best night would be? Hey, we could always end up in the hot tub out in front of my townhome. Of course it has 802.11b dummy!

Heh, Mark Pilgrim lives on a street who's name is misspelled.

For instance, let's look at this Visual Studio conference (DevConnections). Right out of the gate, look who's organizing it. John Lam. He has a weblog here. Carl Franklin. S&^t, he's the guy who had THE FIRST Visual Basic Web site! He goes way beyond a weblog. He does an audio show all about .NET. Now, tell me, doesn't that make you feel good about this conference? (If you're looking for a Visual Studio kind of shindig?) It does me. By the way, DevConnections was my competition when I was planning conferences. Now that I have some objectivity again (I used to hate Shirley cause she used to copy me -- whenever I hired a speaker, that same speaker would show up at her show within six months or so), I'm impressed by the things that they are doing. Hey, Shirley, why don't you start a weblog? Your take on the industry would be very interesting.

OK, let's look at their last conference. How many webloggers did they have on stage? (Tip, you gotta show up on the first page of Google results if I search for your name and "weblog" -- everyone below can be found on Google). Here's the list of all their speakers.

1) John Lam

2) Mike Amundsen (it's down right now, but he wrote his own weblog tool/service, so he's excused).

3) Peter Drayton

4) G. Andrew Duthie* (it's sorta a weblog, even though he doesn't call it that).

5) Jonathan Goodyear

6) Rob Howard

7) Ted Neward

8) Jeff Prosise* (*=sorta, he kept a blog while writing his latest book, but then stopped).

9) Ingo Rammer

Still not good enough, though. Speakers need to get the message that they need to market themselves and they need to give back to the community. Now, to be fair, some of the speakers are very active on newsgroups and in other places. But, here's another way that I'm looking for speakers for future conferences and most speakers are pretty clueless. It's amazing how many proposals I get from speakers who aren't even on the Internet anywhere.

Now, take this even further. How many people in YOUR business are looking for you? How many people can't find you because you don't exist in Google?

Hey, does anyone else judge conferences/events by how many speakers keep weblogs? I'm starting to care more and more about whether people keep a Web site. In fact, I like people like Ingo Rammer who not only keep a weblog, but tell me what events they are speaking at (Ingo is another .NET-centric guy).

Why do I care? Well, there's a lot of speakers out there who are doing it just to sell something (training, or books, for instance) but they never give back. They never drop their trousers, so to speak. I just don't trust them. I far prefer to follow people who are interested in building a long-term relationship and who aren't interested in the fast buck.

Plus, maybe I want to ask a question after the conference. If they guy has a weblog, it's really easy to ask questions (most weblogs include an email link to the author, or comment links so you can leave a comment). I hate it when I look someone up on Google and I can't find anything about them.

I'm planning on going to a few conferences this year and I'm going to make a point to attend webloggers' sessions first. Almost all conference teams keep track of attendance. I'll then point out why I sat in those sessions on the evaluation form. I've found that if just three or four people give the same feedback at a conference that the feedback gets noticed. Imagine if O'Reilly noticed that 10% of its attendees wanted to only hear from people who had web sites and who gave back to the community without expecting something in return?

Soon we'd have conferences that are free of charlatans. Believe me, conferences are full of quacks and getting rid of them is a difficult job. Most conferences don't pay, so they have to accept a certain level of this kind of thing. Heck, the W3C conference didn't even give a free ticket to speakers (I know, I was a speaker and I had to pay to get into sessions -- blech!)

You all know I follow Microsoft's developer community pretty closely, right? I'm getting back into it and the first thing I notice is just how many .NET Webloggers there are. Tons of great information too. For instance, take a look at Sean Campbell and Scott Swigart's Radio Weblog named "Early Adopter."

Ted Neward: "If backing by a large, cash-rich, aggressive, technically savvy company with a vision is the necessary component for success, then why has Linux succeeded so well, and OS/2 failed so badly?" Good question!

Ahh, the joys of a brand new system running on old hardware. Mike Amundsen's new weblog system isn't working and will be down until the weekend, he told me. Turns out his old RAID controller took a dump so he's gonna move everything over to new machines.

Rob Fahrni agrees that my wife Maryam needs her own weblog.

Lisa Rein has been doing a great job tracking INS's detainees. As someone who has married into the Iranian-American community here in Silicon Valley, this is of great concern to me. Well, actually, it should be of great concern to anyone. If you don't protect the rights of others, what happens when they come for you?

Bush's war on Iraq doesn't have the kind of support the last war against Iraq had. I was just over at Marc Canter's site and saw the pictures of tons of people (whether it was 50,000 or 350,000, we're already seeing far more anti-war protesters than America has seen since Vietnam). I've been talking to tons of people from different walks of life. Everyone hopes that this "war thing" is over fast cause of the economic effects. Rich people are holding onto their money until uncertainty is gone from the market and poor people are just hoping that rich people start spending money again. It ain't a good cycle and politically I think it's one that'll haunt George Bush.

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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; 2:03:08 AM.