Scobleizer Weblog

Daily Permalink Sunday, April 06, 2003

Wow, I've just reinstalled XP from scratch and I see there's 33 "critical updates and service packs" that I need to load and another 22 "Windows XP updates" and another three "driver updates." Dang, I wish that Microsoft would release a new OS every three months or so that had all the fixes already loaded. That would save me a ton of time.

I bet that most people don't even bother to upgrade and patch their machines with the latest stuff.

I really hope that Microsoft makes some dramatic improvements to this system. It's just really cumbersome to load a new OS, and then spend the next five hours simply getting up to date and I haven't even started loading apps yet!

Oh, and if you Linux guys are thinking about snickering...don't. How many different distributions are there again?

Grr, found the problem with my system. It was an old Winnov card. Oh well. Got rid of that and now am reloading everything.

Who's Making Money from Linux?. You hear it all the time: "You can't make money off free software." Actually, companies are making quite a bit of money from free software. IBM and HP, for example, have reaped billions of dollars in revenue from Linux. But what about pure-play Linux companies? [osOpinion]

Sean Alexander, lead product manager for Microsoft on the Windows Media player, says they have a new blogging plugin coming for Windows Media 9. Hmmm.

Chris Pirillo says "thank you" to Dave Winer for being the first one to give him a feature (start-menu news aggregation) he requested.

Why am I writing instead of programming? My programming computer died so I'm reinstalling it. What a pain. Sometimes computers just are painful. At least I have the skills to take out the offending hardware (which I still haven't quite figured out), reinstall Windows, and get back to work. Imagine what happens if that happens to an average human? That's a trip to the store. It might even cause them to give up computing for a month. What happened? My computer just started freezing on bootup. No error. No nothing. I was using Windows Server 2003. But, I just tried installing WinXP on a clean partition, and it froze during installation. So, something has gone wiggy. Grrr. Gotta take all the cards out, then try again, then put them back in one by one to see which one has gone bad.

My friend Christopher says "ahh, nice points. But I think that's still elitest and too internal." Well, true, but I find that my life is more interesting when I hang around folks who are trying to do things with their lives.

Oh, and I didn't make the point that you need to be someone famous to be "lit" either. I know some engineers at Microsoft and Apple. You'll never hear their names. But they are seriously "lit" people. They are interesting to be around, interesting to talk to, and they create things that change the world for the better.

I've had big audiences, and yes, they are nice for some things, but for my hobby (remember, this weblog is not my career) I would rather have a micro audience. A small audience that's focused on a few things.

I look at the past week. I had a guy from SAP ramble by here. I had John Dvorak ramble by here. I had Chris Pirillo ramble by here. Gnome Girl. Geeky Chick. Marc Canter. Dave Winer. And tons of other very interesting people (just check out my comments). I don't have an audience of millions of people like CNN does. But that doesn't mean that weblogging isn't successful.

Many webloggers think they are gonna put CNN out of business. I just don't see it. But, I do bet that CNN's journalists and managers will soon start reading weblogs, if they haven't already.

Anil Dash says "we're all celebrities now." Um, no we aren't. I sure am not. Yeah, I'm known in a certain subset of the technology subculture, but I sure am not, say, Sean Connery.

Personally, not everyone WANTS to be seen by the general public. You might, for instance, start a weblog for ONLY your family. Let's see, in my family I only have about 50 members. Is my weblog successful if those 50 people are the only ones who read my weblog? Sure it is!

Personally, this whole world worries too much about quantity, and not enough about quality. Give me a small audience, please! Even if it ends up being just my mom.

Clay Shirky asks "how many people know they are visiting a weblog when they visit a weblog?" Good question.

I really don't care who's reading weblogs. I WANT a very small audience. What's great about weblogs? It's a secret society. A subculture. Let me ask you, would you rather have 100,000 average Americans reading your weblog, or would you like to have Scott McNealy, Larry Ellison, Bill Gates, and George Bush reading your weblog? I'll take those four any day. How about Pulitzer prize winners? I'd rather have them, than any average journalist. How about guys who invent things like Dave Winer or Don Box? I'd rather have those. How about musicians like Moby or Holly Near? I'd rather have those than 100,000 average Americans.

See, influence isn't about HOW LARGE your audience is. It's about HOW SMALL it is. The whole "weblogs are not influential because they don't have many readers" thing is totally missing the point.

Listen, if you're Cisco, one visit with the CTO of Boeing will make your day. He can buy more equipment, and influence more people, than 100,000 average Americans can.

So, what's my goal? I want only "lit" people here. I want to scare off those who don't care about technology. Go read the National Enquirer or the Drudge Report. I don't care. I want a very small, very interesting audience.

That's how I judge how well my weblog is doing.

Man, when something hits the blogosphere, it gets around fast. Here's a couple of early comments on SharpReader:

Matt Croydon

Ingo Rammer

Steve Makofsky

Man, are we gonna get a new RSS aggregator every few days? Here's another new one from Luke Hutteman named SharpReader. Checking it out now. Thanks to Steve Makofsky for the tip! Yeah, this one runs on .NET too (Windows).

Miguel de Icaza says that yesterday he released a new version of the Mono compilation engine. That's the .NET-compatible project for non-Windows operating systems, for those of you who are keeping score at home.

Mike Sax says that weblogs are the new version of the CompuServe discussion forums. Well, with a difference. We get to brand ourselves now. Back then no one talked about "learning to Scobleize" the way they do now. Why is that? Because now you know exactly where to come to find my opinions on something. Back then the group was the brand. Now it's the individual.

Really, this is more like talk radio. One host, many topics, many comments.

Chris Hollander has released an early version of "Harvester." I like this news aggregator a lot. But, I still like one feature in Radio UserLand better: it lets me post items back out.

But, having multiple tabs is awesome. Nice job Chris!

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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; 2:18:59 AM.