Scobleizer Weblog

Daily Permalink Thursday, April 24, 2003

Turns out the team I'm in at Microsoft is seeing the Matrix Reloaded at 8 a.m. Yes, in the morning. Dang. Well, we'll get a weblogger party going at night. So I'll see it twice.

Wesley Felter: "Clay Shirky opened his talk by saying "Hello everyone; welcome to my cult.""

I heard Microsoft released something today. Visit WatchingMicrosoftLikeAHawk. (Look for "press release blitz.") Just doing my duty to serve the borg.

NameDropping. I shook hands with Cory Doctorow. Should I wash it? Here's his notes on Dan Gillmor's talk.

Mobile Entropy: "I've read Andrew's [Register] pieces for a while now, and he used to make a lot of sense. Lately he seems to be losing it."

Speaking of which, Marc Smith (the Netscan guy)'s business card is very unusual. It has braille on it. I remember seeing this once before. It's very distinctive and out of about 600 business cards I've collected I've only had two that have had this treatment. Here's a site that does all your cards for about $50.

When I walked into the reception area Marc Canter immediately pulled me aside and said "you gotta meet the Netscan guy." For those who don't know, Netscan is a research project of Microsoft's where they map Usenet. They don't look inside any message bodies. They don't care WHAT you say, but they care about the patterns of how people participate in Usenet newsgroups.

Even if you are the most anti-Microsoft hacker around, you really should check out this project. It gives us a very unique view on Usenet.

The world must be about to end. Jeffrey Zeldman has an RSS feed and Chris Pirillo has a weblog format without a stupid font. Now if we could only get Chris to do a weblog without a stupid font and without a totally sexy photo as the background. I find the photo more distracting than the font. Just don't tell my wife, OK? Oh, hi Maryam! :-)

Radio UserLand users: has anyone tried out FM Radio yet? I'm a hand coder, but this looks like it fills a major hole in Radio. Does this thing write standards-compliant HTML?

I haven't checked out the O'Reilly weblogs in a while, but they really have built up a great group of folks. You should check out the list.

Chris Putnam wonders why he doesn't come up on Google when you search for "Chris Putnam." I don't know Chris, but I just threw some GoogleJuice your way, so I bet that changes soon.

Chris, by the way, is an amazing 16-year-old. He's been letting me listen to him play the piano via a Web service he wrote. Very nice!

Some people think weblogs are inane. I don't disagree. I know a few people who do nothing but talk about their pets.

And, I also agree that my weblog is mostly inane stuff. Lately it's been just a bunch of name-droppings. That's been by design. It masks the fact that I don't have time to really do good weblogs. Weblogging well is work. Dropping names is easy.

Ahh, just look at what my friend Christopher Coulter writes on my comments. Yeah, he's one of those losers who doesn't yet have a weblog. Heh. He's one of the thought-leaders, so whenever he says something, I know that the rest of the world will usually follow. Now, look at what he wrote today:

"Blogs are raw, unedited, narrowcast, self-aggrandizing, groupthink’ed, pure social, and full of meaningless personal details...but they are what they are. Having representives of a newspaper engaging in this sort of chaotic behavior, opens the newspaper up to libel and a whole host of other factors. If he is so keen on Blogging, find a newspaper that allows for such. This ‘Big J’ verus ‘Blogs’ is so overwrought, Blogs are just chatter, its talk radio. You can yappy yap all day long, or you can get some work done. Journalism is WORK.

Oh, Christopher! Get into the groupthink already! Anyone who can write so well needs a forum on the Internet. A weblog. By the way, weblogging is work too. You think it's easy being inane day-after-day-after-day? You should try it sometime. Just going to conference dinners takes a few hours. Then you gotta fight the wife off so you can run to your keyboard and weblog it.

Christopher isn't alone. The ‘Big J’ is about to turn against the hype of the weblogs. It's the good old "Gartner's Hype Cycle" thing all over again. We're about to hit the trough of disillusionment. No biggie. We'll have some interesting times ahead. I hit the trough about a year ago when I had my divorce. I thought weblogging was lame given the troubles I was going through but I kept posting. Today, it's fun again.

You might be hitting that trough right now. Weblogging might seem inane. It might seem like too much work. Unlike a cult, it's OK to leave. Take some time off. Google will find you again when you come back.

Glenn Fleishman writes about the Register's article about the O'Reilly conference and why he feels the article was unfair.

Sam Gentile was doing some high-speed blogging.

I want one of those Sprint modems.

Wow, just took my son over to the O'Reilly show, and my son starts showing his Lord-Of-The-Rings action figure (Aragon) to one of the older guys hanging out at the conference reception.

I look at the badge. Oh, it's just Mitch Kapor.

What's fun is my son is nine years old and has absolutely no clue who he's talking with. I'm trying to constrain myself from slobbering on him, and my son just nonchalantly is talking with him about the toy that my son always carries around (my son is a Lord of the Rings freak right now).

Later, we found ourselves chatting with Tim O'Reilly and Steve Gillmor. I tell Patrick "say hi to Tim, he's the publisher of all those books I'm reading -- the ones with the cute animals on them." They too end up talking about Lord of the Rings. Will anyone pay attention to me?! Heh. I guess it's the fact that I've gone onto the borg. (Seriously, Tim was great with me and my son and hopefully we'll get to meet more in the future -- really nice guy and it's amazing how low key he is). My son, by the way, says "hey, they are cute animals." (Out of all the O'Reilly book covers, he likes the "Programming C#" one the best -- it has a African crowned crane on it).

As we wind our way through the crowd (stopping to say hi to Wesley Felter, Barak Berkovitz, Dan Gillmor, Marc Smith, Marc Canter, Gina Blaber, Jason Shellen, and a few others) I learn that Brent Simmons was in the room. Someone pointed him out to me (standing next to his wife Sheila). You know, we worked together at UserLand for several months and I never did get to meet him until then. "Hey Patrick, meet Brent, we were coworkers for months and we just met right now." Patrick couldn't quite understand that people can work together over the Internet without meeting each other.

One thing I gotta say, I participated in maybe 10 mini conversations in an hour. It seemed most people there were talking about Technorati. Lots of people are trying to figure out how to better expose reputation, status, and behaviors among individuals on the Internet.

Later I joshed Patrick a bit "you're so clueless about who you just met!" What I love about nine-year-olds is they could really give a hoot about who anyone is. They just want to play with their toys.

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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; 2:25:58 AM.