Scobleizer Weblog

Daily Permalink Saturday, June 28, 2003

Wolfgang Manousek: "I signed a non-disclosure agreement about what I see, read, and do at work. It should be obvious that this is honored by every employee (just tell my how internal email and Longhorn build make it to the internet on a regular basis?)."

Tommy Williams says "yes, you DO need a killer machine for Photoshop." Well, OK. But what I'm doing isn't hard core like that. Most people don't own a new 14MP Canon. Most people don't shoot in RAW format. Most people don't need to do much more than play with curves, add some sharpening, and crop.

Thomas Lewis is happy to see that I've gotten into Washington State Wine. We're gonna break open a nice bottle of Delille tomorrow to celebrate Tena Carter and my wife's birthday. Ahh, I needed some good cheap swill. $60 for a bottle of Delille isn't something I am gonna do everyday unless Bill Gates invites me to help him write a weblog or something.

Is Suzanne Cook trying to win the "most technical .NET weblog"? Maybe. But Chris Brumme has set such a high standard.

Sean Alexander points us to Windows Media 9 for PocketPC. Yeah, I'm late on getting this up, but what the heck?

Scott Gellock tells us that today is one of those "Trick Seattle Weather Days." Oh, you mean this is all a mean trick to make me think I made a good choice by leaving California? Got it. Actually, I can't stand the heat!

Ahh, there's a new Dr. GUI.

Steve Makofsky's blog made me wanna go get some Rainier Cherries.

Michael Winser notes that Chris Anderson hasn't blogged lately.

I don't know Chris, but I bet I know why. There is extreme pressure on the Longhorn team to ship. Chris is a key guy on Longhorn, so I bet every minute of every day he's focusing on shipping. That's why I haven't bugged anyone at Microsoft to start weblogging (or to keep doing it).

Ouch, Mike Vernal hit Eric Rudder's car. Well, that's one way to make an impact on Microsoft's management! GDR&H.

Laurent Ellerbach's blog makes me hungry. Damn those French!

Martin Gudgin says that SOAP 1.2 is now done.

Wow, did you know that Bill Gates was murdered by the media in China? Turned out to be a hoax, but it had Microsoft employee Jian Shuo Wang worried.

I'd like to meet Jian someday. His weblogs about life in Shanghai are great.

If you haven't figured out yet, I'm iterating through all of Microsoft's various webloggers. So far, John Porcaro's blog is the most interesting to me. But, maybe that's cause he's a marketing-focused kinda guy who's been at Microsoft more than a decade.

Don Box started a new book today. Hey, will Don do a book blog?

MarketingFix (a marketing-focused weblog) was sold this past week. Interesting blog that I'll check in on more often.

Ed Kaim has a unique way to propose to a woman. I sure wouldn't try the way he did, though. I've heard the stories about Eric Rudder reviews. Scary stories.

Interesting, they are putting .NET on Smart Cards now. Thanks to Christophe Lauer for that link.

David Weller has a screen capture of the coolest thing I've seen all day long. Chris Pirillo, are you paying attention? Look at this app that lets you build interfaces with a Tablet. Maybe I'll take that back about coders not liking Tablets.

Beth Goza points us to "Wifi Finder."

Brian Keller has some really great geek-oriented travel tools. Oh, and he says "be excited about Whidbey." Whidbey is the code name for the next version of Visual Studio.

Andy Oakley brags about GotDotNet's new Workspaces. He should, he's the program manager. Nice new way for .NET programmers to work together.

Andrew Grummet: " It's Saturday night and I'm sitting at the computer working. Nerd!"

Heh, me too! Although Patrick is feeling well enough to take a trip to Cold Stone. I bet the line is an hour long due to the heat. I'm glad I'm not in Silicon Valley right now, though. I heard it was 107 in my dads car in San Jose yesterday. Whew.

ThirdSuperPower: "Dave is angry."

Does anyone else agree that the most interesting stuff over at Mark Pilgrim's site is red and crossed out? :-)

Gene Simmons, of the famous rock band KISS, has a weblog?

Maybe that explains the headline on Dave Burke's weblog "you can talk about blogging but have to kiss me first." Actually, Dave is talking about his corporate weblogging experiences.

Marc Canter cheers on Echo, but, the author he points to (Danny Ayers) says he really wants something that goes way beyond RSS does. Yay! That's what I want too. But, I asked Echo folks to show me a vision of the future that goes well beyond what RSS does today, and so far I've heard nothing compelling. Is it that all the Echo supporters don't want to link to me and give me Google juice? Heh.

Paul Boutin in Slate: "Linux' new popularity might hurt Apple more than Windows."

There's a good discussion about this article over here.

Of course, I saw the whole thing over on JD Lasica's weblog.

BusinessWeek Online: "Coming Soon: A Horror Show for TV Ads. TiVo's digital recorders indicate that viewers don't necessarily watch the ads, even on hit shows. Agencies and networks are still in denial."

This Saturday blogging (on one of Seattle's best weather days, no less) brought to you by Patrick Scoble, who got sick today, keeping us all at home.

John Robb: "RSS had to die."

Rogers Cadenhead started a new mailing list to talk about the RSS 2.0 (and future, I presume) specifications.

For those of you keeping "news aggregator" score at home, Luke has released another update to the very nice SharpReader.

Chris Pirillo and I were just talking, though, and we both agreed in IM that FeedDemon totally outclasses the rest of the field. At least so far. We figure that by Monday there'll be another new aggregator released.

Holy crud. I was just over at DotNetWeblogs and saw that Jesse Ezell is about to release a new news reader.

Brad Wilson says "I love Scoble, but his biggest weakness is a tendency to hyperbole" and "Dave Winer has only changed a few geeks. You seriously over-estimate the impact of RSS."

Oh, really? MSDN publishes on RSS. The BBC publishes on RSS. The New York Times publishes on RSS. Look at Syndic8 for thousands of RSS feeds.

If that's only changing a few geeks, then I hope Longhorn is just that successful! ;-)

Courtney is raising funds for the National Brain Tumor Foundation. Very worthy cause.

Gretchen Pirillo says, in email: "Check out Laurence Simon's work... he's been one of my favorites for a long while. Not just the strips, the blog, too." Strips. Blog.

I don't know what to think. I'm going through all my Hotmail and see a message from Bill Gates. It's titled "toward a Spam Free Future." Heh. Of course I read it. It was legit, too.

Another DotNetRocks audio show. Yeah, I know, I'm late posting this one, but better late than never. It features a bunch of INETA folks (INETA is an organization of .NET-focused user group leaders and speakers). I just listened to the show, and as usual, it's interesting stuff for .NET-focused folks. Plus, Carl plays a mean guitar.

Haiko Hebig has a list of RSS aggregators, which he admits is very out of date.

He wants feedback about how to make the list more useful.

Dashboard is a cool side panel for Windows XP.

Alan Meckler earns another link. How? Persistence. He keeps weblogging even when everyone ignores him. I appreciate that in a CEO. I hope my CEO has the persistence to stick with things, even when they don't seem to be too valuable today. I find it interesting that Alan sees his major IT competition as being across the street in Las Vegas in November (the show known as Comdex). Nah, the real competition is in Los Angeles in late October. Why? Because that's where Microsoft is showing off its new OS. Its new SQL server. Its new Visual Studio. Its new portable devices.

If you're a developer (or an IT guy who needs to understand the future of development), which would you rather do? Go to Las Vegas for CDXpo, or Los Angeles for the PDC?

Jan Karlsberg cautions me not to follow the Macintosh vs. Apple II path.

I wouldn't worry about that. Windows XP is going to be the most-used operating system in the world for a very long time.

High-schooler Ryan Dyson is doing awesome things. Check out his Info.NET project.

I wrote him yesterday and he told me "that's old code, you should see what I'm working on now." I'm interested. This kid is gonna do some wild things in his life.

Tablets used for Central Park's BioBlitz.

I must admit, I pulled down an item that I posted a few minutes ago because another Microsoft employee thought it wasn't a good one for a Microsoft employee to post. I won't point out that this same employee has an attack on a Microsoft product on his weblog.

But, I pulled the item down because I was making a negative point about one of our competitors, and I don't want to further the perception that Microsoft attacks its competitors. Especially one that makes products that I use every day and care very passionately about. Especially one that is a partner of ours.

Life is so complicated.

Brad Wilson just IM'd me and said I'm not being rational. That I'm coming across as really angry. Hmm. Passion != anger.

But, I've said enough, he's right. Now it's time to let the groups do what they are gonna do. I'll see you all in three to five years to see how it all evolved.

And, even if I am a bit angry, better to take your anger out on the keyboard than to take it out on anything else.

If I get a killer new set of products and way of communicating with people because of Echo, then a little anger will be soon forgotten. The ball is definitely in Echo's court now.

I agree with Dare, though. I'm very happy that Microsoft didn't push the Echo ball. Imagine if we had. Yikes.

Grant Carpenter: "Who knows, but RSS is locked and dead and encumbered with Mr. Winer and his poor recess skills[1]... any alternative would be better and I think that's why you see people leaping at a chance for a better/different future."

Grant says a whole lot. Go read it here.

He says some things I strongly disagree with. For instance: "Better and deeper tools will be the direct result of better standards."

Bulls&&t. Why? Let's look at this industry again. Why can one guy (Dave Winer) kick the ass of a corporation with 55,000 employees and $46 billion in the bank -- note that RSS didn't come from Sun, Microsoft, IBM, or any other large company. Not to mention, why didn't RSS come out of a standards body in the first place? Committees rarely design great NEW software (notice I said new).

Why is that? Because all of us don't trust each other (and everyone else doesn't trust Microsoft). If Microsoft had invented RSS, no one would have used it. In fact, if you go back and look, Microsoft had done something very similar (CDF) a long time ago (back in the IE4 days) and it never took hold. Why? Because Microsoft only evangelized it to Disney and other "big companies" and totally forgot about the little guys (like me).

Look at all the content management companies that had XML interchange formats for a long time. Remember Vignette? Why did CNET and other big companies buy their systems? For a huge amount of money. Did you realize that one copy of Vignette cost more than what I spent at UserLand in eight months? Vignette had XML interchange. It enabled companies to put in place a syndication system. It totally is unused today. Why? They forgot about the little guys.

I did the books at UserLand and when I started they had a pretty small sum of money (I scratched the amount, due to a request by Dave) in the bank, and that was invested in Radio UserLand by hiring more programmers (we had, what, five programmers at the height) and me to work on marketing it. One copy of Vignette could cost a company like DevX millions of dollars.

Why are we all using RSS today? Easy. One guy evangelized it to the industry. Do you have any clue what Dave Winer did? Do you have any clue how he got the industry to adopt it?

Yeah, Dave Winer is controversial and makes some of us feel uncomfortable. He can be difficult to get along with at times. He isn't a guy that you'll invite to your conferences if you want a nice, polite, person in the audience or up on stage, but you would invite him if you want someone who is passionate about what he does, and is a major industry leader.

He did something that the "royal we" haven't been able to do. He changed the world. How? He designed a format that was simple. Ruthlessly simple. "Underspecified" as Dare puts it. And, he got guys like me to use the format. How? He snuck it in our tools. He showed me its power at user groups and conferences. He built a small community that was interesting to join. And he kept at it for YEARS. You all think it's easy getting a new protocol to be adopted (and then, keep it outta the hands of Microsoft, IBM, Sun, et al?)

It is not. But, I guess, Dave has pissed off too many people. So, they all banded together and said "hey Dave, if you don't let us play in the sandbox you made, we're gonna go off and make our own sandbox."

I should be cheering on this effort. After all, Dave's right. It'll let Microsoft and IBM and Google have a far bigger piece of the sandbox than we had if Dave was left in control. Hint: I work at Microsoft and Echo is actually a very good thing for Microsoft.

But, I go back to CDF. Whenever the big boys get together and play, they forget about the little guys like me. Yeah, I guess I'll be "FORCED" to use Echo now (read Dare's rants in my comments). Why? Because Blogger and Moveable Type and others will use it. Dare's right. Little guys like me really don't matter.

Many of the commenters here and over on Joshua's weblog forget that it's the little guys that matter. Evangelism isn't easy work, and so far you have done NOTHING to convince me that Echo is any better (or different) than RSS.

I find it funny that many of the Echo supporters think that a committee of 50 people is gonna be able to get anyone to adopt a new format. Let's see, will Microsoft adopt a new platform that Google and IBM are gonna adopt? Yeah, right, I work there and see just how tough it is to get RSS adopted internally (and Microsoft is one of the most aggressive users of RSS).

"I still can't post comments from a feed item," Grant says. Dude, I have that in Radio UserLand and have had it for 1.5 years. Maybe you're just using the wrong tool. So, you're gonna come to me, as a user, and say "hey, if you use an Echo tool you'll be able to post from your news aggregator." I'm gonna tell you to get out of my face, cause I've had that capability for 1.5 years already.

Dare: "Like I said on Joshua's blog, it is very egotistical and insulting to the Echo contributers to think this endeavor effort is all about spiting Dave Winer."

Oh, really? And, just what is Echo then? Isn't this ALL about spiting Dave Winer? And, yes, I guess I am egotistical and being insulting. I see a bunch of companies and folks who wanna mess up RSS and its simplicity, and its user base (me) and want to kick out the guy who made it all happen. To me THAT'S egotistical and insulting.

It's like a group getting together, and beating the crap out of someone just because he's done something interesting and because he's trying to force THEM to adopt his way of looking at the world.

Now, I do hold out hope that I'm totally misreading this whole situation. But, I don't think I am. (If I am, I'll have 200 comments here by the morning).

So, where do we go from here? My prediction? RSS will be used by five times more sites in a year, and Echo will be adopted by a few big industry players (Google, IBM, Moveable Type, and?) but that little guys like me will still use RSS feeds mostly since all weblog tools will still need to support RSS anyway. In other words, Echo will be adopted by nobody.

Users just don't change their methodologies as fast as you'd like.

I wish they did. Believe me, I wish they did. In two years I'm going to show you a new operating system that has many many many advantages to Windows XP (and many advantages to even non-Windows OS's). I know full well that it'll take another three years before a decent percentage of the users will adopt Longhorn. And that's after a company with $46 billion in resources gets its groove on.

Echo needs to realize that too. Dave Winer got the industry to adopt RSS through a LOT of hard work, and no one has seen that work except for a few guys who've been over his house while he's been evangelizing the format to others. That work is gonna take years to overcome (and that's if Dave stops evangelizing his format, which I doubt he'll do).

So, Echo is gonna come out with a nice spec. And maybe a few new features. Will those get anyone excited? And, will they be implemented in a way that guarantees cross-company compliance? Remember SOAP? Remember how in the early days everyone had SOAP compliant apps, but that really didn't interoperate?

Who is gonna be the Dave Winer (er, evangelist) who forces Google to implement Echo the same way that IBM implements it? Or, who is gonna be the Dave Winer (er, evangelist) who forces Microsoft to implement Echo the same way that Sun does it? Or, who is gonna be the Dave Winer(er, evangelist) who forces Moveable Type to implement Echo the same way that Google does it?

RSS has a Dave Winer (er evangelist). Does Echo have a Dave Winer (er, evangelist)?

Halley nails why I weblog. It's not to make money. Although weblogging certainly has helped my career. Nah, it's to leave something in the human experience. Rich folks can buy their way into this. Look at Leland Stanford. He owned a monopoly (he was a vice-president on the Central Pacific railroad). Later he started a university. Lots of people remember who he is and what he did.

I don't have the money to do all that. But, I have a few hours left before I die and I've been blessed with growing up in Silicon Valley, before you all knew there was a Silicon Valley, and I'm blessed with a good education, and good friends, a good job at a good company, and a great wife and a great kid.

Yeah, my most rewarding weblogging has been when I've talked about my failures. My divorce. My troubles with balancing my life. My shortcomings as a parent (which I realize I haven't gone into enough yet).

Why are those rewarding? Because people write me emails saying they are going through the same things and that just having someone else say that they are going through the same problems helped them get through their own problems.

I think the "Mr. Safe" arguments are really funny.

You gotta read the comments over at Joshua Allen's Mr. Safe interview. Dare says that Echo is about a lot more than RSS. Tim Bray, on the other hand, says it's not.

Brad Wilson, in my own comments, says that Echo is about a lot more than "getting-an-RSS-format-that-Dave-Winer-doesn't-control." I don't believe him. Who's right?

It doesn't really matter, is the correct answer.

RSS isn't going away. It has too much momentum. Yeah, you're gonna have a lot of success convincing MSDN, the New York Times, and the BBC's executives, to support a new format as well as RSS. "Mr. Safe" is gonna tell you to get the heck out of his office, if you try that.

Why are all "the big boys" supporting RSS? Because Dave Winer figured out how to get a lot of "the little boys" like me to use it.

I just see this as a whole step back for weblogging. Dare insists that RSS isn't "robust" enough. Well, it's robust enough for me to use and simple enough for us all to understand.

And, didn't Microsoft already try another format before? Named CDF? Remember IE4? I do. Why was that a failure? Was it a failure because it technically sucked? No. It was a failure because it didn't get "little guys" like me to use it first.

It's gonna take one hell of a big leap forward to get me to move off of RSS. That's something that Echo hasn't yet considered. If Tim Bray is right, and this is only about copying RSS and wrestling control of the format away from Dave Winer, it'll be a big failure.

The Echo group better realize that the only way to get people like me to support both RSS and Echo is to have Echo be something different and better. Way better.

Remember, I am Mr. Safe and so far RSS has served me very well.

Robert Olmstead shows that Tablets are gonna save the healthcare industry tons of money (he's writing an app for pre-hospital care forms).

June 2003
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30          
May   Jul

Referer Page
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.

Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website.
Subscribe to "The Scobleizer Weblog" in Radio UserLand.
Click to see the XML version of this web page.
Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.
© Copyright 2004 Robert Scoble Last updated: 1/3/2004; 2:40:59 AM.