Scobleizer Weblog

Daily Permalink Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Can you read this geeky billboard? If so, you might want to apply for a job.

What could quickly become the most-deployed .NET application? Howard Dean's new RSS 2.0 news aggregator. Nothing like politics to get people to install new software.

Dean isn't the only one getting on the RSS bandwagon.George Bush has RSS feeds. So does Wesley Clark and John Kerry.

Is something up in Presidential Politics? Why yes!

Microsoft bought me (and a few others on the Windows team) a ticket to see LOTR at 7:45 a.m. tomorrow. It sure is getting hyped. Well, just a few hours to go.

Dylan Greene (at WebMethods) has a killer XBox setup. 16-player capability. Hey, I only can handle three at my house. Anyone want to come over and play?

I wanna get the dance game that Dylan has. Sounds like a good way to have some fun and get in shape. When I take Patrick to the arcades I see tons of teenagers dancing on video games. Some are extremely talented. I'm glad I can do stuff like this in the privacy of my own home. Watching me dance is not something that many people would want to do.

Frank Paynter interviews David Weinberger. Quote of the interview (at least when it's taken out of context, and what other way is there to take it?), from David: "What's happened to us? How did we forget about the importance of flesh?"

Randy Holloway is asking what kind of books should be written about Longhorn? Randy and I have been chatting behind the scenes. Both of us are getting approached by book publishers to do books for Longhorn. It's way too early to write an end user book (which is the one I'd be interested in doing) but the publishers are already starting to sign up authors, even for books that'll be written in 2005/06.

I haven't talked with my boss about the possibility of doing a book -- I wouldn't do one unless everyone approved. It's so hard to know what I'd be doing in late 2005 too.

That said, the only way I could do a book is if it were done completely in public and completely online -- for free.

Why is that important? Because if I do get approval to do a book, I'd need to do it on nights and weekends -- during my blogging time. I figure that if Randy and I split up a 600 page book, that'll mean six weeks of night and weekend work. Maybe more. How would we do it? By doing it as part of our blogs. In other words, I'd turn off my blog for six weeks and instead write every night on my blog -- you'd see a Longhorn book get built in front of your eyes. And you'd be able to help shape it.

At the end, the editors would clean up our work, take your feedback, and publish it.

Why do a book for free? Well, for one, if it sucked, we'd know long before it got into print. For two, I believe many people would pay $40 to own a good book on using Longhorn and having it free on the Web would allow people to point to it, comment on it, and see if the quality and information is good.

It's worked before. Cory Doctorow put his book on line for free and he was on the New York Times best seller list.

Anyway, if you want to write a book on Longhorn, leave a comment here. I'll put you in contact with the book people at the publishers who are talking with us. If you're a publisher, leave a comment too!

Anyone know how to get me on the Konfabulator beta for Windows users? says the beta starts Tuesday. Konfabulator is a cool site for OSX applets.

eWeek's Steve Gillmor covers my life lately: RSS and BitTorrent. Disruptive? Heck yes!

Paul Robichaux is telling people about a charity that he supports: SmileTrain. The world needs more people like Paul.

By the way, I've now been publishing a blog for three years (here's my first blog). I remember friends telling me "it's a fad, you'll never keep doing it."

Simon Phipps says "Robert Scoble thinks I want to put him out of business. That's not actually true - either personally or corporately."

He's right to take me at task for that attitude. Keep in mind I've only been at Microsoft for seven months. My attitude in that post existed before I got here to Microsoft. In Silicon Valley salespeople and managers play to win (and they often play dirty -- I have tons of stories from inside Silicon Valley's major companies that I can't repeat now on my weblog cause I'll be seen as attacking competitors). I've never been in a meeting down in the valley where a salesperson or a manager said "hey, let's only go for part of the business so that the other company can win too." In fact, I see a lot more "canyonlike" behavior down in the Valley than I do up here in Redmondland. Why? Because it's economically tougher down there. The empty buildings in downtown Palo Alto are testament to that.

But, it was a cheap shot, and I'm sorry about that. I'm not trying to put anyone out of business. I'm just trying to pay my mortgage and stay employed. Having one person in the family (my wife) on the unemployment line is difficult enough. I shouldn't have laid that on Simon.

What does Timothy Falconer want for Christmas? Links from bloggers, of course!

ZDNet: Sony vs. Microsoft.

Describes how we're both fighting to be the company you pick for your home.

Don Box talks about corporate controls on weblogging. Or, the lack thereof at Microsoft. I too have had a very suprising experience here. One of my beliefs about Microsoft was there is a centralized machinery that micromanages everyone. Not the case at all in my experience. It's more like an ant-hill. The ants know what to do and they do it.

One of the things different about Microsoft is that Microsoft hires smart people and then expects them to do a good job. Do a good job and the forces that be leave you alone. It's a pretty simple equation so far.

Any wonder why I'm happy working here? Now compare that attitude with the one of the company that Don points to. That company is basically saying "hey, we hired a bunch of dumbies, so please don't do anything and instead let management do all the work."

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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; 3:27:15 AM.