I bumped into Ben and Mena Trott a lot in the past couple of days (when they weren't being interviewed or hounded by VCs who are trying to figure out if blogging companies like Six Apart have a business model). They told me they named their company "Six Apart" because they were born six days apart from each other.
Anyway, congrats are due them for being named to Fast Company's "Fast 50."
While we're handing out kudos, I saw on Dave Winer's blog that he was nominated for another Wired Rave Award. Congrats to all the nominees.
Oh, last week Meetup.com founder Scott Heiferman, who is also up for a Wired Rave Award, told me he was influenced to start his company after watching me plan a weblogger interest group meeting in January 2002. He said that meeting was remarkable and made him jealous that he wasn't in Silicon Valley.
Speaking of which, the local Weblog Meetup is tonight, but I can't make it. My wife is flying in and I need to pick her up.
Liz Lawley, over on Corante, points to geomaps someone built from data scraped from Orkut. I agree, this is cool.
Well, since everyone is my friend, at least now I can figure out if any of my new friends live nearby.
Technical Communication: Ten technical communication myths.
When you pay closer attention to the rules you obey, consciously or otherwise, and question why, you can start to recognize the disabling aspects of a myth and begin taking steps to free yourself from those constraints.
John Bristowe has an interesting and humorous guide to implementing ws-transactions in .NET titled "So, you wanna be a plumber?"
I get a lot of questions about what I do "on my day job." Jeremy Mazner, who's on the Longhorn evangelism team, gives some insights into what evangelists do.
Jeremy's a real Longhorn evangelist, by the way. I just play one on the blogs.
K. Scott Allen compares and contrasts NNTP newsgroups with blogs.
JD Lasica, on his blog, keeps track of what's going on in media. Yesterday he wrote about how Matt Drudge is less and less accurate. Yup, I repeated what Drudge printed about Kerry last week. I did it cause people at the ETCon were talking about it. Now that it looks like that report is incorrect, I feel a little slimy. Matt Drudge used up his credibility with me. Next time he has a scoop I won't pay attention. That's the price of printing rumors.
This shows the strength of blogs, though. If the New York Times makes a mistake, how often do they print it on the top of the front page? Here it's important to be accurate as well as being fast. So, when we discover a mistake we'll print it.
David Hornick confirms my observations about Walt Mossberg and Demo on Venture Blog.
Want a venture capitalist's view on Demo? Read the SAP Ventures blog.
Last week at ETech I met Loïc Le Meur. He blogs in Paris, France. I took him, and a group of others, to dinner and had fascinating conversations about all sorts of things. One thing he commented on was how cool the conversations are that happen away from the conference. He turned that into an interesting blog on how to make a great interactive conference.
The San Jose Mercury News: Intel unveils chip to take on Advanced Micro Devices.
Looks like 64-bit computing is here to stay now.
InternetWeek: All about RSS at Demo.
A more in-depth report on the weblogger panel is in the new Red Herring blog kept by Mitch Ratcliffe where I told the audience how RSS lets me keep in touch with what 1300 people are saying on blogs. Mitch was showing off his new Canon Rebel Digital SLR. He said the picture of me was cut out of a small part of an overall picture he took of the panel.
Tejas Patel: "Robert, you are everywhere."
It's all an illusion. But, getting on stage at Demo certainly changes your life. Here's some more Demo reactions/experiences:
1) I came upon Jean-Louis Gassee in the hall. "Hey, I sold you a camera right before you started Be." From there we had an interesting conversation. Lots of unquotable stuff from addictions to Steve Jobs (I joined a conversation already in progress). He's a venture capitalist now (says it's his third career and that being an entrepreneur doesn't prepare you for VC work). One thing he told me is that business in Silicon Valley is getting better. He said he's seeing nice deals happening on a regular basis now.
2) Walt Mossberg passed me in the hall and said "hey, you didn't need to mention me on your weblog." Oh, crud, he does read my weblog. Seriously I'm very honored. Heh, Andrew Watt asks "who's Walt Mossberg?" Oh, he's just the biggest name in technology journalism. Why do people go to Demo? Just to get a chance of getting their technology in front of Mossberg, among others. Walking around the floor at Demo people would whisper when Walt was nearby. Why is he important? One article in the Wall Street Journal could change an entire company's life.
3) One of the industry's top PR pros came up to me after I was on the panel and she said "bloggers scare the heck out of me." Wrong way to look at it. PR is all about relationships, right? I'm sure she charges a lot of money because he knows the secret to getting five minutes with Walt Mossberg for her client, right? Well, yes, blogs can certainly mess up a good PR plan. Or, are blogs the new PR? I now have a stack of business cards from the world's most powerful tech journalists and the biggest VC firms. It'll be interesting to see how blogs change the work that PR professionals do.
4) The best demo I got at Demo? I can't tell you about it. Top secret. Even Demo has a backchannel. I'll be able to talk about the demo in mid-March.
5) OddPost's NewsDash is an interesting looking RSS aggregator. I am a sucker for a product that includes me as one of the main feeds. I'll post more after I try it out, but eWeek's Jim Louderback talks about it in his Demo wrapup. Jim and I caught up over beers at the party on Monday night. I reminded him that he interviewed me for a job at TechTV. It didn't work out cause I didn't want to have a 1.5-hour commute, but he has lots of interesting stories about starting up TechTV.
6) I enjoyed the Demo format. It's amazing, though, that so many companies don't do Demos of their products. I talked with Nathan Gold, Demo Coach, and he was keeping track of a couple of things. First was how long it took each team to start their first demo. He recommends that you take no more than 15 seconds to start your first demo. Why? Because that'll hook the audience and get them interested. Some teams try to tell corny jokes, or setup their product with too much talking. Boring. I went to sleep. Even though each slot was only six seconds long (Chris Shipley, the person who runs the Demo conference, had her AV team turn on the music if you ran more than three seconds over six minutes -- there was a big clock at the front of the stage that presenters could see easily. Even with that, many ran over).
Nathan also tells companies to think about "the one thing" that you want people to talk about after seeing your demo. Too many of the demoers tried to convey too much, he said. Say less, but repeat it, to get people to remember who you are and what is cool about your product.
Anyway, despite these nits I am impressed with the state of the industry. Look at the report on Buzz Bruggeman's weblog. On the way out of the building I ran into analyst Amy Wohl. She's been covering the tech industry since the 1970s. She told me she this was the best Demo yet. It was my first Demo. Thanks to John Patrick and Chris Shipley for inviting me. It was an experience I'll never forget.
I like the new image that Dave Winer's using as his header graphic. A favorite memory of Bucks for me is taking 45 Visual Basic developers in there after a VBITS conference. They wanted me to give them a tour of Silicon Valley and we thought we might beat up a venture capitalist. Unfortunately we didn't see any when we were in there (they probably were warned to stay away).
Not to mention the meals that Dave and I shared (Dave lived nearby and it often was the default). Hey, the food is crappy and the service is worse, but where else in the world can you sit where Netscape was incorporated?
Rory Blyth's comics are getting wackier ... and better. Did someone slip something into Rory's water?