Robert Chartier uses the PieSpy Social Network Bot to make cool pictures of IRC social networks. I want to look at blogs this way. Anyone have anything? This would be a cool service for Technorati or Feedster to implement.
Lora, on WhatisNew.com, compares MaxiVista to ShareKMC. Of course she's biased. Her brother wrote ShareKMC, but that doesn't mean her analysis isn't valueable. And great use of screenshots.
These apps let you use a Tablet PC as a second screen (but, as Lora points out in different ways).
Mary Jo reports on some of the fallout of Jim Allchin's dinner discussions recently. One of the things that Jim let slip is that Microsoft was planning on getting rid of the "Windows Classic" theme from Longhorn. I guess a bunch of people complained.
Hmmm, I guess there are a lot of people who love that Windows 2000 look. Oh well, you won't find me using it. I can't wait to get Aero on my computer.
On the local TV news (King5) they are showing off Microsoft's automotive business unit's latest thinking. You talk to the car. It has a GPS. It takes you to the closest Chinese restaurant. It talks back. It even finds you the cheapest gas. Very cool. Who gets to drive that Hummer that's outfitted like this?
Fast Company has some great ideas on how to give great feedback. This is a good article for teams to have beta testers read.
Mark Harrison points to a bunch of Biztalk 2004 sites. Biztalk launched today.
Joel gives us 12 rules on how to run a beta test.
I would add one other thing: reward top testers. Adobe gave me a $1400 laser printer for reporting more bugs than any other Acrobat beta tester (this was back in the Acrobat 1.0 days). The next release they told everyone they weren't going to give away any prizes and my bug reporting went WAY down.
James Edelen says blogs suck for conversations. My old MVP friends keep telling me this. Why? Because they learned how to have conversations in NNTP newsgroups. Funny, if it weren't for me reading Lenn Pryor's blog (he's my boss) I might not have seen Jim's blog.
Anyway, maybe I've been looking at this all wrong. If you want a conversation, go to an NNTP newsgroup. If you want a relationship with someone, use weblogs.
Sébastien Paquet analyzes Andrew Grumet's analysis of the folks who've uploaded their RSS subscriptions to the Share your OPML site. Interesting. Most RSS users subscribe to fewer than 150 feeds.
Yeah, it's fun being an outlier!
Don Park is putting together a corporate bloggers dinner on March 24. Yeah, sorry, can't make that now that I have my calendar in front of me.
I was over reading Datagrid Girl and saw she linked to this article about community: the 12 variables for understanding online communities.
One thing that's interesting is that they totally miss that weblogs are building a new kind of virtual community.
Does anyone want me to run through how these 12 variables apply to weblog communities?
Scott Hanselman talks about getting Lasik eye surgery (and gives some really good tips for anyone considering that).
Question, if you found his link in Google, would you think it's "Google noise?" I wouldn't.
So, why did Scott have his eyes fixed? To look at this quad screen monitor array. Damn, I want one of those too.
Chad Dickerson, InfoWorld's Chief Technology Officer, talks about blogging ROI.
"In media business circles, most discussions focus fundamentally on ROI. A lot of these folks are asking, "What is my return on weblogs? Why do weblogs?" In financial terms, because weblogs are so simple to produce, I think the business folks should focus more on the minimal "I" involved -- the investment. There is very little financial risk in starting a weblog, so clearly-defined returns aren't as necessary."
Bill Burnham has a comprehensive look at the social software space. I love his lead: "Somebody in Silicon Valley is passing around the 1999 vintage Kool-Aid again and this time it’s going by the name of “social networking”."
Bill's a VC, by the way. Managing Partner at Softbank Capital Partners. I love VCs who write and give us insights into their thinking like this.
Mike Sax is back blogging. That's awesome. He's one of my favorite people (he runs a component vendor company and he's been in my business network for years).
Today he rips Microsoft's Passport team for pricing Passport too highly. Chris Kinsman, another guy I highly admire, agrees. Anyone from the Passport team want to comment?
On Saturday night at the Geek Dinner. Someone told me that Craigslist.org publishes RSS feeds. I got my NEC job on Craigslist. This is great for people trying to sell things and find jobs.
One way I find new bloggers to read is from the people I read. See, blogging is a relationship network. I have been reading Fred Wilson's a VC Blog for a while (he's a managing partner with Flatiron Ventures).
Today he pointed to Jerry Colonna's blog. He's a partner with JPMorgan Partners. A VC. Since I have built up my trust of Fred, I started reading Jerry and now have some trust of Jerry, even though I didn't know Jerry until today.
This is why weblogging is such a powerful relationship network. Far better than anything I've seen on the Internet before. I can read one person for a while. Build up trust. Then when they point me at a new person, I'll subscribe automatically.
This is what's missing from "social software" like Google's Orkut or Linked In. Now, if someone figures out how to use the trust network I've built in my RSS News Reader (I only subscribe to people and companies I trust and want to have a long-term relationship with) along with some of the fun contact methods of Linked In, Friendster, or Orkut, then we'd have something really interesting.
The truth is, my RSS News Aggregator is a far better "friends network" than Friendster or Orkut are. The problem is that it's hard to build a real friends network in blogs. Why? Cause you gotta do work. You've gotta read someone every day for a while. You've gotta blog and build up a relationship network. You've gotta link to them. You've gotta smooze with them at conferences and geek dinners. That's all hard.
But Friendster, Orkut, and Linked In, all promise a shortcut. "Get 100 friends without doing any work" they all seem to promise me. Hogwash. You want a relationship network? You gotta do it the hard way.
Mike Gunderloy passes along Ed Yourdon's advice for surviving "death march" projects.
Andy King writes how using image stableizers on video cameras and even digital cameras can make for more compressible images. It's why I carry a heavy monopod on my camera. The monopod gives probably 60% of the advantages of image stableizers, but at a far cheaper price.
Funny that just Saturday night we were talking about how to make Microsoft and eBay work together better. Yesterday the Office team and eBay announced that they are cross-promoting eBay's new web services.
Interesting reader mail over on MSNBC about Tablet PCs. The problem is that these readers don't understand why Tablet PCs are important. That's OK, a lot of people here at Microsoft don't understand that either.
What was the innovation? It's the first time I can use a pen on a mainstream OS. I've been using pen-based computers for a while. Newton. Palm. PocketPC. And others.
But this is the first time I can use a pen on a "real OS." (In this case Windows XP). No limitations.
But, I do agree with his conclusion. The Tablet PC is the most important product we've done lately and we spend dreadfully little on marketing it.
MSMobiles.com has a report from the 3GSM conference. Interesting look at new cell phones coming and stuff.
Michael Gartenberg, in Computer World: Filling Your Web Needs with RSS.
I'm going to be speaking in the "RSS Neighborhood" in Lafayette, CA, on March 22. Topic: Why is blogging hot and why does it matter for business? Hope to see you there.
Jeff, of Geekable weblog, says that when he reads me he feels like he's getting pulled into a Microsoft marketing machine.
He found a way to counteract my powerful PR skills: "As you read, imagine Scoble dressed up in a big blue butterfly outfit."
Now that would be a sight.
Joel Spolsky really is on the top of the "A list" of tech bloggers for me. Why do I say that? Out of all the bloggers that have linked to me lately he's sent me more traffic than any of them. 7000 came from one link alone.
Plus, he gets talked about in the lunchroom and at geek dinners. Both of these things tell me that developers look up to him a great deal.
His readers, too, are interesting and intelligent. At lunch today we were talking about this thread about offshoring. It's one of the most interesting discussions about offshoring that we've seen.