Brian Jackson: "I think that blog popularity is built upon a social ponzi scheme, and that this phenomenon serves to build a network for finding information that functions much more effectively than any appointed “guide” ever could."
Brian figured it out. See, I'm not a connector, I'm a social Ponzi-ite. Heh.
Eric Thauvin (continues the Tivo conversation): "While I agree with Robert that the technology is too expensive and complex. I think TiVO also suffers from a major case of pathetic marketing."
Dare announced RSS Bandit gets translated to German.
I was over at Backup Brain (Dori Smith's blog) and found this funny voter guide. It's a Flash movie. You have to shoot who you despise more. At the end it tells you whether you are a Republican or a Democrat.
You can guess how I came out "typical Democrat."
Oh, the inevitable happened. Just a month too late. Someone mixed Rush, Howard Dean, and Steve Ballmer all together in a single MP3. Hillarious. Get the link over at Jeff Sandquist's blog.
Cameron Reilly: "I recently finished reading "The Tipping Point" and I came away from it wondering if Scoble is a connector?"
That's exactly a role I enjoy playing. It's also why Technorati is so powerful. Using Technorati you can see who, and how, people connect to each other. Just search for something you're interested in and click "link cosmos" over on Techorati. If you're a marketing professional you better figure this out.
To answer his question: I buy things all the time because bloggers recommend them. Why? Because with blogs we're building a trust network. Some bloggers have more trust with me than others, but that's what we're building.
Doc Searls, who has forgotten more about marketing than I'll ever know, gives his insight into why people don't use Tivo: "So I think the problem is with television itself. It's still mostly a drug, and getting a better way to administrate it doesn't change the nature of the substance. It just facilitates better abuse."
Heh, ever get a stupid question in an interview? Interviewers better be careful, cause their wacky questions can easily be put up on blogs. Rick Schaut talks about a wacky question he got in an interview. That sounds like something that'd be asked in a Microsoft interview, no?
Andrew Orlowski in the Register: Microsoft wins latest Halloween PR bout - without really trying
I looked for the new Fast Company magazine. It's not on newsstands here in Microsoft land yet. I hear it won't be online until April 1 or so. But, I'll give you some highlights:
Title: It's a Blog World After All: Move over, brooding teenage diarists. Corporate America is jumping on the blogwagon."
Author: Jena McGregor.
Last paragraph (the best is always last, isn't it?): "A Microsoft, Scoble sees his blog as a way to put a gentler face on the often-reviled software giant. Is it working? The Scobleizer has detractors who think he's just a shill. But a comment from "thad," who began reading the blog before Scoble became a Microsoft employee, is revealing: "Really liked a lot of your ideas. Then you were assimilated and I came to see how you'd change. But something else happened. you turned me onto XP and I liked it. It is almost enjoyable to work on....you have changed my views on the big evil company."
Thanks Thad for the nice quote.
"Robert Scoble may well be one of the most powerful people in Redmond right now. "The Scobleizer," as he's known to his daily readers, writes a Web blog, or blog, posting comments on topics that range from the world's largest pistachio factory to how cheap it is to eat in Shanghai. Mostly, though, he writes about Microsoft. On January 27, 14 of the 31 posts he made between midnight and the time he went to bed, sometime after 3:41 a.m., were about the software giant or its products. But the Scobleizer is no ordinary Windows-obsessed blog jockey. he is, in fact, a Microsoft employee. He's a "technical evangelist" to be precise, whos job includes communicating with customers on the Web. One way he does this is by writing blogs. He gets feedback from tech-savvy readers on how to improve Microsoft Products, and at times, he's even mildly critical of his employer. After Microsoft threatened a teen who registered MikeRowSoft.com, Scoble wrote this: "It's unfortunate that we went after a 17-year-old named 'Mike Rowe,' though. I'm sorry that happened to you Mike."
It goes on from there, and mentions other blogging initiatives at other companies including Macromedia, Daimler Chrysler, Hartfield Financial Services Group, IBM, Dr. Pepper, Traction, BuzzMetrics, Random House Crown Publishing, and Richards Interactive.
Thanks Jena for such a nice article. I think I'll send that one to mom! I'll buy a few copies, once they get on newsstands here in Redmond.
I can't escape Microsoft. I took Maryam out to eat at PF Chang's tonight and, who was there, but coworker Eileen Crain. She runs the Regional Director program here. We had a nice time. Eileen, you should do a blog. She has such interesting stories and knows everyone. At least it seems that way.
She's planning community involvement at TechED (our big conference for technologies that are already shipping, or will be shortly). Any ideas? She'd love to hear them.
Anyone want to know what the Regional Director program is? I'd be happy to interview her.
Dave Winer (in a long reply to Marc's question about why Tivo hasn't taken off): "I can't get my dad to use an RSS aggregator even though he's a news junkie. No one there is scared of technology, which is Scoble's theory. It's something else. They don't see why they need it."
This is the question for evangelists: how do you get people to see that they need something they don't yet know they need?
Disregard that last post. I've decided on a policy: I won't ban anyone. I think that there's a deeper principle here. It should be possible for anyone to tell me what they think. Anonymous or otherwise. If I try to ban someone just cause my readers want me to, I'll just end up with an echo chamber. And I won't get the feedback that'll keep me in touch with reality. Also, Microsoft might miss out on some important feedback too, because banning someone would chill speech.
This isn't China. That's important to say. So, comment away!
Plus, hearing from people who disagree with me makes me test my own beliefs in a way that'd be impossible to do otherwise. It makes me a stronger person. For that, I owe Gentoo my thanks. Keep it up!
One of my readers just asked me to ban "gentoo." If you read my comments, you'll know that Gentoo is a Linux evangelist who thinks its his/her place in life to come and challenge everything I say.
I strongly believe in freedom of speech, even for anonymous trolls who destroy conversations in my comment feeds.
This gets to heart of why I like blogs and why bloggers are taken more seriously. We can turn off bloggers who we don't like. We can unsubscribe and stop paying attention to them. But, when you have someone in your comment feed that you don't like you gotta pay attention to them.
Anyway, I'm not gonna ban Gentoo unless I get overwhelming feedback that I should do that (overwhelming feedback would be 50 of my readers saying "ban him" with fewer than 10 saying "keep him.").
My other choice is to close down the comment area completely and force everyone who wants to comment about something I say to blog it on their own blog (and email me with their URL). I've considered doing that from time-to-time, but have rejected it cause I enjoy the comments I get.
Anyway, what are your thoughts?
Mike Sax has two questions he'd like to ask the font guy at Microsoft.
Brandon follows up and says what he really wants is blogging built into Exchange. Hmmm, interesting. He also wants a better way to comment cross-blog. I'd like that too.
Tim Zilla points at the Exorcist in 30 seconds as the funniest thing he's seen in a long time. It's pretty good. But is it funnier than Homestarrunner? Nah. I love Flash developers who have too much time on their hands, though.
Jason Haley asks: What do you do with people who are still putting off learning .NET?
From my standpoint, you keep improving .NET until they start getting the message that .NET is +the+ platform of the future.
Mark Canter asks "why hasn't Tivo taken off?"
It hasn't taken off because the acquisition and implementation cost are too high for most people. Look at the rats nest of wires behind most AV systems and you'll see just what I mean.
Also, most people are scared of technology. Seriously. You really gotta get on planes and talk to average users to really understand this one.
Mack D. Male, over on Longhorn blogs, talks about Microsoft's server roadmap. I gotta find out more about the roadmap. It seems so fluid right now that I have sorta just ignored all the roadmap talk. When I see Beta1's from all of these things, then I'll pay attention. But, I should know what the official story is, so gotta do some homework. Added to my tasks list.
Rich Turner: Is .NET remoting dead?
Thanks to Julia Lerman for linking to that and adding her two cents.
Bill Lazar is looking for help with an IE/CSS issue. If anyone can help him, it'd be appreciated. Yeah, I know IE has some CSS bugs. It's probably why Lockergnome is going back to a tables-based design.
Yeah, Joe Jennett, I'm a weekend blogger.
Brandon Wirtz hopes that Office 12 is the ultimate blogging tool. I doubt it. Why? Well, for one, Office 12 is working on a 18-month ship cycle. Specs written for the product today might be pretty cool, but what happens to all the innovation that's taking place in the blogging world over the next 18 months? It can't be built in. So, when Office 12 ships in 14 to 20 months from now, I guarantee it won't be the ultimate blogging tool.
What would I hope? That Office 12 is the ultimate blogging platform. Put things in that'll help Greg Reinacker put more cool stuff into Outlook with his NewsGator product. See, that way both Microsoft and Greg can win. If it's all about copying what Greg did last month we'll both lose.
Speaking of which, Office 2003 is already a pretty darn good blogging platform when hooked up with NewsGator.
I just learned I'm interviewing Bill Hill, co-inventor of Cleartype, sometime this week. What would you like to ask him? His team is working on ways to make it easier to read on screen. He also runs the team that comes up with new fonts.