While the MVPs will be up here seeing the latest stuff, Steve Broback is gathering a darn interesting group of designers, photographers, and creative types down in Laguna, California for the i3Forum. Check out the agenda, this one is looking awesome.
Steve has a knack for putting together interesting conferences. I attended his Pagemaker conference back in the early 90s.
Nauman Leghari has been keeping a directory of his favorite NET-focused blogs at Blogweaver. You know, I want something like this for my blogroll. Yet another thing to put on my task list.
Andrew Garrett has a gadget weblog. Subscribed. One can not have enough gadget weblogs!
Speaking of MVPs and Global impact, Microsoft is gearing up to host the MVP Global Summit (April 4-7). Expected attendance? 1500 to 2000 MVPs. That's amazing. Here's a picture of Bill Gates speaking to the MVPs that I took at the 2001 Summit. Back then the program was 500 people. Amazing growth in this program in just a few years.
Anyway, tons of people are doing a lot of work on the summit (starting with the indefeatiguable Tony Hynes -- MVPs really don't see the work he and his team have been doing on their behalf all over campus).
I can't wait to meet my MVP friends from all over the world.
Hey, should we do a session on weblogging?
It's easy to forget that Microsoft is a global corporation with fans all over the world. Kenji Yamamoto is an MVP and has a cool geek blog (in Japanese).
Nick Irelan wrote me a while back and asked me "would MSN be interested in joining ORSC. I asked back "what the heck is ORSC?" He answered "oh, it's the open roote server confederation." Huh? So, I looked up what they are about: "open-rsc represents a diverse group of individuals who are all interested in an open, fair and technically sound global DNS."
I'm still not that enthusiastic about this group. Their website desperately needs a human voice. A blog. An RSS feed. Someone to tell me why it's important. Why I should care. Why Microsoft should care.
Robot Radio takes RSS feeds and puts them on the radio. Yes, that's right, it converts text in RSS to audio and puts it up on satellite radio. Not sure how useful that is, but I sure wouldn't mind doing that next time I'm driving from California to Seattle. I wonder what voice they'd use for Dave Winer. Thanks to G. Humphrey, founder of MarketFront for sending that along.
Guilherme Kujawski: "When he moved to Microsoft, I thought he was brainwashed and turned into an astroturfer or something like that. But it didn't happen."
Oh, you were half right. I was brainwashed long ago. Just ask Gentoo.
Loïc Le Meur is doing a series of weblogger dinners in Germany this week. I met Loïc at O'Reilly's ETCon and he's a really interesting fun guy. I wish I was there. Pour me a beer.
Remember the Kinzan demo I told you about a month or so back? The one where Garland Wong, the CTO of Kinzan, whipped out Eclipse and drew out a system? Then did the same with Visual Studio? Very cool stuff. Well, they didn't have a demo online then, but now they do (click on Product demo of assembly on right side of this page).
WebTalkGuys (audio interview): A conversation with Todd Herman, streaming media evangelist for MSNBC.com. Lots of interesting stuff on broadband and the next version of Windows Media.
"We believe the e-mail was simply a misunderstanding of the facts by an outside consultant who was working on a specific unrelated project to the BayStar transaction, and he was told at the time of his misunderstanding," said SCO spokesman Blake Stowell. "Contrary to the speculation of Eric Raymond, Microsoft did not orchestrate or participate in the BayStar transaction."
Niall Kennedy points us to a new BitTorrent. Lots of bug fixes and bandwidth savings.
Rory comes through with another one of his legendary comics and rants. This time about Howard Stern. I totally agree. I think it's scary what's happening to Howard, even though I personally don't like Howard's show.
Oooppppsss. I said Rob Mensching worked for a team that he really didn't work for. He straightens out my mess. (He works on the Dynamic Systems Initiative. Thanks for setting the record straight and sorry about that. Nice thing about blogs? You can always correct your mistakes.
Matt Goyer has a good list of observations after working at Microsoft for two weeks.
Lilia Efimova: For me blogging is about conversations.
"From my own perspective, I'm far from looking for popularity. I don't care about my Google rank*, numbers of my visitors or even being mentioned in A-list blogs**."
Actually, being mentioned in A-list blogs is highly overrated. :-)
Dang I love DTS. I have a surround sound system. Maryam's watching XMen 2. If you have a reasonably sophisticated surround sound system, you probably have DTS. One problem: DVDs almost always come with it turned off. You gotta use the menus at the beginning of the disk to turn it on. Wow, what a difference it makes.
Hey, anyone up for a geek movie night at the Scoble house? Maryam's gonna be with her mom next week. I'm up for some geeky fun. XBox. DVD. WiFi. Beer. What else do geeks need to party?
Tonight Maryam and me went to the Pro Club for the first time ever (this is a workout club that is across the street from Microsoft's company store). What a nice place to work out. One of the benefits of working at Microsoft. Took me 10 months to set foot in the place.
Now gotta keep it up. Yeah, getting my life organized help me see that's something that I need to work into my schedule.
Chris Auld (reacting to the idea sneeze idea): "How much power does a single person have over the traffic of a site or the ranking on google?"
My answer? A lot more than you might think. Here's why:
Let's say you're a blogger that has 10 other bloggers reading you and who trust you (and like linking to similar things that you link to). Let's say you post a link. The chances are, they'll also link to that same thing (or, at least a few of them will).
Ten links can make an extreme difference in Google and Technorati rank. Now, I bet you that each of those 10 sites also has 10 readers. And so on, and so on. So, now, one link can get spread across the network very quickly. Soon you're talking about thousands of readers. All from 10 people. John Battelle, of Business 2.0, for instance, reported recently that 150 people can influence a market. Now you understand how. This has always been true, but what's changed in the past few years is the SPEED at which this happens.
This is what marketers don't get. My blog really doesn't have much traffic. A couple of thousand on a high traffic day. But, look at how many of my readers have blogs. Or, who write for Fast Company or Baseline Magazine. :-) It doesn't take long for an idea sneeze to get spread all over the place.
So, yes, when I say I'm gonna unsubscribe from your RSS feed, you marketer types better pay attention.
Jim Fawcette responds to Thomas Friedman's column on exporting our "secret sauce." (Software).
"The negative impact of outsourcing on software is going to happen extremely rapidly, by international economic standards, and be dramatic."
I usually don't point to things that denigrate our competitors, but this one about Real Networks is getting tons of links around the blogosphere and has started some interesting conversations so I think it's worthy to link to.
Tomas Jogin: Real Obnoxious.
Josh Petersen has some interesting graphs of growth in traffic of Friendster and Orkut.
Cool, Mike, I'd love to hear your thoughts on what .NET components are best and what it's like running a store that caters to developers.
Jeremy is wondering "what happened to the hard drive in the next XBox?" Maybe John Porcaro can shed some light on that. He probably can't talk about it, though, until after we announce the next XBox.
Ed Cone compares the article he did on me, for Baseline Magazine, to the one that showed up in Fast Company. Hey, Ed, how does it feel to be ahead of your competition? Might as well throw in the article done by Todd Bishop for the Seattle PI to the mix.
Christian Nagel points to the C# team answering questions.
Buzz Bruggeman, about finding my name in a magazine yesterday: "I am one of those people who grew up so far in the woods, beyond the pale of TV, that reading has always been and will always be important to me."
Brandon Wirtz: Scoble and his power
Dang, I gotta bottle this stuff up and sell it. If everyone had readers like mine, no one would ever have a self esteem problem again! :-)
Webjives: Scoble's a sneezer!
Jeff Jarvis: So much for Scoble's restraint!
Yeah, I fell off the wagon. Help, I'm addicted to blogging, and can't get off!
Chris Sells blog is still among my favorites. He posts too much good stuff to point to. Especially Longhorn stuff. I see him getting quoted and pointed to all over the blogosphere.
Lockergnome's RSS newsletter points to Felix Salmon who says, about Slate's RSS feeds (paraphrasing here): they suck.
I agree. Anyone who doesn't include full content in their RSS feeds, or at least the first 250 words, is TOTALLY BLOWING IT.
Slate is a Microsoft company, but I will unsubscribe from the feed if they don't fix this. And soon. If I unsubscribe, that means I'll be far less likely to point to you and talk about you.
One thing about that Fast Company article is making me uncomfortable. The first paragraph starts out "Robert Scoble may well be one of the most powerful people in Redmond right now."
Now, that certainly was a shot to my ego, but it isn't even close to the truth. Yeah, I might be doing a good job at PR, but there are thousands of employees who have more power than me to improve your lives. They are the ones who code. The ones who control the resources. The ones who keep teams running efficiently.
If it weren't for them, what I do here wouldn't be paid attention to at all.
David Weinberger: "X1 is the best desktop search engine I've found for Windows." (David's one of the four guys who wrote the ClueTrain Manifesto). My boss's boss agrees, by the way. X1 and Lookout are making their way around Microsoft very quickly. Someone has to do a shootout between X1 and Lookout.
Jeremy Wright, in a post titled "yes Virginia, Microsoft does have a sense of humor" writes "Well worth the read. I love blogs. They show the human side of a company. Everytime I read stories like this I want to work there."
Oh, you haven't even started seeing our funny bone yet. It sneaks out every year at Comdex where Bill Gates plays funny videos. I wish we could release those. But, there are whole rafts of funny things that happen internally. People's offices get decorated in funny ways while they go on vacation. There are funny videos of Brian Valentine chasing developers down the hall for letting bugs slip into their code.
I love the office that has a Dr. Evil poster in it. Or, the office that has a bumper sticker that says "Windows 98: so good the feds tried to ban it." Or, the sense of humor of our security team. I helped interview Michael Howard a few days ago and on his office door is a bumper sticker that says "my other box is your Linux box."
You wanna get into the A-list of bloggers? Many of them are Duke fans, as Ed Cone here shares. Buzz Bruggeman has a open invitation to me to attend a Duke game. I wanna go, but am broke (any of you contemplating divorce should have a talk with me about the financial consequences of that decision).
Anyway, I thought it'd be fun to point out that there's an entire subculture here in the blogs around sports teams. In IM conversations, that's often what gets talked about.
Dare Obasanjo has an interesting discussion of the pros and cons of patents. He works on the XML team here at Microsoft, so is also involved in filing patents for his team's work.
Dan Gillmor, of the San Jose Mercury News, is asking "so why are home prices still rising here (here being in Silicon Valley)?"
I believe jobs are being created. My brother-in-law, who was laid off for almost two years just got a job. I have seen a whole new cadre of workers (friends have gotten hired at Yahoo, eBay, Google, and Microsoft's office there). The traffic is getting worse, which tells me jobs are back. And, at the Demo conference recently, several VCs tell me that the valley's groove is back and deals are now flowing.
So, what about offshoring? Well, this is at least the fourth time I've seen Silicon Valley get rid of jobs to make room for new, better ones.
The reason the politicians don't know what to make of it is that they don't have the data yet. My brother-in-law was out of work so long that he was no longer being counted in unemployment statistics. And, they see jobs being sent overseas, but they can't go on TV and say "this is a good thing." That'd be politically stupid, even if it is.
Now, make no mistakes. There are lots of people still out of work. My wife, for instance, is still struggling to get a job, despite lots of interviews. (Every job opening has hundreds of competitors, so it's hard to prove you're the best out of 200 -- she's made it to the final two or three several times).
And I know lots of other people out of work too. It's a messy economy. No one will deny that. But the housing prices show that there are still lots of jobs out there and more coming.
Michael Giagnocavo is doing an interesting series of weblogs on cracking code.
Over on Richard Caetano's blog I see the Flight Simulator team has an SDK coming out.
Hey, what about Train Simulator? Any news on that? It's funny, but on Microsoft's intranet you can learn stuff about nearly every secret project, but the game division keeps all their stuff so damn secret I can't learn anything.
Ken Levy, in his latest letter to Fox developers: Microsoft will release a public beta version of Visual FoxPro 9.0 on msdn.com for anyone world-wide to download and install for free!
Speaking of which, I'm interviewing Ken and his boss, Alan Griver, this week too. Alan's working on specs for the version of Visual Studio that will come out after Whidbey.
So, now's your chance! Post all your feature requests for Visual Studio and I'll ask Alan about those.
Rob Mensching praises Mary Jo Foley's article on Whitehorse (code name for the modeling tools that are in the next version of Visual Studio).
Rob works on the Whitehorse team.
Michael Earls: Microsoft is taking the fun out of programming
Update: sorry Michael for getting the link wrong. It's fixed now.