Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Monday, March 08, 2004

Evan Williams (if you don't know who he is, he's the guy who came up with Blogger and now works at Google) found a cool viral video advertisement. The team I'm on has been going around and shooting video, but it's not that cool. Who said you can't get advertisments onto blogs?

11:47:51 PM    comment 

Eugene Pervago: "OK. I’m officially frustrated with Microsoft. I utterly wasted 30 minutes today because somebody really smart forgot to mention that Pocket PC emulator only pretends the serial port is there, it doesn’t really work."

Ouch, that sucks. Sorry about that. Well, one good thing about blogs is that this will now be in Google so anyone looking for it in the future will find it pretty quickly.

11:44:17 PM    comment 

Carter Maslan points to the new .NET Show, which features Indigo. Indigo is the way applications and services will communicate in the future.

11:29:32 PM    comment 

Google has been testing a new look. ArsTechnica shows you how to check it out.

11:17:52 PM    comment 

Cameron Reilly posted the "12 steps" for people addicted to blogging. Yeah, I think my wife put him up to it.

11:16:02 PM    comment 

Anil Dash talks about personal boundaries as it comes to blogging. It's interesting. There are many meetings now where people tell me "please don't blog this." And, obviously, there are some things I do that don't get on the blog.

I would be willing to share more of my life online, though.

11:14:39 PM    comment 

Amy Wohl (she's been an analyst in this market since, well, since I was in high school, and I graduated in 1983): The Difference Between Infrastructure Developers, Content Developers, and "Users"

11:11:01 PM    comment 

Just to be fair, I found one RSS News Aggregator done in Java: clevercactus (although it isn't downloadable now -- the relaunch is coming later this month). The guy who wrote it, Diego, emailed me about it. I'll check it out when it gets relaunched, although because I live life in Outlook I'll probably stick with NewsGator. It'd be real interesting to have the community do an RSS News Aggregator comparison.

6:24:31 PM    comment 

Hmmm, I'm over at Slashdot right now and two articles caught my eye:

One, titled "is Windows worth $45" questioning whether enough "innovation" gets put into Windows to make it worth the price.

The second, titled "Microsoft could lose Media Player in Europe" makes the point that Windows is getting too much put into it so things need to be taken out.

Life is complicated these days.

5:57:04 PM    comment 

Lee LeFever: Case Study: Using a Weblog to Achieve #1 Rankings in Google.

Most of this stuff matches my own experiences as well.

5:22:56 PM    comment 

How about a geek movie night? Next Thursday night. The 18th. At 8 p.m. we'll start a movie. You bring your own food. I'll have beer and snacks. First 10 people to RSVP get the address. My house is in Bothell, WA.

I have three controllers for the Xbox. And WiFi, of course.

5:17:58 PM    comment 

Tim Bray, in a post about "the new world of PR" talks about my handling of the SCO rumors. He says "this is the first time I know of that a big company has gone to one of their bloggers to get a critical piece of PR out."

I should clarify that a bit. Microsoft's employees talk internally on hundreds of mailing lists. I am trolling those lists for information that might be interesting or useful to my readers. Last Friday, I saw Martin Taylor's post on one of those lists. I took the relevant pieces of information from it, and posted them.

No one at Microsoft asked me to post that. But, I think you're right. I'm very happy that Microsoft:

1) Gives me access to highly sensitive and critical corporate information.

2) Lets me decide whether or not or when my readers would be served by that information (and the company itself)

I couldn't do this blog any other way.

5:04:11 PM    comment 

How are blogs changing the way Microsoft communicates with its customers? No better example could be seen than this post by Nino Bilic of the Exchange Team. In it he shares that the Exchange team's support lines are overwhelmed. This is not information the PR team here would like to see. But, it helps customers make the best of a poor situation.

Taking a customer-centric approach must be applauded. I don't see any other company the size of Microsoft taking this approach with customers.

4:56:47 PM    comment 

eWeek's Steve Gillmor got an exclusive interview from with Sun Executive Vice President Jonathan Schwartz about Sun's plans to adopt RSS.

Interesting stuff. Wow. RSS is now a weapon in operating system feature lists. Is this vision, or just taking advantage of the blogging conversational networks?

After all, how do you get bloggers to talk about you? Heck, add RSS support to your product. It sure does work. Here's a Microsoft blogger talking about Sun Microsystems. Heh!

So, score one for Sun.

Of course, Microsoft shot the first "RSS-is-an-operating-system-feature" cannon. At our Professional Developer Conference back last October we showed off a component on Longhorn that was using RSS. Which gets me to this part of the QA that Steve Gillmor and Jonathan Schwartz held:

Gillmor: You mentioned earlier that Microsoft is holding RSS back for some reason. What is that reason?

Schwartz: It's a couple of things. One, the RSS market is relatively nascent. And there are some technology leaders who are going to go deliver their RSS feeds more proactively than others. Is Microsoft missing a huge market right now? Probably not. But it just goes to the prior point that he who controls distribution controls the definition of the standard."

"On one hand, I think they're uncomfortable with how much of the RSS standards have been done in the open source community that they can't therefore lock away. And if they take a path, they have to take one that breaks that alliance, and in breaking that alliance –as they've tried to do with HTTP, Java, and every technology they couldn't control– lies some risk for Microsoft. I'm not sure right now they're all that interested or focused on it. I think Steve Ballmer is probably more focused on his pricing in Malaysia than he is on the infrastructure for RSS.

My reply? RSS wasn't done in the "open source community." It was done by Dave Winer. At least the RSS I use and like best (RSS 2.0). Also, MSDN had RSS Feeds almost a year ago. Welcome to the RSS party. I agree, it is a fun one!

Schwartz: "Those communities early on in the company's existence were probably nowhere near as well connected as they are today, certainly in nowhere near the same real-time mechanism as they are today. And RSS is increasingly becoming the principal means of real-time communication."

Translation: "Will someone please offer Scobleizer a ton of money to leave Microsoft? He's killing us." ;-)

Schwartz: "It may be that RSS is sufficiently standardized (apropos of the prior conversation) that we can have a diversity of clients available to read it, including RSS clients on my handset, on my set top box, and in my hotel room."

Translation: "Damn .NET guys, they already have RSS news aggregators running on PocketPCs (two separate ones, in fact), SmartPhones, Windows XP, Tablet PCs, Longhorn, and other places." I've seen third-party versions of .NET apps running on Media Center as well. OK, the SPOT watch I have doesn't have an RSS News Aggregator. Maybe Sun can help us innovate there. :-)

Schwartz: "It's a couple of things. One, the RSS market is relatively nascent. And there are some technology leaders who are going to go deliver their RSS feeds more proactively than others. Is Microsoft missing a huge market right now? Probably not. But it just goes to the prior point that he who controls distribution controls the definition of the standard."

Hmm, I didn't know Dave Winer or Harvard University controls distribution of much of anything except a few hundred words a day over on

Schwartz: "The next wave of innovations –in media playing and three-dimensional desktops and RSS readers– hasn't ranked up there, but that's in part been because we've been speaking almost exclusively to an enterprise audience. As soon as you start talking to developers, as we start building our developer desktop out this fiscal year, we're going to end up with a different set of what we call CTQs —issues that are critical to quality for our customers."

Translation: those Microsoft bloggers are killing us and we need some of our own!

Schwartz: Step One for us is making sure that an Outlook user is comfortable. Step Two is then introducing innovations that they can't get in Outlook.

Translation: Sun's should buy Greg Reinacker's NewsGator NOW before Bill Gates opens his wallet! Oh, wait, Greg wrote all his code in .NET? Grrr. (Not to mention that most of the popular RSS News Aggregators are done in .NET).

I notice he didn't admit that most news aggregators are built either in .NET or Borland's Delphi. By the way, is there a client-side RSS News Aggregator that was built in Java? (Like RSS Bandit (.NET) or NewsGator (.NET) or Sharp Reader (.NET) or FeedDemon (Delphi)).

4:38:06 PM    comment 

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© Copyright 2005
Robert Scoble
My cell phone: 425-205-1921
Are you with the press?
Last updated:
5/11/2005; 12:47:27 AM.

Robert Scoble works at Microsoft (title: technical evangelist). 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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