Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Friday, March 26, 2004

Simon Phipps, evangelist at Sun Microsystems, shows why those of us who talk with the press need weblogs: he says he was misquoted. Actually, it's worse than that. He claims that the journalist who quoted him wasn't even in the room.

10:47:30 PM    comment 

Lenn Pryor: "Me ... just a punk ass kid from DC. AKA ... Scoble's boss."

Yeah, he's my boss. Now, are we having a conversation or not?

No, it's not threaded like newsgroups. No, it might not be all that fast (I'm way behind cause that dang boss of mine has had me busy all week). No, it might not be in one place. No, it isn't easy to follow.

But I like having conversations here better than in the newsgroups. Mostly cause I don't have as much noise to deal with here.

But, lots of people still like the newsgroups better.

It's interesting. Many of my old friends from the newsgroups, like Zane Thomas, are slowly coming out into the blog world.

10:43:12 PM    comment 

Disclaimer: I was one of those who got a ticket to the social software symposium. I'm staying at the hotel and helping out with the festivities (translation: I get to help make sure everyone gets on the bus on time and I get to try to keep Marc Canter out of jail. The Orkut variety, that is. Heh).

10:32:37 PM    comment 

Kevin Schofield, of Microsoft Research, just posted some more about the goals of the Social Software Symposium that starts here on Monday.

I was overly critical. But I did that for a reason. Number one, I know that having small events with closed doors makes outsiders mad. I saw this during O'Reilly's FooCamp. O'Reilly invited 200 of his favorite geeks to camp out with him. Those who weren't invited were jealous, or worse.

No one likes to be on the outside. I sure don't.

I also see he gave kudos to the event organizers (Shelly and Lili). I should have done that too. Why? Cause putting on an event for 70 people isn't nearly as easy as you'd think. I have personal experience here. In the 1990s everytime VSLive would come to San Francisco I'd put on a bus trip for anyone who wanted to hang around another day and play tourist. Arranging busses and dinner and all that is a lot of work.

But, hearing Carl Franklin sing "My Darling Clementine" for two hours straight on the way back from Yosemite made it all worth it. Yes, the Best of Clementine site really is his. He's not only talented with Visual Studio, but he can sing Clementine in voices ranging from AC/DC to Cher.

While we're talking about these topics, read Kevin's "blind assumptions in the social computing community" rant. Yeah, I'm guilty of groupthink. Hey Kevin, have you been reading Andrew Orlowski lately? That sounds a lot like what he's been saying for the past year.

10:29:26 PM    comment 

Turns out the Social Software Symposium is a bit more social than I thought. They have a blog. And a wiki.

7:04:43 PM    comment 

I ran into Eric Rudder, Senior Vice President of Developer Tools at Microsoft, in the parking lot a few minutes ago.

I couldn't resist.

"Hi Eric, I'm Robert Scoble and I work for you." (He's my boss's boss's boss's boss).

He replied "Oh, I know you." (I've met Eric before at an MVP event and he remembered I worked for NEC).

"I gotta ask you, when are you going to post to your blog again?"

"I did that just to show that it's OK to work at Microsoft and weblog," he said. "I wanted to reduce fear." Turns out he loves the weblog community.

We then went on and had a nice chat. Turns out he starts his day and ends his day answering customer email. And he reads a bunch of bloggers in RSS. Even reads Slashdot.

I urged him to blog again, but he explained how busy he is. Has two kids, and has a huge number of people who need his attention every day.

"So, can I blog about this?" I asked, halfway expecting a negative answer. "Sure!"

6:32:47 PM    comment 

Amanda Murphy gives an example of how Microsoft is listening to bloggers.

If you do post anything about Microsoft, I don't mind it at all if you email me when you do. Or, even better, email the blogger that's closest to the product team that you're trying to talk with. My email is

4:25:45 PM    comment 

On Monday the Microsoft Research group is hosting a Social Software Symposium. Think of it as O'Reilly's FooCamp without the tents. Anyway, for an event about social software, this one is gonna be pretty unsocial. Lili tells me they couldn't make a live Internet connection happen, but are recording all the sessions and are planning on making those available shortly after the event. There will be WiFi, I hear, so I'm sure we'll blog about it a bit.

Oh, and the venue is so constrained that there's no tickets available. Only 20 employees from Microsoft are going, from what I hear.

4:19:05 PM    comment 

Todd Bishop, of the Seattle PI's Microsoft Weblog, has first news of MSN's new Blogbot.

2:52:20 PM    comment 

Heh, Sun's chief technology evangelist, Simon Phipps, calls me a "luddite."

Yeah, I'm a luddite. I just want a better Tablet PC. A better development environment. A better set of apps that'll make my life easier and more productive. I don't care who does it or what methodology brings it to me. RSS, for instance, has changed my life more than anything else lately. I now can read 1418 people/sites every evening. OnFolio, for instance, has made it easier for me to collect information while I'm surfing the Web. ArtRage, for instance, makes it much nicer to paint a picture on my Tablet PC. I'm editing video right now with Movie Maker, that is easy and fun to use.

Yeah, I'm a luddite. I just want great stuff to use. If Linux brings it to me, great! I do have a Tivo. Oh, wait, can I look at Tivo's source code (yeah, Linux is running under their system, but do they share their source code back out)? Hmmm, damn luddites. Maybe I should start a luddite club. Anyway, it's quite an honor to be called a luddite by Simon. I love his blog.

1:41:39 PM    comment 

Terry Heaton: TV News in a Postmodern World; The New Public Relations.

"Thankfully, there is a new form and format growing rapidly today, one with roots from a much more people-friendly perspective."

Terry quotes me a bit. Here's why the new PR works. People don't trust corporations but they trust people they can have a relationship with. I don't trust corporations, do you? Take a corporation you like (say Toyota). Are you more likely to believe an engineer you know who works for Toyota or Toyota's PR firm? I'm far more likely to listen to the engineer. And it's even worse when you have a company that often isn't very likeable (say, like the one I work for).

That's why I think it absolutely rocks that Microsoft has 400 employees blogging now, with new ones turning on blogs every few hours.

1:00:01 PM    comment 

Steve Gillmor at eWeek: Memo to Steve Ballmer.

He asks Microsoft to make syndication a priority. I'm down with that! RSS has changed my life more than any other technology since Dave Winer and Dori Smith showed me weblogging more than three years ago.

Oh, and if I had a chance to show RSS to Ballmer, I'd also show him how our smart guys on search could use it to get back into the search game in a big way.

12:49:40 PM    comment 

I'm sitting here with Sean Kelly and Lily Cheng, in Microsoft Research. We're checking out the latest social software networks. For instance:

Myspace. A very young audience, but doing some real interesting stuff.

Why do I like what Lili and Sean show me? They get me out of my echo chamber. For instance, I haven't been playing with LiveJournal much lately, but it has more than a million people doing some interesting network spaces.

Are you seeing anything online that is cool in weblog/diaries/social software? I'm gonna have lunch with Marc Canter next week. I can't wait to see what he shows me.

Oh, there's a ton of social network people coming to Microsoft next week. I'll write more about that on Monday.

10:18:44 AM    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; 12:48:55 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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