Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Dave Winer posted a version history for RSS. This should be quoted in every article that's done about RSS or other syndication types like Atom.

7:05:58 PM    comment 

Dave Winer wonders what Windows XP Media Center is. Damn, I was wondering that myself. The MVPs got a great demo this morning and I sat in. Holy (bad word deleted). This is going to change the home forever. By the end of the year I'm giving my Tivo away. It's been a nice relationship Tivo, but you're about to get replaced in my home.

And yes Dave, it is the most underpromoted product I've ever seen. No one knows about it. I have a feeling that'll soon change. I'll have a "Media Center showoff party" at my house when I get mine.

7:03:06 PM    comment 

Channel9 gets Slashdotted. Oh, the comments are great!

Here's some other reactions from around the Web:

Kent wants a single page of all the RSS feeds. I'll do that tomorrow.

Evelyn Rodriguez: Maybe It's Time to Re-Think What Marketing is

DonXML: The human beings behind XML at Microsoft. "My only regret from last night was that we didn't have someone there walking around the dinner with a video camera, recording what I saw, a bunch of human beings in open and candid discussions."

My reply: Don, I recorded a ton of them, but the audio is useless. I'll try tomorrow in some of the product team meetings.

Jerry Pisk takes us to task for our HTML (over in a comment over on Jason Mauss' critique of Channel9): - They can't even get the Transitional HTML right. It's just so typical of Microsoft - we're going to listen to you, as long as you say and do what we want you to. In this case only use IE and waste your time watching videos... But we're going to keep telling you it's not marketing so you have to believe it's not.

Yes, we know we have crappy HTML. Watch the site over the next few weeks. That, itself, will turn into a Channel9 topic.

Jeff Putz: "...the content strategy is kind of poor..."

My reply: AMATEUR HOUR IS THE WHOLE IDEA! In fact, here's the point. We're using cheapo digital video cameras. You can buy this stuff at Best Buy. No lighting. A $30 microphone. Stuff you can do at home.

Listen, we want candid looks inside Microsoft. NONE of the interviews I posted were checked out by PR. No lawyers. No execs. It's just me and Charles roving the campus for interesting people doing interesting things telling interesting stories. We interview them over lunch. In the cafeteria. In their offices. Hopefully soon out on the lawn. Maybe at the Pro Club while we work out.

Now, we have a multi-million-dollar studio. Why not there?

A couple of reasons. 1) Scheduling becomes a nightmare. Asking for one hour of Bill Hill's time is one thing. Asking for four hours so he can come into studios is a whole nother thing. 2) When people go into the studios and have lights and makeup and stuff, they become un-human. They start talking differently. In fact, even in front of my little tiny digital camera they behave differently. Eric Lippert, today, on his blog, talks about "fidgeting" on camera. I want them to feel as comfortable as possible. We're just having a conversation.

Why not just text? someone asked me on IM. I'm well-versed in why video sucks for online communication (I do write a lot, if you haven't noticed). Watch Bill Hill's video again and tell me that the conversation would be just as interesting in text as it is in video. Even with the amateurish video quality. The poor lighting. The crappy camera work.

Plus, we wanted to play around and learn how people might want to use video in the future. This stuff is remarkably easy to do now with a digital camera, a firewire connection, and Microsoft Windows (using Movie Maker to edit the videos).

I can't wait for the day when you all can post your own videos to your blogs. Yeah, the text purists will yell and scream, but let's play around together. There's more to life than just ASCII text you know. Imagine doing a blog just for your family with home videos.

6:59:38 PM    comment 

Just passed 1000 registered users (and many times that number in unregistered visitors). Now, think about that for a minute. We've done no advertising. No marketing. No press releases. No links from No Google ads. No MSN ads.

How did this happen? Webloggers. In fact, before I even talked about it this morning we had already had more than 1000 visitors. An MVP told me today "I found that the link had been turned on and I IM'd all my friends last night."

Does word of mouth marketing work? Damn straight it does.

Oh, eWeek and Mary Jo Foley and CNET have written about it. Did our PR team do any work to get those stories? No.

So, what's the key lesson here? Have a product launch coming?

1) Make sure you make a product that people want to talk about.
2) Have a weblog and make sure you show it to a few webloggers.
3) Make sure you follow up conversation with more conversation.

You'll notice, by the way, that we're pointing to many of the negative things people say about us. Why? Well, for one, that lets you know we are hearing the feedback and participating in the conversation. Two, we're fixing bugs (yes, we shipped with bugs, imagine that!). For instance, we're a bit buggy with Firefox and Mozilla browsers (report bugs at and we'll fix them). Three, it shows there's movement and that we're human.

Aside: we're sitting here in building 119 laughing our a&&es off. Why? Look at the avatars people are posting. This is an amazing community being built. Love the penguins!

6:27:30 PM    comment 
8:04:14 AM    comment 

Something else shipped last night at Microsoft: Mac Office 2004 (Team member Rick Schaut writes about it). Congrats guys.

8:02:32 AM    comment 

So, I turn on my computer this morning, go over to Technorati. Enter: into the search box there. And, wow, people discovered that we turned on Channel9 overnight. They love it. They hate it. And all sorts of opinions in between.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

There's a Wiki in there. There's a weblog in there. There's a streaming video in there. There's a social computing paradigm in there. Oh, and there's RSS 2.0 streams on EVERYTHING. Steve Gillmor, did you wanna know whether Microsoft gets RSS? Check it out! Subscribe to it. We'll be pushing down more videos soon (Translation: within a day or two, and we'll try to stay on pace to push down new stuff every day or two after that -- if you haven't yet tried an RSS news aggregator, this is your chance).

Ahh, I see Mary Jo Foley has written about it: Microsoft turns on Channel9.

I'm off to go to the MVP Global Summit. Eric Rudder will show this to everyone. I'll be online this afternoon.

7:58:46 AM    comment 

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© Copyright 2005
Robert Scoble
My cell phone: 425-205-1921
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Last updated:
5/11/2005; 12:49:54 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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