Seth Finkelstein says that the A-list isn't linking to him. Or something. Seth, you miss the point. How did I get to the supposed "A list?" By linking to everyone and by reading more than 1000 blogs. Seriously. Why does that matter? The more you link and the more you read, the more likely people are to link to you and talk about you. Here's a question for you Seth: have you ever linked to an A lister? Here you do and you get linked to by two of us.
Here's my top blogger tip: if you want people to link to you link to them first! A link is a gift. Everytime I get a link it tickles my soul. Plus, it shows up in my referer log so I notice you did it. How do you think I found out about your blog?
I have a saying. Everyone gets one link for free. But you gotta earn the "n" link. So, the stakes go up next time. Next time you'll have to be interesting. Sorry, but that's sorta how it works. (Yeah, my boss ignores me when I go in to ask for a raise too and mubles something about how my coworkers are writing more code and doing more cool stuff to help customers).
Oh, and look at my experimental aggregator blog. What percentage of those posts are from the "A list?" See, you don't need to be an "A lister" to get noticed.
I've only been blogging for about three years. It doesn't take long to get onto the A list if you wanna be there (here's a hint, it isn't as interesting as you might think). Just write something that other bloggers find interesting. Don't know what that is? Well, then visit Technorati and read some more blogs.
Oh, one rule that an "A lister" taught me very early on: don't beg for links. There's nothing more uninteresting than that.
Jeff, in IM, tells me I missed his point in my last post. Which is that it's important not to believe your own hype. Like Howard Dean's bloggers did. I think it goes deeper than that. See, your readers will whack you if you start believing your own hype (just read my comments to see an example of this. Yes, Gentoo and Jeremy Allison I'm thinking of you.) But, you need to be having a conversation with them to get the clue. Howard Dean's bloggers weren't having a conversation: they were using their blog to deliver a one-way stream of PR.
On further reading that actually is Jeff's message. Make sure we have a two-way conversation, not a one-way hype session. Absolutely agreed.
Something bugs me about the "blogosphere is an echo chamber" meme. My coworker Jeff Sandquist tries to define what an echo chamber is. His definition doesn't do it for me. My blog isn't done alone. Most of the posts that I write about come to me via IM or email or in reading the RSS feeds I subscribe to.
But, clearly we're only reaching a small group. So blogging has to be an echo chamber, right?
After all, small size is implied by the idea of a chamber, right? It still bugs me, though. Here's why:
If you read my comments you'll see that people who disagree with me and/or disagree with Microsoft not only lurk here, but are very active posters. So, clearly we don't have an ideological echo chamber here. So what is it?
The blogosphere is a passion chamber.
Here, visit Technorati. Search for something like "Quilting" and see what you find: folks who are extremely passionate about quilting.
Come over here and you'll find people who are extremely passionate about technology (and to a lesser extent Microsoft). Go over to Glenn Reynolds' weblog and you'll find people passionate about politics. And so on.
This explains weblogging's power too. We're talking to the most passionate, most influential people in society. In my case I'm talking with technologists and developers. So, the question is, what are you passionate about?
Seriously, the interview with Jonathan is interesting. Lots of nuggets in there about Sun's new relationship with Microsoft. I've never talked with Jonathan, but he talks about the rising tide lifting all boats. And he gets another subtle plug in for RSS:
"Event notification and concepts like auto-update ... Auto-update is not simply about delivering the latest and greatest patch to an operating system—it's just as much about delivering the latest and greatest Steve Gillmor column to a 10 million reader base."
Hey, how about the Scobleizer weblog? :-)
Heh, Steve Gillmor over at eWeek interviewed Jonathan Schwartz again, president of Sun Microsystems and I found this little nugget: "Despite some of our peers in the industry who hire people with titles like evangelist, our folks have titles like developer and architect, and they go work with the open-source community to build technologies and solutions that solve customers' problems."
Steve tells me that Jonathan was actually talking about another company at that part of the interview, not Microsoft. But we do have developers and architects. Just in case any of you wonder. :-)
Microsoft Monitor's Joe Wilcox: "Sorry, [Scoble], but you're wrong on this one...I agree with Mr. Chizen that he should be concerned about Microsoft."
OK, Joe, but if I'm wrong, then this industry is seriously in trouble. Not just Adobe or Microsoft. If I'm wrong, it means we should fire all the developers working on Avalon and WinFS and 64-bit and Tablet PC platforms. Why build platforms if companies like Adobe won't find ways to build entire new businesses on top of them? And why have platforms for developers to build on if only Microsoft will be around to play?
If I'm wrong, I should get fired, because who needs evangelists if Microsoft is going to take over the world anyway?
If I'm wrong it means that the business tomorrow is going to be the same as the business was yesterday and we should all go home and build pottery or play golf or something.
If I'm wrong, it means the industry is a zero sum game and the only way for Adobe to grow would be to take a dollar of sales away from Microsoft (and vice versa).
If I'm wrong Microsoft will end up owning the entire industry anyway, so why should we work so hard for partners like Adobe?
If I'm wrong it means that all the computer and technology problems have been solved. It means we have the perfect version of Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, Acrobat, and that no more innovations in any of Adobe's programs can be made.
This whole thing sort of takes me back to 1976. I remember an interview I did with Steve Wozniak (Apple's co-founder) about that time in his life. He had built a crude personal computer. Yeah, the Apple I. He offered it to his bosses at Atari and HP. They both said "we can't make a business out of this, who wants a personal computer?"
Anyway, am I wrong? Here's a hint: Adobe was one of three companies on stage with us at the PDC showing off new functionality in Longhorn.
But Joe is right when he says that developers are watching how this plays out. He's right, this is something that Microsoft must get right. It's exactly why we started Channel9. Reduce fear, figure out how to work together.
Why do that? Because there are more computing problems ahead of us than have been solved. Adobe will play a huge role here. At least they will unless they want to prove me wrong.
Steve Gillmor: if hype turns out to be true, is it hype?