Some people have already tried to paint me into a corner when it comes to RSS vs. Atom. Just to be clear. Microsoft's Chris Sells and George Bullock, of Microsoft, are attending the June 2 Atom group meeting.
While you see me supporting RSS 2.0, that's my opinion and should never be taken as Microsoft's official stance on the issue.
Not to mention that even if Microsoft did have an official stance one way or another, that stance would change in reaction to customer demands and market conditions.
USS Clueless: Blogging is now officially passé.
Well at least they aren't saying it's a fad anymore.
Investors Business Daily: Did Bill Gates shake up the blogosphere?
Microsoft Monitor: Blogging: Maybe Mr. Gates gets it
What is the advantage of talking about business ideas out in public? Sam Ruby, of IBM, demonstrated one advantage to me last night. If you are recommending something stupid other people can point out the errors of your ways. Yes, and they can change your mind.
Last night I said I recommend aggregator producers only need to read in RSS 2.0 and Atom (since those are the two dominant formats). But Sam chimed in and asked me "Take a look at YOUR subscriptions, and identify which ones are RSS 1.0." I'm in the midst of doing that and it's a significant number of feeds.
So, in response to my stupid advice, I'm changing my mind. If you're building an aggregator (or something that consumes/displays/reuses feeds) you need to support Atom, RSS 2.0, and RSS 1.0.
Is that now sound advice? Thanks Sam!
Richard Caetano, one of the .NET developers at Paramount Farms (the world's largest integrated pistachio processing facility) talks about how RFID has helped them reduce costs. Very cool (and very little downtime on their .NET systems too!)
I liked how Anil Dash handled the negative PR that Six Apart got recently.
I keep wondering what life would be like if everything corporate employees did would be in the public eye. Earlier this week my boss, Lenn Pryor, exposed an entire email conversation our team was having. It's been interesting to see how people react to that thread.
Would we have negative PR to deal with if everything we did was out in public view? It's a theoretical question because we're a long ways away from that.
ZDnet: Dreams of Longhorn (server)
Interview with Bob Muglia, senior vice president, about everything from Longhorn to Linux.
Louis Parks: "Two weeks ago, I dreamed that Robert Scoble stopped blogging."
Dang, I had that same dream. Then I realized that was just plain nuts. Heh.
Joe Mullins: the Anti Scoble.
All about how Apple should change to allow more blogging. Very flattering.
Steve Rubel, on his micropersuasion weblog: "The potential murkier side of the story is that underneath the softer bloggier side that Bill Gates showed today was an veiled declaration of war on Six Apart, Userland, Google and anyone else who makes blogging and wiki publishing tools. Did Bill Gates throw a pebble in the blogosphere pond today? Time will tell. It will be interesting to hear others' perspectives in the blogosphere on the day's events."
Joshua Allen covers more about Microsoft's history of blogs. It's amazing to think that I've only been at Microsoft about a year. In that time we've seen the number of blogs go up from about 100 to more than 600 today. There's 600 employees blogging at blogs.msdn.com but there's quite a few, like me, or John Porcaro, and Joshua Allen, who don't blog on a Microsoft-owned server.
Mary Jo Foley is keeping a list here, but the numbers of new bloggers are going up so fast that her list is getting a bit out of date.
Joi Ito: "Scoble, can you give us the inside skinny? Is this going to turn into a Google-Atom vs. Microsoft-RSS war as the article insinuates?"
I'm in contact with lots of groups that are considering syndication features. What is the ball we're focusing on? Customer need.
What's my advice been to product teams, based on my read of the market? (Disclaimer, the following is MY OPINIONS and may or may not match what my employer or anyone else thinks).
1) For feed producers: If your product, blogging tool, or service generates a feed, pick one: either Atom or RSS 2.0. I recommend RSS 2.0 for now. Why? Because more aggregators out there support RSS 2.0 today than support Atom. That could very well change over the next few months, so my advice here will change according to market conditions. Another reason? Because Microsoft has already done that and hasn't had complaints (Channel9 and MSDN and other Microsoft properties generate RSS 2.0 feeds).
2) For feed readers (news aggregators): My advice for news aggregators? If you are building a news aggregator, or something that reads in or repurposes syndication feeds, then you should read in both RSS 2.0 and Atom feeds. Why? Because some content producers publish in only Atom format, and other content producers publish in only RSS 2.0 format (aggregators should remain agnostic to formats and should read in as many as possible). The RSS 1.0 format should probably also be supported, but I'm OK with aggregators who only support RSS 2.0 and Atom. If an aggregator only supports one format, it'll greatly limit their market appeal.
Now, can I guarantee that any Microsoft group will listen to me? No. But this is why I keep asking for feedback about what you all would like Microsoft to do. The more people who speak up now and put their names down, the more likely teams will do the right thing.
If you disagree with my advice above, please do let me know.
Larry Hryb is director of programming on the Xbox Live team and he has a blog dedicated to Xboxish things.
Not much up yet, but on Saturday night I'll be on my Xbox Live machine. Anyone up for a game of golf or tennis?
Update: I corrected this post.
My former boss, Steve Broback, has started a blog on the RAW digital photography format standard. Steve is the guy who co-founded Thunder Lizard, which hosted conferences for all sorts of things from Pagemaker to Web Design.
Now he's starting up a new conference and media company, Avondale Media (they do DVDs for Apple and Adobe right now).