The Office Weblog links to PC Magazine's 106 tips for Office users. Invaluable resource.
I received a box this week. It had a free prize inside. I love getting boxes like that. By the way, I didn't catch who sent it to me. Who did? (Three people offered to send me their free prize inside, and I forgot which one I said yes to. Me bad!).
One problem with getting a free prize inside is that you end up buying free prizes for your friends and sending it to them. So, a free prize turns out not to be so free after all.
Don't have any clue what I'm talking about? Well, then, you haven't heard of Seth Godin or his new book.
I'd love to have a geek dinner with Seth. This is a book that everyone at Microsoft should read. Relevant quote: "Itís all marketing now. The organizations that win will be the ones that realize that all they do is create things worth talking about." Unfortunately I can't afford to buy that many free prizes. :-)
Michael Cage: Oh Crap Marketing.
Change the rules, he says. That's great advice.
A VC: It's the feed stupid.
He nails it.
Chris De Herrera, of Tablet PC Talk website (or is it a weblog?), gets an interview with Andrew Dixon, head marketing guy of the Tablet PC Team.
Fast Company: What's the Buzz?
"Companies have long recognized that word of mouth is one of the most potent weapons in a marketer's arsenal. The trick has been to harness that power in a disciplined, strategic way. A two-year-old Boston company, BzzAgent LLC, aims to do just that; it has assembled a nationwide volunteer army of natural-born buzzers and will channel their chatter toward products and services they deem authentically worth talking about."
Hey, Phil Torrone, looks like you have competition for "geekiest geek." Glen Murphy is working on a variety of projects including a heads up display for his car.
Correction: Sorry to Brian Dear for getting his name wrong in a previous post. One thing about blogging. If you're wrong, your readers correct you. It's one of the strengths of this medium. Tell me, how often does the New York Times run corrections on the front page?
I make mistakes all the time. Thanks Brian for helping me correct this one.
Geek Dinner in New York. Michael Gartenberg is getting together a geek dinner on evening of June 16th. I'm in. So far we have a few people. Now gotta pick a place. Some rules: has to be fairly affordable. Has to be open to any geek who wants to come. Best if it's in a place that can easily scale up to handle more people than are expected.
Joe Wilcox, on Microsoft Monitor Weblog: MSN Search and Music, part two.
"I'm a bit stunned by the press feeding frenzy set off by comments (here) Yusuf Mehdi, MSN corporate VP, made during a Wednesday speech.
BusinessWeek: Something Wiki this way comes. They're Web sites anyone can edit -- and they could transform Corporate America.
While we're talking about Wikis, I interviewed Ward Cunningham for Channel9 (he's the guy who invented the Wiki). Nunit's co-author Jim Newkirk shows up in quite a few of the interivews too.
Here's his videos -- the interview is getting great reviews:
1) Is there are revolution coming in the way people communicate?
2) Is there a paradigm shift coming for developers?
3) Do you get religious about programming languages?
4) What would you teach a kid about the world of programming languages?
5) What is Extreme Programming?
6) How did you come up with the idea for the Wiki?
7) Jim, tell us about Nunit
Fred, a venture capitalist, asks "WTF are Bit Torrents?"
If you haven't used BitTorrent yet, check out the comments on Fred's post. He got, um, a torrent of info.
Oh, and Fred, BitTorrent has been downloaded more than 10 million times. Personally it's a great way to share my home videos with other people.
Tony Perkins introduces video blogs to AlwaysOn. Now members can post their own videos.
Jamis McNivens wants to do Channel9-style video blogs at Bucks (famous hole-in-the-wall Silicon Valley restaurant). Hmmm, maybe Channel9 will have to show up at Bucks this weekend. Anyone up for a geek lunch on Sunday? Say at noon?
Lushe.net is a cool way to constrain Google to only searching your favorite sites. For instance, if you want to search only my site, put http://scoble.weblogs.com into Lushe.net and then you'll get results only from my blog.
Edward Tufte has posted a major update to his "Sparklines" chapter from his upcoming book. What are sparklines? Intense, simple, word-sized graphics.
I wonder how I could use Sparklines here on my blog?
Tufte is doing some deep thinking about information design and how it communicates.
Sam Ruby: syndication format détente.
"There is a Universal Feed Parser. It handles every known version of RSS. It even supports Atom. And CDF. It supports 40 namespaces. It is open source. And even if for some reason you find you can't use it directly, you can still make use of the literally thousands of test cases that come with it."
I'm listening to this week's Gillmor Gang, over on Doug Kaye's awesome IT Conversations. They (Jon Udell from InfoWorld, Steve Gillmor from eWeek, Doc Searls from Linux Journal, Dana Gardner from Yankee Group, and Dan Farber ZDNet) are talking about the week's news (and are currently ripping into Web Services and Service Orientation).
Rummaging (a blog that follows eBay and auction trends) says I missed what makes eBay special. "eBay allows people their fifteen minutes in an explicitly transactional manner. In that, it epitomises the age. This seems far more important than statistics about year-on-year revenue growth."
The big talk here is there was another sizeable earthquake near Tehran, Iran. Ali Parvaresh, a geek who lives in Tehran, is covering it on his blog.
BusinessWeek: the Tablet, big machine on campus?
Yesterday I visited Mike Hall with my video camera over in building 27. He gave me a tour of the Windows CE lab where they have more gadgets than anywhere else on campus.
What's Silicon Valley's hottest new big company? One of my favorites is eBay.
Tonight Maryam and I sat next to an executive from eBay (who won't be named cause he didn't know he was going to be quoted on my blog). He gave us some of the latest stats from eBay:
1) $7 to $8 billion runs through the eBay platform (yes, he called eBay a "platform") every quarter.
2) Every hour eBay registers 3000 to 4000 new users.
3) This year they are expecting somewhere around $3.5 billion in revenues. That's above expectations. Here's MSN's report on eBay's financial results last year.
4) Every day about a terabyte of data courses through eBay's data centers (most of the machines running eBay are running Windows, he told me. The back end they use is running on Sun Microsystems computers). He says eBay's use of Windows shows that Microsoft's stuff is good enough for high-transaction, high-load computing.
5) Last year 10,000 customers showed up for the first "eBay Live" conference. This year's event is expected to see even more people.
6) They have about 5000 employees right now and are hiring about 1000 new employees this year (and he says they can't find enough great employees to hire).
8) eBay has a high degree of customer lockin. How? Well, for one, many of their customers are getting rich (he says he knows a few power sellers who have already retired). Second, the more you buy and sell on eBay, the better your ratings, and those aren't transferable to other auction systems.
MICROSOFT EXECS: why aren't we sponsoring eBay's conference? I can't think of a better place to show off Tablet PCs, SmartPhones, Windows Media Center PCs and our new Windows XP Service Pack 2.
Who knew that selling Pez dispensers would bring us one of the most profitable Silicon Valley Businesses?
Update: I updated this post to fix financial numbers I've learned are incorrect. Also, Gabe, in my comments, points out that the Pez dispenser story isn't quite as real as the exec would like me to think.