Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Friday, June 04, 2004

OK, we're off to Dallas. Don't trash the place too much while I'm gone.

Posting will be light until next Friday. Although I'm so addicted I'm sure I'll sneak out for a Kinkos or Starbucks run in the middle of the night. Gotta find a good WiFi spot in Dallas.

11:35:10 AM    comment 

Mary Jo Foley points to Neowin who talks about the next Windows Media Center (code named Symphony).

I can't wait to get a demo of this on Channel9. I'm going to give away my Tivo when I get it. It's that huge a change.

11:31:38 AM    comment 

Lenn Pryor, leader of the Channel9 team: OK, I will admit it, I am a professional marketer.

11:22:12 AM    comment 

Does advertising like Burger King's Subservient Chicken Web site work? Burger King's executives claim it did, on Reuters.

What is unique about this kind of advertising? It's word-of-mouth friendly. Bloggers and others told their friends about it.

11:07:10 AM    comment 

David Anderson, on his Agile Management Blog: It's disgusting that some developers can go so quickly. It has to be stopped!

11:04:18 AM    comment 

Congrats to Sam Gentile, one of the influential C++ developers (now working on .NET stuff) on becoming chief .NET architect at Adesso. Why I pointed to this is his excitement: The first time John and Phil came to see me and demoed the product, I was floored!

Now, if you've met Sam, you know he's a pretty tough guy to get excited. He claims that the app he's working on is a "killer app." So, now I'm interested!

10:54:35 AM    comment 
10:45:06 AM    comment 

Tim Bray, of Sun Microsystems, has more on the Atom meeting that happened on Wednesday.

5:58:28 AM    comment 
5:56:46 AM    comment 

We've been busy over at Channel9. Lenn Pryor got a ride around campus from senior vice president Eric Rudder. Bryn and Charles got a demo of Windows XP Service Pack 2. Today Charles sits down with Robert Hess in a bar and learns what a cocktail geek is.

5:51:06 AM    comment 

I'm going to take most of the next week off. Maryam and I are going to a wedding in Dallas TX. Be back late Monday night. Then I'm at an offsite for two days. So, won't have a lot of blogging time until Friday.

If you want to keep up on the Microsoft world, I'd watch, which has about 1000 people blogging to it (including 600+ Microsoft employees).

5:35:39 AM    comment 

It's baaaaaccccckkkkkk. My experimental link blog. But this time, Kunal made it so that it doesn't repost the entire content of a blog post that I put up here.

It's a bit messy. I'm behind, so the content is a couple of days old (and there's a ton of it cause I've been storing stuff up for a while -- you'll want to visit in the browser for the first few days until things settle down).

Also, Kunal is playing with the algorithm. Some posts right now don't have any body content, while others are correct. He's working with me to make it better.

How do I do this? I subscribe to 1400+ feeds in NewsGator. I drag the items that I like over to a folder named "Blog This." Kunal's OutlookMT (a .NET app) watches that folder and automatically posts anything dragged to it (it'll even post PowerPoint and Word documents).

Right now it works best with Moveable Type, but Kunal is gonna work on other blog backends (I'm pushing him to do Sharepoint, so I could use this at work). You can set it to either reblog the entire item (which got me called a blog content thief) or a portion of each item (which is allowable under fair use laws).

Hope you like it and I'd love some feedback whether this format is of any value to you.

5:31:22 AM    comment 

My coworker Charles Torre is into astronomy and sent me these two sites:

Sloan Digital Sky Survey -- a project to make a map of a large part of the Universe.

SkyQuery -- Uses Web Services to query a variety of databases like the Sky Survey.

5:24:58 AM    comment 

Joe Duffy: "I find Scoble's response pretty ignorant and childish, and akin to a teenage fit of rebellion. Dude, there's a reason legal departments restrict certain things... because there are implications should these safeguards not be put into place. Microsoft owns its IP, and as such can tell anybody what they are or are not able to do with it. Regardless on whose time it occurs."

Joe Wilcox, on the Microsoft Monitor Weblog, called my response "sane."

Duffy: remember, the lawyers do things to reduce risk for the business. Is that really the best thing all the time? No. They tried to kill the MVP program and thousands of customers got so pissed off they wrote to Steve Ballmer. The program was reinstated in a few hours.

I always draw the line on doing the right thing for my readers and Microsoft's customers.

A few more things. Business is about ideas. If you can't voiciferously argue your ideas, then what use is going to work every day? Second, a few people said that I should never argue with my bosses. Sorry, if I see them make a mistake, I'm gonna let them know. If that means that I can't continue working for them anymore, that's a risk I'm willing to take. Many people are not willing to take that risk, but I am. I see it as my responsibility to stick up for customers and readers.

I'm well aware of the risks. Here's another way to look at it. If you're mining gold, you probably need to work with dynamite. Now, if your bosses are too risk adverse, they'll take away your dynamite, which means you can't get any work done. Eventually your gold mine will turn bankrupt. If you aren't careful enough, you'll blow off your hand, or worse.

So, being a good gold miner, as well as a good employee, means finding a careful balance where you can get real work done for your customers without blowing your hand off.

There are more than enough forces at work that'd love to take away my dynamite. I can handle the risk. Luckily my bosses agree. Of course, I know they are watching to see if I blow my hand off, in which case they'll swoop down and put disclaimers on everything that moves. Heh.

5:17:58 AM    comment 

Remember that article I pointed to a couple days ago that was bashing Internet Explorer and Microsoft? It was written by Nigel MacFarlane. Now, look at his bio. Nigel McFarlane is a science and technology writer, analyst, and programmer. He is the author of many articles on Web, XML, JavaScript, and other technologies, and his work has appeared in newspapers, journals, and e-zines. Nigel is also the author of Instant JavaScript, Professional JavaScript and science education material. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Sounds totally unbiased and objective, right? But has anyone looked into this further?

I did. I visited his Website. And found this:

I'm also the world's leading professional commentator on the subject of Mozilla technology.

Why didn't Informit disclose that? Why did they try to hide the fact that MacFarlane is a Mozilla advocate?

Imagine for a moment that I wrote an article praising Longhorn in PC Magazine. Wouldn't you want to know that I'm a "professional commentator" on the topic and that I'm seen as biased on the topic?

I see Dave Winer ran into a similar issue with the Guardian.

Now, note that I'm not against advocacy (I plan on doing a bit myself) but let's get disclosures out there so that readers know where people are coming from.

5:03:34 AM    comment 

The ISV show: Smart Clients.

Hey, my friends on the Longhorn Avalon team are on, along with a venture capitalist, a developer from Kinitos, Inc., and more.

What are Smart Clients? Well, your RSS News Aggregator is probably a Smart Client. Anyway, they go into it in depth and look for business opportunities.

4:51:58 AM    comment 

Sean Gallagher, at Ziff Davis: For whom the blog tolls.

Ahh, another ex-Fawcette guy jumps on the blogging bandwagon (Sean was a co-worker back when we both were at Fawcette Technical Publications). Let's see, that makes Steve Gillmor, me, and Sean Gallagher. Was there something in that Fawcette water that makes good bloggers?

Alright, enough talking about blogs. I'm getting bored by the topic. Oh, wait, I gotta talk about them next week at Internet Planet in New York. Damn, how do you make this topic exciting again?

4:46:39 AM    comment 

Orlando Sentinel: the power of the blog.

4:40:03 AM    comment 

A couple betas appeared this week. Sean Alexander is bragging about Windows Media 10 tech beta. Ken Levy is bragging about the Visual FoxPro beta. Download page link at

4:38:08 AM    comment 

Nike has a commercial blog going -- joint project with Gawker.

4:34:14 AM    comment 

I really messed up the other morning. I didn't get the link to Eric Mack right (he has a new video blog up talking about RSS). To add pain on top of misery, I got his job affiliation wrong too. He's David Allen's technologist. Sorry about that Eric. I owe you dinner. Or at least a couple more links.

4:32:06 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; 12:53:37 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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