One nice thing about being in the blogger world is that you don't need to write up a trip report to show that you actually attended the conference that your company paid for you to go to. Here, for instance, Internet News.com reports on the panel discussion I participated in: Advice for Blogging Newbies.
I talked a bit about Channel9. In talking with Steve Rubel's employer (Cooper and Katz) on Wednesday morning before the Internet Planet conference, I realized just what was special about Channel9: we put a human face on our customers.
It's funny, but that's not what we really set out to do. Channel9 was supposed to put a human face on Microsoft. You know, let you watch videos and talk with Microsoft employees.
But lots of other companies have done that and not hit the nerve that Channel9 has. When I was looking at Channel9 up on Cooper and Katz's projection screen during my talk it hit me: our customers get their pictures on the top of the home page. And they can do whatever they want in the Wiki. They have a strong voice on this site.
Now, compare that to any other corporate site. Even Microsoft's. Or, even other groundbreaking weblog efforts like Nike's Art of Speed weblog. Where's the customers?
Isn't there a subtle message there that says "we only want you to buy our stuff, we don't want to hear from you?"
If there's something innovative about Channel9 it's that. Who deserves credit for that? Jeff Sandquist. If there's one guy who deserves a raise, it's Jeff for coming up with that idea. If the past 12 months have been all about weblogs (BusinessWeek, for instance, just wrote about corporate weblogs), the next 12 months will see more and more sites do just what Channel9 did: put the customer up front.
Darren Foong asks us all to remove the links to his blog. Um, Darren, sorry, that's not how this all works. Once I put a blog to bed it stays that way forever.
It's a valuable lesson to learn, though. If you publish a blog that isn't protected behind a password wall you'll get found by Google, Technorati, Feedster, Pubsub, Daypop, NewsGator, and other services. Once you've been found you'll get read. Once you get read, you'll get linked to (and Google and other services will cache your words).
It has nothing to do with respect. It has to do with how the Internet works, and how accepted behavior on the weblogs works. If you weren't a 12-year-old kid I'd be giving you heck right now for removing something that you published. Sorry, that's not good weblogging behavior. It's sorta like going to a cocktail party, getting drunk, calling the boss's wife a slut, and then trying to take it all back the next morning.
It's a good lesson for kids to learn, though. What you say on the Internet stays permanently on the Internet for all to see and read (and search for).
Heh, MSDN Magazine's Editor-in-Chief Joshua Trupin is on MSN Messenger. His IM title?
MSDNMag 1, Raymond Chen 0!!!!
If you don't get what's funny about that, then you haven't read Joel Spolsky's rant yet.
Nick Bradbury and I (and others), back in the mid-1990s, had legendary fights in Fawcette's newsgroups about whether Visual Basic or Delphi was the right way to go.
He's the guy who did FeedDemon, TopStyle, and HomeSite.
He was right. I was wrong. Delphi was best and I'm glad he went with the tool that was most productive for him (I've been using his stuff ever since).
Today he appears to be fighting a similar fight (he picked up on Joel's rant and now is saying that .NET would be suicide for him to use right now).
Will I engage him again and try to convince him that .NET is the right tool to use? Nope, I don't need to. He writes later "I'll move to .NET eventually when it makes more sense to do so."
Note, though, that he isn't showing that he'll move to being a Web developer. Whoa, where's Joel Spolsky? I think Nick Bradbury stole my API war.
Heh, Bungie turns the table on a game journalist who came to Microsoft to learn the latest about Halo 2.
Gamers Circle asks, about Microsoft's game console strategy: "Is Microsoft about to shoot itself in the foot?"
They point out that Sega's Dreamcast was out before Sony's PS/2 yet the PS/2 cleaned up in the industry.
Interesting points. It'll be interesting to watch this all play out.
The reaction to Joel Spolsky's "has Microsoft lost the API war?" rant continues to flow in. Here's Jim Fawcette's take.
I love the Bill Clinton quote he uses: When ideologues find themselves in a hole, they dig harder.
Joe Beda's defense of the rich client is up (he's on the Avalon team).
Don Park apologizes for staying quiet while Dave Winer shut down 3000 blogs and gotten taken to hell and back for doing so.
I too stayed quiet. I'm sorry about doing that too.
For one, I was out of town and didn't have the ability to get into it. I avoided talking about Joel Spolsky's rant for the same reason.
But, I really should have gotten involved.
Why? I'm a technology industry customer first and that's the point of view I try to take. When there are technology users in pain, we should do whatever we can to take care of them. I failed to jump in and help, and for that, I'm sorry.
I also failed to come to the defense and help of a friend (Dave Winer) and for that I'm doubly sorry. Some of the stuff I saw written about him in the past week was totally disgusting.
I failed the users. I failed Dave. Shame on me.
Scott McNulty: "I was just Punk'd by one of the most influential people in the tech industry." Interesting story about his encounter with Esther Dyson.
Speaking of which, we'll have another dinner on Monday night here in Bellevue at the Crossroads. Everyone's invited. 6:30 p.m.
Guest of honor? Security expert Dana Epp.
ActiveWin has an interview with Steve Ballmer. Dang, not even Channel9 has been able to land that yet.
I watched Cory Doctorow's speech today (he spoke at Microsoft yesterday, but they record all of our official speeches so we can watch them on our intranet).
He mentioned my blog. I'm honored. Alex Barnett has the links to Cory's notes, my posts, and more.
My reaction? Cory is right. DRM is not something that users want. At least not if you frame it that way (someone in the audience framed it another way, though: do you want your private email protected? How about your medical documents?.
Cory wants us to bully the RIAA and push a format that is easily copyable (for music, at least). He says that's exactly what the VCR industry did (yes, he says, they got sued, and won, and were repaid hansomely in the marketplace). Interesting argument. I don't agree with Cory that that'd be a good thing for Microsoft to do. I want to see us avoid the courtroom if at all possible and avoid situations where we're bullying anyone.
Michael Hyatt, CEO of the ninth largest publishing company in the world, talks about eight things you can do in a meeting with a Tablet PC.
On a funnier note, him and Christopher Coulter have a conversation about mentions of Tablets in the bible.
Eric King is putting up video blogs from the recent Microsoft MVP Summit (Eric doesn't work for Microsoft, just is an enthusiastic customer). I watched him do the Chris Anderson interview. He had a lot better equipment than what we use on Channel9.
Now that really good digital camcorders are under $500 I think video blogging for friends and family will really take off. Who is gonna have the equivilent of "Ofoto" in this space?
Of course Joel Spolsky's article is already a very popular topic for discussion over on Channel9 too.
Whew, 12 hours of traveling kicked my behind (I flew into SFO to pick up my son and then onto Seattle). One thing I did was catch up on reading news feeds. The best 80 or so are being posted now to my link blog. Good reading for the weekend.
One thing that I missed, but lots of others didn't, was Joel Spolsky's long and interesting rant on how Microsoft has lost the API war.
I'll answer Joel this weekend, but I see Robert McLaws has already stuck up for the "MSDN Magazine camp." (Robert is a customer of Microsoft's, so interesting to see his opinion).
You can see other people's comments over on my link blog. Oh, here's another couple. Joe Beda of the Avalon team tells me he's working on a response. Coming shortly.
Dare Obasanjo (he works on the XML team here at Microsoft).
Chris Anderson. (He works on the Avalon team here at Microsoft).
Anyone else have an opinion on Joel's article? Leave the URL in my comments.