Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Saturday, August 14, 2004

Oh, God, I'm now a Photoshop contest! Thanks Darren. Heh.

Unfortunately the picture isn't correct. I don't own any stock right now in any company (got some vested options in Microsoft, though).

11:58:47 PM    comment 

I'm very honored to have John Dvorak of PC Magazine reading my blog.

Wacky. I remember meeting John on the set of TechTV one day. He told my son "the secret to being a TV star is to get the camera to pay attention to you." Or something close to that.

Anyway, he says he never said he hated blogs. I think I remember Shel Israel's letter to him. Sorry about that.

8:44:19 PM    comment 

It's weird, but Kunal (the guy who designed the drag-an-item-to-a-folder-in-Outlook-and-publish-it-to-a-blog technology tells me there's more people reading my link blog than are reading my blog here.

I really miss being able to give full-text versions of everything on that blog. But, oh well. Kunal's tool seems to be working well.

Susan Bradley found the Intuit Quickbooks Blog among the 200 things that I posted.

That's worthy of an additional callout here. Nice blog! Hey, where's the Microsoft Money blog?

Update: I fixed this message to say that it was a Quickbooks blog. Sorry for the confusion.

8:20:25 PM    comment 

Phil says my blog talked him into buying an Xbox.

Cool. I wish I could tell you what my son and I are playing on ours, but if we told you we'd have to, um, well let's just say it's best we didn't discuss it here.

My gamertag is "Scobleizer" though. See ya online!

7:31:21 PM    comment 

Ahh, Slashdot has already started the "XPSP2 isn't secure enough" stories.

Personally, I'm much more pragmatic. Most users I know aren't using ANY firewall, so getting them to use ANY firewall is better than none at all.

This is why I interviewed Dan Appleman, co-founder of Apress books, and author of Always Use Protection, a book that teaches teenagers how to be secure online.

Other early reactions to XPSP2 are being tracked by Todd Bishop.

XPSP2 is far beyond just a firewall, though. I highly recommend that you install it, even if you have an industrial-strength firewall. Please note, by the way, that XPSP2's firewall protected against all attacks that came from outside the computer. That's 10x more security than you have if you don't have any firewall at all.

7:28:30 PM    comment 

Lots of people have been IM'ing me the latest rumors of an Apple Tablet PC. Dang, Steve Jobs takes a month off and the rumors start right up!

It'll be interesting to see what Apple actually does in this space. I think it'd be nuts for Apple to not do one. You should see all the stories about students in various colleges using Tablet PCs. That's one of Apple's bread-and-butter markets. The other one is publishing, and if Larry's ArtRage site is any indication, folks who do graphic design take right to Tablet PCs too! I tell ya, if Steve Jobs had Art Rage he'd make it seem like 1984 all over again. It's the single coolest app I've seen lately and it's free.

7:18:55 PM    comment 

Ever since Michael Gartenberg recommended a new book about Microsoft titled "Microsoft Rebooted" by Robert Slater. I've been looking forward to getting my hands on a copy (Todd Bishop, of the Seattle PI, also had an interesting article about the book). Today I read half of the book while waiting for my son to get out of the YuGiOh movie this afternoon. It rang pretty true with me. I would have loved to have heard him get some inside scoops on the arguing about whether or not to allow blogging. In fact, what was weird was that the whole book had a thesis: that Microsoft is changing into a nicer, easier to approach company, and blogs and Channel 9 would have been good evidence of that change, but he didn't mention either. Interesting ommission, me thinks.

7:09:44 PM    comment 

John Dvorak (hey, he's blogging, I thought he hated blogs): Microsoft takes down SP2 swappers.

My response? As much as I love BitTorrent I have to side with whoever made this decision. There's too much risk in letting other people distribute your software. What would happen if your mom downloaded what she thought was XPSP2 but got a virus instead? Are most people technical enough to know whether they got a file that is an original authentic file? I don't think so.

It's far better for you to get it the official way: visit and turn on automatic updating.

6:59:55 PM    comment 

Chris Pirillo is praising his new Portable Media Center. Oh, he better bring that to his Gnomedex conference! Hey, Chris, go out and get some Etymotic headphones for that sucker. Then you'll really have the best-of-breed sound and video experience.

6:50:04 PM    comment 

My feeds on Bloglines are now up to date -- that's a really nice blogroll now. Got the number down to about 820 instead of 1450. Much more manageable. By the way, I'm now looking for new stuff to add to my subscription list. Now that my list is lean and mean I can add more great people. Before it was too unweildy. If you just want my OPML file, that's here.

Speaking of good blogs, I see that Rob Zelt isn't happy with my new Alerts. Well, I never sent out any alerts until they changed the system to be automatic. Agreed that that isn't optimal either. I wish my readers could vote on what's good in the blogosphere so alerts could go out when someone like me does publish something alertworthy.

Update: Bloglines is still showing my old list, turns out that the database takes a while to update the display. In the meantime, I've just uploaded 200 items to my link blog. Hope you're having a great weekend!

3:08:57 PM    comment 

When Dave Winer visited my office last week he snapped a picture of me. Then Adam Kinney modified it. I love it!

Update: there's a thread over on Channel 9 which shows the original and discusses it.

2:35:35 PM    comment 

First there was Friendster. Then there was Linked In. Then Orkut. And Tribe and Ryze and a few others. Now the latest craze that a ton of my friends and readers keep sending me emails about is "Multiply." Yeah, I've joined. I still don't get social networking, though. If you have a blog you're already entered into the best social network the world has ever known.

2:24:18 PM    comment 

I was very honored to be asked to guest blog on Fast Company magazine's blog over the past couple of days. Thanks to Heath Row for doing that. I wasn't the only one who blogged over there either. The blog got much more interesting over the past couple of days.

While over there I see that Craig Newmark, founder of, sold 25% of his company to eBay.

I met Craig at the Blogon Conference. I thanked him for his service. I got my job at NEC on Craigslist (which led pretty directly to the Microsoft job here). It's amazing to see the something that started as a hobby now is a multimillion dollar business.

Congrats Craig!

Update: actually it wasn't Craig's share that was sold. A former employee had acquired 25% of the company and sold his share. Oh. Well, congrats. Hope that the service remains the fun service it always has been.

2:16:57 PM    comment 

Does blogging turn around PR? Well, Weatherbug is an annoying app that I always close on my computer (it came with AOL's instant messenger). It's not annoying me enough to get uninstalled, but it is annoying. Anyway, I see that the Weatherbug team is blogging.

That has changed my attitude toward their app. For one, I know there's real humans who've done this and it's not some faceless bureacracy somewhere inside AOL or another big company. So, I know who to complain to.

But, it's even better. I see that these folks are really passionate about the Weather. They are authorities on the weather. That makes me far less likely to uninstall this app, even though it is somewhat annoying.

This is powerful marketing.

2:07:43 PM    comment 

Buzz just called me from Orlando Florida. He's been blogging the hurricane. Says it's incredible the damage (and the wind noise last night).

Doc Searls is pointing to other "Charleyblogs."

2:01:38 PM    comment 

I'm back. I've been working hard on finding ways to be more productive. One way is to get back to following David Allen's techniques. Another way is to cut down the number of feeds that I have. I spent probably 10 hours looking at all my feeds this week and getting rid of many of them. I've just put my new OPML file with my 860 feeds online. I've also uploaded them to Dave Winer's Feeds Site (you should upload your OPML there too). Finally, I'm working on getting this updated feed onto my Blogline account.

So, how did I pick the surviving feeds? Easy, for the last few months I've been looking at which feeds I really read. Those stayed. Then, I looked for feeds I could get rid of. Haven't updated in more than two months? Gone. Don't put full-text in the feed? Probably gone unless you're Chris Pirillo or the New York Times. Translation, I'll only put up with that behavior if your content is good.

You'll see very few commercial feeds now in my aggregator. Why? Because I found I didn't read many of those sites there. Slashdot, for instance, sucks in my aggregator (they say I poll too often and give me errors, even though I only poll once per day). The content there, though, is very interesting to me. I also visit;; Google News; Technorati News in the browser. Why those in the browser and not in RSS? They change too often. Plus, I find that anything good on those sites gets talked about on the blogs anyway.

I also removed anyone who is on a group blog (for instance, if your blog is on I pulled you off to make room since you're already showing up in my aggregator on the group blog).


Deleting feeds from both Bloglines and NewsGator really really sucks. Bloglines won't let me delete more than about 50 feeds at a time (it just sits there and does nothing if you try to delete more). NewsGator takes about 30 seconds to delete one feed and if you try to delete large groups just sits there and smiles at you too.

I think I'm gonna start importing my OPML file into all the other aggregators and then try to delete more than half the feeds and see how it goes.

If you can't delete feeds, you can't manage feeds and if you can't manage feeds then the whole damn aggregator business is screwed. If I weren't a bleeding edge early adopter type I'd have uninstalled all my aggregators and just gone back to a browser by now.

We need better feed management. Adding more feeds and leaving the old ones in there isn't a solution.

Speaking of feeds, I've gone through all my feeds and found about 200 of the best items from all my feeds and they are uploading now to my experimental aggregator blog. Unfortunately if you want to see all 200 items you'll need to visit in a browser because RSS will only show the most recent 75 items.

The nice thing about all this work now is that now I can start looking for new feeds.

First thing I'm going to do is add a whole bunch of search feeds. I want to compare the search capabilities of, and In my early tests I've been getting slightly better results from and want to test out a large number of search terms and see if that trend holds true. That way too I'll be able to get to read a wider range of blogs, not just the ones I know about (those engines look at hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of blogs).

1:55:39 PM    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; 12:56:06 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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