Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Michael Gartenberg: "this one's a little tricky Robert. There are times when a single event necessitates a person's termination."

Yeah, you're right, but generally I'd like there to be an unambiguous example of when someone crossed the line if they are fired. The fact that there is resounding negative PR (that continues to this hour, just do a Feedster or PubSub search) for Friendster tells me that this was badly handled and/or communicated.

As a manager they should be worried more about the signal it sends to the other employees. If I worked at Friendster now I'd be stepping up my job search efforts cause I wouldn't want to work for an employer that treated employees as something to be tossed aside when there's the first hint of negative PR.

But, there's probably another side to the story on the Friendster issue that we're not hearing -- HR is usually silenced due to threats of lawsuits, etc.

Heck, I got quoted in Time Magazine for telling Bill Gates to split up the company. One thing I like about Microsoft is that it likes a diversity of ideas to rumble through the buildings here. The fact that I wasn't fired (or even reprimanded) sent a signal to all the bloggers here that you're welcome to take some risks and make some mistakes.

That takes real business courage and I'm glad my management is experienced enough to see that good things come from that kind of support of risk-taking behavior.

11:01:54 PM    comment 

Microsoft Monitor's Joe Wilcox: "Microsoft lied to me last week--and that's a good thing!"

Whew, glad he got XPSP2.

10:48:30 PM    comment 

Watching the Longhorn news go through the blogosphere on Friday was very interesting. RSS sure is changing how news propogates. It started at 9:00 a.m. when Mary Jo Foley and posted stories. I think it took a couple of minutes before the first blogger reacted (Julia Lerman's blog was first that I saw).

The propogation seemed to increase exponentially throughout the day and then the numbers of new posts from new bloggers slowed down, but the second wave (the analysis) started up.

The interesting thing is that the invisible information networks were already buzzing the evening before. Friends of mine who were here would ask "what's going on?" Information was being traded over IM, in the hallways, over phones, in email, before the story ever hit the blogosphere.

I find this to be absolutely fascinating and portends that companies will now need to figure out this new PR world. By the time the first article gets written the story is already being told to thousands of people through these word-of-mouth networks.

How about for you? Anyone studying how news propogates? How best to handle news situations where the interest level is over the top high?

For me, it all starts with my aggregator. If you're in PR now and not watching what several hundred of your best customers are saying about you you're at a severe disadvantage.

9:59:28 AM    comment 

I can't even imagine working the same place for 20 years, but Larry Osterman had his 20-year anniversary of working at Microsoft the other day. Lots of interesting stories on his blog. Congrats!

9:35:33 AM    comment 

Yesterday NEC announced (in Japanese) its new 1.9 pound Tablet PC. This is the one that execs at Microsoft are drooling over (lowly guys like me can't afford the $2800 price).

This is a good chance to remind everyone about the cool Tablet PC sites:

Tablet PC Talk
Tablet PC Buzz
Tablet PC Questions
Tablet PC 2

These all are great resources for people interested in Tablet PCs -- most have translations of the NEC announcements on their home pages right now.

9:32:21 AM    comment 

Heh, the Black Eyed Peas played at the Democratic National Convention.

Song they played? "Let's get something started." Funny thing, that's the G-rated version of their song "Let's get retarded in here."

I love the Black Eyed Peas.

Update: oh, duh, I messed this one up. Turned out they played at the DNC, not the RNC. Oh well. I like the "uncensored" version better.

9:23:30 AM    comment 

ZDnet's John Spooner reviews new Tablet PC software, finds it "easier to use."

9:20:02 AM    comment 

Apple announced a new iMac today.

Personally, why get this when you can actually get a Tablet PC that you can take off your desk and walk around with? For instance, the Averatec Tablet PC is about $50 more than the new iMac, but is a whole lot more useful.

Particularly in schools where you need students to actually take notes with a pen rather than with just a keyboard.

9:18:17 AM    comment 

Troutgirl was fired from Friendster for blogging.

That's weird. I'm more of the firing-is-a-nuclear-weapon-never-to-be-used style of person. If a manager fires someone that should be the last in a very long string of attempts to get an employee to turn around.

And, along that vein, I'd never fire someone for blogging. I'd make sure there were at least three other reasons for firing first. Why? Because if you fire someone for blogging you just guarantee that you'll make them a martyr and you'll do horrid damage to your brand.

Just like Friendster just did to their brand. Look at my link blog for swift and negative reaction from around the blogosphere.

9:04:16 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; 12:56:48 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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