Before I head off to bed, I saw a couple of posts about the Microsoft blogger's RSS feed.
Robert McLaws: Microsoft has zero blogging strategy, and it shows.
Michael Koziarski: The problem here is with the feed in question.
Agreed on both counts. I raised the flag about group blogs last year. Last December I even said "group blogs suck."
If you want a long-term presence on the net, it's better to go on your own and have your own domain and control of your stuff. It's more granular, but granularity makes for stronger communities longterm.
Having 1300 bloggers on one feed doesn't seem like a great idea (and the RSS bandwidth problems seem to bear that out). Splitting that up into separate groups seems like a great idea, but hard to do (members of a group get used to the power that comes from being a member of the group -- humans don't like change).
One person, one feed, seems like the best idea (particularly when joined with services like pubsub, feedster, and technorati), but means that discovering bloggers gets harder (and if you make it easy, like Microsoft has, by offering an OPML file with everyone's feed URL in it, then the bandwidth problem is still there, only worse, cause now everyone will subscribe to 1300 feeds instead of only one).
Scott Watermasyk also wanted me to correct something I said earlier. The feeds at weblogs.asp.net and blogs.msdn.com are full text feeds except for the group feed on the home page.
Added into the mix is that my news aggregator of choice, NewsGator, gets very slow when you go over 1000 separate feeds. So, I'm not going to be adding a whole bunch into the mix.
I wonder how the new Microsoft community portal page will change due to the increased number of bloggers? Today we're coming close to 1000 Microsoft employee bloggers.
What happens when we get to 10,000?
I'm off to go down to the Bay Area for the weekend -- will hang out with my son and a few hundred geeks at a private event, then to San Diego for a meeting on Monday. So blogging may be light. Enjoy the weekend.
Loren Heiny talks about the latest Tablet PC in the classroom news from the New York Times. "There's a sea change in educational software that's going to spell great opportunity with the expansion of Tablets in schools." Totally agreed. More news on this front coming soon.
Chris Anderson, from the Avalon team, continues a cross-blog conversation with Miguel de Icaza, of Novell. Interesting conversation for those of you who are interested in Longhorn and Avalon stuff.
Joe Stegman just answered Joel Spolsky's famous "How Microsoft Lost the API War" piece with a few neat demos of upcoming technology for building Windows apps -- Joe's a lead program manager on the Windows Forms team.
"Wait a second Scoble, I thought WinForms was dead," I can already hear some of you saying. In fact, one of my readers just said something like that in one of my comments.
Well, these videos should shoot that myth all to heck and back. WinForms is here, is being invested in, and the next version will see sizeable productivity and quality payoffs for developers. Oh, and WinForms even works with Avalon just fine (Avalon can host WinForms and WinForms can host Avalon UIs, Joe told me).
Just look at the demos. The team has built UI clones of MSN Messenger. Of Microsoft Money. Of Outlook 2003. Of Internet Explorer. And other apps.
Astute viewers will notice the cool RSS news aggregator being demonstrated.
Look at the Outlook sample that Joe shows off. It was built with 100 lines of glue code.
That takes me back to 1992 when I got my first demo of Visual Basic 1.0. One of the Microsofties (I think it was Tom Button) came out to Fawcette's offices (where we published a magazine named BasicPro back then) and showed off just how hard it was to build a Windows app back then (back on Windows 2.0). Just drawing a window on the screen took 400 lines of C code. Only programming gurus could deal with that.
The VB team showed how they could draw a window on screen with only three lines of code. Today nearly every GUI development environment looks like, and works like, the early VB.
That's why I'm so excited to see the latest Windows Forms demos. Programmer productivity is pushed forward yet again. Joe demos how he builds an Outlook clone with about 100 lines of glue code.
Hey, Joel, I think we just found the Windows API.
Want to get the latest news about Halo 2.0? Get your very own Master Chief.
Problem is, I'm in the business of working with influencers, and I don't find this to be true at all. In fact, let me turn it around. Let's assume you were going to buy a car. Would you be influenced by someone who only drove Segways? Of course not. If you were considering a Mercedes, would you consider someone who only drove Ferraris to be authoritative? Of course not.
The thing is that influencers are influential BECAUSE they use EVERYTHING and aren't religious about any one thing. IE, use the best tool for the job kind of people. Heck, even influencers who SHOULD be religious (like, say, Doc Searls who is an editor for Linux Journal) aren't. Doc uses a Mac, is fluent on Windows, and doesn't come across as religious, even when he's trying to!
If you want to be an authority figure you try everything out there and can speak about everything's pros and cons. And, really, if you're a technologist and aren't within a few hundred feet of a Windows machine then either you work at Red Hat or you're a hermit working in the middle of Montana.
It's why I make sure I visit an Apple store every few weeks. It's why I use Linux and Firefox and Opera and Netscape and have a Tivo. It's why I read (and link to) feeds from people who hate me and the company I work for. It's why I ask PHP users why they love PHP (easy string handling is the answer I got at the geek dinner on Saturday evening).
You wanna meet an influencer? Try Peter Rojas of Engadget. Why is he an influencer? Because he tries EVERYTHING under the sun.
But, I'll have more to say on this topic this weekend since I'll be hanging out with 200 of the world's top technology influencers.
Another thought: do you think you can influence Michael Hyatt's technology choices if you don't know the pros and cons of the new Tablet PC software (hint, he's effusive with praise for the Tablet)? He's only the CEO of the fifth largest publishing company in the world. Do you think you can influence him if you tell him "you should switch from using your Tablet to using a Linux-based computer." Do you think you'll be successful if you've never tried the Tablet PC and don't know its pros and cons?
On the other hand, do you think that Michael Hyatt is influential? Damn straight he is. People listen to a CEO of a large company.
Speaking of CEO bloggers, there's a new CEO Blogger blog. Are you the CEO of your company? Do you blog? List your blog there. I found that link at the BigBlogCompany blog. Oh, there's a whole Wiki that lists CEO blogs too. Cool!
Everytime Poynter Institute does EyeTrak research they change how people design media. This time they use their fancy eye tracking machines to look at how people read Web pages. Steve Rubel has the links, including an interview with the guy who ran the study.