Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Saturday, September 18, 2004

Eric Maino is one of the student ambassadors who I spoke with on Friday. He's going to take the Channel 9 guy to the Slashdot offices and take some pictures. Oh, that'll be fun!

The 9 guy has already been to Burning Man, Montreal, the Seattle Library, among other places. We're sending him around the world. We live vicariously through the 9 guy.

Maybe we should hold a contest for the coolest place you can take the 9 guy to?

11:17:34 PM    comment 

Here's a hint of what I'm thinking about Moblogging. Have you seen Andrew Skurka's trip blog? He works at Microsoft Research. Check out his pictures. Note how they are laid on top of a map (you'll have to click on the "go to Andy's layer" link to see them).

This is part of the World-Wide Media eXchange project at Microsoft Research.

Are there any other moblogging projects you know?

10:48:02 PM    comment 

Someone asked me the other day "what's your goal for your weblog?"

I've been thinking about that for a few days and here it is:

I do the Scobleizer to share the software industry with more people.

That's it. That's what's driving me lately. I figure that the more people I get excited about the technology industry, the better.

"But don't you work for Microsoft?" I can hear some of you asking. Well, yes, but let's say that we bring 100 million new users into the software industry. I'd bet that chances are that quite a few of those will buy Microsoft stuff too.

A rising tide raises all boats.

Bill Gates has been saying a lot lately that the next 10 years in the software industry are going to be far more exciting than the past 10. I totally believe that and after hanging out with the best the software industry has to offer the past week at two different events, you all better hold onto your mice.

10:40:27 PM    comment 

Sometimes people tell me that newbies to Weblogging have no hope of getting any audience. I tell them that's hogwash. Dan Appleman showed me how it's done. He started a blog just a few weeks ago and already he's been high on my referer log all week long.

Why? This post where he augmented my hype about Windows Forms. Of course, Appleman has an advantage: he's already a major authority in the computer programming world. He wrote THE book for Visual Basic programmers back in the early 90s (The Visual Basic Programmer's Guide to the Windows API). He founded a software company, Desaware, that sold very popular components for VB and VC++ all through the 90s. He started a book company, Apress, which is well respected among the programmer crowds.

He gained an audience because he is an authority.

But you can be an authority too!

Yesterday I was speaking to some of the Microsoft Student Ambassadors and I told them to learn Linux. Learn the Macintosh. Whoa, this was from a Microsoft employee? At a Microsoft event? Why? To become authorities that people would listen to.

After all, who will listen to someone who only knows Microsoft technologies? One guy spoke up and said he converted a department to Sharepoint because he uses a Macintosh and knew Linux backward and forward. Translation: they listened to him because he obviously knew the market.

I told the guys who run the Student Ambassador program that they should buy all the student ambassadors Linux computers. (I also told them they should make sure the students have the latest Tablet PCs).

To their credit they urged the students to do just what I urged: learn all systems. And they said they wouldn't be penalized for talking about Linux or Apple products on their campuses and, in fact, they are looking for real authorities for next year's program. This year's crop of ambassadors were very authoritative on their own right, I was most impressed (although it took me wearing an Apple shirt into the presentation to loosen them up enough so they started talking about their full range of computing experiences with me).

So, if you're a Macintosh enthusiast, or a Linux enthusiast on your college campus, consider joining the Student Ambassador program next year.

To bring this post full circle: I challenged the students to start weblogs. About 1/3 already had blogs. I told the students that having a blog would create relationships in a faster, and more scalable way, than anything they could do and that building relationships while in college will probably be the most important thing they'll do (the relationships I built in college have meant everything to my career and life).

Why? Because if you're, say, a computer science student, what's a better way to show the world what you've learned? Sending out resumes? Or blogging? Emailing your friends? Or blogging? Speaking to a user group on your campus? Or blogging? Speaking at a conference with 300 people? Or blogging?

One link from a computer science authority, say, Dan Appleman, and you'll be on the map. Just one link. Do you think you could say something to get someone like Mitch Kapor or Dan Appleman or Raymond Chen to link to you? Just one of these guys linking to you could lead to thousands of people in the industry visiting your blog.

One other datapoint? Dan's only been blogging for a few weeks and already if you search on his name his blog comes up third on Google, and fourth on MSN Search, despite all of Dan's previous work in the industry. That's just amazing to me.

10:17:16 PM    comment 

Dave Winer and I hung out at the ballgame today (here's Dave's pictures). Fun day/game, even though the Mariners lost.

Lots of talk about BloggerCon.

We spent a bit of time on "what is a moblog?"

I'm noodling around on some ideas that'll make a great moblog session. Would love your thoughts.

So, what happens when you mix a blog, a GPS, a picture phone, a map, a camera, a portable PC or a Treo or a PocketPC or a Palm device?

How is a blog that you do while moving around different from a blog you do while sitting at home?

7:12:46 PM    comment 

Hugh Macleod: It occurs to me that my opinion of Microsoft has risen considerably in the last year.


You heard it here first. Fire your ad agency. Hire a blogger who knows what he's doing.

That leads me to something else. I need to put out a press policy. Yeah, I'm in trouble with the press. I haven't been answering them back and have been forwarding them off to our public relations agency, Waggener Edstrom. I feel bad about that, and need to make it clearer.

I will not grant any more interviews unless Waggener Edstrom is contacted first and asks me to grant an interview.

So, I need to write up a "Scobleizer Press FAQ."

Q: How do I get an interview with you?

A: Contact Waggener Edstrom. Here's the page with all the contacts for Microsoft.

Q: Why aren't you talking to the press?

A: For a variety of reasons, biggest of all is that it's in my employment contract that I not talk to the press without prior PR approval.

Q: But you talk to bloggers all the time, aren't they also press?

A: Yes.

Q: So, why can you write a blog, but you can't grant interviews?

A: I am writing in the public and everyone has equal access to the information I post in the public. If I grant interviews, that means I'm treating one person or corporation better than another. Not good.

Q: So, what if I ask you a question on my blog, will you answer it?

A: Maybe, but the answer will be done in public and on my blog so everyone has equal access to my ideas.

Q: So, isn't that the same as an interview?

A: Yes, but without exclusivity. Anyone could quote my blog then.

Q: Can I quote your blog in my news article?

A: Yes!

Q: If I send you email and ask for an interview, will you answer it?

A: No, but I will forward it to Waggener Edstrom so they'll know of your interest.

Q: But what if I need your response faster than that?

A: Post a question in my comments. I'll answer those in my comments or on my blog.

Q: What if I meet you at a conference or a weblog dinner?

A: I will not grant exclusive interviews anymore, sorry. If I'm speaking in public, you're welcome to quote me, but if you want exclusive information from me, we'll need to arrange something through Waggener Edstrom.

Q: When you write on your blog, is this an official Microsoft position?

A: No. My writings here are not vetted by Microsoft, and are not official. Often they aren't even correct (although I do try to be as correct as possible and will correct mistakes when I learn that I made one).

Any other questions? I'm going to put this on a separate page and link to it from my linkbar so that everyone will be clear. Please post a question or comment here and I'll add my answer to the FAQ.

7:07:22 PM    comment 

On a separate mailing list the release of Fable for the Xbox Live has generated heavy traffic. This isn't available yet at the company store, so employees have been traveling down to Fry's in Renton to get their copy. Early reviews are "it's worth the 1.5 hours spent in traffic."

Major Nelson, the programming guy on the Xbox Live team, says he hasn't been able to stop playing it. If you get HIS attention with a game, that's significant. The guy has access to every Xbox game known to mankind.

11:27:12 AM    comment 

Microsoft's Streets and Trips 2005 with GPS Locator is the hottest thing at the company store right now. When it was first put on shelves there employees bought all available stock in minutes. Now there are some interesting discussions happening about what to do with GPS's and mapping. (The new version comes with a GPS unit for a pretty low price).

Here's some of the software that people have been talking about on one of our internal mailing lists:

CoPilot Live for Pocket PC
TomTom. Software for mobile devices
There is a free product called Advanced GPS that will add the ability to hear turn-by-turn navigation info to MapPoint...So, if you get the Streets and Trips with GPS and then have MapPoint you get all the turn-by-turn, voice, auto re-route features everyone wants. There is a $10 registration if you want to get a better version of the Re-Route feature.

I'm gonna pick one up on Monday.

11:21:15 AM    comment 

Adam Barr, the guy who wrote the book about Microsoft titled "Proudly Serving My Corporate Masters" is now back at Microsoft again and also just started an interesting blog. Does he really have a set of DOS 1.0 disks? That's cool.

11:15:07 AM    comment 

The future of Google weblog (not done by Google): "Let's see if [Scoble] will notice [his trackback]."

In other news, someone left their digital camera in a taxi and now someone else is taking the images off of that camera and putting them up on the net on the "I found some of your life" blog.

John Viega, over on O'Reilly's Security Dev Center, writes: Open Source Security: Still a Myth.

One blogger, Ding Deng, says I'm wrong. He says when he searches Google for his name he's not on the first page. So, here's an experiment. I'm linking to him. Let's see if it still takes two weeks for Google's spider to find him and get him in the index. I bet it's even faster now. He's in China and I've also subscribed to him.

I'm outta here, going to the baseball game today (Mariners vs. A's).

10:46:16 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; 12:56:59 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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