Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Saturday, December 18, 2004

David Sohigian works at PeopleSoft.

Daivd Sohigian blogs about PeopleSoft's takeover by Oracle.

David Sohigian is looking for ways to find PeopleSoft's employees new jobs. (He estimates that 3,000 to 6,000 of his coworkers will lose their jobs in the next few months).

This is great blogging. I wanna help him and his coworkers out. Got any jobs for PeopleSoft'ers? Get in touch with David. Better yet, post any open jobs on your blog and link to David's blog. He'll see your link in Technorati. So will I.

PeopleSoft employees: David is collecting resumes of his coworkers so that as he works with hiring directors he can help you get noticed. Personally, you should go even one better. Don't look desperate (I've been there, it's tough to do, but it looks better if you just play up your strengths). Instead, just link to David's blog and say "I'm a PeopleSoft employee and here's my resume." David will build an RSS search for "PeopleSoft employee" and will make sure that the hiring groups he's in touch with sees all the bloggers that also have a resume linked on their weblog. Don't have a blog? Start one.

Or, leave a comment here and David will see that too.

10:23:01 PM    comment 

Doc Searls does a bunch of writing on the pay-for-blogging marketing question that's been going around the blogosphere lately.

Personally I think that what Marqui did was brilliant. It'll work a few more times for other companies. But then it'll be old. This worked because it was a new and fresh approach. It got Marqui in my head. In fact, for somewhere around $100,000 Marqui got a lot of mindshare that it takes bigger and more established companies far longer to get.

Is there ROI in blogging? Well, I know Marqui's name and can even spell it now. Quick, name three competitors to the iPod. Couldn't name even one, could you? No, Sean Alexander, you aren't allowed to answer that question! (Sean's a group program manager on the Windows Media marketing team).

10:11:52 PM    comment 

Warner is a theatre director (artistic director) of Wayside Theatre in Middletown, VA, USA. He's also an avid TabletPC enthusiast and an MSN Spaces blogger. Nice to see another Tablet PC revolutionary blogging.

See, how do you start a revolution? One link at a time!Er, I guess that should be "one 'ink' at a time!" :-)

9:57:46 PM    comment 

Another way to put it? I don't care that it "plays for sure." I just wanna be like Ludicris. Oh, and saying that devices are cool is quite a bit different than being cool. Got it?

One thing we're doing half-way right is the MSN Music Store. At least there's a lot of musicians listed here. But, why can't I skin this site? Why am I stuck with Microsoft's boring Web design feel? Even here, though, Apple is ahead. Look at iTunes' site. Which one is cooler? MSN Music or iTunes?

9:50:37 PM    comment 

iPods might be sold out worldwide, but Steve Jobs can always get one. Why do I say that? Well, Patrick and I snuck into the Apple store about a mile from Jobs' Palo Alto, California, house and found mounds and mounds of iPods waiting to be purchased.

Speaking of iPods, Engadget has a comparison of the iRiver H10 vs the iPod mini.

Personally, I am sad at the lack of thought going into music players' marketing. "Act like Apple" seems to be all we're able to do. In fact, if our ads were as cool as Apple's I wouldn't be able to complain a week before Christmas but they aren't even close. Heck, our marketing isn't even in the same UNIVERSE! And, yes, I'd tell this to Steve Ballmer's face.

Can't we think creatively? Hell, Apple said "think different" right? Why are we so unable to do something different?

Yesterday I drove from San Jose to Petaluma (about a two-hour drive from Silicon Valley to California's wine country) and back. Along the way I saw four iPod billboards. Apple is going all out with marketing.

I also saw two billboards for the Creative Zen Micro.

I'm sorry, but Creative's advertising just isn't very creative and if that gets me in trouble for saying so, I'll deal with the consequences, but the Creative billboards don't build on a campaign. Apple's is a holistic effort that ties in a single message in all of its marketing for the iPod (think about it, all you need to see is some white cords dangling from someone's ears and you know EXACTLY what product it is -- Creative's doesn't even get close to building such an endearing image in your mind).

Apple is positioning its product as a cultural movement. "Wearing white headphone cords say you're cool" is what Apple's advertising is saying. They imply "you can be like Bono." What's cooler than that?

So, what the rest of the industry needs to do is make white headphone cords seem "old" and "out-of-style." At least if they care about being in the same universe as Apple (hint: big sales, big respect, big profits).

That's not gonna be easy, but let's have some fun trying, can't we? So far I haven't seen it. For instance, let's head over to Microsoft's Portable Media Player page. Does anything there say "revolutionary?" Or "cultural?" Or "cool?" Nope, not even close!

Does anything there tell you that wearing white headphone cables is "uncool?" Or, at minimum, "not the coolest?"

Listen, music is all about CULTURE!

Steve Jobs gets this. Bigtime. How do I know that? He owns a movie studio that is kicking the movie industry's ass.

Look at the Apple iPod page.

It says "the best just got better." Positioning 101.

Microsoft's page has a picture of a runner. Huh? What point does that make? Oh, devices for "on the go?" That's NOT why people are buying iPods. Has the marketing people even thought about the images they are putting up and what will get kids like my son to drool over an iPod?

They are buying iPods to listen to U2. AC/DC. The Black Eyed Peas. The Beetles. Eminem.

If I were in charge of Microsoft's marketing for this page I'd get rid of the whole Microsoft look. You need something wild. Something CULTURAL. Heck, visit Eminem's Web page. That's far cooler than the Microsoft page. Or, look at Ludacris. They are at the top of Billboard's charts right now (Billboard keeps track of which musical groups are the hottest selling). I wanna buy the music player that Ludacris is using. Hint: I bet it's an iPod. Well, even if it's not, does the Windows Media page tell me differently?

For those of you who want to sell like the iPod: start by thinking about how to create a cultural movement.

Let's take a lesson from the geek dinners. I learned that if you get three people who a lot of people want to have dinner with that you'll have a large interesting group.

So, I'd start by getting three musicians who everyone knows and respects and build a marketing campaign around them.

Is this rocket science? Am I off my rocker?

9:36:26 PM    comment 

I'm outta here, be back tomorrow. Maryam's mom had successful knee surgery yesterday. Gonna take Patrick out and do something fun. Last night we went out for sushi in San Francisco. The sushi chef was completely suprised that Patrick liked wasabi. That's my boy!

In the meantime, however, over on the Red Couch book blog, we're asking for ideas on an "extreme marketing makeover" case study.

2:55:15 PM    comment 

Joe Wilcox: who do you listen to?

He makes the point that companies shouldn't JUST listen to bloggers because bloggers are biased toward the technically proficient. That's true, but I sense it's changing big time. The questions I'm getting now aren't just from developers, but from normal everyday users.


Simple: Google.

When normal people go looking for help, they search Google.

Look at my referers.

But, don't worry about Microsoft. Next week over on Channel 9 we'll run a series of interviews with John Pruitt. He's doing user testing. They have a whole methodology so that they find users that properly represent their user base.

The point is, though, that bloggers pull in the mass market. How? Well, the passionate ones have a lot of influence in the market. Well, that and people like Steven Levy of Newsweek are reading blogs.

Oh, and keep in mind that I'm surrounded by "non-technical users" that I keep dragging into this world and, oh yeah, the MSN Spaces Team is designing a blogging tool. So, it makes TOTAL SENSE for them to design their product based on blogging feedback.

Now, should, say, the Tablet 2006 version, er Longhorn, be influenced by bloggers? I say yes. Why? Because the most passionate users are either doing blogs, hanging out on blogs, or are nearby on Google and MSN.

What do you think?

2:46:00 PM    comment 

Oh, I know this one too well too. Mike Torres loaded ArtRage on his Tablet PC and lost his Tablet PC for the weekend cause all the kids wanted to play.

2:31:21 PM    comment 

John Dvorak: Understanding and Reading a Blog for Newcomers.

You know, I'm meeting more and more people who are just getting into blogging for the first time.

Someone on my comments asked why I'm not talking about Longhorn "aren't you a Longhorn evangelist?" he asked. It bothered him that I talk about blogging all the time.

Well, see, I'm passionate about blogging. Right now I'm not running Longhorn. It's not ready to run. There's a lot of work being done on it, but there's not much to say at this point. When I get passionate about Longhorn again, you'll know. By the way, I'm not specifically a Longhorn Evangelist. The people who work for Steve Cellini fit that bill. What am I? A platform evangelist. I work with software developers to build stuff on Microsoft's platforms. Today that's .NET and Windows.

But, this blog isn't my job. It's my hobby. It's what I'm passionate about. My job is keeping Channel 9 running.

Anyway, right now I'm checking out Pablo Mendigochea's new site: It's a collection of shortcuts for the MSN Deskbar. Cool.

2:30:18 PM    comment 

I was traveling yesterday, but today when I got on my computer I have quite a few emails saying if you want a great example of why people hate Microsoft read this.

Thanks to everyone who sent me that.

I agree. In fact, I've learned over and over and over and over NOT to send bad news in email. Be courageous and meet face-to-face, or if that's not possible, call up.

Sorry MacSlash for not being more human here.

2:13:37 PM    comment 

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© Copyright 2005
Robert Scoble
My cell phone: 425-205-1921
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Last updated:
5/11/2005; 1:00:56 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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