Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Saturday, January 08, 2005

You know I'm almost 40 because when I read this Engadget entry I kept wondering "who's Gwen Stefani?" My wife says I'm lame and outta it. Oh, just figuring that out?

For those of you who don't know, she was the lead singer in the band "No Doubt" and now is off on her own.

Anyway, the camera isn't something I'd buy, but I bet it'll be hot with Japanese teenagers.

5:27:59 PM    comment 

Seattle residents: All Chow Foods Seattle restaurants--Coastal Kitchen, 5 Spot, Endolyne Joe's, the Hi-Life, Atlas, and Jitterbug--will be donating 25% of all revenue earned on Tuesday, January 11 to tsunami relief efforts. The waitstaff in each restaurant is donating 25% of their tips, too.

5:16:22 PM    comment 

Rob Greenlee talks about our conversation yesterday. He hit on something. There's no way that I can know everything about what Microsoft does. It's just too big. 57,000 people. In my travels with Channel 9 I've only interviewed a few hundred in about a year.

It's one reason why I want to hang around with smart people like Rob. They keep me up to date. Fill in my many blind spots.

Rob showed me his PocketPC and the Sync n'Go software. That was awesome. It was something that Microsoft made that was cool that I didn't know about.

Hey, anyone on the Sync n'Go team wanna demonstrate that to Channel 9?

4:16:07 PM    comment 

Stephan Spencer: "Of the major search engines, MSN Search is the only one to employ wikis as a way to encourage customer participation in the product development process. Hats off to Microsoft for showing such leadership!"

3:26:00 PM    comment 

Omar Shahine: "My Dad installed the software and called me up telling me how much he loved it!"

Yup, I've seen a lot of similar reviews about Microsoft's AntiSpyWare software.

I highly recommend loading this beta. So far it's been awesome.

3:15:00 PM    comment 

Mitch Kapor: Creative Commonists?

But, Mitch, there's a huge difference between developers getting together at a user group or a geek dinner and sharing source code with each other and outright attack on the idea of intellectual property.

A couple of months ago my dad visited China. I also visited China seven years ago. There all of our movies, all of our music, and all of our software are sold on street corners for $1 (and none of that money goes to the people who actually created the work).

I know a developer working for you. Is he working for free? I don't think so. He has mouths to feed and a mortgage to pay off.

I'd rather have a market like the United States has where those who produce intellectual property (software, ideas, movies, music) can expect to get paid for that work than one in China where people who produce those four things can expect to not get a cent for their work because their work is pirated and sold on every street corner for nearly nothing.

That said, I put all my photos and my weblog writing into the creative commons. I don't mind at all that Bloglines and other aggregators reprint my work in whole (or in part). There's great benefit to me and everyone by my doing so. But I push back on those who think that all my work should be for free.

For instance, our book will be available on the Web for free, but we keep the copyright and the distribution channel. We're gonna have ads on our book site. That's going to be a way we get some financial support for what we're doing (Shel is getting the revenues from those, after we pay our hosting fees). If there weren't a financial incentive to do the book, we wouldn't do it. That's work. This is fun.

2:52:34 PM    comment 

Only two weeks to go before my "Cheesiest 40th Birthday Party." I can't wait. We should podcast it. There are lots of amazing people coming. I'm gonna sit them on the Red Couch and make them eat cheese! And we got the amazing chef, Jessica Smith, from Yakima to come too! I wrote about the time we had one of Jessica's meals here.

Maryam says the party is full. But, we'll start a standby list in case people drop out. Just send me email at

2:32:31 PM    comment 

Russell Beattie: Microsoft's Consumer Electronics Endgame.

Will Russell buy an Audiovox like the one I have?

2:02:14 PM    comment 

Shel Israel: Will Bloggers Blow Judith Miller Defense?

Hey, Shel, this post cost me $5. We're up to $25 now.

"I am appalled an insinuation that the Constitutional rights of two individuals should be denied, for fear that others will claim the same Consitutional rights. Did Gerstein sleep through his high school civics class?"

1:17:30 PM    comment 

It's amazing how our book, the Red Couch, is going so far and how people are joining in. Shel Israel, my co-author, just said Dan Gillmor, formerly of the San Jose Mercury News, says he'll do the book's introduction. Very honored.

Now gotta finish off the TOC.

Interviews that I'd love to have in the book? Charles Fitzgerald, who was at the marketing meeting when Doc Searls wrote "markets are conversations" up on the board (he works a few offices away from me). Bill Gates, of course. Eric Rudder, Vic Gundotra, Sanjay Parthasarathy and Joshua Allen. Those five guys get all the credit for getting blogging going at Microsoft in my mind (remember, there were already about 100 blogs at Microsoft when I was hired). Add my boss, Lenn Pryor, for getting Channel 9 going.

Update: another one? Frank Shaw at Waggener Edstrom. I wish he'd start a blog, but he's been a great help to me.

12:56:54 PM    comment 

Something about Australian voices. I love the G'day World podcast. Cameron Reilly and Mick Stanic go at it with Doc Searls.

They are having bandwidth problems, though. They, like many podcasters, are chewing threw their bandwidth allotment too quickly. So they slowed down on posting new shows up.

In the interview Doc Searls covers where his quote "markets are conversations" came from.

12:13:23 PM    comment 

Damien Katz writes the story of the time when he re-wrote the Lotus Notes Formula Engine.

Interesting look into a software development process.

11:32:07 AM    comment 

Yesterday I talked with Devin Reams about Bob Lutz's writing on the Web.

Hey, if saying the "b word" here is gonna cost me $5, I'll go and say it on other people's sites. Heh.

I also spent some time with Rob Greenlee of WebTalkRadio. He's been doing an Internet-based radio show for a long time. He's putting together a technology conference in Tacoma so spent some time talking about that. He's also excited about podcasting, although his advertisers haven't figured out how to measure listenership yet (they are very comfortable, he told me, with streaming).

The day ended up with having a conversation on the red couch with Owen. I'm a sucker for cute babies. Aren't you? His dad is Nathan Grigg who is a musician at a video game company (Monolith) and his mom, holding him, writes on the Web and works at Microsoft.

11:24:48 AM    comment 

Hey, Bob Lutz (he is a VIP at General Motors), I'd love to know what your thoughts are on putting computers into cars?

I wonder what he thinks of J.P. Stewart's little car PC project or what he thinks of Microsoft's AutoPC group? Peter Wengert gives a tour here.

11:08:40 AM    comment 

I'm gonna put $5 in the donation jar for this one.

Plea to the blogosphere: write better headlines!

For instance, look at Analyst Views today. Their headline?

"Times a'Changing."

Huh? For who? What's this post about?

Why do headlines matter? Because of link blogs. Because of information overload. Let's see, if you have 15 minutes to read blogs and there are 400 items in your aggregator, are you even going to bother reading this? No.

Joel Spolsky's headlines are even worse. They are just a date in my aggregator. Sunday, January 02, 2005 doesn't give me any useful information and when I put it on my link blog it doesn't help people get interested in reading further. That's how this post looks in the aggregator. Joel is lucky, though, I always read his stuff because it's always good even when it's advice for computer students.

Since I'm spending $5 on this post, here's a few other things about blogs. For those who don't know, I'm donating $5 to Tsunami relief this month for every post where I say "blog" or "blogger." Sorry, only $5 per post, not per usage.

Dave Winer, today, is talking about blogger ethics.

In journalism school we were taught to never tell anyone our biases. Never be a participant. Always an observer. Get three sources on everything. Don't accept gifts or bribes. Don't own stock in anything you are covering. Etc.

Blogging is different. Blogs are all about one person's opinion. Our biases totally hang out in the open. Our incentives should be disclosed, but they are there.

But what we're moving toward is a network effect. Want to know the truth on a story? You don't read just one blogger. You go to PubSub or Technorati and make an RSS search. I did that for the tsunami. I got tons of biased, personal reports, but what I was able to do was triangulate in on the truth.

For instance, if you want the full CES story, would you just read me? I'm paid by Microsoft. Obviously biased. Would you just read Slashdot? There's even a bias in group blogs.

But do a search on "CES" and watch it over time and you would have seen anytime someone on their blog talked about CES. You would have gotten a very complete picture of what CES is all about.

By the way, when I did a PubSub query for Tsunami I got both the professional and the amateur reports. It's very interesting to me how the way I get my news has changed over the past year.

Well, to wrap this one up, like my co-author Shel says, if your mom tells you she loves you, check it out.

10:58:28 AM    comment 

Sean Alexander got Scobleized and Slashdotted (thanks Thomas Hawk) and his hosting service's system can't keep up with the demand. He's working on it. In the meantime, his post is mirrored here.

10:34:16 AM    comment 

Woke up this morning to kids screaming outside. Oh, it's a snow day (first of the season here in Bothell). Here's a pic from our bedroom window.

While we're talking kids' stuff, Alan Kleymeyer sent me to Trevor Romain. He's an author and illustrator of children's books.

Neat work. Nice break from all the gadgetry and reports from CES.

10:26:40 AM    comment 

Heh, I just said the B word and put another $5 bucks in the donation jar. That's $15 for those of you keeping track at home.

Anyway, over on my link site I just posted a bunch of stuff. Lots of CES coverage. And the latest Gillmor Gang is up. Gillmor Gang is one of my favorite podcasts to load on my cell phone. But, on this week's show I was a guest so can listen to something else.

I've been falling behind on Carl's DotNetRocks shows, maybe I'll check those out.

Anyway, I'm off to bed. Have a good one.

12:16:06 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; 1:01:56 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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