More blogs on TV. I'm watching Nightline and the entire show tonight is about blogs.
Rebecca MacKinnon asks a really good question: how do we get more diverse voices into the blogosphere?
I used to be an associate editor at Visual Basic Programmer's Journal and helped plan the VBITS conferences. Me and VB go way back.
On one hand, I agree. I wish Microsoft hadn't done what it did. On the other hand, I disagree with the revolt. For why you need historical context. Lots of VB'ers back in the late 1990s were angry that their language always seemed to be a second-class citizen. It was hard to do object-oriented programming with it. VB'ers were looked down upon by other programmers and VB'ers complained at conferences that they wanted the language to get power features like object orientation and multi-threading and full access to the Windows API, among other things.
Today VB.NET is not a second class citizen and I know of some incubation groups working to make sure it even gets some cool stuff that C# and other .NET-oriented languages don't have.
This issue has gotten the focus of Steve Ballmer (he took this issue on personally at two MVP summits I attended). I've also been asking the .NET gurus like Christopher Brumme about the issues. He said they spent long anguishing nights looking at the technical details.
To take it out of Microsoft land. I remember another company that did something similar. Canon. If you go back and look at Canon SLR cameras from the early 1990s, you'll see they have a different lens mount than they use today.
Canon made a corporate decision to "switch the lens mount." When that happened, sales of Nikons went up. Why? Because Nikon didn't "obsolete their existing customer base."
But, today, I'd rather own a Canon. Why? Their lenses focus faster, are more reliable (they don't have a mechanical gear like Nikon's do), and enable new kinds of lenses, like a 50mm f1.0 lens that's impossible to build on Nikon's lens mount. Oh, and Canon now has a much larger percentage of the pro market than they used to have before (I don't remember a single pro using Canons back in the early 1990s - Nikon had a near monopoly in that market. Today you see about 50% Canons at sporting and news events).
Microsoft, for better or for worse, made such a decision. They decided to obsolete old Visual Basic in order to make Visual Basic an equal partner with C# in the .NET world.
Now, could it have been handled better? Absolutely. Everyone on the teams I talk with admits this and there is ongoing work being done to make it easier to convert from the VB 6.0 world into the VB.NET one.
I'll see if Paul Vick can take this on on his blog. He's on the VB.NET team.
For some more context: there are more than 2,000 MVPs now.
CNET News.com: FAQ: Blogging on the job.
I disagree with something on the first page of that article. The odds of your boss reading your blog are NOT slim anymore. More and more bosses are figuring out that by using an RSS News Aggregator and Pubsub.com that you can keep up to date on what ANYONE says about your company on any of the eight million blogs. In fact, this is so efficient that usually I see new things within minutes of them being written now.
My last three job interviews all had people in them who had extensively read my blog and who had Google'd on my name.
Do NOT assume that no one will read your little "readerless" blog. The long tail is wagging and bosses are figuring this stuff out in big numbers.
What are your favorite group blogs? I notice that I read weblogs.asp.net a lot lately. It's one of the only sites I visit in the browser anymore, although reading it at the end of the day in my news aggregator is also satisfying (and usually more complete since thousands of people post to this one blog). But, a lot of what I link to comes through that blog. It mixes in all the Microsoft employee blogs with a few others.
I also read the Sun Microsystems' employee blogs and Slashdot and Boing Boing sometimes during the day just to make sure I didn't miss anything important. By visiting just four sites, along with Memeorandum, you get probably 80% of the news. Add in my link blog and you have a pretty nice set of information sources.
What about you, what are your favorite group blogs?
Michael Gartenberg: Eric smacks Scoble again.
There's hype and anti-hype of blogging and RSS. This is the anti-hype.
One problem, the anti-hype goes a little overboard too. For instance, it focuses too much attention on the people who've gotten fired. Out of the thousands of people who blog while working at a company we can name, what, a dozen that have gotten fired?And most of those have gotten rehired because of their popularity (Mark Jen, for instance, got a new job within weeks -- heck, my brother-in-law was out of work for 18 months and my wife was out of work for 12 months so I'd rather be a blogger all things considered).
But, Michael's right. Just doing a blog or an RSS feed (the two are not the same thing, believe it or not) won't help save a lame advertising campaign.
Oh, and there isn't just one "right" way to do it. But, there certainly is one style of blog I enjoy reading: one that's passionate and authoritative.
Michael's is definitely both.
Rom asks how game developers will be able to afford Visual Studio. Hey, Rom, ever hear of the Empower program? I'll see if we can get that extended to cover folks who are building game software for the Xbox.
Seth Godin has a new book coming out: All Marketers are Liars.
Shhhh, don't tell anyone, but the real liars in our society are the ones who make up shocking book titles just to get you to check out the book. Those guys are really evil I tell you. Evil!
Silicon Beat notes that Mark Jen, the fired Google blogger, got a job at Plaxo.
My favorite PR blogger, Steve Rubel, sat down for a podcast with Chris Pirillo. Lots of interesting ideas about blogging. He wants me to do a "10 immutable laws of the blogosphere." Hmmm.
Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson had me on their podcast yesterday morning too.