Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Friday, April 01, 2005

Listen in on the conversation Steve Gillmor and I have. I shot it on video and uploaded it to

The conversation was mostly about attention.xml which is a standard that helps you keep track of what you've read, what you're spending time on, and what you should be paying attention to.

We also talk about, Rojo, and other technologies like Pubsub.

At one point Steve says he disagrees with my ranting a few days ago where I said that blogs without comments are lame. I see his point. It's just that for a corporate blog, like the GM blogs, or even Channel 9, you need to work as hard as possible to keep it from being a boring press release vehicle. Giving customers the ability to comment certainly helps. Yes, even on a blog without comments we can still link and talk anyway (and astute readers can use Technorati to see those comments). Steve has a good point, though, that it's far better for people to blog their comments than leave them inside comment feeds that can't be easily subscribed to with an RSS aggregator.

It's a 300kbps Windows Media file.

Steve Gillmor works for ZDNet and his blog is here. Steve also is famous for doing the Gillmor Gang, an audio show with many of the technology industry's leaders.

The video is about 36 minutes long and the conversation took place at the Palo Alto train station (I used to take the train to work at Fawcette and UserLand, so this station played a key role in my life).

Update: here's Dare Obasanjo's view of attention.xml (he met Steve at the recent O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference and had a discussion about attention.xml).

11:26:19 PM    Mudpit 

The Economist: The claim that "the customer is king" has always rung hollow. But now the digital marketplace has made it come true, says Paul Markillie.

The trick isn't to control the conversation. What a bore that'd be. The trick is to join in!

Speaking of which, Steve Gillmor and I spent a few hours today talking about Attention.xml. We went all over Palo Alto looking for a quiet place to have a conversation. University Coffee. Too noisy. Starbucks. Too noisy. HP Garage? Fenced off for reconstruction (now THAT is a metaphor for what they are going through). Peet's? Truck outside, too noisy. So, we ended up at the noisy Palo Alto train station.

It's a metaphor for information overload. Lots of noise, hard to hear the important conversation. I'm working on getting that video up on Our Media.

But, back to the customer in control. Boy, is that the truth. The word-of-mouth networks are more and more efficient every day. And that's no noise.

7:26:24 PM    Mudpit 

PC World reports that Microsoft, this week, launched mobile video downloads.

7:18:01 PM    Mudpit 

Matthew Mullenweg responds to criticism about his business practices regarding Word Press. Lengthy, complete, and contrite where it needed to be. Text-book case of turning a negative situation into a positive one.

7:16:27 PM    Mudpit 

Channel 9 members around the world (look at the maps and the methodology, he used Terraserver and did some other tricks). That's cool, and it's even better that a customer did this (a guy named Minh).

Me, if I were a nine guy, I'd be drinking beer right now on Microsoft's Silicon Valley campus at MSN TV's beer bash. Lots of fun. Oh, wait, I +am+ drinking beer. Heh! Beer, wifi, sunshine, and music. Does it get any better? You can see pictures on my photo blog. Some Microsoft employees are playing. They are pretty good. I just looked at the weather in Seattle and I'm so happy I'm down in Silicon Valley right now.

5:51:40 PM    Mudpit 

Trevor Cook wonders: "How do you really know if some blogger who is happily slamming microsoft or google or anything else really doesn't have some commercial conflict?"

Yes, it's harder to know the conflicts of thousands of people. But, it's not impossible. One way is to have a relationship network that keeps checking up on people in it. You think that if I learned that Doc Searls was on the take that I wouldn't report it?

OK, maybe I wouldn't, but Andy Orlowski at the Register doesn't seem to be adverse to being a watchdog on bloggers (here he shines his watchlight on Matt Mullenweg, the 21-year-old who wrote the software that hosts my linkblog).

To all bloggers and journalists, though, here's the rule: disclose your conflicts or we'll disclose them for you in a messy way.

2:55:23 AM    Mudpit 

Oh, Alan Coopersmith, don't go all wishy washy soft on Microsoft now, OK? Keep holding our feet to the fire. Cool idea for getting the Tablet PC into the Hollywood scene!

Alan works for Sun Microsystems as a developer in the Solaris X Window System group.

2:37:28 AM    Mudpit 

Marc Canter, did I read you right? Did you announce that Laszlo would support XAML/Avalon?

If so, yes, I do like that!

Don't know who Marc is? He's the guy who started Macromind. The company that later became Macromedia.

2:29:37 AM    Mudpit 

I did just update my link blog (122 new items). I'm not gonna promise to do that on any regular time schedule. It might be weeks before I do it again.

Actually, I still am keeping up with quite a few feeds for work and for the book, so you'll see a smaller selection of stuff in the link blog. And, it'll be older cause I'll collect items over a longer time period and won't feel pressured to keep up with it. The past week really has been more productive for me as I've rebalanced my life around other things.

I appreciate the kind words and encouragement, it really is hard to keep some balance when blogging is so fun!

2:24:33 AM    Mudpit 

Dave's blog is eight years old today. Happy Birthday! I've been reading it for five years now. It's been a major part of my life. Hope to see it continue for another eight at least!

Oh, and happy 17-th birthday for Frontier too. That's the little engine running inside Radio UserLand.

1:43:54 AM    Mudpit 

Cory Doctorow and Dave Winer are having a back and forth about copyright and linking technologies. Hey, that sounds sorta familiar.

1:41:36 AM    Mudpit 

Onfolio recently released its Onfolio 2.0 Release Candidate. For new news aggregator users, this is my second recommendation after Bloglines. Bloglines is easier, but Onfolio is much more powerful and, because it stores everything on your hard drive, opens up new scenarios (like you can read and search your feeds even when on a plane unconnected from the Internet).

If you are still looking for an RSS News Aggregator, this is certainly one you should try.

Real quick refresher course:

There are three basic types of RSS News Aggregators:

1) Server-based aggregators. Some, like Newsgator cross the lines since Newsgator has a server-side service too. Other server-side aggregators are, MyYahoo, Bloglines, and MyMSN.

2) Standalone client-side aggregators. RSS Bandit. FeedDemon. SharpReader. Radio UserLand. Among these, my favorites are RSS Bandit and FeedDemon. You'll need to download and install these. They don't depend on any other application being loaded, and are browser-independent too (for the most part). On the Mac, NetNewsWire is the one most of my friends like.

3) Built in the browser. OnFolio 2.0 adds onto IE or Firefox. Optimal Access adds onto IE. The Mozilla team offers Sage for Firefox users. Pluck adds onto any browser. My favorite here is OnFolio. Pluck is pretty good too.

4) Dependent on Outlook. NewsGator is my favorite here (it's still the aggregator I use most), but there's also IntraVnews.

Do you have an aggregator you like more than any of those listed? Which aggregator do you like the best? Let me know.

1:36:11 AM    Mudpit 

Ahh, the MSN Desktop Search team posts again. Bubba Murarka, at least.

I like it. They praise their competition and link to some helpful resources. Can't wait to see the final version of MSN's desktop search, though.

1:15:24 AM    Mudpit 

I've been listening to some of the music over on Pretty cool. Here's what it is: " is on a mission to bring together "virtual bands" comprised of musicians and recording hobbyists from all over the world to collaborate on the writing and recording of music entirely over the internet. All you need is an instrument, recording software and an internet connection and you could be on your way to crankin' out the hits!"

1:08:31 AM    Mudpit 
12:44:01 AM    Mudpit 

Pubsub is also tracking the number of active blogs. Good stats here for the book. Turns out 55% of blogs remain active and that number hasn't changed much over time.

12:38:40 AM    Mudpit 

PubSub is counting links, founder Bob Wyman says. Suprising stats too about linking behaviors.

12:35:09 AM    Mudpit 

I'm bummed, I missed Technorati's "billion links" party last night. One billion links. I wonder how many of them I'll visit in my lifetime?

12:20:19 AM    Mudpit 

Eric Norlin: Time to get Personal.

Oh, I am with Eric on this one. Can't wait for my interview with Kim Cameron to be up.

Yes, this kind of reporting doesn't help anyone. But if someone can break through, it's Kim Cameron. I'm so impressed with Kim's approach and ideas.

I'm now on the identity bandwagon. I don't care if you don't like Microsoft. Learn about identity and see if you can help get us identity systems that put users in control. I'm there. I'll be cheering you on.

One thing: I didn't grok Kim's blog until I met him and talked with him. Now it totally makes sense.

Starter kit? Listen to this IT Conversations show with the world's identity leaders.

12:18:18 AM    Mudpit 

My friend Christopher Coulter sent me the Mortgage Fraud Blog. Lots of information about people who rip off mortgage companies (and all of us, those costs are passed along in higher fees and rates), informative blog, deserves search-engine-juice.

12:10:40 AM    Mudpit 

Bloglines added package tracking the other day. More and more stuff is available via RSS. Cool.

12:08:18 AM    Mudpit 

Michael Kaplan reminded me that there isn't just one team working on typography at Microsoft. Thanks Michael for letting me know. I'd love to interview that team too for Channel 9.

12:04:10 AM    Mudpit 

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© Copyright 2005
Robert Scoble
My cell phone: 425-205-1921
Are you with the press?
Last updated:
11/27/2005; 1:43:59 PM.

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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