I just got some hate mail. I won't identify this guy, since it was sent via email, but thought the point of view is unique.
Now I can't trust ANY blog entries for fear that they are just stooges for MS and are offering up useless information about another piece of crappy software from Bill "the jerk" Gates. This is just another example of how Billy doesn't seem to get the point. Blogs are for open and honest discussions, NOT to spin the crap coming out of Redmond to appear like an "innovation" or even "mildly original" when MS is incapable of anything but copying the best parts of everyone else's OS.
I will no long read blogs simply because MS has now tainted them with their filth.
Yes, that's right. I'm being blamed for the destruction of the blogosphere.
Wow. So, basically, this guy says that all I have to do is invite bloggers to campus, give them a free meal, hand them some swag, and all of a sudden their minds will turn to mush.
If that's true then we're all in serious trouble.
While we're talking about Team 99, Asa, over on the Firefox team, makes fun of my NDA requirement. I've seen a few others make fun of the NDA thing too. "Not transparent" they say. Well, sorry. We do have lawyers and PR folks who want to make sure that we disclose things on a schedule. It's why we can't just get out here and disclose all of the features on things we're working on.
Hey, Asa, can you tell us all those secret features I keep hearing the Firefox team is working on?
Over on Channel 9 they are arguing with me about the requirement that members need to be bloggers. Ahh, fun, I already have way more nominations than can fit into 20 places, and they want to widen the field so even more people can be nominated. Heh!
Whew, this "destroying the blogosphere" work is really tough!
Paul Mooney just called my cell phone and berated me for not making sure Team 99 has a good number of 64-bit computer users on it. He has a good point. The 64-bit computer users are the ones who are pushing the bleeding edge.
And, on that point, I'm off to the geek dinner.
Joe Wilcox: Team 99 may not be a winner.
Did I say that this is the only effort Microsoft is making to engage with customers about Longhorn?
Someday I hope I can tell you about all the other efforts that are going on. One thing you're seeing is the "blogger distortion effect." That is, when a blogger like me says something it makes it seem like that's the only thing the whole company is doing.
I was talking with Joel Spolsky today and he said he finds that he often "writes defensively." Because of exactly this effect. If he doesn't completely list out everything he's thinking and all the possible ramifications he finds he spends all of his time answering email explaining why he didn't cover everything.
Joe says something incorrect, though: "At one time enthusiasts were the greatest Windows evangelists, and Microsoft courted them with user group programs and free software. Those efforts have all but disappeared and the free software incentives along with them."
That's absolutely incorrect. I was an MVP for five years. When I joined the MVP program there were a few hundred members. Now there are a few thousand members. The MVPs are the most enthusiastic users I've ever been around. Also, Microsoft engages with user groups through the INETA program. 773 user groups around the world participates in INETA. Lots of goodies distributed to both groups.
Both the MVPs and INETA will get tons of Longhorn information to help them be authorities.
But, you can't have an intimate discussion with 3000 MVPs. There's a role for that group, as well as a role for a smaller group of geeks that can fit into one office and get a tour inside Microsoft.
Team 99 gets Slashdotted (and it's in eWeek and over on Mary Jo's site and BetaNews, among others). We're off to the races. Lots of misunderstandings, though. First, I'm not going to force anyone to say anything nice about Longhorn. The commenters over on Slashdot must think I'm all powerful. Bwwwwahhhahhha!
Second, Team 99 members are not going to be paid. At most they'll get a trip to Microsoft. Just like the Search Champs got. But, if you think that's being paid, then you don't think the members time is worth much.
Third, this isn't all about publicity. It's a good faith effort to get feedback about Longhorn's direction ahead of time.
Fourth, I really love the ideas that I'm getting because we took this public. Again I'm seeing the power of getting a few thousand people's eyes on something rather than trying to do it all behind closed doors.
Michael Gartenberg reacts to the Adam Curry-podcast-on-Sirius news.
I have friends who are working with Adam and I'm being told other people are getting paid as well. Not sure how much, though.
Hugh Macleod and I are talking about doing a geek dinner in London on June 7th. Where should we do it?
He says he knows a good Mexican restaurant in Central London. That just seems wrong to me, but I'll go with burrittos in London if Hugh says so!
We'll also do something at the Reboot conference in Copenhagen later that week.
Interesting, just got into New York and I see that Adam Curry and his podcasting friends have signed a deal to be on Sirius satellite radio in the United States.
Now I really can't wait for dinner tonight.