Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Saturday, May 21, 2005

Sharon Housely, will you please stop trying to ruin my reputation as an egotistical bahstahard? :-)

She wrote: " person he's a regular guy, and incredibly nice."

Sharon, that's a nice thing to say, but your software marketing resource blog is nicer than I am!

5:21:40 PM    comment 

Store Wars is a funny film that the Organic farmers put together. I wonder how long it'll be before Lucas gets this taken down?

I've seen tons of bloggers linking to this. That, and a few other things are up on my link blog. I'm outta here, got a lot of writing done today, now off to have some fun with my son.

5:14:08 PM    comment 

I don't know how I missed this post, but Larry Hryb wrote about sitting next to a Nintendo guy on the plane.

Funny and well-written post.

Update: Larry has a great series on Xbox 360 vs. Sony PS3. The feedback from customers at the end of the four-part post is very interesting.

5:08:03 PM    comment 

Engadget has a report on how Tablet PCs are being used at the Indy 500. Can someone get me a ride in the Target car?

4:39:12 PM    comment 

So, I was over on Susan Bradley's blog (she's one of Microsoft's best customers and is always talking about the Small Business Server. Might be why she got named an MVP for that, huh? She calls herself the "SBS Diva"). Anyway, over on Susan's blog, she links to Sean Daniels' blog. Who's he? A program manager on the SBS team.

The new marketing. Customer links to product guy. Product guy listens and gives Susan new features. Tells Susan on his blog. Susan gets excited, tells her readers.

Any wonder the marketing people are nervous about this new world?

Oh, and Sean, congrats on shipping a new version of SBS and it was fun to have you on Channel 9!

4:34:09 PM    comment 

Larry Borsato has a frustrating experience with Windows XP and relates that in his post: 10 hours.

Larry, next time, when you hit 60 minutes, why don't you take a screen capture, post that to your blog, write down what you're trying to do and what isn't happening, and then ping me with an email. Often times there are lots of experts reading who can help get you running again. I'm sorry for the bad experience, but even your post here doesn't give me any information I can use to figure out which team to get to fix your problem.

We're in this boat together, and even if you switch to Linux or a Mac, reporting what you did, what you loaded, what steps you took to try to fix it, and a screen capture will help us a LOT and if we can get this fixed for you, we can fix it for other people who might be having the same issue.

Also, did you know that we have free tech support for anyone with a patch issue? Visit our support site at -- there is no reason that you should spend 10 hours on an issue by yourself.

4:14:46 PM    comment 

Larry Borsanto thinks that Kensington's PR company should be fired. Read why.

Some of my readers tried to make this issue about me and my "big ego." It's not. Glad you pointed out my deep flaws, but this is about companies who don't listen to the marketplace. I see that Joi Ito is facing self-doubt brought on by his blog comments. I grok that Joi. Putting your ego out in public for people to dance on is tough business. The thing is, what you see as a big ego is what I see as having facts you don't have access to. I spoke at Target recently, for instance. Very few people there had read my blog. 85%, though, could tell me what had happened to Kryptonite's brand. Why is that? It has a lot to do with how efficient the word-of-mouth network now has gotten and how fast stories go from blogs with very few readers (like mine) to the front page of the New York Times or USA Today or to CNN. In fact, Jon Stewart, a month ago, was making fun of CNN for reading news straight off of blogs, wasn't he?

Update: Michael Breslin, in my comments, reported:

John Stewart was making fun of how utterly boring it is when newscasters try to report what's going on in the blogosphere (as they usually just read some random blogs outloud). The joke wasn't that CNN gets its news from blogs (although we know from plenty of reporters that some of their stories come directly from them). Sorry this post has little to do with your ego, just wanted to clear up your misinterpretation of the joke.

3:42:21 PM    comment 

Meet us in front of Red's Java House. Tonight. 8 p.m. Omar Shahine, my son, and I, will be there.

3:12:31 PM    comment 

My comments are down. I have to switch to a new server, but don't have time this weekend since I'm working on the book.

Tyme White, though, just came through the aggregator with this reply to my post where I asked what's wrong with embarrassing yourself:

"Robert, your blog is a personal blog in which you talk about work. This works for you but most people can't successfully pull this off. Most companies are small businesses not large corporations. Small businesses can't afford for employees to do what you do. A negative post from an employee could be extremely damaging to a small business.

I've always thought that personal and business issues ought to be separate. For example, have the Microsoft employees write whatever they want to write on the Microsoft blog site, so readers can associate their posts about work related issues directly with the company…where they belong. Posts about personal situations (IMO) should be in a separate area because they have nothing to do with work.

I disagree. The power of the weblog is getting to know the individual. The power of corporate weblogging is getting to see that individual and how he/she fits into a larger whole. Whenever a blogger offers to give me a category of just business stuff I subscribe to her whole blog, not just the business stuff. Why? Because the two, when mixed, are really powerful.

And this stuff is MORE IMPORTANT for small companies. Why? Because they don't have the PR advantages of a big company. Here at Microsoft if I want to get the press's attention I just need to put together a plan and work with our PR agency. When I worked at small companies we didn't have a PR agency so needed to find any way to participate.

But, I've always said this is playing with dynamite. Yes, you can mine gold out of the ground with dynamite, but you can also blow off your arm.

Funny thing about gold mining. If you really want to get gold out of the ground you've gotta be willing to work with dynamite. The +risk+ of blowing off your arm is always there, but it shouldn't be a goal.

Sorry if I made it sound like embarrassing myself was a goal of mine. It's not. But I'm not going to live in fear of it, either, and if it happens, well, I'll react fast to stop the bleeding.

I agree that I take more risks than many people would be comfortable taking. For instance, telling a venture capitalist that you disagree with him isn't something most people would do. (I did that twice in the past day).

Be careful out there, it's a rough world.

An additional link: Clint Sharp: how to further blow something out of proportion.

11:27:33 AM    comment 

Branton Boehm links to a bunch of videos that'll teach you how to program with Visual Studio 2005.

3:20:00 AM    comment 

Back when I was a journalism student in 1990-93 at San Jose State University, one of my favorite professors was Steve Greene. Why? Cause he pushed the technology further and faster than literally anyone else in academia (at least journalism variety) than anyone I met.

He had a large impact on my life, and, yes, he taught me a few things in the classes I took from him.

It's real cool that my former boss, Steve Sloan, interviewed Greene for his Edupodder podcast. When I listened to this I saw just how education delivery will change. It was like being back in the classroom at San Jose State. But Greene's insights are now available to everyone around the world for free.

Back in 1991, the only people who would get to talk to Greene are the students who'd pay a grand or so per class. Yet another example of how our world has shrunk. This is a good podcast, by the way. If you're interested in journalism, it's a must listen.

3:11:23 AM    comment 
2:47:59 AM    comment 

My boss's boss, Vic Gundotra, stayed off of email for 2.5 weeks. How did he do it? I missed him a lot. Can't wait to get a vicg email again.

Heh, just wait until Vic joins in some of these "intense" blogversations we've been having. Whew.

2:42:59 AM    comment 

Royal Farros recently sold his company (MessageCast) to Microsoft. He's a long-time entrepreneur. Serial entrepreneur his blog says. Started T/Maker in the 80s, in the 90s. Now he's a Microsoft employee.

This week he said some very nice things about me. Thanks Royal!

All the, "Microsoft is a good community citizen" press releases in the world don't equal what Scobel has done: Made Microsoft accessible. Given Microsoft a public, 2-way voice. An insider who calls a spade a spade.

Just what the doctor ordered.

He's a PR person's nightmare come true, but who would have thunk a little less control and a little more honesty would yield these kinds of results?

No one, and that's what makes this story even more remarkable.

Cheers to you, Robert, for helping humanize one of the most feared and, yes, disliked companies on the planet."

2:17:38 AM    comment 

Rick Segal writes a VERY LONG post in reaction to all the RSS "news" yesterday. He tells me he would have handled it differently.

That's cool. I disagree with Rick. When there's a conversation going on we should try to participate WHEN THE CONVERSATION IS HAPPENING!

So far no one internally has said that Ballmer was misquoted. That tells me that his quotes were, for the most part, accurate.

This is why my blog is different than corporate PR. If I needed to wait for a committee to get back to me then the conversation would have marched on anyway -- only no one would be trying to give our side of it.

I +knew+ that once Rubel wrote about it that Dave would have jumped on it. I +knew+ that I better put something out there to be part of the conversation. This was all at 4 a.m.

It's a messy world. And I did check with PR and if PR had come back with a different quote I would have corrected my part of the story just as quickly as I reacted originally.

It's why I put my cell phone and my email address on my blog. If I make a mistake I will 1) Listen and 2) Correct it fast.

By the way, what's wrong with embarrassing yourself? If you really are going to be transparent and react to a global conversation that happens within minutes you're bound to embarrass yourself.

It's what you do after you embarrass yourself that matters.

One last thing, Rick, I think you took an extremely cheap shot here. "I'd like to believe those humans will work hard be straight up." I work VERY hard at what I do. If you look at my writings over the past year (and the videos we do over on Channel 9) you'll see a LOT of effort to make sure I get the story straight.

Why is that? Well, because I'm under the scrutiny of tens of thousands of readers every day. I'd really like you to come and live in my shoes sometime before you take cheap shots and try to intimate that I'm being loose and fast with the facts. If I am being lose and fast with the facts, my readers will figure out the truth extremely quickly and correct the issue.

1:46:53 AM    comment 

If you search Google for KFOG I'm the #3 link. An ex-coworker, Tom Donoghue, (he's the founder of DevTown Station, by the way) pointed that out and asked "how screwed up is that?"

By the way, on MSN Search, I don't appear on the first three pages of search results for the same search. I'm not on the first three pages of results on Yahoo either.

So, why am I pointing this out? KFOG is a radio station in San Francisco that's putting on a party for 350,000 people later today. Turns out I'll be going later in the evening because I need to finish a book chapter (we'll be there at about 7 p.m.)

I have no idea how we'll meet up, but I'll be there and carrying my cell phone. 425-205-1921.

1:13:26 AM    comment 

We just got back from the latest Star Wars movie. All three of us were disappointed. "Too digital," my son says. "No compelling story," I say. "Where's the dialog?" Maryam asks.

It got a little better toward the end of the show where it started relying more on imagery from the first (or is it fourth) movie.

It's interesting. I was about the same age as my son is today when I first saw the first (er fourth) Star Wars. I was actually sad because this puts closure on a part of my childhood. When I was 12 I couldn't conceive of something happening 28 years in the future.

Anyway, see it, but don't expect much, although I'll grant you that this one was better than the last two.

1:05:10 AM    comment 

I see Lenn Pryor's fingerprints on this one. Share Skype. A blog kind of thing over on Skype.

12:52:21 AM    comment 

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© Copyright 2005
Robert Scoble
My cell phone: 425-205-1921
Are you with the press?
Last updated:
6/1/2005; 8:54:16 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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