Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Thursday, July 21, 2005

Tomorrow there'll be a Longhorn announcement at 6 a.m. PDT in the morning tomorrow. I can't tell you until then what's up, but the information will be on this URL then.

6:09:41 PM    comment 

Joe Wilcox reports on Microsoft's financial results.

5:49:05 PM    comment 

One way you can tell that hiring is getting harder is when there's more flexibility on the part of hiring teams. Jenna, over on Microsoft's JobsBlog, tells one such story of how we got some smart hires.

4:01:09 PM    comment 

You wanna get on the Longhorn beta? Well, this guy got on!

3:49:32 PM    comment 

Hmmm, Sam Ruby of the Atom team doesn't want Microsoft to support the old Atom format. That goes against our culture of supporting all the formats that are currently publishing.

3:09:34 PM    comment 

James Governor is betting people a dollar that I'll link to his post today. Freaking A I'm linking! What's he talking about? A Leicester Square artist who is using wifi and a Tablet PC. Awesome. This is a street artist who, instead of using paper, uses a Tablet PC and emails you the result.

8:49:55 AM    comment 

What happens when you have a company that people love and trust and that demonstrates a good sense of humor? Google showed yesterday with its "moon" site -- getting more good PR than I've seen any company get in a long time. IceRocket: 2,690 links. Bloglines: 2,110 links. Technorati: 2,816 links. Feedster: 148 links. Blogpulse: 1,140 messages. Blogdigger: 71 links. Clusty: 1,403 links. Updated at 2:43 p.m.

Google had EVERYONE talking about this site yesterday. Well done! The official Google blog was how they got the word out.

Now that the moon has been mapped, can we get back to earth?

Speaking of which, here's the top mapping services: Google Maps. Mappoint/MSN Maps. Yahoo maps. Mapquest (also owned by Yahoo Update: AOL owns Mapquest).

My favorite right now? Google Maps. Hands down. Not even close. But, yes, the Virtual Earth team has made some awfully interesting promises. Google has set the high-water PR bar. I wonder if Virtual Earth can deliver?

Anyone doing a comparison of the map services?

8:31:14 AM    comment 

Jeremy, over at Yahoo, asks when will blogging peak.

Haven't you heard Jeremy? Blogging is a fad.

What HAS peaked is the A list. It doesn't matter much anymore. The blog search services are blowing apart those mountains pretty quickly.

What's gonna matter now is gonna be the measuring of movements on the Web, not the sensationalism of an individual blogger.

Here, look at Steve Rubel's blog this morning. What's he doing? He's linking to Flickr, which is already getting photos from the latest London bombings.

The services that aggregate bloggers' content are where the action is going to be now. Flickr. Technorati. Feedster. Pubsub. Bloglines. Blogpulse. Clusty. Blogdigger. IceRocket

This whole category is innovating quite quickly. Technorati, for instance, is much better now than it was two weeks ago. Blogpulse and Blogdigger have been upgraded this week. I'm getting emails almost daily from the teams at these companies asking me to check out some new feature or improvement. It's an exciting space to watch, that's for sure.

On the other hand, can blogging save a life? Shari Kurzrok is in desperate need of a liver transplant. That blog reminds me that blogging is bringing people together in a way that just wouldn't have been possible a decade ago.

8:04:51 AM    comment 

Someone in my comments just posted I didn't even know about that site. What a nice, clean, weather site. You know what I'm gonna say next, right?

I wish I could say it's a Really Simple Weather site, but I can't find the RSS feed.

Still, nice weather site and it shows that WA weather is gonna be sunny today, so I'm happy.

7:56:58 AM    comment 

Prasenjeet Dutta is right. At the end of the day having a cool corporate blog really doesn't mean squat if you can't ship the best of breed product in the space.

Right now Apple and Google have the best products on the market. And the market is rewarding them. That's not gone unnoticed here at Microsoft.

Now, what you're missing is that I am already seeing that blogging is bringing better feedback to the product teams and that it's focusing our exec's attention on what customers actually want. Prasenjeet, watch the video again. Notice what they said over and over. That they read every comment that comes into their blogs and in via email and they react to it. Fast.

Think they are the only people at Microsoft doing that? Think again.

Also, all the stuff Prasenjeet is talking about is being worked on. More MSN videos to come soon!

7:10:37 AM    comment 

Randy Charles Morin: A-List Linking.

"The problem is that the many of us link to the a-listers like mad in hope that they'll just link to us once in a blue moon and boost our Google karma."

That technique doesn't work anymore. There are simply too many people trying that technique now so there's no way any one blogger can keep up with it all (A-list or no).

Here's what does work: be interesting. Get 10 other bloggers to link to you. Forget the A-listers. They don't matter anymore. Well, they don't matter as much.

I'm using a secret tool that brings me the top news of the day and getting just a couple of links will usually bring your post above the noise level. It'll be released in the next couple of months. You can get a hint at what's coming by looking at memeorandum -- the tool I'm using is built by Gabe, the guy who built that site. But you gotta get those links. I've found that to get links you've gotta be interesting, you've gotta teach us something new or, at minimum, entertain us.

And it sure doesn't hurt to build relationships with other bloggers. Watch Phillip Torrone, for instance. He emails a bunch of people whenever he has one of his excellent posts. The last one he did had something like 40 links in the first few hours. Of course his post showed up.

I was talking to Chris Pirillo the other day about the "long tail" metaphor and while we were flying over mountains in the Boeing plane it hit me: the Web isn't a long tail. It's the flatlands. See, when you're flying over Washington State there are a few mountains. They are spectacular. You saw the video yesterday of Mt. Rainier. But the mountains probably only cover a small percentage of the real estate. Most of the real estate is flatlands.

Weather forces are constantly wearing down the mountains. You can see these forces from a plane. Mount St. Helens is half blown away. Most of that material ended up in the flatlands.

Same with traffic on the Web. The "big" sites like Slashdot are losing traffic to the flatlands. On Sunday I got something like 15,000 visits from a front-page link on Slashdot. I remember when such a link used to be worth 40,000 to 100,000 visitors.

Where did that traffic go? My theory is that it's spreading out to the flatlands.

So, how do you get noticed in a flatlands world? Do something interesting and let your friends who blog know about it. Every link is a vote for whether or not your stuff is interesting.

On the other hand, our job is to link to only the most interesting stuff.

6:51:50 AM    comment 

Joel Spolsky, take this!

That's the team. It's my answer to Joel's rant where he said his interns have better monitors and chairs and can ship software faster than anyone at Microsoft.

More great teams coming. I spent the afternoon yesterday with another MSN team that's shipping something very cool this week. I can't tell you what it is until Monday. I never thought of MSN as an innovator, but they are changing that impression more and more every day.

6:26:40 AM    comment 

My son and I just recorded our third podcast: Something Inappropriate #3. This one isn't as good as the first two, but Patrick rags on one of his friends cause he just bought a used Playstation.

I got a few emails asking what the RSS feed was so that people could subscribe. That's here.

12:26:52 AM    comment 

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© Copyright 2005
Robert Scoble
My cell phone: 425-205-1921
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Last updated:
8/7/2005; 11:19:28 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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