Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Sunday, July 24, 2005

The Channel 9 video interview with MSN's Virtual Earth team is now live. Filmed last Wednesday afternoon.

9:05:52 PM    comment 

Martin Geddes, who worked with David at Sprint, on David Anderson: "For those who care, I think Davidís work will have a lasting impact on the software industry long after Longhorn/Vista has been forgotten."

1:44:13 PM    comment 

Frank, on (a Mac advocacy site): "His postings are sometimes amusing, but more often idiotic rants about things he knows very little or nothing about." One correction Frank: I never delete comments. Don't know what you're talking about there.

D'Arcy Norman: Scoble: Unsubscribed. "Heís been an interesting source of info and opinion, but he's also afflicted with a strong case of braggadocio regarding "secrets" that heís privy to. That pisses me off."

It's my job to get you to know about things that are coming. By warning the blogosphere that something was coming people knew where to come for information. That's key in this new world of uncontrollable PR.

1:37:44 PM    comment 

I owe Paul Lockwood $45 for dinner last night. I got drug out of there to go to the Microsoft party and totally flaked on paying my tab. Sorry about that. I thought I was paid up cause the staff had taken my credit card, but I should have thought more about that.

It was fun times.

Hey, Paul, email me your address.

1:27:19 PM    comment 

Steven Vaspers says it's unprofessional of me to leave up comment spam over on our book blog (which is running on TypePad). I agree. I need to clean it out. I HATE having to do this stuff. Can TypePad help us keep our comments clean? I'm paying for TypePad. Is there anyway to get spam cleaned out automatically?

1:20:34 PM    comment 

I just met Ivan Valdez in the airport. He's a Microsoft employee, works in New Orleans. He told me he met Bill Gates last night at the party at the Six Flags Amusement Park and said that meeting impressed him. "At my old company the CEO never came down to hang out with the employees."

He was looking forward to telling his daughter that he met Bill -- in school she read an autobiography of some of the people who started the personal computer industry and Bill is one of the people she wanted to meet someday.

Ivan told me that Bill was just walking around the park talking to employees and thanking them for their work.

Hey, meeting you Ivan was pretty inspiring. He's a new Microsoft employee. It's fun, here in the airport I've met German, Russian, English, Indian employees. It's a lot of fun to see the pride each team has in its country. The Russian and Turkey teams made their own shirts.

Update: yes, we know that Bill isn't the CEO. Geesh, you all like to nitpick. :-)

1:09:22 PM    comment 

The SQL Server team is giving away a cool Chopper to the team that does the best Oracle to SQL Server migration.

I wonder what contests we're gonna do around Windows Vista?

Here's one I'd like to suggest to the marketing team: a world-wide photo competition.

Why buy the rights to a photo from a photo agency (I think that's how they got the rights to the "bliss" photo in XP)?

Here's what I'd like to do -- let me know if this idea is interesting:

Why not take that money and hold a world-wide photo contest. Top 1,000 photos get posted to a Web site. Maybe we could even partner with Yahoo's Flickr on this?

The top 10 get included in Windows Vista. The grand prize winner would get included on the Windows Vista desktop.

Judges could be famous photographers and Microsoft executives.

What do you think?

12:52:23 PM    comment 

Chandu Thota, on the Virtual Earth team, updates us as to what they were doing this weekend.

Take a nap Chandu, I have a feeling it'll be a long night for you guys as you get a flood of feedback.

12:03:45 PM    comment 

I just had a nice chat with Frank Arrigo and as soon as I could find some wifi in Atlanta's airport (big hint, there were a few Microsoft employees sitting on the floor huddled around the power outlets in front of the Continental President's Club -- "it's poor man's wifi" one of them said to me) I see that Frank scooped the world.

I tell ya, the PR team must be saying to themselves "we've lost all control."

Hopefully we still have jobs tomorrow. :-)

The scoop? launches tonight too -- it's a site that'll show off some of the new developer APIs that were built for Virtual Earth.

More on my earlier post:

Rick Segal: Rolling Thunder vs. Scoble Style. "Seems to me thatís the new way the messages are getting out and having PR departments control things with media embargoes, etc, is the surest way to lose control."

James Robertson: Old habits die hard. "There are still plenty of PR people who think you can hold back information until a critical point, and then open the flood gates. That may have been true once, but it isn't true any longer."

Slashdot: MSN Virtual Earth Revealed.

By the way, the team is watching Bloglines Feedster, Blogpulse, Ice Rocket, and Technorati for feedback. So, if you want to tell the team that it sucks (or even praise it) just write the feedback on your blog. Yeah, there are some problems with it. One thing to remember is that this is only a beginning of a new world of maps, not the end. I'm taking note of where bloggers and folks on Channel 9 and in comments here and on Slashdot say things aren't as good as Google's maps (no photos outside the US yet, for instance and some areas have very old satellite photos, Las Vegas, for instance). I'll watch and report on when those get updated.

It's a lot of work to get updated photos from everyone and integrate them in and the team greatly appreciates the feedback they are getting so far.

11:15:06 AM    comment 

Ryan Boswell: "how many people that really know something about computers actually use [the Tablet PC]?"

How about Dan Bricklin? You know him, right? Look up his name and what he's done in the industry.

Bob Frankston uses one too (and is proud to show it off at every conference I've been at). Here's his own words about the Tablet PC.

These two guys invented the spreadsheet and are Tablet PC users. Enough said.

7:31:47 AM    comment 

Shhhh, don't tell anyone I linked to these things this morning:

Steve Rubel: MSN Virtual Earth and Media Embargoes.

Yeah, it is the second time in a week that I can't talk about something when everyone else is talking about it (the earlier one was when the name "Windows Vista" leaked out and about 2,000 blogs had talked about it before I was able to admit that was the official name. For instance, Elliott Back writes: "Wow! These are just my first impressions, but it seems like Microsoft has built a Google-Maps killer!"

I was asked to hold off until 9:01 p.m. PT tonight on the Virtual Earth stuff. A few people discovered our URL's while we turned on the servers to perform performance tests and now we're off to the races. Tons of blogs are talking.

Some places to watch later tonight when we are allowed to talk: Chandu Thota's blog. He's on the Virtual Earth team and is the guy who did the Feedmap over to the right side of my blog. He has some suprises still to come.

On Channel 9 we'll get up a video I shot of the team late last week. Lots of fun and they show off a bunch of tips. Of course there's already a thread happening over there.

The team itself has a blog (which has been quiet today, but I expect will come alive tonight with a ton of info). Check out their "launch photos." They were shot with an Estes rocket that has a video camera attached. We talk about that in the video tonight too.

And I see a couple of Microsoft employees are already talking about it too. Hey, guys, didn't you get the memo? ;-)

So, why do we have embargoes? I think it's one of those last things that survive from old-school PR. They are trying to give everyone in the media an equal shot at being out at the gate. I personally think we need to reevaluate our rules here. The word-of-mouth network is just getting too efficient to try to live by these rules anymore.

The conversation can come and go long before we are allowed to participate (it's already the #4 search on Technorati this morning, for instance, why aren't those people finding any posts by Microsoft employees? Because we aren't talking until 9:01 p.m. tonight).

Unfortunately I'll be in the air at that time, so will miss all the shipping fun.

By holding bloggers back from talking about it we're just keeping us from getting involved in the conversation which keeps us from making sure you learn about the coolest features.

For instance, try the "+" and "-" keys. For, try searching with the wildcard "*". Make sure you try the scroll wheel. Click on "Locate Me." (I'm using that here in Atlanta cause I have no idea where I am or how to get to the subway station here from where I am).

But don't tell anyone I told you these things, OK? ;-)

I'll have more to say when I get home. I have a layover, which sucks. I'm off to have fun in the hot Atlanta sun with Frank Arrigo, a Microsoft employee from Australia. Last night I partied with employees from around the world. I forget just how big Microsoft is until a large number of us get together in one place (we packed into a theme park in Atlanta last night for a concert and some fun after our big employee conference here -- about 11,000 employees were at the conference this week, I hear).

Have a good Sunday!

7:25:35 AM    comment 

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© Copyright 2005
Robert Scoble
My cell phone: 425-205-1921
Are you with the press?
Last updated:
8/7/2005; 11:19:32 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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