Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Sunday, July 31, 2005

Molly Holzschlag: It's been a helluva few days.

I understand where Molly's coming from (she's feeling attacked because of reactions to her blog). This business just sucks sometimes and people forget you're human. They think they have the right to attack you personally just cause of what you write.

These people would never say this kind of stuff face-to-face but because it's on the Internet folks feel like they are allowed to be rude in ways they'd never think of being face-to-face.

One thing I notice is that most of the rudest are anonymous. I also discovered something else. The rudest ones are goons working on behalf of people or movements or, gasp, even other companies, and that they are trying to disrupt things by just being rude.

I also find that I'm not able to be human anymore -- I'm not having fun anymore. It's time to take some time away from the blog. Have a good week and, Molly, keep giving the world hell!

11:19:08 PM    comment 

Jeff Clavier is a Silicon Valley venture capitalist and has been blogging his experiences at the Blogher conference. Interesting to see his reporting of the business sessions there.

10:42:19 PM    comment 

Another way our world has changed? There are Coast Guard boats with machine guns roaming the waterfront in Seattle and escorting the ferries across Puget Sound.

By the way, the Technorati mobile site worked great on my Microsoft SmartPhone.

10:34:49 PM    comment 

Technorati opened up a mobile site. Very smart. I'll try it out right now (blogging these things is how I get URL's to my cell phone).

Dave Sifry, Technorati's CEO, has details on that and other enhancements made recently on his blog.

10:23:33 PM    comment 

A few quick hits before going to bed:

Chandu Thota has a couple of good posts about stuff that uses MSN's Virtual Earth engine. He shows how you can track NASA's space shuttle on Virtual Earth and also links to Java API's for his FeedMap service.

Paul Mooney is trying to get a PDC Bloggers party going. Oh, that would be awesome! Paul, let me know how I can help. It is amazing that more than 900 bloggers will be there (and we're still six weeks away).

Kam Vedbrat works on the team that did the user interface for Windows Vista and has a couple of interesting posts: 1) Windows Vista 1 Press Highlights. 2) How to get glass to show up on Windows Vista beta 1.

Michael Gall is trying to get a demo of a Tablet PC in Australia.

Steve Soares has been working on a couple of Java-based "BlogToys." Fun to play with, but I don't see enough value yet to use it on my own blog.

Are you someone who develops mobile apps for PocketPCs or SmartPhones? Thom Robbins has a bunch of cool stuff for you.

Jon Schwartz has a cool "kid's programming language" built on .NET. Screen shots are here and technical details are here.

10:12:59 PM    comment 

Blogger rule proposal: if someone ever sends you something that they say I wrote in private email, can you at least call me and verify that I sent it? I won't limit you from printing it, but you should at least check with me to see if it's accurate.

This is yet another reason I leave my cell phone number on my blog. 425-205-1921 (it's always in the sidebar).

Any real journalist would do the same (and would present my side of the story behind such an email or other information).

It's amazing. I remember my first interview with Steve Wozniak, back in college. He told me not to believe what I read in the newspaper about him. I was a naive journalism student. I couldn't believe that journalists would ever lie about people (he claimed that they did). But, after what's happened to me the past week I totally believe him now.

One thing has changed, though. You have a chance to verify the facts for yourselves and do your own reporting and you can read my side of the story for yourself. That really is a change. A huge one, in fact.

I have been thinking back about how much crud Michael Gartenberg and David Berlind gave me for saying that speed is more important than getting the story absolutely right.

I'm now realizing that I was wrong. I hope they continue going after bloggers (and others) who don't get the story right. The past week taught me a lot about how important it is to always keep respect for the truth.

The one difference between me and the other guy, though, is that when the facts show that I'm wrong I'm willing to admit such and correct the post (as I did after David Berlind called me on the carpet).

9:43:57 PM    comment 

Frédérick Giasson's new service, Talk Digger, rocks (he announced it a couple of days ago on his blog). It lets you see who is talking about your blog (or any URL, really) from a variety of sources.

9:16:46 PM    comment 

Nancy White replies politely to one of my commenters. You know, I really do have some winners in my comments. And I mean that in a totally sarcastic snarky tone.

You know, in the past few days I've been lied about on a highly-trafficed website. Libeled really (and I can prove it). This blog world isn't all fun and games. When I see people saying that they are worried about getting attacked because of their writings I know intimately that they should be worried.

We've attracted a group of people who simply are not nice. If there's a downside of blogging that is it.

Nancy: I'm ready for "Nancy's rules." Bring them on!

Great blogging, by the way.

8:55:00 PM    comment 

KRON TV in San Francisco has its own blog and has been following Blogher and getting praised for doing so.

8:22:33 PM    comment 

The Onionist posted something funny today that quite a few people emailed me: What everyone should know about blog depression.

It's a PDF and if you don't write a blog obsessively you probably won't see the humor in it.

8:20:16 PM    comment 

I was just thinking back on my conference experiences. I helped on the first VBITS conference (now it's the VSLive conference). At that one, about 10 years ago, there were 428 attendees. Only two women. One was Deborah Kurata. We hired her to speak (at least in part because of my urging). She went on to be one of our most popular speakers.

One thing, though. Deborah helped her cause out. She was active. Very active in the community. Showed up to the local VB user group (and eventually led a bunch of talks there too -- all for free).

She also wrote a book and many magazine articles. Now she runs her own consulting business.

Again, how do you join (or beat?) the good old boys network? Join it!!! It's hard work, but Deborah shows it can be done.

Another example? Molly Holtzschlag. She ran her own web development conference for CMP. She wrote dozens of magazine articles. She writes big thick books on XHTML. And she is ever present at community meetings and conferences. She shows up. She works hard. She gets noticed. She beats the boys at their own game. She's told me about sexism she's faced in the past. What does she do with that? Works even harder.

She's my hero.

Another one? Dori Smith. She is one of the world's top authorities on JavaScript. She thinks she's invisible, but she's not. She's the one who told me to blog. A decision that made my life very rich. I'm permanently in her debt. Just goes to show you that if a woman tells you to do something you better listen to her (that belief helps me in my marriage quite a bit too).

Three women who are at the tops of their games in tech.

They inspire me. Hope they inspire you.

10:57:50 AM    comment 

Tony Gentile says that Danah Boyd said that discussion at Blogher was that I'm on the good old boys network. Well, he didn't quite say that. Just said that about everyone on the Technorati top 100 list.

Funny. That list is, what, two years old or so? And I've been blogging less than five years. Ahh, welcome to the new good old boys network.

So, how do you change this? I have some ideas. But, they require you to put in the work. I blog every day from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. and on weekends. And that's after putting in a day's work doing a video blog for Microsoft and answering email and doing a bunch of networking.

If you're willing to put in the work day after day after day for five years you'll find yourself in the good old boys network too.

By the way, I totally disagree that a link doesn't mean something. When I link to something I KNOW I'm voting for it. So, I don't link to things I don't want to go up the search engines. I thought about using the "no follow" attribute, but to be honest, even a nofollow link is a vote. Such a link still sends traffic and since some of my friends are making more than $10,000 a month on Google ads such a link is a very real increase in income.

So, I link to things I like. You should do the same.

By the way, the Technorati list really isn't that big a deal. I don't get much traffic from it. I haven't gotten any more job offers because I was added to it. I didn't even get a trophy or an award. My son thinks it's lame, cause I'm on it, and Maryam says "that's nice dear but you still need to wash the dishes and take out the trash."

Update: Tony called me while I was out this afternoon and I changed this post to correct some inaccuracies.

Scott, in the comments here, asked whether I was voting for that article over on the Register last week. Unfortunately, yes, I did vote for that. I knew when I linked to it that I was sending more Google juice to the Register (and Andy Orlowski knows that too, which is why he never links directly to my blog). I also knew I was legitimizing that post simply by arguing with it. But, I felt my readers needed to see it to make up their own minds.

Linking to something like that is never done easily because of how the search engine system works.

10:45:48 AM    comment 

Renee Blodget, on how to get more women to speak at conferences: "We talked about the lack of women speakers at technology conferences....and what to do about it. There's a need to create a master list of powerful interesting and dynamic woman and what they want to talk about, so we have access to this list when an opportunity comes up to recommend someone when asked or proactively submit someone's name."

Renee, we already have that list. It's called Google (or MSN or Yahoo, they all pretty much work similar).

I used to hire speakers. And that's EXACTLY what I used to do. Go to Google and see who is known on a particular topic. I'd search for "DHTML Guru" "DHTML Expert" "DHTML book" "DHTML Tips" "DHTML Techniques" "DHTML Community" and other searches like that. I'd make a list of the names I kept seeing over and over again.

Here's a hint: you can get on those lists. Just blog and blog well.

So the real trick isn't to make some sort of new list. It's to teach people how search engines work and how to get other people to notice that they have expertise in a certain area.

By the way, five years ago I wrote a Speaker FAQ back when I worked at Fawcette. That covers very well how speakers are picked.

10:31:08 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; 11:20:40 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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