Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Friday, September 30, 2005

DABU wins. Things are happening fast. is the new URL that Dylan Greene setup for me. DABU stands for Dylan's Awesome Blogging Utility. I'll write a review shortly. I like the editor a lot. Don't judge me until we have a design that works and a bit of content put in.

Oh, WordPress was technically faster, by a few hours. Both are very interesting. WordPress certainly has more users.

WordPress is a Linux-run service, DABU is a Windows-run one.

Since they both came in within hours, it's basically a tie. I'm gonna try both of them out. I have already setup over on WordPress too.

So, which one should I go with and why?

4:29:25 PM    Mudpit 

Jamie strikes again with another Googlepark: The Umpire Strikes Back. You know, Jamie, you could turn this into a business. Hillarious!

4:23:34 PM    Mudpit 

Ahh, lots of people are getting on me for evangelizing a "crappy format." Hey, here's the deal. Dave might write crappy specs. I've heard all of his specs be called crappy. But, he does something most of the other, more superior, spec writers rarely do: he wrote an app.

See, as a user, I really don't care about the spec. I can't read them. I don't appreciate them. And, all they seem to do is lead to religious arguments one way or another.

I'm a user. Shoot me.

But what Dave did was give me an application. It works. And, as a user, I wonder "if the format is so crappy, how did Dave get it to work in his own application?"

And, as a user, I wonder "why can't the developers just get their OPML to work with Dave's application?"

James Kew, for instance, asks "why can't a reviewer say something sucks?" OK, I buy that. But, usually Ebert and Roeper have something better for you to see. In this case, I have an app. I have a demonstration of what I want from TechCrunch. I want it too. Is there something better that meets my needs? Give it to me.

The crappy format is good enough until someone comes up with something better. And that's what you're all missing.

7:41:30 AM    Mudpit 

MSN Search blog: MSN Search plugins for Firefox.


1:19:19 AM    Mudpit 

Tristan Yates has a post that caught my eye: How IBM conned my execs out of millions.

I have no idea if this rant is true or not. I'm assuming it is since it got reposted over on Kuro5hin. But, either way, it's something that's out there now and should be answered to by the people involved.

1:14:02 AM    Mudpit 

A post over on Search Engine Watch's forums is quite fun (and makes you realize just how bogus counts are on search engines): Google has indexed itself.

1:08:05 AM    Mudpit 

CMP's TechWeb: 1-in-10 consumers read blogs (and the number is going up).

1:05:28 AM    Mudpit 

Chris Pirillo: Microsoft: Better listen to your beta testers.

Oh, Chris, I absolutely agree! I totally believe we should move to Ladybug (that's the code name for MSDN's Product Feedback Center) for all of our products. Why we haven't yet? I have no idea. Today it's only used on a small number of products, mostly around Visual Studio. But if there's something that MSDN can do to make a lasting impact on the company it's to make it easier for the company to collect and act on feedback from its customers.

By the way, now that MSN and Windows are together in one group, you all should see the system MSN built. We're getting thousands of pieces of feedback per day (actually, I don't want to give the real number here but it's astounding). It all comes into a system that lets everyone figure out what the most important things are to work on.

1:04:13 AM    Mudpit interviews Ray Kurzweil. I'm reading his new book. It's a must read and will be a highly discussed one. It makes you change your point of view, and I'm only through the first two chapters.

12:51:02 AM    Mudpit 

I have a new way to tell if someone is really reading my blog. This has happened a couple of times in the past few days. Someone will come up to me and say "I love your blog." I then tell them, "oh, thank you very much, what do you think about Memeorandum?"

All too often they get a blank stare on their face. But the ones who have something to say about Memeorandum always start an interesting conversation.

Oh, if you are learning about Memeorandum for the first time, you need to follow it several times a day (I average about 15 checks of it a day and it rarely doesn't bring me new stuff). You also need to visit the Preferences link on the top right and click on all that stuff.

Anyway, sorry that I am fawning over it so much. It's just changed my life, that's all.

12:42:49 AM    Mudpit 

Matt Hartley asks "where's the Xbox 360 beef?" Oh, sorry, he didn't quite say it that way. He noted that he isn't hearing about any decent gaming titles.

Well, let's talk again soon about that, OK? Larry Hyrb says to watch his blog for more news soon. The Xbox Launch guide that I bought at Fry's over the weekend says there's more than 130 games under development. I'm getting a tour of Bungie next week. So hopefully I'll have some good news after I see them.

Oh, and the game titles are so secret that the Xbox team didn't let me in. But I talked with some MVPs after they got a sneak peak and they were all wearing smiles and high-fiving each other. So, I take that as a good sign.

12:19:04 AM    Mudpit 

Oh, so far two developers have started work on my OPML feature: Niall Kennedy of Technorati and Matt Mullenweg of WordPress and Steve Lacey added an automatic OPML feed to Moveable Type (cool, but if Six Apart had it in TypePad, that'd be awesome).

Chandu Thota wrote me and said that "Local OPML" is a feature on BlogMap. Oh, that's cool too!

12:05:45 AM    Mudpit 

James Robertson: "Ye gods, it's time someone came out and said something. OPML is a really, really crappy format."

James, here's the deal. I really don't care about specs. I'm a user here. When users say they want something the correct answer isn't to call what they are asking for "crappy" but it is to either say "here's what you're asking for" or it's to say "here's what you're asking for and I made it even better." Or, I guess an OK response would be "I can't do that, sorry."

But if you say the format is crappy that makes me wonder if you have something better up your sleeve. So, I'm gonna call you on it. Do you?

And, in my case, if I didn't explain what I wanted well enough you should ask me questions. Here's some questions I would have asked myself:

Q: Why do you need OPML? Why can't we do this in HTML or RSS?

A: I don't know that I need it in OPML, but I am using Dave Winer's OPML outliner and I really like that. So, I'd like something that lets me get things in an outline format. I'd also like to use this data offline, and the OPML tool lets me do that. I'd also like to be able to redistribute my directory to other people who use the OPML tool (or other tools that are compatible with the OPML tool). I'd also like to be able to publish my directory to my blog to add a new way for my readers to discover my old stuff.

As an author, I'd hope it worked automatically. For instance, I could see two views. One view would be year based. Double-click on 2000 and you'd see one month, cause I started publishing in December of that year. Double-click on December and up would pop a list of my blogs that month (headlines). Double-click on a headline and you'd see the content (either pulled from RSS or an HTML representation).

Another view I'd like is tags. For instance, I'd like an outline node that says "my favorite blogs." Double click on that and you should find an entry for "Corporate Weblog Manifesto" among others. Double click on that and you'd get the entry for that blog opening up (or, even better, you'd get the RSS for that entry which would be loaded locally so no server round-tripping would be required. Imagine being able to download a single file from my blog that had all that in there.

Q: Why won't tags alone do it?

A: Because we have tags over on Channel 9 and they don't do what I want. I can't redistribute the site's tags. I can't read that content offline. I can't store it in an Outliner like Dave's OPML tool. I can't redisplay those tags on another site.

Q: Why do you care so much about offline?

A: 1) I fly a lot.
2) I use desktop search now (you should see the latest from MSN). By having it locally (and segregated by author, by year, by tag, etc) it's a lot faster than going up to Google or MSN or Yahoo. It also works on the plane. It also lets me add my own metadata, which helps search work even better (I could add a node at the beginning of my favorite posts from your blogs, for instance, which would have my own keywords, which would help me find your blog later).

Q: Isn't the OPML format crappy?

A: I am a user. I'll leave those discussions to the developers. But, as a user, I don't really give a flying leap. I see the feature I want. I see that someone has done it by hand to get what they want. I want even more. Are you gonna give it to me? Fine. If not, then can you stay out of the process please?

12:02:33 AM    Mudpit 

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© Copyright 2005
Robert Scoble
My cell phone: 425-205-1921
Are you with the press?
Last updated:
10/1/2005; 12:42:59 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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