Scobleizer Weblog

 Friday, January 16, 2004

Folks with the PDC build of Longhorn might wanna check out Robert Wlodarczyk playing around with images in Avalon. He gives away the source and binaries so you can learn from his efforts.

Mary Jo Foley: it's not all about Linux.

"Windows is cool again, thanks to all the excitement around Longhorn."

She also points to the new Services for Unix that was released this week.

Robert McLaws also is raving about Tasklines, an add-on for Outlook 2003. I'll have to check this out. My task lists are getting longer lately.

Robert McLaws asks for help on how to fund a popular community site (Longhorn blogs). This is a common problem. It'll probably become a problem at some point for my blog. A year ago I only had a few hundred visitors a day. Yesterday I had 5400. In another year?

And Longhorn blogs had a lot more visits than I've been getting. Whew.

I'd rather the community figure this out, by the way, rather than Microsoft fund it. Why? Because that'll give the community a stronger voice and more independence (let's be honest, when you get money from any company, there are usually strings attached, and even if they aren't evil strings, there will be the perception that there are strings there). As of today Microsoft hasn't given a dollar to Longhorn blogs.

This isn't just a Microsoft issue, either. All companies have this issue if they have communities of users on the Web. So, this makes for an interesting discussion topic for all of us.

My traffic has doubled here lately. Yesterday had 5400 people show up. Welcome to all my new readers. You can see my referer page over to the right, so you can see who's pointing the most traffic to me.

Larry Larsen has been "painting" with his Tablet PC. I wish I were talented like that. I'll try to get him to talk about the software and technique he uses.

 Thursday, January 15, 2004

A friend, who owns a bar, sent me this video of "Scanabar" which is a drink-management system written in Windows.

Loren's WebcamNotes are cool. Can't wait to try those on my own TabletPC.

Eric Rudder will be speaking in California on February 5, Niall Kennedy says.

John Robb is looking for new hosting for his blog (his blog is down for the count right now). Turns out putting pictures of Saddam on his blog got his hoster mad at him. Who has good hosting for low cost?

Another MSDN/Longhorn link: Jeff Bogdan gives an overview of Avalon, the presentation subsystem in Longhorn.

Yesterday I met with a few other teams. I met with Marcus Kwan from the Aero team. He's a world-class designer that just started working at Microsoft (he was working at the renowned Frog Design shop before). He's also designing the sharing features in Longhorn.

Second I met with Alex Malek and Rob Mauceri of the FrontPage team, and they gave me an excellent demo of FrontPage and Sharepoint -- they wanted to get my ideas on weblogging and RSS. Like all good demo'ers, they had personalized the demo. At one point they showed off an RSS-reading component that they made for Sharepoint (which really is an XML-reading component, but since RSS is XML, it works great). They dragged a control on a web page. Right clicked. Set the properties to my RSS feed. And they had my weblog coming in as part of their intranet site.

They obviously showed me a lot more too. Sharepoint comes with Windows Server 2003 now, so many people have it on their enterprise systems and they don't even know what it does. I didn't before I worked at Microsoft. It's a very nice way to build a very useful web site without needing to be a FrontPage or Dreamweaver jockey.

I used Sharepoint to do the resource card project for the PDC. I needed to work with 60 different teams, with a minimum of interaction. Sharepoint let all 60 team members visit a Web page and enter their information. Much like a wiki.

Yasser Shohoud has a new article up on "Creating Indigo apps with the PDC release of Visual Studio .NET Whidbey." By the way, I've been catching up on my PDC video watching. Those are really great. Thanks MSDN!

These videos are funny! Thanks to Chris Anderson for linking to this site.

Behind the scenes at Microsoft.

Every OS Sucks.

Hmm, Jeff Dav is a developer on Internet Explorer and he has a weblog -- here he's talking about the pop-up blocker that's in XPSP2.

Got lots of interesting conversations going on here. I was linked to by MetaFilter and the Web Standards Org.

One comment that I saw was "I doubt the Internet Explorer team is reading this." Nothing could be further from the truth.

One thing I've been interested in is to see how few comments I've actually gotten. Yeah, 100 on one thread and 60 on another is pretty good for me. But, for a product with more than 100,000,000 users? For something where MetaFilter and the Web Standards Org pointed at me? For a day when I had 4000 readers or so?

This is one problem with weblogs. The message is amplified cause it's online. And because it's individual people who took the time out to leave a comment. But, when I take this feedback to execs, they are gonna compare it to feedback they get from the CTO at Procter and Gamble, or GM, or our other customers. Folks who pay us big bucks. Then they'll compare it to feedback they get from our user testing labs. You know, mom and dad. I'll be honest. I've never had someone in an airport ask me "how come you guys can't make a standards-compliant browser." I have had tons of people ask me "how come you can't keep spyware from happening?"

See, that's how priorities on teams get set. And I sure can't argue with that approach, even though it occassionally frustrates the bejeebers out of me cause my feature requests are low on the list of things to do.

Some days I totally understand what it's like to be a campaign manager for a presidential candidate. You take the feedback from people and try to please everyone. Sometimes that job is impossible.

But, I'll keep trying. I want many of the same things my commenters want. You might have missed this, but I've been playing with CSS positioning and styles here as well and I'm just as frustrated as many of you are.

One thing I'm happy about is that Dean (the guy who runs the Internet Explorer team) is smart, passionate about the Web, and is very knowledgeable about the marketplace and what's going on in it.

The conversation has started. Now it'll be interesting to see where it goes.

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Robert Scoble works at Microsoft. 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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© Copyright 2004 Robert Scoble Last updated: 1/16/2004; 9:48:34 AM.