Jeremy Zawodony learned that something he did contributed to the bottom line where he works (I think Yahoo, right?)
I'm always suprised how rarely I hear people think about the business strategy behind what they do. It happens quite a bit, both in small companies and large ones. But it's so important. Products that don't have a business strategy (and what I'm talking about here is not just contributing to the bottom line) rarely succeed.
Yesterday I was talking to someone who's about to release a version 1.0 product and I said "there are tons of people who watch Microsoft to see what its business strategy is." You know, is xyz product "dead" or getting new investment? How can we tell? Well, pick five Microsoft products. Now, look at their websites. Are they changing often? Are they releasing new products on a regular schedule? Do the webloggers talk about them?
For instance, compare NetMeeting to, say, SPOT watches. Spot is hot. Releasing this month. NetMeeting has been on backburners for years (and its technology has been rolled into MSN Messenger). The press. The blogosphere. The analysts. They all watch this. Why are 7000+ people coming to the PDC? To find out what our business strategy is.
By the way, registration for the PDC is expected to close in 25 minutes (at 11 a.m. Pacific Time). We've sold out!! It's official now.
OK, now that we've gotten a little bit of the BlogSelfLoathing out of the way, I must admit that I see a broad and great future for weblogging. I keep getting this question: "why does Microsoft let you weblog?" Ed Cone asked me that yesterday for a column he's writing for Baseline magazine.
You know, I don't think it's that weird. Microsoft has usually been pretty aggressive about interacting with its customers online. I remember being on CompuServe forums and having tons of interactions with Microsoft employees.
But, why is it a news story? Because there's conflict there. No one else is doing it. Where there's conflict, there's news.
The fact that people hate weblogs is conflict. Dave Sifry told me over the weekend that he's watching more than a million weblogs with a new one being added every 2.1 seconds. Whew.
Even if the studies are right that 60 or 70% go dead within a few months, that's still 300,000 to 400,000 active weblogs. That's still one active weblogger being added every 10 seconds or so.
I dream of a day when every product team uses RSS and has a news page updated frequently in reverse order. Why? Cause I hate the fact that I need to frequently visit the Office Team's website just to see if there's anything new there. Plus, how do I know if there IS anything new there? I can't. There is a new world coming. There is conflict there. There is news there.
Interesting discussion about the Register over on Joi Ito's weblog.
I'm in a masochistic mood today, so I read that Blog noise achieves Google KO. Yes, Andrew Orlowski at the Register is still on the anti-weblog tear. He does have a point. Of course, I'm also noticing more non-weblog noise on Google lately too.
I know Microsoft is trying to figure out how to do a search engine too. I wonder if it's possible to come up with a search-engine algorithm that always shows the most relevant results. It's a tough job, because sometimes the most relevant results WILL BE weblogs. Sometimes they WILL BE porn.
I guess that's the question of the decade. Who'll come up with the best algorithm? The game is afoot! In the meantime, I'm reading "Google Hacks" from O'Reilly (yeah, I got that book for free this past weekend). Hey, is that an advertisement?
This guy really f-ing hates weblogs. Warning Will Robinson: lots of uses of "f-word" ahead.
Good morning. Jupiter Media analyst Joe Wilcox does some critical thinking about early reports of WinFS (the new file storage system in Longhorn).