USNews writes about customer evangelists

I was just over at the Church of the Customer blog and saw that USNews and World Report wrote about corporate evangelists. I like Ben’s analysis:

“Have some soul. Tell reporters that your evangelists are the greatest customers in the world (and that you’ve restructured the public relations department). After all, what true evangelists crave more than anything is recognition.”

For the record, I appreciate everyone who builds technology to improve our lives, whether it’s as simplistic as adding an RSS feed to your Web sites, to something a lot more complex like making a game for the Xbox 360. If you use Microsoft stuff, even better! If you build stuff on Microsoft’s platforms, better yet!

And never hesitate to let me know how I, or Microsoft, can help you do any of the above.

Gary Short boogles at my ego

In the ‘better mail than jail’ department, Gary Short writes about me: “At the end of the day though, he’s not actually done anything useful, in short he’s a celeb. Famous only for being famous.”

Usually when I get posts like this it’s like an early warning system. So, I need to look back over my posts to see whether I’m getting off track. Indeed I am. Looking back I see my posting has been condescending, too challenging, and sometimes just mean sounding. Heck, even Dave Winer told me off.

Sorry, blame it on the jet lag.

Clone the Memeorandum API, Paul says

Paul Montgomery’s post “Clone the Memeorandum API” is sure to get onto Memeorandum in a few hours. The thing is he thinks the algorithm that Gabe Rivera developed for Memeorandum is fairly simplistic.

Oh, Paul, you sound a bit like Tim Bray tonight!

If only developing quality software was so simplistic. You might not know Gabe, but I do. He’s a former compiler writer. Used to work for Intel. He’s one smart cookie. His algorithms might be simple to explain, but they aren’t so simple to implement. For instance, do you know how he filters out noise? What happens if I link to a political blog? Why doesn’t that show up on Memeorandum? Ever consider that one? I’ve talked with Gabe about it. The algorithm he wrote takes care of it.

Doing Memeorandum took him more than a year. Are you a former compiler writer? Expect it to take longer then and not work as well.

I want to see a “personal Memeorandum” too, though, just to be clear. But thinking that it’s a simple problem just denigrates Gabe who took more than a year off of work — without pay — to implement Memeorandum.

The other thing you need to know is that opening API’s increases a systems’ POTENTIAL insecurity quite a bit. So doing so must be done with great thought. Lots of threat modeling. Lots of testing. Not easy stuff. I bet that turning on an API will require Gabe to do even more work than he’s already done.

Tim Bray wants Microsoft to make Office support ODF

Tim Bray just told me (and my fellow Microsofties) to do more work. He wants us to convert Office to support the open document format from OASIS.

Tim, I think you are GREATLY overstating the point when you say ” Almost all office documents are just paragraphs of text, with some bold and some italics and some lists and some tables and some pictures. Almost all spreadsheets are numbers and labels, with some sums and averages and pivots and simple algebra. Almost all presentations are lists of bullet points with occasional pictures. The capabilities of ODF and O12X are essentially identical for all this basic stuff.”

If they are so similar it’ll be a breeze to write a converter to take one XML file format and convert it into another, right Tim? Hey, Tim, wanna come work for the Office team? I think we have an office open for a co-inventor of XML. Maybe Sun Microsystems can give you a leave of absence. Or, heck, take a vacation and work on it on your three weeks off a year. If it’s so easy someone with your skills should be able to finish the job in a few weeks, no?

But, back to reality, thanks for telling me to do more work. I’m passing the request along.