Daily Archives: December 2, 2005

Guinness anyone?

Before I get into the fun, Deborah Kurata will be live on DotNetRocks tonight. If you don’t know her, Deborah was one of our highest rated speakers back in the 1990s at our VBITS conferences. Should be an interesting show. 

It’s true. Guinness is actually better in Ireland. The tour is fabulous, one of the best corporate museums I’ve visited. It was packed. At the end of the tour (it’s a seven-story-tall building) they serve you a pint. It does taste better there. Less bitter, smoother, and the lady who poured it designs a cute little clover into the top of the foam. Weird that I never made the association between the brewery and the Guinness Book of World Records. I have grown fond of the stouts while here (I still prefer Murphys). Here’s a picture Paschal snapped of me enjoying a Guinness.

Anyway, after that I visited Microsoft’s offices and shot a Channel 9 video. We did a bunch of office ambushes, which are always fun. Parts of Windows Vista and Office are built here, and we met the new European TV team that’s building the Media Center.

While I was doing that Maryam visited Trinity College. I’m going to try to get there tomorrow. She said it’s a must visit.

Anyway, tomorrow we move the Scoble show onto Paris, France, where Shel Israel is already having a good time. I found his arrival story funny. He ran into a Microsoft employee in the hotel lobby and ended up talking about me.

Want to meet up in Paris? We’re open Sunday night and are trying to get a geek dinner going, but need some help. If you have a good place to meet near the Les Blogs conference center, can you enter it on the Sunday Meetup Wiki? Thomas Madsen-Mygdal told me he’d like to meet up. Shel’s in too, so already we have a good dinner going but would love to have more people along.

Anyway, we’re off to meet Paschal for dinner and some more Dublin fun. Oh, one last thing, DownloadSquad has a rant about the 10 things we love about Microsoft. Well, I’m certainly adding an 11th. That they sent me to Dublin.

More from Ireland

Maryam is doing some wonderful blogging about our trip to Ireland.

Colm Smyth says “I’ve been Scobleized (and it didn’t hurt).” Heheh! Says I’m 100% geek and a few other things. I should hire Colm as my PR guy. Too nice.

Paul Watson reported on the user group meeting in Dublin last night. I was tired. Traveling and speaking and experiencing new things (and the Guinness!) does wear. Today we’re having a day to ourselves, mostly. We’ll be filming a Channel 9 video at the Guinness brewery today at about 3 p.m., though, and will be visiting Microsoft’s offices at about 4:30 p.m.

In other news I see that Kent Newsome is reviewing all the feeds in my blogroll. He’s done the As. And the Bs.

John Porcaro, who works on the Xbox marketing team, takes on the question of whether or not the Xbox 360 marketing is “the best or the worst?” We were having so much fun with the user group last night that we missed the launch. I did take a picture of an Xbox sign in a local store here in Dublin. The full version is selling for 409 Euros, which is pretty close to what it’s selling for back in the US. Shawn Morton has a more skeptical view of Microsoft bloggers and asks: are Microsoft bloggers pushing propaganda about the XBOX 360?

Actually, that gets to “how does Microsoft control the message?” question that I got in one of my talks the other day. No one tells me what to write, but all employees have access to the Xbox Discussion alias. There employees from all over the world discuss what they are hearing on the street. It gets pretty violent in some of those mailing lists. People pass along accusations and rumors and news articles and reports on forums. And the Xbox team is there answering them within minutes so that all employees have the latest information. No one says “you must write this” but they share their manufacturing plans, their decision-making process, and other behind-the-scenes information. Add in that I know several people on the team and they give me other details, and yeah, it can look like a concerted effort sometimes. That’s why I point to John Porcaro’s blog and Larry Hryb’s blog rather than try to report it all myself. They are both on the Xbox team and have better access to what really is going on than I do.

Stowe Boyd puts some RSS backlash out there (he doesn’t like the feed reading experience). I keep hearing this too when I give speeches. But almost always these are people who don’t try to keep up with a large number of sites and just visit randomly. I take a more structured approach to my feed reading and hate reading sites on the Web, for the most part. Although with Digg and Memeorandum I certainly do my share of random poking around too.

One thing, though, is even if you hate the RSS experience, there are benefits for having all that stuff stored up. Desktop search works a lot better than even Google on the Web does. If I remember I read something on a feed a few months ago I can find it instantly by using desktop search, but it often is hard to find on the web-based search engines like Google, MSN, or Yahoo.

It’s interesting that some people actually like seeing a blog’s design. I don’t. It impedes readability. Imagine if the New York Times had a different font, a different color backwash, and a different font size for each author. It’d make reading a newspaper really a poor experience, wouldn’t it? Yet we put up with that on the Web. RSS frees me from that system and makes it a lot easier to read a large amount of information very quickly.

But not everything comes through my aggregator. Some gets emailed to me. Chris and Ponzi are at it again, but this time with a video blog.

Gary Price brings us “hypermaps of Boston” which use Google, MSN, and Yahoo Maps in a mashup.

RawSugar (the search engine you can tag) has released a major update, according to their blog.

It’s Jerry Time. His second video has twice as much animated angst. It’s amazing to me that people have the skills and the time to do stuff like this. I love it!

Speaking of weird video blogs, Rocketboom has some geeky Christmas lights.

On the weird video blog theme, yesterday we turned on a new feature on Channel 9: Shows. Charles Torre is driving this, he’s doing several theme-based shows that really are interesting. Going Deep, Women in Technology, and ArcTalk.

Let’s see what else is up. Oh, yeah, got too many emails? Microsoft Research just released SNARF. I’ve tried it out, I like it! It’s great to see different approaches to helping people deal with their email overload. Speaking of which, 221 emails unanswered in my inbox. Sigh…

Will BifSniff be the cartoon on my next business card? I can’t wait to see what FrankP or Bif comes up with! Their cartoons are fun.