March, month of Web Conferences

Whew, everyone seems to want to do a Web Conference in March. There’s SXSW. There’s O’Reilly’s ETech. And now Microsoft enters in with Mix 06.

I’m speaking at SXSW and I’m helping out on the Mix 06 team.

My first question is “will Bill Gates let us put a back channel up during his keynote?”

After watching the interchange at Les Blogs between Mena and Ben, I’d guess not, but you never know. This isn’t going to be a PDC or a TechED.

So, why do another Web conference?

Well, my trip through Europe punctuated why. I kept meeting businesspeople who had bet their businesses on Microsoft’s Web technologies. From Reuters to L’Oreal to Heineken to dozens of other CTO’s and CEOs that I met who told me they are using Microsoft technologies and wanted a way to learn only about those (since most of the other events are heavily LAMP-focused).

Does anyone else find it ironic that the Microsoft conference is the one with both a blog and an RSS button? Next thing you know Microsoft will be adding tags, making deals with Firefox and getting along with the Web Standards Project, and figuring out how to do great maps and great search. Hmmm.

Anyway, what Web conference are you going to in March? Hope to see you there.

New blog of the day…Phil Sim

I love it when people tell me about a blogger who has very few readers, just started blogging, and is writing interesting stuff. Phil Sim’s blog just got emailed to me today and I liked it. Love his tag line too:

Please stop here for a Web 2.0 reality check.

Heheh. I don’t agree with him about structured blogging. The trick there is to make the tools do it. WordPress, for instance, lets me easily choose categories. Now, what if I could select “review” or put in a map position or URL to match it with.

But, his post on needing a longer tail in blogging is interesting. The tail is growing. It’s just really hard to find new bloggers right now. Why? Cause our search engines aren’t all that great at finding new things. Google/MSN/Yahoo are great at finding existing blogs that have gotten noticed. Stick “Web 2.0″ into any of those and you’ll find interesting blogs. But, go to Technorati/Feedster/IceRocket and stick “Web 2.0″ into those and you’ll get dreck. Ugh.

Memeorandum is cool, but only covers two communities today. What about if you’re looking for a scrapbooking blogger? A model blogger? A trucker who blogs? Sorry, no way.

Is search done? No way! Quick, find Phil in a search engine.

Can I have my evil back?

Ross Mayfield talks about evil and marketing. I’ve been telling my friends that two kids from Stanford stole our evil and we want it back, damn it!

I didn’t realize that Wikipedia is evil, though. Damn, there goes my whole belief system. Oh, turn around evil and you get live. Hmmm, the opposite of evil is live. Yeah, don’t play that record backward. You might hear Steve Jobs saying that he’s loving Intel. ;-)

Speaking of Wikipedia, Dan Gillmor points to Nature Investigation that finds it comes close to Britannica in terms of the accuracy of its science entries.

Now that certainly isn’t evil.

Oh, and putting “Microsoft is Evil” finds 5,860 results on MSN Search. Putting “Google is Evil” in only finds 3,650 results. Ahh, we’re almost twice as evil as Google. Whew, our evil is safe for another day.

837 words about how Office is dead (from Steve Gillmor)

Steve Gillmor has the same conversation everywhere he goes. It seems.

Office is dead. Office is dead. Office is dead, he says. Except he uses 826 more words to say that.

He’s right.

That is if you compare Web 2.0 (of 2005) to Office 97.

Maybe we should just have had Steve Gillmor’s face on all those dinosaur ads. ;-)

But, Office still has some kick left in it. I’ve been using Office 12 for the past few days and, I can’t go back. The Excel pivot table feature alone is worth paying hundreds of dollars. Alone.

And tables are finally really cool. PowerPoint is actually something I’ll use again. Creating a chart there is sure a lot nicer than I’ve been able to do on any Web site.

Steve also hasn’t been paying attention to our secret weapon: workflow. Try to stick that in your Linux server and smoke it!

And now I see there’s new extensibility in OneNote 12.

I’m a card-carrying member of the Web 2.0 Working Group, but there isn’t anything as cool as OneNote coming out yet. Sorry. Not even close.

**Ray Ozzie slaps Scoble**

Oh, Ray, knock it off! We all know Gillmor’s favorite toy is Groove. We’re keeping that hidden away here until we need to use that to get Steve to attend another conference. Why? Cause it’s always fun arguing with Steve about whether or not Office is dead. Hell, according to my Word Counter (in the dead Office 2003) we just killed another 258 words doing just that. Heheh.

The pictures don’t do it justice

I just talked to Buzz Bruggeman, CEO of ActiveWords. He just finished a drive through the Katrina hurricane zone to visit Ernie the Attorney. He sent me a photo this morning of Ernie standing in front of a house. On the house was a horizontal line. The water line.

He told me the pictures just don’t even start to communicate how bad conditions are there for people. He said he had people pleading with him to get more people to come and visit New Orleans and see it for themselves (and help).

That line, it is oppressive in pictures. Dave Winer’s pictures show the line too.

Buzz told me that Ernie drove him for miles. Around every turn he expected it to get better, but it just kept getting worse. He told me nothing on TV or any pictures prepared him for the devastation he saw.

When we were talking I wondered what we haven’t seen of the Tsunami. There’s only so much devastation we can take. Only so much human suffering we can comprehend.

On the other hand, humor is still evident in this Fema Help Desk. New entrepreneurs are apparently springing up.

Thanks Dave and Buzz!