Daily Archives: December 20, 2005

Alan takes on the big company blogging issue

I love this quote from Alan Gutierrez’ blog: “If your employees are releasing confidential information, that’s not a blogging problem. It is a more general problem. It’s called incompetence.”

I like his five steps to launching corporate blogs. Actually, some things Microsoft did before blogging happened here was have awesome information-sharing systems. Are you sharing information with all your employees internally? Do you have good ways for employees to find out what’s going on? (This used to be an ‘open door’ policy). Let’s put it this way, one day I sent Bill Gates email. I wasn’t really expecting an answer. But he answered back within two hours. Freaking richest guy in the world. Cover of Time magazine. And he answered his email in 1.5 hours. And people wonder why I’m passionate about working here.

Oh, and Bill is slow. Ray Ozzie often answers within a few minutes. Not always, but amazingly often. And not just for me, either. I’ve seen both answer back average employees just as fast. Think that doesn’t make for better blogging? More loyal employees? An attitude of transparency? Oh, Steve Ballmer and Eric Rudder answer their emails too and I have a VP at Waggener Edstrom on my IM.

Another way to tell your company is ready for blogging? They have frequent presentations from both execs as well as regular employees and they share those presentations internally. How about the presentation that senior vice presidents gave last week about Windows Live? You’ll hear a lot more about what they showed us soon, but that presentation is available on our intranet for every employee to watch (that, and many other presentations are videoed and shared internally). So, now I know intimately what our execs are thinking about and working on and I can share that with you. I learned about things like http://favorites.live.com/ which I didn’t know about before (I’m using that now and am wondering if anyone has written up a review of that against del.icio.us?)

Another example? At Google every Friday the two guys who started the company have a company meeting. That’s a fantastic way to make sure that everyone in the company is on the same page.

Another way you can tell your company is ready for blogging? Does every employee have an intranet site? A place he/she can publish internally to other employees? Why is that important? Well, it builds a culture where people feel comfortable publishing. They can try their hand at publishing to a wider audience than email, but in a safer way cause it’s with coworkers.

I think it was those cultural things that let blogging happen at Microsoft. Well, that, and Joshua Allen took a lot of risk and just started blogging. At the end of the day, that’s what it’ll take to get your company blogging. Someone will need to take some risk. Here’s the deal. If you take risk and survive there are usually rewards. For me the reward is having a job that’s unbelieveable. I get to walk around Microsoft with a camcorder. And get paid for it. Unbelieveable. I pinch myself every morning. This morning Alex Williams asked me what’s next. I told him “another blog post.” Seemed to work pretty well so far!

No AJAXy women?

Dori Smith asks again why women aren’t being invited to speak at tech conferences (this time pointing at the Ajax Experience 2006)?

I find it funny that someone asks over on the conference site “is this going to be an unconference?”

Uh, no.

I’m thinking a lot about who I want to be part of our Mix06 conference. I’m noodling on an idea I call “the mix masters.”

Those in the industry who know their stuff. Web developers, designers, visionaries, architects, who you’d like to have a conversation with over lunch at a conference.

I think I’ll start a list of mix masters and see where it goes.

Dori Smith is first on the list. She’s on the list cause she was a JavaScript expert before JavaScript was cool.

I deleted a list I was starting here cause I realized that for every name I put on it there were at least four others who were deserving too. Plus, I think it’ll start an interesting conversation. Who has done the best work in the Web design and development fields?

Who else is a mix master? Who would you want to hang with for an hour?

Scoble’s a tool, blogger cries

Tom Bridge: I just want to know why anyone listens to that tool [Scoble].

Hey, that sounds a lot like what my wife asks often. ;-) Hey, that’s the neat thing about RSS and blogs. If someone starts to be a tool, you can just unsubscribe!

Continuing the conversation: James Robertson says Microsoft just might have a tornado. No, not my hurt ego. The Xbox! Heheh.

And, Elisa says “Let’s be fair, Scoble!” in reaction to my post about Marketing Sherpa’s post about five things that corporate types should do if they are considering blogging. She notes that I should give other corporate bloggers a break, saying that blog policies are a good thing. Personally, I hope all my competitors adopt blog policies. The more a blog is done by a committee the more boring it’ll be and the less likely it’ll be to enter into a conversation.

I’m sure there are some corporate types who look at Tom’s post above and say “no, that’s not for me, thank you very much.” That’s OK, I just hope they all work for my competitors. Hey, if you aren’t willing to be a bit controversial, what good is that? How boring. I guess that’s what people want me to be. Just a dutiful little boring cog in a dutiful little boring corporate machine.

Bah!

Om asks whether we really need the speed of broadband?

Om Malik asks whether we really need the speed of higher bandwidth connections.

I got an easy answer to that one: HDTV. Yes.

If you want one of the new IPTV boxes that’ll deliver four simultaneous channels of video to your house you’ll need a 30mbps line. The problem is that the first systems will be setup in 2006, but it’ll probably be years before even a decent percentage of people have IPTV ability in the home.

I gotta get that video I did with the IPTV group up. That explains all.

 

Buzz tests podcasting’s effectiveness

Buzz Bruggeman, CEO of ActiveWords did a podcast with Marc Orchant over the weekend and did a little test. At the 40 minute mark he made an offer just to see if anyone was listening. Turns out they were — in droves.

It’s interesting. Some of my bosses keep asking me to make my Channel 9 videos shorter. They think it’ll lead to a bigger audience. I keep telling them that I don’t really give a hoot about a bigger audience. I want to serve the passionate ones who care about something deeply.

I mean, who is nutty enough to watch an hour-long video about font technology, right? Well, the most passionate of all the computer users, that’s who. That’s who I want. Those are the people who change the world and tell their friends whether or not something is good or not.

I was just interviewed on Alex Williams podcast. I told him that’s why most executives don’t get blogging. I mean, look at my audience. It’s small and tiny when compared to the overall computer audience. But, if you’re talking about search, who would you rather talk to? The average person like my mom? Or Danny Sullivan, the guy who runs Search Engine Watch? I know which one I’d rather have.

And, yes, podcasting and videoblogging are going to be more important in 2006. Why? Cause how else am I going to show you what the new fonts in Windows Vista looks like without a video? How else are you going to hear the emotion Alex and I (or anyone, for that matter) has without hearing voices in a podcast?