Pittsburgh vs. Seattle in Super Bowl

The game isn’t even over yet, but Mike Woycheck of the Pittsburgh Bloggers has already sent me email asking if I’d want to do a “friendly bet.” Seattle just beat the Carolina Panthers 34-14.

See, Seattle and Pittsburgh are going to meet in the Super Bowl. Pittsburgh has a deep football tradition. They are gonna be a very tough team to beat.

I’ll display my Terrible Towel in my office that they gave me for my birthday but I’m a Seattle fan.

So, wonder what the bet should be? Hey, we just bought a case of Windy Point wine made here in Washington. I’ll put that up for the Seattle side of the bet (we served it last night at our launch party to raves).

Mike, what will it be?

(If you’re outside the US, this is like the World Cup to Americans. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen owns the Seattle Seahawks and many Microsoft employees are fans — tickets to the game were extremely hard to get).

Update: Mike has the details on the bet.

I’m pushing for more transparency, here’s why

You only need to watch the PR (by Nathan Weinberg on the Inside Microsoft blog) that Microsoft received over the past week to understand that more transparency would be a good thing. Danny Sullivan, over on Search Engine Watch made the same point several times.

As I flew across the United States yesterday this story was at the top of page one on every newspaper I saw.

Note to Microsoft employees: if you aren’t transparent about when you deal with governments you will hand your competitors a huge advantage. If it were up to me I’d blog whenever governmental requests come in. One area that isn’t possible is when there are crimes involved, though. Companies regularly turn data over under subpoena.

One last thought on this story. It’s real easy to trash customer trust and very hard to earn it back. Transparency is the way here.

I’ll be at the Search Champs meeting with MSN too and will make these points again there.

How would you handle it if you were running a search engine or blog service and a government asked you to do something, even something with great ends? How would you have handled this case?

What a party!

More than 100 people showed up at last night’s party. What a night. I’ll wait for the blogs to be written. Thanks to Steve Broback for the magic. We sold a bunch of books, thanks to everyone who bought one, and Jessica Smith’s food was just awesome. We’re uploading photos now. Brandon Paddock said the launch party was “fantastic.” Thanks Brandon, it was great because of the people who showed up. A few CEOs. At least one VC. Journalists from Associated Press and Seattle PI (and that’s if you don’t count all the various bloggers).

And, yes, we owe it all to Buzz Bruggeman. And John and Alison Dillow. They were awesome as hosts. We have tons of pictures up on our Flickr feed. Their house was a major hit with everyone, not to mention their gracious and warm presence. And the sponsorship of Perkins Coie (the law firm that John Dillow works for) was greatly appreciated (they paid for all the food, the coffee bar, and the wine and beer, among other things).

Thanks so much to Shel and Paula Israel. Hope I didn’t embarrass Paula too much. Shel and I got in front of the crowd and told how we decided to write the book together (Andy Ruff, a PM on MSFT’s Entourage team, and Buzz Bruggeman, sat us down at dinner and told us we should write a book together).

Oh, and you gotta check out Chris Pirillo’s review of Naked Conversations! That got Maryam and I to crack up! Thankfully the video ends just in time. ;-)

John Tokash says the book is available in Redwood City now too. There were a few Amazon employees at the party tonight and they said they were working hard to get all the books into customers’ hands and that they are sorry for any troubles people have had.

More reports on the party:

Mike Torres. (He has a book coming out about blogging with MSN Spaces, that’s cool!)
Steve Lacey. “Wow. What a house.”
Kintan Brahmbhatt has a picture of him with us.
The RSS team showed up too.
Bob Pritchett.
Blog Business Summit’s DL Byron. “Speaking for the wives, the quote of the night was from Maryam Scoble who said, “The book is all about naked conversations and doesn’t mention Paula (Shel’s wife) or me!””
Charlie Owen: Things I Learned at the Naked Conversations Launch Party.
Julie Leung: links to lots of the people who were there.
Jack William Bell: Says we chose the title to help with search engine optimization. Heheh!
Anita Rowland: Recent cancer survivor, it was really great to see her and hear her treatment had gone well.
Lauri Sandquist: inspired to start her blog back up, has nice report.
Lora Heiny. Notes there was a bit of geekiness there.
Vikram Dendi. Talked about the Dillow’s home and tour of such.
Mitch Ratcliffe on ZDNet (congrats on the new job!): Naked Conversations is a great book for anyone wrestling with what blogging will do for (or against) their business.

Update: we’re on top of Memeorandum/Tech right now.

I’ll post more here as they come in.