JazzFest is on, can we deal with more geek events?

Thomas Hawk is shooting awesome photos from New Orleans' Jazz Fest this weekend.

It's awesome that MSN is broadcasting the festival live. Ernie the Attorney, who lives in New Orleans, told me that this year's JazzFest will be historic and that they are seeing even more awesome musicians coming to town than they usually do.

Anyone see any other great blogging or podcasting or videoblogging from New Orleans? Let us know.

As for MindCamp, I'll be there today, unfortunately it's sold out so if you don't have tickets it won't be possible to get you in. That's a good reminder to get your tickets for these events: MeshForum (mid-May in San Francisco); Syndicate (mid-May in New York); VSLive (mid-May in Orlando and Mid-June in Las Vegas); Microsoft Mobile and Embedded DevCon (mid-May in Las Vegas); Windows Hardware Conference (mid-May in Seattle); eBayDevCon (mid-June in Las Vegas); SuperNova (mid-June in San Francisco); TechEd (mid-June in Boston); Gnomedex (end of June in Seattle); Reboot (beginning of June in Copenhagen) and BlogHer (end of July in Silicon Valley). Tickets to most of these events are going quickly.

Update: I forgot VLoggerCon (mid-June in San Francisco).

Can the world take more geek and blogger conferences? I sure can't. I'm sure I'm forgetting some, but I'm exhausted just by listing them all out.

What conferences are you attending in the next few months?

Windows Live Mail (formerly Hotmail) has a philosophy?

As I go around Microsoft I ask teams "are you just gonna sell your participants/partners/users/customers down the river or are you gonna stand up for them?" Especially when someone is offering you money to do something anti-user?

This week when I was interviewing the Hotmail Windows Live Mail team they told me about a decision they had made to reduce the number of advertisments on their service from two to one.

Omar Shahine detailed this decision, and other things (he works on this team).

We are afraid to tell you is just how much money is left on the table by this decision, but it's a HUGE pile. More money than I would imagine (turns out that putting two ads on a page is very profitable). Why? Because we're scared of making shareholders even more skittish than they already are (our expenses are up and leaving many millions of dollars on the table doesn't seem like a smart decision, does it?)

But, this decision makes me happy. Ecstatic, actually. It means that the product teams have been given the green light to make the best-of-breed experiences for our customers and users.

The Windows Live Mail team just got a philosophy. Companies that have pro-participant philosophies, especially in the advertising age, will end up with bigger audiences and more profit in the end.

I tell ya, Live.com just got a whole lot easier for me to evangelize.

Does this matter? Windows Live Mail has 200 million unique accounts that have been signed into in the past 30 days. They block more than a billion spam messages every day. This is one of the most used Web Services in the world.

Their new site design is working really well for me. Much nicer than the existing Hotmail.

I love this team.

MSFT beta testing too hard?

Rob La Gesse wrote me a very constructive email today about how difficult beta testing Microsoft's products is. Instead of emailing it around I asked him "could you blog it?" Why? Cause I thought it would start a good conversation and to tell the truth I don't know who to email it to anyway. Putting things like these in public usually gets to the right people faster than if I try using email. It's weird that way. Even if the right people don't read my blog, usually someone who does forwards my posts along. I've seen that happen hundreds of times already, including several times just this week. (I had a really great conversation with David Webster, the guy who runs all the naming programs at Microsoft, but more on that later).

Anyway, thanks Rob for starting your blog!

To everyone else, this is a good chance to talk about what betas you'd like to be added to and/or give the folks who run the beta programs some constructive criticism about how to run them better. Thanks for the help. 

Is Steve Jobs building a “DisneyPod?”

Astute reader Diego Barros noticed this note in Apple's Shareholders meeting notes:

"In a response to a question about Microsoft's Media Center, Jobs replied, "we hear you loud and clear." "

If I were at Apple, what would I do? Come out with a "DisneyPod." Huh? How about a Media Center style Mac that has a ton of Disney content on it? Every five-year-old in the world would beg their parents for one.

What do you think?