Daily Archives: June 2, 2006

Is trust evolving, blogger asks

The Orcology blog asks "Is Trust Evolving." Talks about following my blog. "He's human and wants to be a better dad, husband, and employee at Microsoft. 95 people joined that conversation and you can read their comments. You can't help but the trust the guy. But wait a second. This is a Microsoft blog. Or is it? I can't tell anymore."

It is a nutty world we're all connected to, isn't it?

To me, I don't trust someone who's solely in it for the money. That's the way lots of companies behave. Heck, I even behave that way sometimes. But my best work is when I'm doing something for fun, or in support of a philosophy, like 'the world needs better software.' Blogging lets me communicate with you about when I'm not just thinking about business. Why? Cause there isn't a business model on my blog. It's why I'm turning down free stuff now, why I don't have ads here, etc. Yeah, my audience does give me career power, but that's not why I started it and it's not what drives me to share my life with you.

Why do it then? Because audiences improve everything they touch. Our book is better because we showed it to you before we published it. My videos on Channel 9 are better because you're able to add your two cents onto the subject (or ask a question I forgot to ask). My friendships are better cause everyone in the world gets to see what I'm thinking and going through and we don't need to cover that stuff when we get together. Even my relationship with my wife is better. If I forget to take out the trash all she has to do is tell you and then I'll get heck about it from everyone. It's funny the personal feedback I get on all these topics. 

I do sometimes find it really weird when people come up to me at work that I don't even know and ask "how's the new car" or "sorry about your mom." Today Andrew Clinick who works on the HD-DVD team at Microsoft stopped me at lunch to talk about my new HD-DVD player and my new HDTV. What a weird world I live in.

Our ideas of trust and community and all that are under radical change because of the Internet.

The other day I got a call from a student in India and we had a nice little chat. It was no different than if I had called my best friend up.

Thanks for the trust! Hey, even if you don't like Microsoft you're OK. :-)

Journalism matters, Mark Cuban says

Mark Cuban tells journalism companies how they can get audiences. Hey, Mark, that isn't the problem in journalism. The problem is how do you pay for great journalism?

We're seeing lots of journalists getting laid off. Why? Because the business no longer works. The advertisers are taking their money and moving online. Paying Google and Yahoo and Microsoft and Craigs List and Ebay to do the work that the newspaper ads used to do.

Free journalism only takes us so far. Yeah, using bloggers you'll find out about major news events like earthquakes and fires and when your neighbor gets murdered. Maybe. If there's a blogger nearby who cares.

But you won't get the kind of journalism that local papers used to do. Are there any bloggers out here that sit in city council meetings? That attend shareholder meetings? That build relationships with people at places of power? Yeah, some do, but they are still pretty rare and as Tim O'Reilly learned most of us aren't really here to do journalistic work, but rather to tell the world what we think (the two are different).

I wish I had better answers, though, cause I do agree with Mark Cuban that journalism is important.

Speaking of that, I appreciate it when a publication takes 500 hours and puts our products through its paces like what Tom's Hardware did recently with Windows Vista. Or, ComputerWorld's 20 Things You Won't Like about Windows Vista. Ed Bott pointed me to those. I might not agree with all of the points made there, but I do appreciate that journalists are putting in some serious work taking a look at our products.

I wonder how we can ensure that journalists can continue to get paid for that work?

Carlo goes further and says "Journalism Is Broken." Oh, I agree with his point that opinion matters. I've learned over and over that my audience is smarter than me. Richer than me. More knowledgeable than me. More connected than me. No matter what I say, no matter how well researched it is, it always gets better after an audience hears it and can leave their two cents about it.

Jeff and I were talking about that today. He told me how he learns from the people who show up on Channel 9 and On10.net everyday and how he thinks that any corporate site that doesn't have comments, trackbacks, or ways to interact like a Wiki are just blowing it.

I agree. Where's the newspaper that has open comments on every story like we do on Channel 9 or On10?

More on Silicon Valley from Evelyn

If I were really smart and a really good writer I'd be Evelyn Rodriguez who writes more about what makes Silicon Valley, well, um, Silicon Valley.

I've been thinking about that Silicon Valley post all week. A few of my readers challenged my assumptions. I'm receptive to that right now cause my mom's death caused me to look at all the assumptions I have about life.

That's what Sanjay Parthasarathy did with me with today too (he's my boss's boss's boss's boss and we had a little lunch date to get back in touch after my taking a few weeks off). Could I use my audience to help improve the standard of living in developing nations?

He said something like "what was the difference between Hitler, Stalin, and Kennedy? How they used their audiences."

That's called a smackdown. Leaders make you think about what you're doing. Make you take on big challenges. Make you dream.

That conversation is going to weigh heavily on me this weekend.

Do you have a dream for what you'd like the world to be like? Is it just to copy Silicon Valley and make everyone rich enough to drive a Mercedes SLR like I saw rolling down University Ave. in Palo Alto last week? Or is it to get a billion people off of the $2 a day living conditions that more than half of the world's people live under?

I've seen how to change a big company. How about change the world?

What about network neutrality? Isn't that an important principle to support as it comes to making an Internet usable by all? I guess if businesses had their way they'd charge us all a bunch of fees, particularly if we start distributing content and/or getting popular. I told Sanjay that the thing that makes this so interesting is that every blogger now has the power that only the New York Times or CNN had 15 years ago.

I love how Rick Segal and Shel Israel will travel around the world in August trying to find a way to change the world of investing and entrepreneurship.

What's your dream for the kind of world you want to leave to the next generation? How can we work together on that?

Tantek announces Microformats search and pinging

Thinking back to my great meal in Jackson, Wyoming, what made it great? The small things. The way the apples were sliced. The way the dressing was dripped over the food.

It gets to my philosophy about technology. What makes an Apple store great? It's the wood countertops. I bet most of you have never fondled the countertops there, but I have. Aesthetics matter. Small things matter.

Today Tantek announced Technorati's Microformat Search and Pinging. It's a small thing. Hence the "micro" in the name (hey, I like that! Heheh.)

This is important. Why? Because it'll let search producers add all sorts of stuff to search.

Go to Google or MSN and search on my last name. Why can't I tell the search engine to put a picture of me in the result for this blog? Why can't I tell it to list other info? With Microformats I'd be able to, if the search engine recognized them.

Then I'd also be able to write restaurant and movie reviews, among other things, and have engines recognize those too. Or share calendars. Or do a variety of other things.

It's a small thing. I doubt the New York Times will write about this day. But, it could become something much bigger.

My hat is off to the Microformat folks. Nice small thing.

Answering Rude Q&A from Jeff Jarvis

Heh, our "On10" team used Jeff Jarvis' harsh comments against a product manager here in a video look at the New York Times Reader technology (that question comes toward the end of a 10-minute interview). Those in the PR industry call this "Rude Q&A" for "get out your rudest and harshest questions and make sure you can answer them."

Demonstrates something we've learned to do: we watch blogs for the harshest commentary and see if we can get straight answers for you.

Yes, Chris Pirillo, I'm watching your blog too! (But, really, I watch any blog that mentions the word "Microsoft", among other terms).

On10 has been getting some interesting videos lately. Another one that I liked was the Xbox Dashboard video. There's a sizeable update coming soon and Larry Hryb of the Xbox Live team visited On10 to show off the changes. It got Dugg and, wow, has this been hit a lot.