3,000 new subscribers

According to WordPress.com I had 23,335 subscribers on 6/11/2006. Today it is reporting that I have 26,547.

Welcome! Quitting a job got me more readers than I expected. I thought you’d all unsubscribe after I left Microsoft. Hmmm. Not sure I’d recommend this as a way to get more traffic.

We’ll all take a trip together in the morning as Patrick, Maryam, and I drive from Seattle to Silicon Valley. Can we make it the entire way in one day?

Dell joins the bloggy Web

Oh, oh, this is becoming a trend. A human being on Dell’s Web site? Calling Jeff Jarvis, calling Jeff Jarvis! Oh, he already chimed in. Steve Rubel did too and says the same thing.

What did I tell Nestle when someone asked “how do you start?”

Listen. Listen. Listen. Er. Technorati. Technorati. Technorati.

Link to your enemies. It takes away their karmic power.

I told Quixtar to link to everyone who says that Quixtar sucks. There are QUITE A FEW!

Why do that? Well, it takes away our power to poke at your negative spots if you openly admit them. That turns throwing rocks through your front window into a boring exercise.

By the way, I agree with Andy Lark that we should be nicer to new companies that try the bloggy Web. At least give them a couple of weeks to get settled into their new homes before we start lobbing rocks through their front windows. Of course, I doubt anyone will listen to me because these companies came into the bloggy Web so late that the mob isn’t gonna automatically be nice the way they were to me three years ago.

Shel Holtz noticed that they got inspiration from Channel 9. Very honored, thanks!

The next Web is the human Web

I just did a speaking gig at Microsoft. Spoke to Nestle executives from around the world. Nice group of folks. Asked some interesting questions. Couldn’t believe that they could actually watch what everyone around the world would say about Nestle. Yes, I introduced them to Technorati!

It was the last of my Microsoft responsibilities. A freebee for Mr. Gates! Heheh.

Then off to dinner where I met the technical staff from Quixtar. Again, wonderful people. Smart, interesting, not anything like what the stereotype of a multi-level marketing company employee is. At least in my mind (a friend got me into Quixtar about 15 years ago and I just couldn’t take to it).

Now, what is the Web these companies are gearing up for? Yes, you’d be right if you guessed a bloggy Web. A Web with real people talking about real stuff on it. Not a manufactured site that has no life. No soul.

Why? Cause they are seeing that what they are doing now isn’t working. People aren’t engaging with their company the way they want. They aren’t getting the Google page rank they want (or the MSN or the Yahoo rank either).

They see that their advertising dollars are bringing them less and less and they are seeing that a new word-of-mouth network has been built that’ll get stories from 15 small conversations to around-the-world newspaper, TV, and magazine coverage in 36 hours and they are scared!

Quick, do a little project with me. Visit the home pages of Nestle and Quixtar.

Without clicking anywhere find me a real human being. Not one made out of a stock photo agency.

You don’t need to look. There aren’t any. Not to mention that you can’t talk to a real human being. And I don’t see anything on those two pages that I’d like to link to. Which means they won’t get high search engine rankings no matter how many SEO firms they pay.

Which is like throwing money down the toilet. If you met THE PEOPLE behind these companies I think you’d be far more likely to listen to what they have to say. Or sell. And they ARE experts on their business. It’s a damn shame that they aren’t allowed to talk with us on their Web sites.

When I speak I’m just telling audiences about what Dave Winer and Dori Smith showed me six years ago — really blogs haven’t changed a whole lot since then. There’s no reason to bring up OPML or Second Life or AJAX, or Trackbacks or the latest thing that WordPress or Six Apart are showing off. They are still discovering that there’s value in simply encouraging their people to talk with their customers.

Until all the big companies get to the place where they understand the power in that then I guess there’s no reason to talk about anything else. Which, Dave, probably explains why I get invited to speak at Next Web conferences. I’m willing to talk about what you did in 2001.

Translation: we’re not ready for the next Web. The world is still catching up to the last Web. The 2001 Web.

But, I’m ready to learn something new. The audiences are catching up. Next year 2001 will really seem like 2001. :-)

Hopefully in 2007 I can sit in the audience again and let the real gurus take the stage.

Oh, one other thing. Where are the freaking women? They are doing the most interesting blogging. One of the Nestle members said “no one in my country is doing blogging.” I said “bull.” And told them about Global Voices Online where there are bloggers from nearly every country around the world. Get Rebecca McKinnon to speak (she was one of those behind the Global Voices blog). She’s doing more important stuff than I am.

Or, at least get Mena Trott to speak. Six Apart is about to launch a new blogging initiative that at least deserves a speech or two.

I guess this is why BlogHer is doing so well. They are doing the next Web over there. Why aren’t any of their speakers at the Next Web conference?

Online wordprocessor updated, but does it have a chance at survival?

I still think that small companies are swimming upstream here. If I was a normal user, not a geek, why would I use anything that didn’t come from Yahoo, Google, or Microsoft?

I just wouldn’t trust that it’ll stick around for very long.

Gaining trust for a small company is going to be very hard.

That said, the new version of Zoho Writer is very nice.

What do you think? Does Zoho have a chance now that Google has started coming into the Web Office market?