The elephant in the kitchen

Dare Obasanjo, of Microsoft, just pulled the ad hominem card. In debate class in high school the teacher would instantly award the other side a win if you ever pulled that card. Why? Because it demonstrated you lost your cool and couldn’t win through sheer logic or through a rational demonstration the other side was wrong. And, at minimum it just draws attention to your debating tactics rather than what we were supposed to be debating about anyway.

Hey, maybe that’s why Dare pulled the card out here and slapped it on my kitchen table.

To keep us from looking at the elephant in the kitchen! Brilliantly played sir Dare!

But, since I’m childish, narrowminded, and egotistical or whatever else Dare tried sticking me with, let’s just get back to the elephant in the room, shall we? 

What does Microsoft do when it says “we have the most blogs?” Or, when it says really ANYTHING about its Internet services?

It takes them to advertisers and says “pony up, we know you paid MySpace ‘XXX’ and we have the most now, so we want ‘XXX+y’.” See, the little game we’re all playing in this Web 2.0 world is advertising.

The other little dirty secret of advertising? Not all readers are the same. Unfortunately if you’re an A List blogger it’s egotistical (and elitist) to point that out. Since Dare pulled out the ad hominem card already might as well slap this elephant in the ass and make it sing!

Quick. Is Jeff Jarvis worth more or less to an advertiser than this guy? Or this? Or this?

I’ll tell you what executives from big companies (like Kraft, Procter and Gamble, GM, and others) who were at MSN’s OWN ADVERTISING CONFERENCE told me. An influencer is worth THOUSANDS of times more than a non-influencer (influencer is someone who tells other people stuff, which is why blogging is getting so much advertising attention lately). That’s why Google is charging more per click than MSN is (Google has more influential users). That’s why Federated Media is closing advertising deals left and right.

And, why Microsoft’s shareholders are totally uninterested in the fact that Live Spaces has 70 million spaces (you’d think that with such rapid growth that shareholders would be cheering and would be preparing for an advertising profit windfall and that they wouldn’t have balked with Ballmer told them “I’m spending $2 billion of your cash.”

You’re right Dare. Maybe I’m childish. But I’m tired of being told that bloggers don’t matter. Which is what the Live employee told me yesterday. And it’s what you and Mike are saying today. Mike even repeated it just today on his blog. Read his post very carefully. He is saying that bloggers don’t matter. Why did he do that? Well, he’s trying to take the high road and trying to tell people that his service is hip and for them, not like that lamo “MySpace” thing, which is for kids and musicians with weird hair. Not like that “blogging” thing, which is for those elitist “A listers.” He’s positioning Spaces for normal, everyday people.

Which would be great if his marketing department didn’t run counter to his positioning by showing up at BlogHer (totally explains why Live Spaces’ presentation was totally derided by people who were there) and by his executives who try to position Live Spaces to advertisers as “blogs” so that they can get the high CPM ($$$ per thousands of viewers) that bloggers are getting right now.

This is why I’m being called childish, narrow minded, and petty right now. I dared to not let them have it both ways. Either they have most of their inventory done by “normal, everyday people” that’s empty, like every single blog on their service I found today, or they have a “hip, cool, influential” service, like WordPress, SixApart, Flickr, Technorati, and Blogger have.

You can’t have it both ways. Well, actually, Six Apart is getting it both ways. They have Moveable Type and TypePad and they have Vox, which is aimed at “normal, everyday people.”

Well, this childish, narrowminded, egotistical blogger is heading off to bed. It’ll be a fun day tomorrow when I get more ad hominem attacks hurled my way.

Comments

  1. Cool, is there a special name for this particular card you pulled when people were discussing what blogging is and isn’t:

    “I wrote the book and we put that definition in there and no one argued with it when it became the best-selling blogging book. So, too late to argue the definition now.”

  2. Cool, is there a special name for this particular card you pulled when people were discussing what blogging is and isn’t:

    “I wrote the book and we put that definition in there and no one argued with it when it became the best-selling blogging book. So, too late to argue the definition now.”

  3. I wrote a number of things refuting your points in that comment but you decided to focus on the one aspect of my post instead of addressing the various legitimate things I raised.

    I tend to forget that at the end of the day you are a marketing guy and all you do is spin. A code monkey like me is definitely outclassed by you.

  4. I wrote a number of things refuting your points in that comment but you decided to focus on the one aspect of my post instead of addressing the various legitimate things I raised.

    I tend to forget that at the end of the day you are a marketing guy and all you do is spin. A code monkey like me is definitely outclassed by you.

  5. Regardless of the statistics, it is hard to believe that Microsoft is first, nimble enough to make the kind of transition needed to truthfully move from an OS and software suite company to an Internet leader, and secondly, that they can obtain the trust of the end user community, as others have. MySpace and Facebook and other success stories were organically grown, not manipulated, as MSN and Live are. The fact Google bought Blogger shows they knew to ask out the prettiest girl at the dance, not to build her out of spare parts.

  6. Regardless of the statistics, it is hard to believe that Microsoft is first, nimble enough to make the kind of transition needed to truthfully move from an OS and software suite company to an Internet leader, and secondly, that they can obtain the trust of the end user community, as others have. MySpace and Facebook and other success stories were organically grown, not manipulated, as MSN and Live are. The fact Google bought Blogger shows they knew to ask out the prettiest girl at the dance, not to build her out of spare parts.

  7. n00b: that’s called “the-use-your-credibility-and-authority-but-get-smacked-as-an-egotistical baaahhhhsssssttttaaarrddddd” card. Authoritative and credible cause the holder actually earned that card through hard work, luck, and a good spot on Technorati’s top 100 and a top selling (and highly reviewed, I might add) book and speaking gigs and all that, but egotistical baaahhhhssssssttttaaarrddddd because if you ever actually try to use that card that’s what you’ll be.

    I had it in my deck so figured I’d slap that bad boy down on the kitchen table which, predictably, got me attention from the anonymous chattering masses (who are always right) and from Dare, who slapped me with the ad hominem card (he ended up with a bunch of them for some reason).

  8. n00b: that’s called “the-use-your-credibility-and-authority-but-get-smacked-as-an-egotistical baaahhhhsssssttttaaarrddddd” card. Authoritative and credible cause the holder actually earned that card through hard work, luck, and a good spot on Technorati’s top 100 and a top selling (and highly reviewed, I might add) book and speaking gigs and all that, but egotistical baaahhhhssssssttttaaarrddddd because if you ever actually try to use that card that’s what you’ll be.

    I had it in my deck so figured I’d slap that bad boy down on the kitchen table which, predictably, got me attention from the anonymous chattering masses (who are always right) and from Dare, who slapped me with the ad hominem card (he ended up with a bunch of them for some reason).

  9. Wow you just kicked some butt out there with your post. Live Space is a total lamo. I can’t even comment on there blog without loging in using Live ID. Now Why would I do that ???

  10. Wow you just kicked some butt out there with your post. Live Space is a total lamo. I can’t even comment on there blog without loging in using Live ID. Now Why would I do that ???

  11. Dare: oh, now you are playing the “I’m so humble and am just a tiny little developer” card. Brilliant again!

    The problem is your dad is president of Nigeria, so you’ve learned some debating tactics of your own around your family’s kitchen table!

    Yes, that’s called the “tear-the-humble-card-up” card. Thanks for playing with the spinmaster!

  12. Dare: oh, now you are playing the “I’m so humble and am just a tiny little developer” card. Brilliant again!

    The problem is your dad is president of Nigeria, so you’ve learned some debating tactics of your own around your family’s kitchen table!

    Yes, that’s called the “tear-the-humble-card-up” card. Thanks for playing with the spinmaster!

  13. Dare: I just went over and looked at your comment again. The only real point you made was this one: “According to ComScore we have ONE HUNDRED MILLION of those per month (not counting China where we are the most popular blogging service).”

    Great, you’ve leveraged one service (MSN Messenger, which had 170 million users BEFORE MSN Spaces was launched) into a new service. Congratulations! That is an amazing accomplishment.

    Except now you have 100 million visits a month to Live Spaces to mostly empty blogs.

    Why does that happen? Well, I’ll tell you.

    In MSN Messenger I have a list of names. Now, how do I “stick out” in that list of names? That’s right. I update my Live Space. It then adds a new icon next to my name which makes me look cooler than the n00bs who don’t have an icon.

    Is this really rocket science?

    The suprising thing is that you don’t have MORE people, since you already have 200 million on IM.

  14. Dare: I just went over and looked at your comment again. The only real point you made was this one: “According to ComScore we have ONE HUNDRED MILLION of those per month (not counting China where we are the most popular blogging service).”

    Great, you’ve leveraged one service (MSN Messenger, which had 170 million users BEFORE MSN Spaces was launched) into a new service. Congratulations! That is an amazing accomplishment.

    Except now you have 100 million visits a month to Live Spaces to mostly empty blogs.

    Why does that happen? Well, I’ll tell you.

    In MSN Messenger I have a list of names. Now, how do I “stick out” in that list of names? That’s right. I update my Live Space. It then adds a new icon next to my name which makes me look cooler than the n00bs who don’t have an icon.

    Is this really rocket science?

    The suprising thing is that you don’t have MORE people, since you already have 200 million on IM.

  15. Met: nope, actually I’m the highest I’ve ever been on Technorati right now. Being high on Technorati doesn’t buy you anything, though. It’s all hype with no payoff.

  16. Met: nope, actually I’m the highest I’ve ever been on Technorati right now. Being high on Technorati doesn’t buy you anything, though. It’s all hype with no payoff.

  17. It seems pretty clear that Robert is trying to drum up attention these past few weeks.

    His three primary techniques:
    1.) Bash Microsoft
    2.) Bash Google
    3.) Bash Apple (or pretend he has the scoop on upcoming products)

    Ever since you left Microsoft, you’ve become more sensationalistic and far less interesting. Grow up.

  18. It seems pretty clear that Robert is trying to drum up attention these past few weeks.

    His three primary techniques:
    1.) Bash Microsoft
    2.) Bash Google
    3.) Bash Apple (or pretend he has the scoop on upcoming products)

    Ever since you left Microsoft, you’ve become more sensationalistic and far less interesting. Grow up.

  19. I dont think anybody is really debating that not every Live Space is a blog. Even the guys working on the product agree with you on that. And the marketing people DO play on this (as a member of said people, i’ve seen it with my own eyes claiming 27% of the population blog :-/ )

    I think the key issue here Robert is the definition, and what you pertain it to be. The rest we agree with.

  20. I dont think anybody is really debating that not every Live Space is a blog. Even the guys working on the product agree with you on that. And the marketing people DO play on this (as a member of said people, i’ve seen it with my own eyes claiming 27% of the population blog :-/ )

    I think the key issue here Robert is the definition, and what you pertain it to be. The rest we agree with.

  21. Microsoft LiveSpaces? Empty Spaces

    Robert Scoble goes head to head with one of the Microsoft Live drones, after doing some investigation and seeing that all of the blogs he found on Microsoft Live were absolutely devoid of content. No big surprise there.

  22. Robert,
    So what is your point?

    – Is it that there is no point in counting number of spaces created? You have no disagreement from me or anyone else on the product team for that matter. What is more important is how many people are USING the site whether it is posting or reading blogs, photos and/or user profiles. That is where we have objective 3rd party numbers from ComScore that we are #1 in the world.

    – Is it that lots of spaces have more photos albums and profiles than blogs? Yes, we know that. In fact, Spaces is probably more of a photo sharing site than a blogging site (6 million new photos uploaded a day, over 5 billion photos uploaded total).

    – Are you trying to argue that your readers are somehow more valuable than readers of Spaces? If so, you’re entitled to your opinion.

    – Is it that although we have a large number of users, they are usually Windows Live Messenger users? That is true to an extent. However if you think it is so easy, why aren’t AOL & Yahoo! the #2 and #3 blogging services on the planet since they also have attempted to integrate their blogging services with their IM products?

    By the way, I still stand behind my comments about this entire series of posts being childish, egotistical and petty. An argument style that boils down to “Shutup!!! I wrote a book about this topic, what do you know?” is egotistical. If you want to get technical, it’s called ‘Argument from Authority’ and it is a common logical fallacy when trying to debate a point.

    As for childish and petty, you don’t have to look much further than this particular comment thread where you have resorted to bringing up my family history to prove your point.

  23. Robert,
    So what is your point?

    – Is it that there is no point in counting number of spaces created? You have no disagreement from me or anyone else on the product team for that matter. What is more important is how many people are USING the site whether it is posting or reading blogs, photos and/or user profiles. That is where we have objective 3rd party numbers from ComScore that we are #1 in the world.

    – Is it that lots of spaces have more photos albums and profiles than blogs? Yes, we know that. In fact, Spaces is probably more of a photo sharing site than a blogging site (6 million new photos uploaded a day, over 5 billion photos uploaded total).

    – Are you trying to argue that your readers are somehow more valuable than readers of Spaces? If so, you’re entitled to your opinion.

    – Is it that although we have a large number of users, they are usually Windows Live Messenger users? That is true to an extent. However if you think it is so easy, why aren’t AOL & Yahoo! the #2 and #3 blogging services on the planet since they also have attempted to integrate their blogging services with their IM products?

    By the way, I still stand behind my comments about this entire series of posts being childish, egotistical and petty. An argument style that boils down to “Shutup!!! I wrote a book about this topic, what do you know?” is egotistical. If you want to get technical, it’s called ‘Argument from Authority’ and it is a common logical fallacy when trying to debate a point.

    As for childish and petty, you don’t have to look much further than this particular comment thread where you have resorted to bringing up my family history to prove your point.

  24. Robert,

    I read your previous post regarding Jeff Sandquist. Then I read this. Re-read Jeff’s post and please do get a hold of yourself. This is embarrassing and petty. Just a reader of your blog. No monetary interest in any of it.

  25. Robert,

    I read your previous post regarding Jeff Sandquist. Then I read this. Re-read Jeff’s post and please do get a hold of yourself. This is embarrassing and petty. Just a reader of your blog. No monetary interest in any of it.

  26. this is getting a bit weird but i just wanted to say that: I don’t think Mike’s post meant that blogs aren’t important. He just emphasized how blogs can be used for different things (ie. communication with friends/family). Just because blogs can be transmitted thru more than one medium (ie. videos) , doesn’t mean they become less important.

    Also, I don’t think that people were mad at your point that you are qualified (ie. an A list blogger) to make the argument. It is this sentence that pissed me off: “So, too late to argue the definition now.”
    Personally I didn’t like it that you said that my oppinion didn’t matter any more just cause i didn’t disagree with you earlier (because i didn’t even read your book). You should have said something more along the lines of : “I know this definition to be true because i have years of experience in the area and have written a book about it which has sold quite well”.

    finally, blogs aren’t important. (jk)

    g’nite.

  27. this is getting a bit weird but i just wanted to say that: I don’t think Mike’s post meant that blogs aren’t important. He just emphasized how blogs can be used for different things (ie. communication with friends/family). Just because blogs can be transmitted thru more than one medium (ie. videos) , doesn’t mean they become less important.

    Also, I don’t think that people were mad at your point that you are qualified (ie. an A list blogger) to make the argument. It is this sentence that pissed me off: “So, too late to argue the definition now.”
    Personally I didn’t like it that you said that my oppinion didn’t matter any more just cause i didn’t disagree with you earlier (because i didn’t even read your book). You should have said something more along the lines of : “I know this definition to be true because i have years of experience in the area and have written a book about it which has sold quite well”.

    finally, blogs aren’t important. (jk)

    g’nite.

  28. hadi: well, the whole “it doesn’t matter if it’s called a blog or not” pisses me off. It matters to ME.

    And, we have argued over and over about what a blog is and, it seemed, we arrived at some sort of consensus.

    Guess not, though.

    Reading throught all these posts, yeah, I got childish and petty in the end analysis. Sorry.

    But your family history is fair game when you say that I’m just a marketer who can spin all around a developer. You aren’t “just a coder.” Guess it makes me childish to point that out, though.

  29. hadi: well, the whole “it doesn’t matter if it’s called a blog or not” pisses me off. It matters to ME.

    And, we have argued over and over about what a blog is and, it seemed, we arrived at some sort of consensus.

    Guess not, though.

    Reading throught all these posts, yeah, I got childish and petty in the end analysis. Sorry.

    But your family history is fair game when you say that I’m just a marketer who can spin all around a developer. You aren’t “just a coder.” Guess it makes me childish to point that out, though.

  30. I’ve never clicked on an ad (be it google’s adsense) from a blog. Not even from any site.
    I’m sure most ‘knowledgeable’ people don’t clicked either.

    Considering this hypothesis – isn’t Live Spaces a better advertising platform than WordPress or any of your other darlings?

  31. I’ve never clicked on an ad (be it google’s adsense) from a blog. Not even from any site.
    I’m sure most ‘knowledgeable’ people don’t clicked either.

    Considering this hypothesis – isn’t Live Spaces a better advertising platform than WordPress or any of your other darlings?

  32. Met: you don’t match the profile of most blog readers. Chris Pirillo makes more than $10,000 per month from Google: all by people who click on ads. And, anyway, Live Spaces only has banner style advertising (so far) that is a CPM model, not a pay-per-click model.

  33. Met: you don’t match the profile of most blog readers. Chris Pirillo makes more than $10,000 per month from Google: all by people who click on ads. And, anyway, Live Spaces only has banner style advertising (so far) that is a CPM model, not a pay-per-click model.

  34. Hey Robert, at 11:38 you wrote, “Well, this childish, narrowminded, egotistical blogger is heading off to bed.” It’s 55 minutes later. Is the hall in your new home that long? :-)

    You can get the last word in tomorrow morning.

  35. Hey Robert, at 11:38 you wrote, “Well, this childish, narrowminded, egotistical blogger is heading off to bed.” It’s 55 minutes later. Is the hall in your new home that long? :-)

    You can get the last word in tomorrow morning.

  36. Dare: >>

    - Is it that there is no point in counting number of spaces created? You have no disagreement from me or anyone else on the product team for that matter. What is more important is how many people are USING the site whether it is posting or reading blogs, photos and/or user profiles. That is where we have objective 3rd party numbers from ComScore that we are #1 in the world.

    MY ANSWER: Um, wonderful. I’ll take the average blog and put it against the average Live Space and then I’ll bet the numbers will crunch away. We all know Microsoft has the most numbers. That’s not challenging for you.

    - Is it that lots of spaces have more photos albums and profiles than blogs? Yes, we know that. In fact, Spaces is probably more of a photo sharing site than a blogging site (6 million new photos uploaded a day, over 5 billion photos uploaded total).

    MY ANSWER: Cool, but an executive was on stage, it seems, at TechED, saying you had blogs. Why the fixation on blogs from your execs then?

    >>- Are you trying to argue that your readers are somehow more valuable than readers of Spaces? If so, you’re entitled to your opinion.

    ANSWER: They are more valuable to me! But, I don’t have advertising so it’s a moot point anyway. Advertisers will decide that for both of us.

    - Is it that although we have a large number of users, they are usually Windows Live Messenger users? That is true to an extent. However if you think it is so easy, why aren’t AOL & Yahoo! the #2 and #3 blogging services on the planet since they also have attempted to integrate their blogging services with their IM products?

    ANSWER: Have they? I hadn’t seen an icon yet on their IM services like the one I saw on MSN that lit up when MSN Space was updated.

    AOL’s service didn’t come up to the blog bar (didn’t ping weblogs.com, didn’t have good RSS or referer logs/trackbacks if I remember right).

  37. Dare: >>

    - Is it that there is no point in counting number of spaces created? You have no disagreement from me or anyone else on the product team for that matter. What is more important is how many people are USING the site whether it is posting or reading blogs, photos and/or user profiles. That is where we have objective 3rd party numbers from ComScore that we are #1 in the world.

    MY ANSWER: Um, wonderful. I’ll take the average blog and put it against the average Live Space and then I’ll bet the numbers will crunch away. We all know Microsoft has the most numbers. That’s not challenging for you.

    - Is it that lots of spaces have more photos albums and profiles than blogs? Yes, we know that. In fact, Spaces is probably more of a photo sharing site than a blogging site (6 million new photos uploaded a day, over 5 billion photos uploaded total).

    MY ANSWER: Cool, but an executive was on stage, it seems, at TechED, saying you had blogs. Why the fixation on blogs from your execs then?

    >>- Are you trying to argue that your readers are somehow more valuable than readers of Spaces? If so, you’re entitled to your opinion.

    ANSWER: They are more valuable to me! But, I don’t have advertising so it’s a moot point anyway. Advertisers will decide that for both of us.

    - Is it that although we have a large number of users, they are usually Windows Live Messenger users? That is true to an extent. However if you think it is so easy, why aren’t AOL & Yahoo! the #2 and #3 blogging services on the planet since they also have attempted to integrate their blogging services with their IM products?

    ANSWER: Have they? I hadn’t seen an icon yet on their IM services like the one I saw on MSN that lit up when MSN Space was updated.

    AOL’s service didn’t come up to the blog bar (didn’t ping weblogs.com, didn’t have good RSS or referer logs/trackbacks if I remember right).

  38. Robert, people are going ad hominem on you because you _are_ being a jerk. Your a well regarded blogger and you have a lot of knowledge on the topic, but that doesn’t mean you are the absolute expert. I think an expert in his field would behave in a better manner than this? Seeing how many times you can fit childish into a post shows that Dare obviously made a point with you, maybe because you acknowledge you _are_ being childish.

    Seriously, who gives a frig what defines the word blog, with everything that happens on the earth you got yourself worked up over this? Is it really that important that MS think they have a successful service? Do you go on a massive rant whenever you hear a marketing message you don’t agree with?

    Your wife is right, you are crapping on a very hard working team who recently relaunched a service for 100 million people and are doing the best they can to get it working. MSN / Live! group are some of the most agile and transparent at Microsoft and should be commended for one of the few groups who seem to be able to release product with some form of regularity.

    Spaces is not your thing cause it’s not hardcore or 1337 enough for you? ,thats great. Your attitude of late sure isn’t my thing. We can both vote with our feet (or page views in this case)

    I use Live spaces as a means of sharing photos, I posted on it a bit when it was MSN then got bored of it, guess blogging is not for me. But it allows me the ability to quickly share the photos of my US trip to HostingCon with family and friends. Does that make me a n00b cause I use spaces? Don’t make me laugh.

  39. Robert, people are going ad hominem on you because you _are_ being a jerk. Your a well regarded blogger and you have a lot of knowledge on the topic, but that doesn’t mean you are the absolute expert. I think an expert in his field would behave in a better manner than this? Seeing how many times you can fit childish into a post shows that Dare obviously made a point with you, maybe because you acknowledge you _are_ being childish.

    Seriously, who gives a frig what defines the word blog, with everything that happens on the earth you got yourself worked up over this? Is it really that important that MS think they have a successful service? Do you go on a massive rant whenever you hear a marketing message you don’t agree with?

    Your wife is right, you are crapping on a very hard working team who recently relaunched a service for 100 million people and are doing the best they can to get it working. MSN / Live! group are some of the most agile and transparent at Microsoft and should be commended for one of the few groups who seem to be able to release product with some form of regularity.

    Spaces is not your thing cause it’s not hardcore or 1337 enough for you? ,thats great. Your attitude of late sure isn’t my thing. We can both vote with our feet (or page views in this case)

    I use Live spaces as a means of sharing photos, I posted on it a bit when it was MSN then got bored of it, guess blogging is not for me. But it allows me the ability to quickly share the photos of my US trip to HostingCon with family and friends. Does that make me a n00b cause I use spaces? Don’t make me laugh.

  40. So many contradictions in your post Robert…

    You don’t think that Microsoft should be able to claim they have a blog service. Who cares about the numbers…they have the functionality. They have lots of users. Have you ever seen the numbers of users of Hotmail and Spaces in South America. It’s amazing…off the charts compared to Yahoo, AOL, Blogger…etc. Yes, Microsoft are idiots…they don’t know how to capitalize on this user base. But that doesn’t lessen the importance of the blog and those that use it.

    If I use your reasoning, there would be no independent films. It’s not about the company that runs the blogging service. It’s about the blogger. And even if there is only one blog in that 100 million that is popular and well published and well read/commented that service is valuable…and definitely valuable for that person. You lament that you hear bloggers don’t matter, but what YOU are saying is that non-”A” list bloggers don’t matter. You know how many blogs I see on Spaces that are just for families to communicate? But, you see Robert, YOU are the arrogant “A” lister and it seems that nobody else is good enough to be called a blogger.

    Now, to Dare’s comment that seems to have gotten your goat. He’s referring to your blog. The posts don’t mean anything. They’re just inane links, rambling pointers to obscure geek references and pimping your new silly videos. THAT is what he’s referring to. And you know what? If that is what we’re calling blogging…then there are millions of valid blogs on Spaces.

  41. So many contradictions in your post Robert…

    You don’t think that Microsoft should be able to claim they have a blog service. Who cares about the numbers…they have the functionality. They have lots of users. Have you ever seen the numbers of users of Hotmail and Spaces in South America. It’s amazing…off the charts compared to Yahoo, AOL, Blogger…etc. Yes, Microsoft are idiots…they don’t know how to capitalize on this user base. But that doesn’t lessen the importance of the blog and those that use it.

    If I use your reasoning, there would be no independent films. It’s not about the company that runs the blogging service. It’s about the blogger. And even if there is only one blog in that 100 million that is popular and well published and well read/commented that service is valuable…and definitely valuable for that person. You lament that you hear bloggers don’t matter, but what YOU are saying is that non-”A” list bloggers don’t matter. You know how many blogs I see on Spaces that are just for families to communicate? But, you see Robert, YOU are the arrogant “A” lister and it seems that nobody else is good enough to be called a blogger.

    Now, to Dare’s comment that seems to have gotten your goat. He’s referring to your blog. The posts don’t mean anything. They’re just inane links, rambling pointers to obscure geek references and pimping your new silly videos. THAT is what he’s referring to. And you know what? If that is what we’re calling blogging…then there are millions of valid blogs on Spaces.

  42. I’m sorry to say it Robert but these last couple of posts regarding the number of Live Spaces seems to have gotten out of hand. These posts look like the writings of Dvorak and Nick Carr, who will write anything to create a fuzz in the blogging world and enhance their status as influential a-list bloggers (to use your own term). In the past I have seen you as an unbiased blogger pointing out interesting issues at microsoft and in the blogging sphere (your blog was the first blog that I subscribed to). Everyone knows that you were one of the driving forces behind the adoption of blogging and a lot of companies wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for you.
    The thing about your posts that really made me wonder was the definition of a blog. In your terms a lot of us casual bloggers aren’t “real” bloggers – wasn’t the whole idea about blogging that it could be used by anybody and that the format could be suited to the inviduals needs? Unfortunately I’m not as lucky as you to be paid to blog, so I don’t have time to write long posts (or the writing skills) and update often, so I just started photo blogging and writing small annotations to the photos. Why shouldn’t I be included as a blogger? Maybe you should try writing a couple a good posts a month instead of writing several posts a day – quality > quantity.
    The other fact that I want to point out is that your assumption that influence is more important than numbers of users is also a claim without any evidence. I’m sure that Jeff Jarvis is more important in your business but in my world, the most important / influential people are my friends. Why is that? It could be explained that in this maturity phase of the blogging phenomenon, affinity and critical mass are more important now than in the early stages of adoption. What I’m saying is that your friends are a stronger network tie than the people you mention. How many of your non-technology friends are reading Jeff Jarvis’ blog? In my case zero of my friends read any of the a-list bloggers (arrington, scoble, winer, canter, carr, etc.) but they do read eachothers blogs – this way Google was interested in investing in MySpace advertising.

  43. I’m sorry to say it Robert but these last couple of posts regarding the number of Live Spaces seems to have gotten out of hand. These posts look like the writings of Dvorak and Nick Carr, who will write anything to create a fuzz in the blogging world and enhance their status as influential a-list bloggers (to use your own term). In the past I have seen you as an unbiased blogger pointing out interesting issues at microsoft and in the blogging sphere (your blog was the first blog that I subscribed to). Everyone knows that you were one of the driving forces behind the adoption of blogging and a lot of companies wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for you.
    The thing about your posts that really made me wonder was the definition of a blog. In your terms a lot of us casual bloggers aren’t “real” bloggers – wasn’t the whole idea about blogging that it could be used by anybody and that the format could be suited to the inviduals needs? Unfortunately I’m not as lucky as you to be paid to blog, so I don’t have time to write long posts (or the writing skills) and update often, so I just started photo blogging and writing small annotations to the photos. Why shouldn’t I be included as a blogger? Maybe you should try writing a couple a good posts a month instead of writing several posts a day – quality > quantity.
    The other fact that I want to point out is that your assumption that influence is more important than numbers of users is also a claim without any evidence. I’m sure that Jeff Jarvis is more important in your business but in my world, the most important / influential people are my friends. Why is that? It could be explained that in this maturity phase of the blogging phenomenon, affinity and critical mass are more important now than in the early stages of adoption. What I’m saying is that your friends are a stronger network tie than the people you mention. How many of your non-technology friends are reading Jeff Jarvis’ blog? In my case zero of my friends read any of the a-list bloggers (arrington, scoble, winer, canter, carr, etc.) but they do read eachothers blogs – this way Google was interested in investing in MySpace advertising.

  44. Unbelieveable: someone blogging behind a firewall to their own family only is NOT a blogger. Sorry. They are something else. Not saying they aren’t important, but they aren’t adding to the Web and, therefore, they aren’t important to ME cause I’m a consumer of things on the Web.

    >> You lament that you hear bloggers don’t matter, but what YOU are saying is that non-”A” list bloggers don’t matter.

    That’s part of it, but they really are saying the Blist and Clist and Zlist don’t matter either.

    But, I did claim that to advertisers the Alist matters more, cause that’s where the bulk of the traffic is. It’s a major reason why I don’t take advertising cause I think a kid in Australia with five readers is just as important. But not if he writes just about his cats. Just kidding. Heheh.

  45. Unbelieveable: someone blogging behind a firewall to their own family only is NOT a blogger. Sorry. They are something else. Not saying they aren’t important, but they aren’t adding to the Web and, therefore, they aren’t important to ME cause I’m a consumer of things on the Web.

    >> You lament that you hear bloggers don’t matter, but what YOU are saying is that non-”A” list bloggers don’t matter.

    That’s part of it, but they really are saying the Blist and Clist and Zlist don’t matter either.

    But, I did claim that to advertisers the Alist matters more, cause that’s where the bulk of the traffic is. It’s a major reason why I don’t take advertising cause I think a kid in Australia with five readers is just as important. But not if he writes just about his cats. Just kidding. Heheh.

  46. Casper: it’s pretty clear you didn’t visit a single one of the Live Spaces I linked to tonight.

    If you had you’d realize that what you do is FAR FAR more interesting than ANY of those so-called bloggers.

    Please, read those spaces. Then try to stick up for them again. I’ll wait.

    What you are doing is blogging. What they are doing? Not that I saw.

    Maybe I’m missing it, though.

    You had eight posts, all interesting.

    I didn’t find a single space that was even close.

    I guess you’re arguing for counting everyone as a blogger, even if they only have a single post that says “hey.”

    OK, I give up. It’s pretty clear I’m just pissing everyone off by trying to have a LITTLE bit of standards (two public posts a month doesn’t seem unreasonable to me).

  47. Casper: it’s pretty clear you didn’t visit a single one of the Live Spaces I linked to tonight.

    If you had you’d realize that what you do is FAR FAR more interesting than ANY of those so-called bloggers.

    Please, read those spaces. Then try to stick up for them again. I’ll wait.

    What you are doing is blogging. What they are doing? Not that I saw.

    Maybe I’m missing it, though.

    You had eight posts, all interesting.

    I didn’t find a single space that was even close.

    I guess you’re arguing for counting everyone as a blogger, even if they only have a single post that says “hey.”

    OK, I give up. It’s pretty clear I’m just pissing everyone off by trying to have a LITTLE bit of standards (two public posts a month doesn’t seem unreasonable to me).

  48. But you see Robert…that is just the point. Not ALL blog posts are going to be important to you all the time. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a blog, or the product of a blogger. That family blogger may post something someday, that helps someone in a distant place get through a divorce, or help with raising a child. And that makes it “A” list for that person that day. I didn’t say anything about a firewall…it’s content on the Web…chances are someone a little less elitist will find it valuable.

    I agree with many other posters here. You are showing severe childish arrogance by saying that YOU define what is a blogger/blog and what is not. I think that you’re probably upset because your narrow vision of what is valuable on the web doesn’t mesh with the massive vision that Microsoft is trying to realize.

  49. But you see Robert…that is just the point. Not ALL blog posts are going to be important to you all the time. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a blog, or the product of a blogger. That family blogger may post something someday, that helps someone in a distant place get through a divorce, or help with raising a child. And that makes it “A” list for that person that day. I didn’t say anything about a firewall…it’s content on the Web…chances are someone a little less elitist will find it valuable.

    I agree with many other posters here. You are showing severe childish arrogance by saying that YOU define what is a blogger/blog and what is not. I think that you’re probably upset because your narrow vision of what is valuable on the web doesn’t mesh with the massive vision that Microsoft is trying to realize.

  50. Robert, you posted a list of sites from Spaces tonight. I think that the issue is MSN Search. We ALL know that sucks. Finding value on Spaces blogs is a complete accident, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there.

  51. Robert, you posted a list of sites from Spaces tonight. I think that the issue is MSN Search. We ALL know that sucks. Finding value on Spaces blogs is a complete accident, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there.

  52. I’m with you 100% on this Scoble. I think most of the major blogging services have atrocious levels of spam.

    The difference is, the rest of them don’t sit around trumpeting their numbers as if they’re some sort of accomplishment. They also don’t say, “Oh look, we gave every Yahoo IM user a blog, and now we have 200 million more blogs!”

    Now for the tough love:

    Welcome to the life of someone outside of Microsoft. Jerks like Dare are constantly ready to call you dumb in public if you disagree with them, or even if you’re just voicing a reasonable question.

    Spaces is a decent blogging service, but it’s not served by the frankly absurd claims of the people running it and the hyper-irrelevant stats we keep hearing.

    You summarize it best when you point out that the real metric for success here is advertising revenue. If your blog is just spam, or if it’s a blog that’s only read by other people in a third world country with very little free income, those ads probably aren’t going to be worth much. Hard knocks, but there it is.

    Oh yeah — and if Dare’s dad is really president of Nigeria, can he do something about the friggin’ 419 scammers already? That has to be awkward at the family dinner table. “Dad, I have received word that you want to transfer 10 million dollars to my account because the authorities have frozen your other accounts. Why didn’t you just call and ask me?”

  53. I’m with you 100% on this Scoble. I think most of the major blogging services have atrocious levels of spam.

    The difference is, the rest of them don’t sit around trumpeting their numbers as if they’re some sort of accomplishment. They also don’t say, “Oh look, we gave every Yahoo IM user a blog, and now we have 200 million more blogs!”

    Now for the tough love:

    Welcome to the life of someone outside of Microsoft. Jerks like Dare are constantly ready to call you dumb in public if you disagree with them, or even if you’re just voicing a reasonable question.

    Spaces is a decent blogging service, but it’s not served by the frankly absurd claims of the people running it and the hyper-irrelevant stats we keep hearing.

    You summarize it best when you point out that the real metric for success here is advertising revenue. If your blog is just spam, or if it’s a blog that’s only read by other people in a third world country with very little free income, those ads probably aren’t going to be worth much. Hard knocks, but there it is.

    Oh yeah — and if Dare’s dad is really president of Nigeria, can he do something about the friggin’ 419 scammers already? That has to be awkward at the family dinner table. “Dad, I have received word that you want to transfer 10 million dollars to my account because the authorities have frozen your other accounts. Why didn’t you just call and ask me?”

  54. Unbelieveable: I think we’re talking over one another. OK, you win. Everything is a blog. I’m arrogant and an asshole.

    I started the whole evening pissed off cause an exec is claiming there’s 70 million blogs over on MSN Spaces. You say they all are blogs, even the ones (most of them) that have no posts. Fine, we will have to disagree on that one.

    Anyway, it’s clear that everyone just hates my point of view on this, so I’ll live with that fact and get on with my life. It’s not that important anyway.

    I think I’ll call each post of mine a blog, though. I have more blogs than 5,000 Spaces do! See how ridiculous this game can get?

  55. Unbelieveable: I think we’re talking over one another. OK, you win. Everything is a blog. I’m arrogant and an asshole.

    I started the whole evening pissed off cause an exec is claiming there’s 70 million blogs over on MSN Spaces. You say they all are blogs, even the ones (most of them) that have no posts. Fine, we will have to disagree on that one.

    Anyway, it’s clear that everyone just hates my point of view on this, so I’ll live with that fact and get on with my life. It’s not that important anyway.

    I think I’ll call each post of mine a blog, though. I have more blogs than 5,000 Spaces do! See how ridiculous this game can get?

  56. Robert, I think you had a point. But I also think the point did not get across because somewhere you lost your cool.

  57. Robert, I think you had a point. But I also think the point did not get across because somewhere you lost your cool.

  58. Robert, I think you’ve mentioned at least 10 times in these series of posts that the main reason you’re upset is: George Moore, VP Windows Live, said that spaces has 70 million blogs / George Moore said that Spaces has more blogs than anyone else.

    I looked at the original link “http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/windows_live_contacts.php” and all it says is that 1) Spaces has 70 million users (can’t deny that) and 2) Spaces is the largest blogging services (which Dare and Mike have followed up by saying is accurate if you measure by unique visitors per month… obviously there are many ways to measure “largest blogging service”, but unique visitors per month is just as reasonable a measurement as any other measurement).

    So basically, in my point of view, you have 1) repeatedly misquoted the original premise of your argument to try and prove a useless point 2) responded childishly when actual Live Spaces employees have tried to engage in a dialog 3) pissed off many of your readers who apparently aren’t a-list enough to matter to you 4) looked surpringly egotistical and petty in the process

    I’ve been a faithful reader of your blog for over a year now… but this discussion was so ridiculous that now’s the time to unsubscribe.

    29 999 readers left. Good luck.

    - Maneesh

  59. Robert, I think you’ve mentioned at least 10 times in these series of posts that the main reason you’re upset is: George Moore, VP Windows Live, said that spaces has 70 million blogs / George Moore said that Spaces has more blogs than anyone else.

    I looked at the original link “http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/windows_live_contacts.php” and all it says is that 1) Spaces has 70 million users (can’t deny that) and 2) Spaces is the largest blogging services (which Dare and Mike have followed up by saying is accurate if you measure by unique visitors per month… obviously there are many ways to measure “largest blogging service”, but unique visitors per month is just as reasonable a measurement as any other measurement).

    So basically, in my point of view, you have 1) repeatedly misquoted the original premise of your argument to try and prove a useless point 2) responded childishly when actual Live Spaces employees have tried to engage in a dialog 3) pissed off many of your readers who apparently aren’t a-list enough to matter to you 4) looked surpringly egotistical and petty in the process

    I’ve been a faithful reader of your blog for over a year now… but this discussion was so ridiculous that now’s the time to unsubscribe.

    29 999 readers left. Good luck.

    - Maneesh

  60. Maneesh: Have a good one.

    But, if only 2% of Live Spaces are blogs, then they AREN’T the largest.

    Anyway, you guys win. Find one series of posts you don’t like and you all say “unsubscribe.”

    Maybe you aren’t valuable readers after all if you’re all so thin skinned. At least I stick in here even after you all say things I don’t like.

  61. Maneesh: Have a good one.

    But, if only 2% of Live Spaces are blogs, then they AREN’T the largest.

    Anyway, you guys win. Find one series of posts you don’t like and you all say “unsubscribe.”

    Maybe you aren’t valuable readers after all if you’re all so thin skinned. At least I stick in here even after you all say things I don’t like.

  62. Robert, one good point I like to convey to you on this series of post is that I like your blog because you take accountability of what you write. Whenever something, good or bad, is said in the comment section you respond. I like the fact that you responded to each and every comment requiring your response. A point is worth reading if the person making it is willing to defend it:)

  63. Robert, one good point I like to convey to you on this series of post is that I like your blog because you take accountability of what you write. Whenever something, good or bad, is said in the comment section you respond. I like the fact that you responded to each and every comment requiring your response. A point is worth reading if the person making it is willing to defend it:)

  64. Kamal, thanks. Yeah, I believe in taking the consequences for what you write, both good and bad.

    I, Blog, I answered your “you’ve lost it” claim over on your blog’s comments.

  65. Kamal, thanks. Yeah, I believe in taking the consequences for what you write, both good and bad.

    I, Blog, I answered your “you’ve lost it” claim over on your blog’s comments.

  66. Robert I still find your point convincing after reading through all posts. Perhaps You should have made it clearer that You’re discussing the value of MS’s way of measuring ‘size’ of their blogging service not the factual data.

    BTW this was the most heated dispute seen on a tech blog. Guess You’re quite brave to allow it. Congrats

  67. Robert I still find your point convincing after reading through all posts. Perhaps You should have made it clearer that You’re discussing the value of MS’s way of measuring ‘size’ of their blogging service not the factual data.

    BTW this was the most heated dispute seen on a tech blog. Guess You’re quite brave to allow it. Congrats

  68. From the Scoble wayback machine before Scoble was an “A”-something (and fitting in this thread):

    “Personally, I believe in BOGU’ing for EVERYONE, not just the big fish. You never know when the janitor will go to school, get an MBA, and start a company. I’ve seen it happen. Translation for weblog world: treat Gnome-Girl as good as you’d treat Dave Winer or Glenn Reynolds. You never know who’ll get promoted. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way over the years.”

    - Robert Scoble (http://radio.weblogs.com/0001011/2003/02/26.html)

    Has this been forgotten? I know that this is why I (and apparently others) liked to read the “old ” Robert Scoble and am much more put off by the new “Robert Scoble brand”. Anonymous posters could be janitors or CEOs of major firms – you used to treat everyone with respect. Somewhere along the line in the past year you started catering only to the known big fish and began to be exceptionally rude to the people who made you what you are but happen to disagree with you.

    BTW, try hitting the random blog button in WordPress 50 times – will they have to adjust their XXX,XXX blogs number as well?

    Booger

  69. From the Scoble wayback machine before Scoble was an “A”-something (and fitting in this thread):

    “Personally, I believe in BOGU’ing for EVERYONE, not just the big fish. You never know when the janitor will go to school, get an MBA, and start a company. I’ve seen it happen. Translation for weblog world: treat Gnome-Girl as good as you’d treat Dave Winer or Glenn Reynolds. You never know who’ll get promoted. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way over the years.”

    - Robert Scoble (http://radio.weblogs.com/0001011/2003/02/26.html)

    Has this been forgotten? I know that this is why I (and apparently others) liked to read the “old ” Robert Scoble and am much more put off by the new “Robert Scoble brand”. Anonymous posters could be janitors or CEOs of major firms – you used to treat everyone with respect. Somewhere along the line in the past year you started catering only to the known big fish and began to be exceptionally rude to the people who made you what you are but happen to disagree with you.

    BTW, try hitting the random blog button in WordPress 50 times – will they have to adjust their XXX,XXX blogs number as well?

    Booger

  70. It’s true Dare’s dad is the president of Nigeria:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dare_Obasanjo

    He is the RssBandit author and one of the orignators of microformats.

    Well, I guess scobleizer.wordpress.com will be banned from now on in Nigeria.

    Robert, is Jeff still the best boss you’ve ever had? :-)
    http://scobleizer.wordpress.com/2006/06/12/throwing-chairs

    Anyway, I will read your blogs again after your ego comes down a bit and not being childish. I just removed it from my rss aggregator. And no, I am not a MS employee!!

  71. It’s true Dare’s dad is the president of Nigeria:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dare_Obasanjo

    He is the RssBandit author and one of the orignators of microformats.

    Well, I guess scobleizer.wordpress.com will be banned from now on in Nigeria.

    Robert, is Jeff still the best boss you’ve ever had? :-)
    http://scobleizer.wordpress.com/2006/06/12/throwing-chairs

    Anyway, I will read your blogs again after your ego comes down a bit and not being childish. I just removed it from my rss aggregator. And no, I am not a MS employee!!

  72. I must say that I agree completely with Booger. The style of the blog (and your personality) have been changing during the last months.
    This discussion just confirms what I have been feling for some time now.
    That’s why I’ve unsubscribed. Not because I am ‘thin skinned’.

  73. I must say that I agree completely with Booger. The style of the blog (and your personality) have been changing during the last months.
    This discussion just confirms what I have been feling for some time now.
    That’s why I’ve unsubscribed. Not because I am ‘thin skinned’.

  74. Hi Robert,

    I think you hit the crux of the matter, and some of your readers missed it. The issue here is really what the definition of a blog is.

    It would seem we need a new word in our lexicon for non-blog blogs. By that I mean things like private blogs, photo only “spaces” etc. Your analogy comparing an intrantet page to an internet page was apt.

    As far as bloggers not mattering. I seem to recall the mainstream press saying that a few years ago. Now they routinely quote bloggers on the air.

    In my humble view blogging is an incredible improvement on content distribution and dissemination almost as significant as the first newspapers. And just like newspapers there are “rag” bloggers, and true “source” bloggers. You get the picture.

    If your readers don’t accept your definition of a blog, then their arguments are moot. In other words they are arguing a different issue not responding to your original point.

    I don’t pretend to be able to offer a better definition than anyone else, but I do believe advertising dollars know the difference!

    Cheers,

    Bob Porter

  75. Hi Robert,

    I think you hit the crux of the matter, and some of your readers missed it. The issue here is really what the definition of a blog is.

    It would seem we need a new word in our lexicon for non-blog blogs. By that I mean things like private blogs, photo only “spaces” etc. Your analogy comparing an intrantet page to an internet page was apt.

    As far as bloggers not mattering. I seem to recall the mainstream press saying that a few years ago. Now they routinely quote bloggers on the air.

    In my humble view blogging is an incredible improvement on content distribution and dissemination almost as significant as the first newspapers. And just like newspapers there are “rag” bloggers, and true “source” bloggers. You get the picture.

    If your readers don’t accept your definition of a blog, then their arguments are moot. In other words they are arguing a different issue not responding to your original point.

    I don’t pretend to be able to offer a better definition than anyone else, but I do believe advertising dollars know the difference!

    Cheers,

    Bob Porter

  76. Robert, I for one am pleased you are taking your position. A few weeks ago I wrote “Ode to a Curmudgeon” (link below) – I am certified one, and I like to see posts challenging vendors. Lord knows, there are too many blogs that just report their product announcements. With their large marketing budgets, most vendors do not need more blog pandering.

    http://dealarchitect.typepad.com/deal_architect/2006/07/ode_to_a_curmud.html

    What I do not like is the personal level at which people attack. If you had called Ballmer “egotistical or petty” I could understand a personal attack back. But you are questioning the methodology behind what should be counted as a blog. It is a fair topic and can be discussed professionally.

    And no, I for one, do not think you are berating infrequent bloggers. The long tail of blogging is real long because of your efforts to make blogging mainstream.

    And it will be good to see more of you on Curmudgeon Island -)

  77. Robert, I for one am pleased you are taking your position. A few weeks ago I wrote “Ode to a Curmudgeon” (link below) – I am certified one, and I like to see posts challenging vendors. Lord knows, there are too many blogs that just report their product announcements. With their large marketing budgets, most vendors do not need more blog pandering.

    http://dealarchitect.typepad.com/deal_architect/2006/07/ode_to_a_curmud.html

    What I do not like is the personal level at which people attack. If you had called Ballmer “egotistical or petty” I could understand a personal attack back. But you are questioning the methodology behind what should be counted as a blog. It is a fair topic and can be discussed professionally.

    And no, I for one, do not think you are berating infrequent bloggers. The long tail of blogging is real long because of your efforts to make blogging mainstream.

    And it will be good to see more of you on Curmudgeon Island -)

  78. Actually, I’ve seen several Federated Media sites without ads on them lately. If they were selling ads left and right, they’d all be full.

    For the record, I agree with the concept though and like the concept.

  79. Actually, I’ve seen several Federated Media sites without ads on them lately. If they were selling ads left and right, they’d all be full.

    For the record, I agree with the concept though and like the concept.

  80. Robert, Im totally on your side for this.

    The number advertised by MSN Live Spaces means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING and is NOT ACCURATE for real content.

    I have a MSN Live Space account. Why? Because I got some corporate email to my hotmail account saying how great they were. So I clicked and activated my space. Looked around, didnt see anything worth using daily… and have NEVER USED IT SINCE. So I guess I fall in the category of one of the empty links.

    Im sure thousands upon hundreds of thousands hotmail users did the same thing. Activated, but has never used it to post real content.

    I guess I’ve had a chip on my shoulder about what “blogs” are ever since I heard my Librarian Mother-In-Law telling me how she was giving a presentation on them to other librarians. Of which, she described a blog as a place to store files for later use. Not content, not updated, not a blog.

    I first understood a Blog to be a “weB LOG”, or almost an online diary if you will. Once the newness of “ooh, Im on the web and here are my feelings went away”, it shifted towards “here are the products/news/items/thoughts that have me thinking today”.

  81. Robert, Im totally on your side for this.

    The number advertised by MSN Live Spaces means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING and is NOT ACCURATE for real content.

    I have a MSN Live Space account. Why? Because I got some corporate email to my hotmail account saying how great they were. So I clicked and activated my space. Looked around, didnt see anything worth using daily… and have NEVER USED IT SINCE. So I guess I fall in the category of one of the empty links.

    Im sure thousands upon hundreds of thousands hotmail users did the same thing. Activated, but has never used it to post real content.

    I guess I’ve had a chip on my shoulder about what “blogs” are ever since I heard my Librarian Mother-In-Law telling me how she was giving a presentation on them to other librarians. Of which, she described a blog as a place to store files for later use. Not content, not updated, not a blog.

    I first understood a Blog to be a “weB LOG”, or almost an online diary if you will. Once the newness of “ooh, Im on the web and here are my feelings went away”, it shifted towards “here are the products/news/items/thoughts that have me thinking today”.

  82. Guys, guys, GUYS!

    When it comes down to it, at the end of the day, when all is said and done, when the cards are played, when the game is over, we all know how to pick the real winner.

    It’s a tried and true practice that has worked for centuries.

    All that really matters is…

    who has a larger penis?

  83. Guys, guys, GUYS!

    When it comes down to it, at the end of the day, when all is said and done, when the cards are played, when the game is over, we all know how to pick the real winner.

    It’s a tried and true practice that has worked for centuries.

    All that really matters is…

    who has a larger penis?

  84. For the love of God everybody needs to chill the F out.

    I think everyone has made enough interesting points that the conversation shouldn’t devolve into attacks. It reminds me of fights with my girlfriend…the later in the evening we get into arguments the worse they get. That’s what seems to have happened here, so now that it’s a new day I’m interested in what everyone has to say.

    I tend to agree with you on a few key points. M$ claims to have 70 million blogs, which at face value seems like an innocent claim. It’s not so innocent, though, if that claim is used to justify higher ad costs. So now we have the question of what actually constitutes a blog.

    I think private blogs should not be included in the main count and non-updating blogs shouldn’t count at all. First, private blogs are limited in scope to a small number of people. Their potential audience is much smaller than a public blog, so even if they have something really interesting to say it’s only going to be read by a few people. Maybe they should claim to have X amount of public blogs and X amount of private blogs. Second, why should a blog that was created and then forever neglected count at all? It’s not going to get viewers so it’s not going to get ad visibility.

    I suspect a LOT of MSN Spaces were made and left alone. Hell, I think I have one of those and one of the Yahoo 360 things. I signed up to check them out, they both “sucked” to me (meaning they had too many features that I didn’t care about), and I’ve never used them since. Should Microsoft and Yahoo count them when they brag about how many blogs they have? Not if they want to be ethical.

    Keep in mind that the ethics only count if they use their number of blogs as a reason to charge X amount per ad. If they don’t then I couldn’t care less if they say they have a googol blogs.

    All that being said and all name-calling and petty argument tactics aside, this has been a very interesting conversation. I will definitely NOT unsubscribe to any blogs, hell, I just subscribed to Dare’s blog.

  85. For the love of God everybody needs to chill the F out.

    I think everyone has made enough interesting points that the conversation shouldn’t devolve into attacks. It reminds me of fights with my girlfriend…the later in the evening we get into arguments the worse they get. That’s what seems to have happened here, so now that it’s a new day I’m interested in what everyone has to say.

    I tend to agree with you on a few key points. M$ claims to have 70 million blogs, which at face value seems like an innocent claim. It’s not so innocent, though, if that claim is used to justify higher ad costs. So now we have the question of what actually constitutes a blog.

    I think private blogs should not be included in the main count and non-updating blogs shouldn’t count at all. First, private blogs are limited in scope to a small number of people. Their potential audience is much smaller than a public blog, so even if they have something really interesting to say it’s only going to be read by a few people. Maybe they should claim to have X amount of public blogs and X amount of private blogs. Second, why should a blog that was created and then forever neglected count at all? It’s not going to get viewers so it’s not going to get ad visibility.

    I suspect a LOT of MSN Spaces were made and left alone. Hell, I think I have one of those and one of the Yahoo 360 things. I signed up to check them out, they both “sucked” to me (meaning they had too many features that I didn’t care about), and I’ve never used them since. Should Microsoft and Yahoo count them when they brag about how many blogs they have? Not if they want to be ethical.

    Keep in mind that the ethics only count if they use their number of blogs as a reason to charge X amount per ad. If they don’t then I couldn’t care less if they say they have a googol blogs.

    All that being said and all name-calling and petty argument tactics aside, this has been a very interesting conversation. I will definitely NOT unsubscribe to any blogs, hell, I just subscribed to Dare’s blog.

  86. Well said, Robert! Kudoes for actually trying to define a blog.

    And you actually know how to spell ad hominem (sp?)…are you a product of a parochial school education (like me) by chance?

  87. Well said, Robert! Kudoes for actually trying to define a blog.

    And you actually know how to spell ad hominem (sp?)…are you a product of a parochial school education (like me) by chance?

  88. Skeptic is my hero.

    “Unbelieveable: someone blogging behind a firewall to their own family only is NOT a blogger. Sorry. They are something else. Not saying they aren’t important, but they aren’t adding to the Web and, therefore, they aren’t important to ME cause I’m a consumer of things on the Web.”

    Next: The definition of “family”.

    Robert, I really couldn’t care less about your tiff with Dare. I don’t read either of your blogs regularly, and really, only do whenever I opt to “chase rawhide” and check out the noises in the chicken coop. Once again, I’m ready for Jesus to stop by and give me these 15 minutes back.

    To say that people who blog “to their own family” aren’t “adding to the web” is steaming horseshit. Take a deep breath, say the Gayatri Mantra five times, and then pound it into your skull that WordPress, Drupal, Live, MySpace, and whatever else are TOOLS. You know, kind of like certain sensational bloggers when they’re scraping together mountains out of molehills.

    Ad hominem enough? I can do more.

  89. Skeptic is my hero.

    “Unbelieveable: someone blogging behind a firewall to their own family only is NOT a blogger. Sorry. They are something else. Not saying they aren’t important, but they aren’t adding to the Web and, therefore, they aren’t important to ME cause I’m a consumer of things on the Web.”

    Next: The definition of “family”.

    Robert, I really couldn’t care less about your tiff with Dare. I don’t read either of your blogs regularly, and really, only do whenever I opt to “chase rawhide” and check out the noises in the chicken coop. Once again, I’m ready for Jesus to stop by and give me these 15 minutes back.

    To say that people who blog “to their own family” aren’t “adding to the web” is steaming horseshit. Take a deep breath, say the Gayatri Mantra five times, and then pound it into your skull that WordPress, Drupal, Live, MySpace, and whatever else are TOOLS. You know, kind of like certain sensational bloggers when they’re scraping together mountains out of molehills.

    Ad hominem enough? I can do more.

  90. Bruce: nope, I went to public schools all my life.

    Ethan: well, I care about things that ADD TO THE WEB!!! If you don’t share it with us we can’t add it to our experience.

    Hint: the Web is public. Anything behind private doors is NOT the Web. That’s why we call those things intranets, etc.

  91. Bruce: nope, I went to public schools all my life.

    Ethan: well, I care about things that ADD TO THE WEB!!! If you don’t share it with us we can’t add it to our experience.

    Hint: the Web is public. Anything behind private doors is NOT the Web. That’s why we call those things intranets, etc.

  92. It depends on whether you agree with Jeff Jarvis’s opinions – personally I would not be inclined to automatically take his recommendation because I find some of his thinking to be patently ludicrous

    A listers may have reach but it is arguable that

    1) this influence is in some way limited to the geek audience

    2) since not all A listers have united opinions they might cancel each other out

  93. It depends on whether you agree with Jeff Jarvis’s opinions – personally I would not be inclined to automatically take his recommendation because I find some of his thinking to be patently ludicrous

    A listers may have reach but it is arguable that

    1) this influence is in some way limited to the geek audience

    2) since not all A listers have united opinions they might cancel each other out

  94. Robert

    Recently, after the bomb blasts in Bombay, the Indian Govt had shut down complete blogging services like blogger inadvertently (instead of shutting down what they thought were blogging sites that looked suspicious). The service was brought back on with a lot of public support cause some of the blogs on some of those services were actually being used to communicate with the authorities and the common public with information on medical aid, routes that were being opened/closed after the blast, hospitals, phone nos, family contacts and so on.

    Why do I say this? Cause none of these blogs will fall into your A list category – frankly is that the measure of popularity alone?

    It isnt about Chris Pirillo’s $10000 dollar virtual real estate – it is about people like you and me – real people who use the web (in whatever way they can) to share stories and bridge differences.

    Why should anyone arrogate and stand in judgement over what stories they can and cannot tell?

    If someone were to have used a blogging service to help the Katrina victims last year, it would be silly for you to say that since it isnt a live blog it isnt “contributing to the web”.

    What matters is how easy the blog was to create, how easy was it to access and how many people’s lives it touched.

    Pls dont forget that blogging is only the means to an end….

  95. Robert

    Recently, after the bomb blasts in Bombay, the Indian Govt had shut down complete blogging services like blogger inadvertently (instead of shutting down what they thought were blogging sites that looked suspicious). The service was brought back on with a lot of public support cause some of the blogs on some of those services were actually being used to communicate with the authorities and the common public with information on medical aid, routes that were being opened/closed after the blast, hospitals, phone nos, family contacts and so on.

    Why do I say this? Cause none of these blogs will fall into your A list category – frankly is that the measure of popularity alone?

    It isnt about Chris Pirillo’s $10000 dollar virtual real estate – it is about people like you and me – real people who use the web (in whatever way they can) to share stories and bridge differences.

    Why should anyone arrogate and stand in judgement over what stories they can and cannot tell?

    If someone were to have used a blogging service to help the Katrina victims last year, it would be silly for you to say that since it isnt a live blog it isnt “contributing to the web”.

    What matters is how easy the blog was to create, how easy was it to access and how many people’s lives it touched.

    Pls dont forget that blogging is only the means to an end….

  96. There is only one Spaces blog I read and ‘really’ know about – which is your wifes.

    The Rockstar supernova phenomena makes people go out and make spaces blogs – to win something.

    Yes, they may be the biggest, but I agree. IF you have 200 m MSN Messenger users, then your numbers should be much higher.

  97. There is only one Spaces blog I read and ‘really’ know about – which is your wifes.

    The Rockstar supernova phenomena makes people go out and make spaces blogs – to win something.

    Yes, they may be the biggest, but I agree. IF you have 200 m MSN Messenger users, then your numbers should be much higher.

  98. I see, now we’ve moved on to defining the “web”.

    “Hint: the Web is public. Anything behind private doors is NOT the Web. That’s why we call those things intranets, etc.”

    Hint back: the web is a public medium. To my knowledge, there is no hard and fast rule that says that everything that utlizes this medium MUST be public-facing. Seems to me intranet sites (specifically domain-based intranets) use DNS, same as everyone else. (Yes, I am aware that intranet material can be served up without a web server.)

    Again, we can split hairs to the sub-particle level. I’ve got all day, apparently. Of course, as this topic is officially “dead” by way of your apology post, I can stash the electron microscope thisquick. That sounds good too, huh?

  99. I see, now we’ve moved on to defining the “web”.

    “Hint: the Web is public. Anything behind private doors is NOT the Web. That’s why we call those things intranets, etc.”

    Hint back: the web is a public medium. To my knowledge, there is no hard and fast rule that says that everything that utlizes this medium MUST be public-facing. Seems to me intranet sites (specifically domain-based intranets) use DNS, same as everyone else. (Yes, I am aware that intranet material can be served up without a web server.)

    Again, we can split hairs to the sub-particle level. I’ve got all day, apparently. Of course, as this topic is officially “dead” by way of your apology post, I can stash the electron microscope thisquick. That sounds good too, huh?

  100. I can’t believe how arrogant and childish you are, Scoble.

    Blogging doesn’t belong to you; you don’t own it. It’s not your toy that you can take it back and tell people that they aren’t blogging after all.

    I’ve been blogging since 1992. Before trackbacks, before Technorati, before Blogger or Movable Type, before Google, before RSS or Atom. Don’t you dare try to tell me that it wasn’t a blog.

    I don’t recognize your authority or expertise. You are not an expert blogger — you are a very poor blogger, all told. All that you are is a loud blogger, a frequent blogger, and a visible blogger. All you have going for you in this space is luck that you haven’t yet managed to sabotage.

  101. I can’t believe how arrogant and childish you are, Scoble.

    Blogging doesn’t belong to you; you don’t own it. It’s not your toy that you can take it back and tell people that they aren’t blogging after all.

    I’ve been blogging since 1992. Before trackbacks, before Technorati, before Blogger or Movable Type, before Google, before RSS or Atom. Don’t you dare try to tell me that it wasn’t a blog.

    I don’t recognize your authority or expertise. You are not an expert blogger — you are a very poor blogger, all told. All that you are is a loud blogger, a frequent blogger, and a visible blogger. All you have going for you in this space is luck that you haven’t yet managed to sabotage.

  102. Robert

    Sorry, but I’m going to disagree with you for the first name in a long time.

    - I dont care whether we are worth more to the advertisers

    - I dont care whether we are losing deals with ad companies/whatever

    I do care and appreciate that we are building tools for *normal* people. Moms and dads, uncles and aunts. People who dont know what RSS stands for. People who dont have a Del.icio.us account, Technorati watches and who dont fight it out every 5 months as to what a ‘A List’ blogger

    I know that most of the 100 million Spaces would never be ‘true’ bloggers. I have a colleague on my team who uses his Spaces account to upload photos of his daughter, family vacation,etc. He’s not a blogger. He’ll never be a influencer. But I’d rather build tools for him than for any ‘influencer’

    Shame on you Robert for saying that a influencer is worth 1000s of normal people (or as you put it – a non-influencer). My sister is and so is my Mom. I would rather have Microsoft build software for my family rather than some exclusive club of geeks.

    I dont care whether we have 75 million or 100 million. I dont care whether we call them blogs or spaces or just websites. I do care whether we can somehow enhance the millions of people who are using it. It matters to me whether someone is able to share his vacation photos with his family. If in the process we lose out on a few advertising dollars, so be it.

    Software for normal people. That’s what I joined this company to build. Not software for the ‘influencers’.

    - Sriram Krishnan

    P.S Can you and Dare stop with all the name calling? It’s getting quite childish.

  103. Robert

    Sorry, but I’m going to disagree with you for the first name in a long time.

    - I dont care whether we are worth more to the advertisers

    - I dont care whether we are losing deals with ad companies/whatever

    I do care and appreciate that we are building tools for *normal* people. Moms and dads, uncles and aunts. People who dont know what RSS stands for. People who dont have a Del.icio.us account, Technorati watches and who dont fight it out every 5 months as to what a ‘A List’ blogger

    I know that most of the 100 million Spaces would never be ‘true’ bloggers. I have a colleague on my team who uses his Spaces account to upload photos of his daughter, family vacation,etc. He’s not a blogger. He’ll never be a influencer. But I’d rather build tools for him than for any ‘influencer’

    Shame on you Robert for saying that a influencer is worth 1000s of normal people (or as you put it – a non-influencer). My sister is and so is my Mom. I would rather have Microsoft build software for my family rather than some exclusive club of geeks.

    I dont care whether we have 75 million or 100 million. I dont care whether we call them blogs or spaces or just websites. I do care whether we can somehow enhance the millions of people who are using it. It matters to me whether someone is able to share his vacation photos with his family. If in the process we lose out on a few advertising dollars, so be it.

    Software for normal people. That’s what I joined this company to build. Not software for the ‘influencers’.

    - Sriram Krishnan

    P.S Can you and Dare stop with all the name calling? It’s getting quite childish.

  104. [...] It’s been quite a week for meta-blogging (that is, blogging about blogging). First we had Nick Carr taking on what he called the “innocent fraud” of the open blogosphere, and now we have A-list blogger and blog-bible author Robert Scoble — ex of Microsoft — sparking a furore over what a blog is. Next, of course, we need Bill Clinton to help us define what the meaning of the word “is” is. But I digress. [...]

  105. Sriram: >>>Shame on you Robert for saying that a influencer is worth 1000s of normal people (or as you put it – a non-influencer).

    That’s why I titled this post “the elephant in the kitchen.” It’s the thing that everyone knows is there but that no one is supposed to talk about.

    The problem is you think that MSN and Google and Yahoo are doing this stuff to be nice citizens, right? Well breaking news, they aren’t. They are doing them for money.

    And, the truth is that someone who brings in 1,000 visits IS worth 1,000 times someone who only brings 1 hit into the system.

    Now, the problem is, when I say “worth” I’m talking about the worth to the business. Not the worth to YOU or the worth TO YOUR FAMILY.

    Obviously every human has the same worth if you’re talking about human values.

    But, when MSN and Yahoo and Google (and SixApart, WordPress, Technorati) executives get together they DEFINITELY compare their numbers and their demographics and all that and then they prepare PowerPoint slides and they head off to big advertisers like General Motors and Procter and Gamble and say “you should advertise with us, look at all the buying activity you’ll get.”

    Here’s another datapoint. The CEO of Printing for Less told me that not every customer is the same. For instance, if you click on the word “business cards” in Google he knows you’ll probably spend about $200. If you click on the word “four color printing” you’ll generate 10x that.

    So, what does he do? He spends more in advertising to get the type who will click “four color printing.”

    That person is worth more to his business.

    That’s what I was trying to say.

    That’s why MSN wants to call their spaces “blogs” because bloggers are worth more to advertisers.

    Hope that helps clarify what I was saying when I said “worth.”

  106. Sriram: >>>Shame on you Robert for saying that a influencer is worth 1000s of normal people (or as you put it – a non-influencer).

    That’s why I titled this post “the elephant in the kitchen.” It’s the thing that everyone knows is there but that no one is supposed to talk about.

    The problem is you think that MSN and Google and Yahoo are doing this stuff to be nice citizens, right? Well breaking news, they aren’t. They are doing them for money.

    And, the truth is that someone who brings in 1,000 visits IS worth 1,000 times someone who only brings 1 hit into the system.

    Now, the problem is, when I say “worth” I’m talking about the worth to the business. Not the worth to YOU or the worth TO YOUR FAMILY.

    Obviously every human has the same worth if you’re talking about human values.

    But, when MSN and Yahoo and Google (and SixApart, WordPress, Technorati) executives get together they DEFINITELY compare their numbers and their demographics and all that and then they prepare PowerPoint slides and they head off to big advertisers like General Motors and Procter and Gamble and say “you should advertise with us, look at all the buying activity you’ll get.”

    Here’s another datapoint. The CEO of Printing for Less told me that not every customer is the same. For instance, if you click on the word “business cards” in Google he knows you’ll probably spend about $200. If you click on the word “four color printing” you’ll generate 10x that.

    So, what does he do? He spends more in advertising to get the type who will click “four color printing.”

    That person is worth more to his business.

    That’s what I was trying to say.

    That’s why MSN wants to call their spaces “blogs” because bloggers are worth more to advertisers.

    Hope that helps clarify what I was saying when I said “worth.”

  107. Robert,
    It seems you have now resorted to making up motivations for Microsoft, Google and Yahoo! now that people have called you out on your A-list blogger elitist crap.

    Mike Torres and I have blogged several times that we are more interested in getting everyone blogging and sharing their experiences with Spaces than simply catering to A-list bloggers like yourself. That’s the power of the long tail. Instead of targetting a few users with lots of readers like yourself and other A-list bloggers (i.e. the head of the tail), we’ve built a platform that millions of people with a few dozen readers can enjoy.

    I guess it makes you uncomfortable to realize that a few A-list bloggers aren’t as important as millions of Z-list bloggers to us.

  108. Bob Porter:

    “I don’t pretend to be able to offer a better definition than anyone else, but I do believe advertising dollars know the difference”

    You are equating professional blogging with blogging? Or those who generate money, whether it’s their sole income or not?

    By your definition, only pro snowboards are snowboards. Only pro volleyball players are volleyball players. Only pro racing drivers are racing drivers.

    Maybe that’s not what you meant, but it sure sounds like it. The whole point of blogging was that the amateurs and tiny guys could get in on the action, and you want to throw out everyone that doesn’t get ad dollars. Shortsighted and dumb.

    Robert: You were right in your comments on my blog, and I decided I was being unfair. I edited my blog to admit and reflect the fact. I also stated it was an edited blog and why I edited it. Sorry for jumping on the “Robert bashing bandwagon.” Not sorry for thinking people here wanting to narrow the definition of blog to those who get ad money, as Bob seems to, are forgetting the whole purpose of RSS and blogging. So that everyone can be a publisher.

    If you guys posting things like Bob (again, assuming I interpret his statements correctly) want a world where just a few people count or are considered bloggers, the rest not mattering, you can have it. I’d think with the large broadband providers trying to cut out the content providers and make the web inequitable that people supposedly in the know wouldn’t be trying to pull the same kind of crap, but clearly I’m wrong.

  109. Bob Porter:

    “I don’t pretend to be able to offer a better definition than anyone else, but I do believe advertising dollars know the difference”

    You are equating professional blogging with blogging? Or those who generate money, whether it’s their sole income or not?

    By your definition, only pro snowboards are snowboards. Only pro volleyball players are volleyball players. Only pro racing drivers are racing drivers.

    Maybe that’s not what you meant, but it sure sounds like it. The whole point of blogging was that the amateurs and tiny guys could get in on the action, and you want to throw out everyone that doesn’t get ad dollars. Shortsighted and dumb.

    Robert: You were right in your comments on my blog, and I decided I was being unfair. I edited my blog to admit and reflect the fact. I also stated it was an edited blog and why I edited it. Sorry for jumping on the “Robert bashing bandwagon.” Not sorry for thinking people here wanting to narrow the definition of blog to those who get ad money, as Bob seems to, are forgetting the whole purpose of RSS and blogging. So that everyone can be a publisher.

    If you guys posting things like Bob (again, assuming I interpret his statements correctly) want a world where just a few people count or are considered bloggers, the rest not mattering, you can have it. I’d think with the large broadband providers trying to cut out the content providers and make the web inequitable that people supposedly in the know wouldn’t be trying to pull the same kind of crap, but clearly I’m wrong.

  110. Robert,
    It seems you have now resorted to making up motivations for Microsoft, Google and Yahoo! now that people have called you out on your A-list blogger elitist crap.

    Mike Torres and I have blogged several times that we are more interested in getting everyone blogging and sharing their experiences with Spaces than simply catering to A-list bloggers like yourself. That’s the power of the long tail. Instead of targetting a few users with lots of readers like yourself and other A-list bloggers (i.e. the head of the tail), we’ve built a platform that millions of people with a few dozen readers can enjoy.

    I guess it makes you uncomfortable to realize that a few A-list bloggers aren’t as important as millions of Z-list bloggers to us.

  111. For what it’s worth:

    Lots of people have Spaces accounts, Hotmail Ids and so on who never use them, link to them or share them with family and friends. I would guess that quite a few of that 200 million, like me, read about some new Microsoft free thing and decided to try it out just to see if iit was worthy of their time. I use Hotmail for situations that might collect a lot of junk mail. I keep a MSN messenger id going (using GAIM for Linux) for those one or two people I know who use nothing else, and GAIM supports Jabber, AIM and Yahoo so I have all the bases covered.

    I am of NO value to Microsoft, Yahoo, or AOL advertisers, but I do keep Adwords turned on in my blog since I use Blogger and it’s trivial to do so (but I like the fact that it is not required).

    I REALLY don’t think the definition of the word “blog” is important. What MIGHT be important is how various filters (like Google’s blog search) categorize things. But if anything I’m more likely to want blog results EXCLUDED than included. Blogs tend to be the “editorial page” off the Internet. I may wind up on a blog by going to Cnet looking for news, not the other way around. In any event, once I get to the news, I don’t care whether it was formated and uploaded using blogging software or some other means, why would ANYONE care?

    The Blogger interface has undergone a much needed revamp and now has many of the usability improvements just introduced by Spaces. In addition it still creates web pages that are viewable by just about any web browser. I applaud the MSN effort, but the pages it produces yield errors on older browsers. One of these days Microsoft may figure out that promoting IE as “most favored browser” doesn’t necesitate making other browsers not work at all. Let the IE group fend for themselves, and put stuff out that “just works”. Do your testing on IE LAST for a few months if you have to until you get the hang of it!

  112. For what it’s worth:

    Lots of people have Spaces accounts, Hotmail Ids and so on who never use them, link to them or share them with family and friends. I would guess that quite a few of that 200 million, like me, read about some new Microsoft free thing and decided to try it out just to see if iit was worthy of their time. I use Hotmail for situations that might collect a lot of junk mail. I keep a MSN messenger id going (using GAIM for Linux) for those one or two people I know who use nothing else, and GAIM supports Jabber, AIM and Yahoo so I have all the bases covered.

    I am of NO value to Microsoft, Yahoo, or AOL advertisers, but I do keep Adwords turned on in my blog since I use Blogger and it’s trivial to do so (but I like the fact that it is not required).

    I REALLY don’t think the definition of the word “blog” is important. What MIGHT be important is how various filters (like Google’s blog search) categorize things. But if anything I’m more likely to want blog results EXCLUDED than included. Blogs tend to be the “editorial page” off the Internet. I may wind up on a blog by going to Cnet looking for news, not the other way around. In any event, once I get to the news, I don’t care whether it was formated and uploaded using blogging software or some other means, why would ANYONE care?

    The Blogger interface has undergone a much needed revamp and now has many of the usability improvements just introduced by Spaces. In addition it still creates web pages that are viewable by just about any web browser. I applaud the MSN effort, but the pages it produces yield errors on older browsers. One of these days Microsoft may figure out that promoting IE as “most favored browser” doesn’t necesitate making other browsers not work at all. Let the IE group fend for themselves, and put stuff out that “just works”. Do your testing on IE LAST for a few months if you have to until you get the hang of it!

  113. Crap, is that Robert Scoble? It think it is! He’s baaack!! The best thing about Robert leaving MS is that he’s free to post this sort of thing again. Yay!

  114. Crap, is that Robert Scoble? It think it is! He’s baaack!! The best thing about Robert leaving MS is that he’s free to post this sort of thing again. Yay!

  115. It’s increasingly apparent that the A in A-list from a blogger context stands for Arrogant. Or Authoritarian. Or just plain Asshole. unsubscribed.

  116. It’s increasingly apparent that the A in A-list from a blogger context stands for Arrogant. Or Authoritarian. Or just plain Asshole. unsubscribed.

  117. who are you to define what a blog is?? there are a hell lot of blogs out there having more useful information out there. You were in my list of to-read blogs because you were with uncle bill (I am sure this is what most of your readers are here.Ever since the media mania took over you when you were leaving microsoft, you have come to assume that you were the king of blogs…stop day dreaming and post some useful stuff..rather than teaching people what a blog is. First rule on the internet is to stop being an arrogant personl. Or else you will be OWNED :))

    time to kick scoble out of my list…btw inspite of me visting your blog for almost a year now, I have just visited your new company website a couple of times. That will tell you that the power of your name is because of your association with MICROSOFT. Not many people are fortunate like this, thats why their blogs really dont take off.

    BTW DID NOT ANYONE TEACH YOU THAT LETTERS IN CAPS MEANS YELLING AT PEOPLE. DOM’T YOU HAVE BASIC COURTESY WHILE POSTING… :)
    end of story…

  118. who are you to define what a blog is?? there are a hell lot of blogs out there having more useful information out there. You were in my list of to-read blogs because you were with uncle bill (I am sure this is what most of your readers are here.Ever since the media mania took over you when you were leaving microsoft, you have come to assume that you were the king of blogs…stop day dreaming and post some useful stuff..rather than teaching people what a blog is. First rule on the internet is to stop being an arrogant personl. Or else you will be OWNED :))

    time to kick scoble out of my list…btw inspite of me visting your blog for almost a year now, I have just visited your new company website a couple of times. That will tell you that the power of your name is because of your association with MICROSOFT. Not many people are fortunate like this, thats why their blogs really dont take off.

    BTW DID NOT ANYONE TEACH YOU THAT LETTERS IN CAPS MEANS YELLING AT PEOPLE. DOM’T YOU HAVE BASIC COURTESY WHILE POSTING… :)
    end of story…

  119. Robert – let me (one of) the first to say that I’m *not* going to unsubscribe to your blog.
    To be clear, I had planned to pull the plug you for at least a month due to complete lack of interesting content, but then out of the blue you go off in this ridiculous rant. The humour is enough to keep me around for at least a few more weeks until the dust settles down. Thanks for renewing my interest!

  120. Robert – let me (one of) the first to say that I’m *not* going to unsubscribe to your blog.
    To be clear, I had planned to pull the plug you for at least a month due to complete lack of interesting content, but then out of the blue you go off in this ridiculous rant. The humour is enough to keep me around for at least a few more weeks until the dust settles down. Thanks for renewing my interest!

  121. This is crazy. I can’t believe the whole thing. I can’t believe Scoble came with it for so long. I had no idea Dare was the son of the president of Nigeria (and I had no idea I’d been reading his blog for so long and never realized it was him!)!

    And i’m soooooooooooo stoned right now

  122. This is crazy. I can’t believe the whole thing. I can’t believe Scoble came with it for so long. I had no idea Dare was the son of the president of Nigeria (and I had no idea I’d been reading his blog for so long and never realized it was him!)!

    And i’m soooooooooooo stoned right now

  123. Hmm I saw some of your videos on Channel 9 but this is my first visit here (via Dare).

    It seems to me you may have had a point in there somewhere but you abandoned it in favour of a ‘win’.

    Blogging has become a handy tool for delivering views and opinion to and from those that were otherwise inaccessible, but I’d not say that was it’s raison d’être, to me it is the social experience.

    I’d say it was blogs like this, (and to an extent people like Dare) that are the exception and are really more like amateur (in a non derogatory sense) editorial newsletters than something I’d relate to as blogging.

  124. Hmm I saw some of your videos on Channel 9 but this is my first visit here (via Dare).

    It seems to me you may have had a point in there somewhere but you abandoned it in favour of a ‘win’.

    Blogging has become a handy tool for delivering views and opinion to and from those that were otherwise inaccessible, but I’d not say that was it’s raison d’être, to me it is the social experience.

    I’d say it was blogs like this, (and to an extent people like Dare) that are the exception and are really more like amateur (in a non derogatory sense) editorial newsletters than something I’d relate to as blogging.

  125. You know how many Spaces feeds I have in my OPML file? One.

    Robert’s right. Spaces is a ghost town. Unless Microsoft comes out with a standards-compliant blogging platform independent of proprietary hosting, they’re finished in this space.

  126. You know how many Spaces feeds I have in my OPML file? One.

    Robert’s right. Spaces is a ghost town. Unless Microsoft comes out with a standards-compliant blogging platform independent of proprietary hosting, they’re finished in this space.

  127. Blogging has other values than how much money it earns, mostly, it has the virtue of connecting to other people. All of the flaws of blogging are exemplified by this post and the post that it refers to. It is what we used to call “flames” — stupid, thoughtless attacks on others, online.

    If there were any question whether or not Robert Scoble was childish, narrowminded, egotistical, and bullying to boot, I think this post and his comments effectively proved that he is all of those things.

    That an A list blogger would engage in such childish, narrowminded and yes, egotistical behavior demonstrates only that the quality of the A list is low, as it belongs to those who yell the loudest.

  128. Blogging has other values than how much money it earns, mostly, it has the virtue of connecting to other people. All of the flaws of blogging are exemplified by this post and the post that it refers to. It is what we used to call “flames” — stupid, thoughtless attacks on others, online.

    If there were any question whether or not Robert Scoble was childish, narrowminded, egotistical, and bullying to boot, I think this post and his comments effectively proved that he is all of those things.

    That an A list blogger would engage in such childish, narrowminded and yes, egotistical behavior demonstrates only that the quality of the A list is low, as it belongs to those who yell the loudest.

  129. [...] Recently Robert Scoble wrote in his blog: I’ll tell you what executives from big companies (like Kraft, Procter and Gamble, GM, and others) who were at MSN’s OWN ADVERTISING CONFERENCE told me. An influencer is worth THOUSANDS of times more than a non-influencer (influencer is someone who tells other people stuff, which is why blogging is getting so much advertising attention lately). [...]

  130. There are already many different types of personall or subject-related logs on the Web now .. hundreds of thousands at least that are active, if not several millions .. that are updated somewhat regularly, that contain links, and / or photos or video clips or podcasts or mp3′s. Sifry parses and analyzes that kind of stuff, no ? 9as do many others). And as you point out there are many many logs that are empty of one form of symbol or another, but still may be communicating something to someone(s).

    And different people use them (logs) for different purposes .. to teach, to learn, to amuse, to avoid other things, to yell, to pontificate, to practice activism or advocacy, to connect, to have an aklternate social life .. and so on. It’s like Dave Weinberger has often said .. the Web gives new meaning to the question “what is a dociument ?” So too with logs on the Web.

    And yes, there is a large segment that is emerging where service providers are trying to find ways to make money. Since it is the content (ideas, concepts, info, links, images) that attracts many (but not all) readers, an important element of this new environment is the drive towards monetizing content through forms of online advertising (which are also morphing as advertisers learn more about the dynamics of online sociology and psychology)

    I also believe that what we call “blogs’ today will morph into various forms .. what I like to call blog-like derivatives .. where the derivation comes from purpose, usability, added-value functionality, etc. Different platforms and services will increasingly seek ways to offer services to important and / or lucrative niches .. but in a future of increasing (and dynamic) niches … what those niches are, how they behave and what they want is very very likely to keep on changing. And imo blogging and other personal publishing platforms will have to keep adapting in responsive ways.

    So, the definition(s) of what a blog is today may become different, or mutiple, a year from now, or 3 years down the road .. whatever .. and whenever.

    To pretend that YOU know all about what blogging is somewhat arrogant, I think. Even though you may read 1,000 or more blogs via your RSS aggregator (something you used to proclaim proudly about). That only leaves hundreds of thousands or several millions that you haven’t looked at, haven’t read and never will .. in all sorts of areas, addressing all sorts of topics and issues. There are by now many many people who have been blogging regularly for as long as you have .. they may not be blogging about the kinds of issues you have been, or for the purposes you address, but I consider those I know who have been at it for quite a while and who have grown or refined their blogging, just as “expert’ as you.

    And as communities (whether of 5 regular readers or 20,000 regular readers) form and de-form they will define (sometimes or often dynamically) their purpose, their context and how they relate to the logs on the Web that for whatever reason they enjoy. I have seen blogs that had thousands of regular readers die quick deaths when the changes the author made were not well thought through or were condescending to important parts of the audience / community.

    I also think there may very well come to be ways to monetize, although not in large amounts, many different forms of “blogging” even if they are not pulling enough regular eyeballs to attract high-paying CPM’s or utilize the highest paying keywords for PPC.

    It’s a vast area, and people are an intrinsic (or the fundamental) part of it .. to define it narrowly and introduce some relatively arbitrary standards based on a few high-profile peoples’ opinions about how things should be is narrow-minded and short-sighted. There’s so much more that can, and should, and will be done by the vast diversity of people who decide that they will work at sharing something .. even if it is stupid fart jokes or obscure extinct-plant-based vegetarian recipes .. with people who may just be interested by that tiny stupid topic.

    I honestly thought you would know better than to proclaim yourself one of “the” authorities, when so much has been written about the turbulence and changeability of network dynamics (ssshhh, even in your book).

  131. There are already many different types of personall or subject-related logs on the Web now .. hundreds of thousands at least that are active, if not several millions .. that are updated somewhat regularly, that contain links, and / or photos or video clips or podcasts or mp3′s. Sifry parses and analyzes that kind of stuff, no ? 9as do many others). And as you point out there are many many logs that are empty of one form of symbol or another, but still may be communicating something to someone(s).

    And different people use them (logs) for different purposes .. to teach, to learn, to amuse, to avoid other things, to yell, to pontificate, to practice activism or advocacy, to connect, to have an aklternate social life .. and so on. It’s like Dave Weinberger has often said .. the Web gives new meaning to the question “what is a dociument ?” So too with logs on the Web.

    And yes, there is a large segment that is emerging where service providers are trying to find ways to make money. Since it is the content (ideas, concepts, info, links, images) that attracts many (but not all) readers, an important element of this new environment is the drive towards monetizing content through forms of online advertising (which are also morphing as advertisers learn more about the dynamics of online sociology and psychology)

    I also believe that what we call “blogs’ today will morph into various forms .. what I like to call blog-like derivatives .. where the derivation comes from purpose, usability, added-value functionality, etc. Different platforms and services will increasingly seek ways to offer services to important and / or lucrative niches .. but in a future of increasing (and dynamic) niches … what those niches are, how they behave and what they want is very very likely to keep on changing. And imo blogging and other personal publishing platforms will have to keep adapting in responsive ways.

    So, the definition(s) of what a blog is today may become different, or mutiple, a year from now, or 3 years down the road .. whatever .. and whenever.

    To pretend that YOU know all about what blogging is somewhat arrogant, I think. Even though you may read 1,000 or more blogs via your RSS aggregator (something you used to proclaim proudly about). That only leaves hundreds of thousands or several millions that you haven’t looked at, haven’t read and never will .. in all sorts of areas, addressing all sorts of topics and issues. There are by now many many people who have been blogging regularly for as long as you have .. they may not be blogging about the kinds of issues you have been, or for the purposes you address, but I consider those I know who have been at it for quite a while and who have grown or refined their blogging, just as “expert’ as you.

    And as communities (whether of 5 regular readers or 20,000 regular readers) form and de-form they will define (sometimes or often dynamically) their purpose, their context and how they relate to the logs on the Web that for whatever reason they enjoy. I have seen blogs that had thousands of regular readers die quick deaths when the changes the author made were not well thought through or were condescending to important parts of the audience / community.

    I also think there may very well come to be ways to monetize, although not in large amounts, many different forms of “blogging” even if they are not pulling enough regular eyeballs to attract high-paying CPM’s or utilize the highest paying keywords for PPC.

    It’s a vast area, and people are an intrinsic (or the fundamental) part of it .. to define it narrowly and introduce some relatively arbitrary standards based on a few high-profile peoples’ opinions about how things should be is narrow-minded and short-sighted. There’s so much more that can, and should, and will be done by the vast diversity of people who decide that they will work at sharing something .. even if it is stupid fart jokes or obscure extinct-plant-based vegetarian recipes .. with people who may just be interested by that tiny stupid topic.

    I honestly thought you would know better than to proclaim yourself one of “the” authorities, when so much has been written about the turbulence and changeability of network dynamics (ssshhh, even in your book).

  132. Blogger is derived from Weblogger.

    A WEB LOG. Nothing in there about what you can or cannot log on your site. Photos, words, recipes, links, what have you… nothing in there about who might be interested in your log either.

  133. Blogger is derived from Weblogger.

    A WEB LOG. Nothing in there about what you can or cannot log on your site. Photos, words, recipes, links, what have you… nothing in there about who might be interested in your log either.