SmugMug CEO says Amazon’s S3 saves — big

SmugMug’s CEO (Don MacAskill) says Amazon’s S3 saved his firm more than half a million dollars so far.

Don also does some great CEO blogging where he takes on whether or not Flickr is better.

Speaking of photos, come on along to Photowalking on Sunday. Half Moon Bay Airport. I’ll be at the front gate at 9 a.m. The weather is going to be awesome.

I found both of these links by reading feeds for my link blog. Read that and learn about the guy who couldn’t get into the US because of a Google search. Scary.

Note to Oracle: not me

Hey, I’m an egotistical baaahhhhsssttttaaarrrdddd. My business relies on getting invites to companies to video the latest cool stuff. Thanks to Oracle’s Justin Kestelyn for working to get me an invite.

But if I really was honest with Oracle I’d tell them not to invite asshats like me. That’s not how you’ll really get noticed on the Internet. First of all, I don’t have credibility with the audiences that you really want to reach. When was the last time I’ve been inside a data center?

Second. If you really want to change a company’s PR, start at the bottom of the stack. Find the bloggers we don’t yet know who are writing about Oracle. Go for diversity. Link, link, link often! Bring them in to meet Larry Ellison and your management teams. But even better, let them talk with the engineers building your products.

Let them video, audio, blog, MySpace, wiki, Twitter — whatever they want. But, resist the big-company PR impulse to only invite those who are perceived to be at the top of the A list. You’ll add value by discovering unknown people and bringing them in. Oh, and if you’d like me along to video too, I’ll be happy to show up.

Congrats MSFT on great financial results

I only own stock in one company. Contrary to popular opinion I’m not rich, and don’t have a large 401k plan or stuff like that. I’m working on changing that, but for now I only have my Microsoft shares. I kept them waiting for yesterday. I knew Office and Vista — even if they were failures — would bring truckloads of cash into Microsoft.

I’m getting tougher on Microsoft lately cause I still care about the company. Deeply. Yesterday should have been an even bigger day than it was — Vista is selling “OK” but isn’t a breakaway hit like Windows 95 was (when I first saw Vista, I thought it really could be a Windows 95-style hit).

Since my Mac broke I’m back on Windows XP (I was on Vista on my Mac) and I’m back on Office 2003. I really don’t miss Vista that much, but I do miss Office 2007.

I’m going to hold my stock for Monday, then decide what to do with it. I’ve seen some previews of some cool stuff, and Microsofties are buzzing about stuff I haven’t yet seen, but will come out next week at Mix.

In the meantime, I gotta remind myself not to write off Microsoft or think they can’t have huge impacts on our industry. Any company that has cash arriving by the semi-truck load can’t be counted out and can always do something interesting.

At minimum the great results are getting lots of bloggers to talk.

Here’s to Monday!

UPDATE: Nick Carr has interesting analysis on his post about whether Microsoft is dead. Microsoft isn’t gonna die. We’re not seriously thinking that when we write bombastic headlines like that. But, is Microsoft living up to its potential? Carr points out that Microsoft is many times bigger than Apple or Google. That’s true. So, is Microsoft kicking out many times more new products or services? Not really on scale with expectations. That’s why there’s this consternation over Microsoft’s strategy/execution. Yesterday I was talking to some people and noted that in Web 1.0 Microsoft acquired Hotmail. What’s Microsoft’s big Web 2.0 acquisition? I can’t think of one. Why is that?

Photowalking8, Part II up

This is a short one, but Photowalking 8 part II is up. Lots of fun stuff on the beaches of Half Moon Bay. Eight minutes or so.

See ya back in Half Moon Bay on Sunday at 9 a.m. at the front gate of Dream Machines.

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Microsoft brain drain?

I just got a press release that Tjeerd Hoek, director or user experience design for Microsoft Windows, is now executive creative director of software and hardware convergence at Frog Design.

Tjeerd was well liked and well respected inside Microsoft.

Microsoft is seemingly in the middle of a full-bore executive cleanout. I’ve seen tons of executives leave, particularly in the MSN/Live division that’s struggling to compete with Google. Nearly every executive I knew inside that division is now gone.

Just a few days ago Mary Jo Foley reported that Dane Glasgow left, following Chris Payne. Mary Jo also has a report on Microsoft’s financial results, which were pretty darn good overall (they better be, a new copy of Windows and Office shipped). The question now is “will the sales of those sustain over several quarters?” Microsoft’s guideance says it will.