Last night at the blogger dinner we held for Hugh Macleod a guy, Steli Efti, came up to me and said it was his first day in the United States and said he appreciated being allowed to come to our dinner. I asked him what he was doing and learned that he had come to Silicon Valley to learn about the valley, and to try to build his dream: a new kind of online school, calls it a SuperCool School. He bought a one-way ticket to San Francisco, sold all his stuff and is just trying to learn and meet people and make something happen here.
I found him interesting because it’s the same kind of impulse that, I’m sure, got people to come to San Francisco in the 1850s. They heard there was gold in them thar hills and they were gonna come here and dig it out. Only this guy was here for a lot more altruistic of reasons: he understood that in his hometown of Stuttgart, Germany there isn’t that many geeks to talk ideas with.
Anyway, I don’t think his ideas are thought out enough to really present, but I find him interesting enough to introduce to you.
He’s on Twitter, is looking to meet interesting people in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. He also is paying $100 a night to stay in a hotel and he’s hoping to find cheaper housing so he can stay in California a little longer on his funds. If you are looking for a short-term roommate, drop him a line.
I love meeting dreamers and crazy people who have ideas that they want to change the world. Funny, I took him to see the HP garage, where Silicon Valley started and there was a busload of Japanese tourists there. I wish him luck and he’ll be interesting to follow either way.
Some people I’m hoping he meets eventually are Christian Long and Ewan McIntosh, both of whom are people trying to change the educational system. Funny enough they aren’t in San Francisco.
We had a good laugh over being on Twitter, though. It’ll be interesting to see who adds him as a friend on Twitter.
Here’s my interview with Scott Guthrie, general manager at Microsoft, about the stuff he announced on Monday at Mix. Jeff Prosise, cofounder of Wintellect (he wrote one of the most important books on Windows programming) is on my video saying “it’s world changing.” Scott runs many of the teams that demoed stuff on Monday.
Some people have been writing me about my writing for Fast Company. I have NOT left PodTech. I’m writing a column for Fast Company magazine, that’s all.
Heheh, if you’ve been over at TechMeme you know all about the Digg story so I won’t even bother putting stuff about that on my link blog.
There’s an interesting Silverlight Hype Backlash going, I posted a couple of things about that. MindManager 7 is coming out. So is Mathmatica 6. Oprah has video of Google. Splashcast is pissing off podcasters because they are rehosting their audio and video. All that and more on my link blog.
Over on ScobleShow there’s a cool app for photographers that’ll help you make photo stories. More to come later, got an interview with Scott Guthrie of Microsoft coming up later tonight.
More than 600 emails waiting. Sorry, gotta run…
Hope to see you in San Francisco tonight.
Update: Reservations are under Robert Scoble. They are giving us a semi-private space upstairs, so this should be fun! We’ll meet at 6:30 PM at Gordon Biersch, San Francisco: 2 Harrison Street San Francisco, CA 94105
phone: 415-243-8246 You can find parking in the parking garage below and they will validate your ticket at the restaurant. Please remember to bring cash as they will give us only one check for the table and will add tip to it.
I had lunch today with Dan Appleman who, back in the early 1990s, wrote the most important Visual Basic programming book: all about using the Windows API with Visual Basic, among others. He’s the kind of guy Microsoft used to care about flying into see its latest developer initiatives. He didn’t go to Las Vegas yesterday. I wondered why and he told me he’s been helping his sister do Web consulting for a variety of companies. Says he’s seeing a whole new world outside of the Microsoft fence and that he’s most excited about Google’s custom search engine. Even built one for .NET developers called “Search DotNet”.
It, indeed, is pretty cool and lets people build search engines with very little noise.
Here, compare a search for “Silverlight” info.
Custom Google Engine search for “Silverlight” that Dan Appleman made with Google’s Custom Search engine.
Regular Google search for “Silverlight.”
Dan’s custom search brings back a much higher percentage of great results — and his results are solely focused on developers, while Google’s main results have lots of other results that have nothing to do with Microsoft’s Silverlight. He says that such custom engines are much more “SEO proof” than other approaches, because he decided which sources should be included in the result set. So, you are mixing an algorithmic approach with a human approach of someone who is highly expert and trusted.
Anyone notice how much faster Google is indexing sites lately? I do. It used to take weeks to get into Google’s engine now results are showing up in less than 24 hours.
He recently talked with .NET Rocks about site discoverability and the Google Custom Search engine too.
UPDATE: Just saw this come through my feeds: Charles Knight of Read/Write Web writes about the top 100 alternative search engines.
One way you can tell how good a product launch is by waiting for the day after effect. Are people still talking about it? Still excited? Does it cause people like Steve Gillmor to change opinions?
The answer after reading all my feeds is yes. And the real story hasn’t even been written. Last night I asked Scott Guthrie whether he thought Google would use Silverlight. He told me he thinks they’ll have to at some point.
In the past, I would probably have written that off as some kind of corporate hubris. But not this time.
I can see Microsoft coming at Google with a raft of stuff built on top of Silverlight. For end users at home it’ll look slicker, feel better, and have far better video quality than anything Google can throw at Windows users with YouTube/Flash/etc.
Is it enough yet to say that Microsoft has an internet strategy? Not quite.
But the foundation has been built.
It’ll be interesting to see how Mozilla, Adobe, Google respond cause what Microsoft did yesterday can’t be escaped. In the hallway I met Jeff Prosise, co-founder of Wintellect. He told me that yesterday will be remembered as the day Microsoft rebooted the Web. Hyperbole? Maybe, but don’t miss why he’s excited: he’s going to be able to take his .NET skills and make Web experiences that are going to be far beyond what you can do with HTML and AJAX.
I also asked Scott Guthrie if the Office team was going to use Silverlight to bring us an online Office. He gave the corporate-PR answer, but the smile on his face said all that needed to be said. Microsoft isn’t about to let Google take over the Office space and now they have the platform to build upon and keep up with Google’s PhDs.
If you haven’t been reading my link blog, now would be an excellent time to start. I’ve put 38 articles, great stuff there much of which you won’t find on Digg or TechMeme, including the best writeups on the Microsoft announcements that I could find.
UPDATE: Laszlo says “don’t forget about us.” I think they are now in play for an acquisition from Google.