Testing out the latest Windows Live Writer

I’m playing around with Windows Live Writer, here’s their blog where you can download it from.

They released a new version last week and it’s a very nice way to edit your blog (it’s an offline editor that lets you write and edit your blog without using a browser). Hooked up to my blog very quickly. Presents me with a much nicer user interface than WordPress.com has. Doesn’t rely on the browser, so I can open and close the browser as much as I want (since I’m playing with an early version of Firefox that crashes a lot on my system that’s a huge advantage). I’ll have to get Maryam using this for her blog, since it’s a lot nicer. Of course it always takes me about a year to convince her to do anything. If you read her blog (I’m her husband) you’d know why.

One more test, I want to see if I can copy and paste accurately from FriendFeed. I’m using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8.0, beta 2, and copied this item, and am just pasting it in here:

Google Reader Louis GrayGoogle Reader
Rumors of Upcoming Microsoft Cut-Backs

OK, it did just about the same as copying an item out of Google Chrome and into WordPress.com’s browser-based editor does. Cool.

Anyway, looking good. You should try it with your blog and let us know how it goes.

Why haven’t I always used it? Because I was using a bunch of different computers and didn’t like having a great UI on one, but not on the others (Windows Live Writer doesn’t work on an iPhone, for instance) and I wanted to know WordPress.com like the back of my hand so I could post faster. Now I don’t need that anymore because all my fast posting is done on Twitter or FriendFeed, and also because I’m consolidating my blogging into one computer, so an offline editor makes more sense.

Thanks Microsoft, very nice job!

The Twitterization of Conversations

Yesterday I filmed a video about the half-life of conversations. When I started blogging back in 2000 a blog conversation could go for a week or more. Those days are long gone. In this video I cover why, and show you some ways that tools can be used to lengthen the conversation’s half life (which, on Twitter, can be as short as five minutes).

This video caused a conversation to break out on FriendFeed.

[kyte.tv appKey=MarbachViewerEmbedded&uri=channels/6118/277917&embedId=49424382&premium=true&height=500&width=425]

More on Microsoft and not going to PDC

Frank Shaw answers back. He’s the head of Microsoft’s account at Waggener Edstrom, Microsoft’s main PR firm (and has been for years). Frank’s one of the smartest guys in the PR business, so it’s good for him to step in here. He basically has a finger lashing for everyone involved in yesterday’s incident, including me. I just saw his post in Google Reader, and added this note to it when I put it on my shared items blog:

Frank runs PR for Microsoft for Waggener Edstrom. He takes me to task. Fair enough. I over reacted a bit, mostly because employees were saying that what they said on blogs and on Twitter doesn’t reflect back on their companies, even if they try to disclaim that it’s their opinions. Sorry, that’s just not true. I didn’t make that point well, though, and over reacted. I’m still not going to PDC, it just isn’t high enough value for me. Same reason I’m not going to Apple’s PR thing in the morning. Engadget will beat me all over the place and I don’t have a team to tackle the event. At conferences I rarely get video that fits FastCompany.tv’s style — this year I’ve been to dozens of conferences. How many have you seen video from? Very few.”

To other Microsoft employees, I apologize. Glad to see that Frank addressed this in public.

My feelings got stirred up quite a bit by being on Gillmor Gang and hearing the other participants in the call saying they thought it affected their perception of Microsoft in a negative way, so I figured I’d make a point to get a discussion going. It did that, for sure, and for doing that I’ve done myself some harm. I’ll lick my wounds and come back at it tomorrow.

While blogging in crisis job #1 is listening

Every blogger can bloviate and tell you what he or she sees happening. But I’m noticing a trend among bloggers. Very few listen. I read hundreds of bloggers on a regular basis, along with many thousands who are brought into my view via TechMeme and my hundreds of Google Reader friends.

How many actually are actively seeking out the opinions of others and trying to bring those to their readers. I can tell you how many: almost none.

How many have a Google Reader Shared Items feed like the one I have done for years? A few. Louis Gray is amongst the ones I read often and regularly, but despite a few exceptions here and there very few of the “top bloggers” do that.

How many aggregate thousands of people’s tweets, blogs, photos, videos together and go through and tell you which ones are best like I’ve done every day on FriendFeed since I joined in February? A few do, hello Louis Gray again, but not enough of the top bloggers.

So, if we’re really in an economic crisis (we are, despite the stock market going up 600 points so far today) how can bloggers really be knowledgeable if they don’t read other people’s blogs and prove that over and over and over again by using these tools to demonstrate what they are reading?

Why do I think that’s so important? Well, for balance, for one thing. You saw some people thought I was too negative last week. But if you had looked at EVERYTHING I was putting into this system and reading and writing and doing videos on you would have seen a much more balanced and nuanced view of the world.

I assume my audience is smart and wants to see the world through many viewpoints. I hope you are reading these feeds because there are some damn cool things going through the system and these are my ways of highlighting them and making us all smarter in this time.

Also note that I overlink to people who disagree with me. Why do I do that? Because in these times it’s too easy to buy into your own press releases and start believing you have all the answers. In these times it’s even MORE important to consider the other side, whether we’re talking about the economy or politics.

But maybe I’m alone in that view, it sure seems not many bloggers are willing to show you what inputs they are reading and what’s informing their judgment.

Two-word blogging

Lately I’ve been experimenting with saying less and seeing where that takes us. Today’s two word blog? Depression and Fear.

In a world of information overload maybe two-word posts are going to be a trend. Who knew that two words could kick off so many more words? 🙂

Chalk this up to my laziness. I could have woken up early and documented what Microsoft’s CTO said, like CNet’s Dan Farber did. But I didn’t.

Shoot me.

Blogging, changing every day

Interesting to see the reactions to Technorati’s latest “State of the Blogosphere” post. My reaction matches Duncan Riley’s.

I’ve been investing nearly all of my available time on FriendFeed lately, which is why my blog has slowed down to a mere trickle compared to how often I used to update, say, four years ago (on some days back then I’d post 20 times in a day). Today I am rotating my content development between a number of places. Flickr. Dopplr. Twitter. Upcoming. Google Reader. Kyte. My blog. But mostly over on FriendFeed. (None of those existed back when I started blogging).

Most of my blogger friends think I’m nuts focusing so much effort over on FriendFeed.

But when you see co-founder Bret Taylor’s post on the growth FriendFeed has seen this year you’ll see exactly why I’m spending so much time there.

On the other hand, I’ve been missing writing longer pieces about what I’m seeing in the world.

Today, for instance, I’m off to visit Nicholas Negroponte and the One Laptop Per Child project, among other things here in Boston. It’ll be interesting to see what I learn there about how the project has been going (it’s been bumpy, according to my research tonight).

Oh, how else has blogging been changing? Last week I hung out at the Blog World Expo in Las Vegas. It was shocking to me to see just how many people were on Twitter (in the sessions I attended nearly 100% of the bloggers were on Twitter).

Writing a killer blog

Hah, the New York Times says that I’m going to die if I blog. Oh, but I’ll die if I drink water. Or breathe. See, one rule of this game is everyone dies.

The article didn’t present any balance. Truth is, blogging has brought so many really great people and experiences into my life that it’s worth the sacrifices I’ve made.

That said, I’m glad I didn’t force myself to blog from Amsterdam. What did I do instead? Cleaned out my email. Almost got back onto the David Allen plan.