Random musings, observations, squeaks, whimpers and perhaps the ocassional rant. About what, I'm not sure.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Last Post on Blogger...

OK guys, even though I’m not quite done with my theme/presentation configuration on WordPress, I’m cutting off the Blogger version of blahgKarma.  I’ll post here ocassionally over the next two weeks asking you to please subscribe to the feed for the new WordPress version, where you’ll still find all the blahgKarma goodness you’ve come to know and love, but I’m not going to parallel post any more.

The new and improved blahgKarma, complete with a totally new look and a bunch of new features, is located at  If you’re reading by browser, please come here to read.  If you’re subscribing via RSS, i hope you’re already on the FeedBurner version of the feed, which is  Let me know via comments if you’re using this read and you’re having trouble with it (read the post below on Bloglines’ trouble with FeedBurner first).  Also, autodiscovery should be updated, so if you’re NOT reading via RSS, you should be able to browse over to the new site and have your reader/browser subscribe you.

Bloglines Sync-ing Issue...

After a couple of days of back and forth with Sandy Kemsley regarding my FeedBurner feeds not working properly in Bloglines, I’m confident the problem is on the Bloglines end.  As noted in a bunch of web references I Googled-up on the topic.  And since you don’t really want to go through all the troubleshooting Sandy did, I thought I’d make a quick reference here.

One of the behaviors is Bloglines not displaying or catching updates on the feed.  This, amazingly enough, is because in this case their RSS retrieval system stops retrieving info on the feed.  Not a handy feature when you’re an RSS reader.

The other behavior is errant information in the feed.  In my case, I updated my FeedBurner feed to use a different source URL, and when BlogLines was reading the feed, some of the info, like the URL associated with the blahgKarma header displayed for the feed in Bloglines, was incorrect – as it was an artifact from aged info from an earlier incarnation of the feed.

I can only conclude that Bloglines is doing all sorts of caching in their system when it comes to RSS reading, and that its not all working right.  A few of the articles I read indicated they’re good about fixing the problem on a feed-by-feed and user-by-user basis, so we’ll see if they respond and correct the issue.  Maybe one of the triggers for the issue is updating the underlying feed address in a FeedBurner feed (i.e. the address FeedBurner burns from).

Thanks again for the help Sandy.  I’m so glad you didn’t lose any data when you reformatted your hard drive during the testing (grin).

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Permalinks Are a Bitch and a Half...

Ran into a speed bump while implementing WordPress this weekend… well, two of them I guess.  One having to do with feature/capabilities and configuration, one with docs and one with IIS hosting in general.

Feature problem first – permalinks.  They’re a necessity, I think, and although every WordPress posting gains a unique ID, which in and of itself when handed to the proper URL serves as a permalink, I see two issues with them.  One, they’re ugly and two, they’re search engine unfriendly – that is, they don’t help your posts get indexed by the search engines.  So, off I go to mod the permalink structure (an easy thing to do, right?  Just update the appropriate panel in WP Admin?), and man did I hit the wall.  Long story short, you can change the structure all you want but the feature really just doesn’t work in a Windows shared hosted environment.

Which brings me to problem two – docs.  There’s a huge wiki with WordPress info in it, and I’ve found it very useful.  Unfortunately, the 50 or so articles/comments I read that took me down two different paths to try to resolve my issue were vague when it came to what environment the fixes applied to – in my case PHP running on Windows with IIS 6.  The info on manually editing redirects, etc. doesn’t even apply in my case (guess I’ll never get those two hours back, will I).  And, the need for making those tweaks on other platforms went away with WP version 1.5.  I’ll ask a favor – if you’re posting detailed fix info in the codex (and many, many people do – and the info is generally superb in quality), please indicate what platform and version of WP you’re referring to.  You know, so morons like me don’t make a bunch of unnecessary changes that don’t fix the problem anyway.  Thank you.

For now, I’m blowing off permalinks that will help with search engine optomization, in favor of publishing the site.  I don’t think this will bite me in the ass when I change the permalink structure later (assuming there really is a reasonable fix), since accessing a post via its unique ID should always work.  I hope…

Next step, swinging the FeedBurner feed over to the new blogsite.  Wish me luck…

WordPress Question...

This is as much to remind me to look for a particular WordPress plugin as it is to see if anyone reading can help… in the past, I’ve used a service from to maintain my blahgRoll.  It was simple – no real coding required, just a copy and paste – and it had a cool feature I liked, which was the ability to flag the blogs I point to with an icon indicating new content.  Now that I’m on WP, I have a dilemma… work to modify the theme I’m using to implement the blogrolling script, or find some other way to indicate “new”.  I don’t really want to do either… what I want is another WordPress plugin to magically appear to solve my problem, like tBlogrollinghe one from Ron Heft for WebStat.

Anyone out there?  The plugin really is the elegant solution, since I’m just as likely as not to change themes and would then have to re-implement blogrolling.  Truth is, I’ll probably stop using the service (or at least paying for it – there are two versions)… the Links feature of WordPress is working fine, sans this one feature…

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Awesome Power of the Internet...

I’m really starting to like WordPress.  Have pretty much given up on the Movable Type install, as no matter how I describe the path problem I’m having to my ISP, they don’t have a solution for me (I know its a minor problem, and its one that SixApart has a technote on, but I’m worn out from trying to resolve it).

BlogJetOne shortfall I saw in WordPress right away was the lack of a WYSIWYG editor for creating entries.  True, I’ll rarely use it, since BlogJet is chugging along posting to WP for me, but for other users this would be a real pain.  But, through the process of researching posting, I came across the WordPress Plug-ins DatabaseWordPress is extensible, you see, and there are a gazillion plugins to extend it with (OK, maybe a gazillion is an exaggeration).

Browsed around Google, found a number of links to/mentions of WYSI-WordPress, downloaded and drag-installed it, and in less than 5 minutes I had WYSIWYG post creation.  Haven’t figured out how embedding photos in a post works yet (its a feature of the plugin), but if I had to use the web interface to create posts, that would do it.

But that’s not the cool part, believe it or not.  The cool part is how the Internet collapses time and space, and helped me solve another problem – tracking stats.  For a year or so I’ve used the Pro version of WebStat for basic site stats management.  Couple of weeks ago was lucky enough to get a Google Analytics account, and what do you know – there were several GA plugins available for WordPress.  One of which is by a guy named Ronald Hess, Jr.

Ron wrote a very basic but very useful WP plugin called Google Analyticator that inserts the Google Analytics tracking code in the header of every page in your WP site.  And, it has a feature to exclude your own administrative traffic if you’d like… its pretty slick.  Installed via drag and drop, configured with two mouse clicks, and that was it.  But then I got thinking… hey, what I REALLY want is a similar plugin for WebStat.  Having manually altered my Blogger templates to facilitate WebStat tracking I knew it was only a couple of lines of code and I could insert it manually into the proper file(s) for my WP template, but what happens if I switch templates?  Or update a template.  Trouble, that’s what.

So, like the programming genius I am, I tried hacking Ron’s plugin.  After a half hour of not getting the syntax right, I gave up and just e-mailed him, along the lines of “loved your GA plugin, will you make one for WebStat?”.  Long story short, an hour later and I had the plugin and had it implemented.

CavemonkeyNow I’m not saying you should all try to get Ron to write free plugins for you for WP (see Ron’s plugins page on his CaveMonkey50 site for more).  But I really appreciate his work, which made mine easier and more maintainable.  Great work, Ron… hope lots of other folks use the plugin too.

Finally, and to me this is the coolest part, Ron is a high school Senior.  In Pennsylvania.  Who I’ve never met.  Now THAT’S the power of the Internet.  Good on you, Ron, and restart that PayPal tip jar – cash is king!  Or should I say, cha-ching…

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Some WordPress-ions...

WplogoA few early impressions on WordPress (the standalone version, not WordPress online

Installation – WordPress is a snap to install.  it literally took me all of 5 minutes, just like promised.  This, I have to say, is a huge plus (in contrast, I’ve worked about an hour and a half so far to configure Movable Type, and I’m waiting for Support at my ISP to make a change for me so I can enable it).  A point for WordPress…

Configuration – on Movable Type, the first thing I had to do was edit ten or so pages to point them to the Perl interpreter on my webhost.  Can’t that be abstracted somehow, so you just edit/enter it once?  Virtually no real configuration necessary to get WordPress up and running with the default skin/interface.  Point:  WordPress.

MtlogoImporting from Blogger – OK, so this DIDN’T take 5 minutes, more like an hour and two or three tries.  The point, though, is that there are a couple tutorials for doing this.  It wasn’t clear to me that if I wanted to import from Blogger and HaloScan that there was a separate Blogger template you set up temporarily (i.e. there’s one Blogger template you implement for the stock “import from Blogger” action, and then a different one if you’re using Blogger and HaloScan).  Not a big deal, though… I did a test import from a test Blogger blog, and then when I went to what I thought was the next step – importing the Haloscan comments – I found that the procedure is an either/or, not additive.  Adapted, and the Blogger import seems to have worked like a champ.  Point: WordPress (note - this is conditional… I’ve been reading up on importing from Blogger to MT and it looks more complicated, but honestly I haven’t done it yet, so watch for this to be rescinded if it works better).

Multiple Blog Support/Blog Hosting Services – I think Movable Type has WordPress beaten here, although it could be that I’m just more familiar with Movable Type’s licensing and provisioning models than WordPress’.  WordPress seems to be set up for administrative aggregation for multiple blogs, and I haven’t found that capability yet in WordPress.  Considering the Movable Type is down a couple of points, I’ll give them this one, conditionally.  Point:  Movable Type.

All for now.  I’m playing with WP skins, slogging through the PlugIns, and making a few more test entries.  I also have to wait for the domain to propagate.  When it does, I make the FeedBurner tweak, give you a new URL for live browsing, and then we’ll see what’s up… still trying to get MT up and running – way more to do than to get WP running, thats for sure.



Breadcrumbs, Courtesy of FeedBurner...

SandycommentOne of the challenges in moving an existing blog to another infrastructure/location is “what happens to the current readers”. For those reading a blog directly, as in going to the blog’s URL in your browser (hey, people still do it), a post on the blog is one method of redirection. Another would be to point the “old” blog at the “new” address by some means, so folks arriving at the “old” location are automatically redirected to the new location. And, I suppose if you had a closed community of users (i.e. where you knew everyone who was reading), you might contact them directly to advise of the change. Or, maybe do all three.

But what about folks that are reading via syndication? If you published your feed URL and its a component of the “old” infrastructure, how do you get the folks on the feed over to the new content/infrastructure. Posting a message on the “old” blog with the location of the “new” one would be one method, but the users/readers then have to take action. Will they?

Feedburner2Enter FeedBurner… FeedBurner is an RSS syndication service that’s separate from your own blog. With FeedBurner, you can create a feed for your blog which news readers can subscribe to (i.e. its a plain old feed), except that FeedBurner is picking up its own updates from the blog and then forming your feed. Why is this interesting – well, besides a whole bunch of cool features they also offer, FeedBurner provides a way to implement abstraction between the blog and the feed.

Here’s the scoop – when I publish a feed on Blogger, Blogger is forming the RSS feed. Users subscribe to it. Everyone’s happy… until I decide to dump Blogger. Unless I publish a note in the Blogger blog indicating where I’m going, existing subscribers don’t know where I’ve gone. When I do post an entry about where I’ve gone and the user picks it up via RSS, they’ll have to either go to the “new” blog and subscribe, or I’d have to include the “new” feed in the post. Either way, this causes work for the user/reader.

FeedburnerWith FeedBurner, the location of the blog is an input to feed formation. That is, you tell FeedBurner where you want to create your feed from, they create a feed for you on the fly, and you publish the FeedBurner feed. If you change blog locations, guess what – you tell FeedBurner where you want it to look NOW for your content (i.e. update the blog’s inherent feed location), and POOF, it updates it behind the scenes. Meaning, no work for the readers who subscribed to the Feedb\Burner feed for your site.

This solution probably doesn’t scale well for the entire blogosphere – I’m sure some other abstraction solution will come along at some point, but for now, with FeedBurner being a free service and with blogging infrastructure being nascent as it is, I’d abstract my feed(s) if I were you. Why not?

UPDATE: If you don't already have the FeedBurner ATOM feed for blahgKarma, its Thanks, Sandy!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Goodbye Blogger, Hello (Something Else)...

Well, I finally reached the breaking point today – I officially hate Blogger and am kissing it goodbye.  Last time I was this frustrated I wanted to do something about it but didn’t.  This time, I’m doing something about it, starting today.

This afternoon I downloaded WordPress, and to install it on one of my shared hosting accounts took me – literally – less than 5 minutes.  Of course, it took me a couple of hours to figure out the scripts and docs for moving my Blogger stuff over to WP, but that seems to have worked – at least at this point.  Even got the Haloscan comments over, which was impressive.  All this courtesy of tutorials from Justinsomnia.

Not sure if WordPress is the final solution – I’m looking at Moveable Type as well (I wonder what the migration options are) – but either of them are a huge step up over Blogger.  Sorry Google… too many glitches in too short a time.  Good luck with it.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Comment Hell...

So something’s all funked-up with comments here at blahgKarma tonight.  Not sure why, but comments aren’t showing up in Haloscan, nor necessarily in the blog, yet I’m getting e-mail notifications on them.  Apologies to Robert, Geoff and Sandy for your thoughtful words being trapped somewhere between comment heaven and hell.

Hiring and Firing...

Great little tidbit on a blog by Tony Dowler called Career Path, which I’ve not read before, on the topic of  hiring better customers.  I wonder if the author has any idea just how central this idea is to a successful and growing consultancy.  If you’ve worked in consulting or system integration – heck, maybe in any kind of business – you’ve worked for and with customers whose checks cashed nicely, but who were just an utter pain in the ass.  They may or may not have known this – some would be mortified to know and would change if they could, or maybe if you asked them to.  But for others, what they are is just what they are – too demanding, too unfocused, too needy, too cheap, too slow to pay… just too darned problematic for longterm work.  So either help them get better, or fire them.

In reading the piece – a little blurb, really – I was reminded of a few things I’ve written here before… in January on setting clients’ expectations, June on getting out, and one I can’t find at the moment about “What are you not doing this year”… hope that didn’t get lost in the Blogger void.

IncI also remembered seeing something in Inc. Magazine on a similar topic, and with a little looking, found an article from their October 2003 edition entitled “Getting to No”.  Funny thing is, its not at the Inc. site anymore, but at an online service called KeepMedia, where with free registration you can read the whole thing (you can see the first 3 paragraphs without registering).  KeepMedia seems kind of cool… they archive a few publications in whole, like 1215 of them as of today!

“Firing” clients is an important part of focusing and growing many businesses.  Do it nicely, and sometimes the clients actually come back around later, appreciative of the action.  And if not, cashing their checks isn’t the only and definately not the primary measure of value, now is it?

Nice work, Tony..  I’d keep the blog, but lose the hat (grin)


ARGGGGH!  I just logged onto my webmail and guess what I found.  No, not a whopping pile of Spam, as you might have guessed, but a mix of spam (20%) and legitimate messages (80%) all sitting in the Spam Filtering folder.  One hundred and fifty six of them, to be exact.

I’d like to say a couple of things.  First, if you’re a spammer, stop.  You’re sucking the life out of the Internet.  Second, if you buy stuff from Spammers, stop.  You’re encouraging them, and even with that miniscule return of one little genius in the million unsolicited GeTYourV!Agr@ HEAr message its worth it for them to keep crapping directly into our inboxes, so resist the urge.  Third, if you’re an ISP, TELL YOUR CLIENTS BEFORE YOU START SPAM FILTERING FOR THEM!  Fourth, if you’re writing Spam filters, please get better at it.  Grabbing a hundred or so legitimate messages to grab the 50 or so that are truly crap isn’t even remotely effective.


Thanks for the effort [ISP name inserted here], but do YOU want to return all the missing messages?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Faux blahgKards...


Faux blahgKards… something I was playing with thanks to Hugh Macleod’s Gaping Void (Hugh’s the artist, and a very interesting blogger). I may have to get a handful of these – Hugh, not all the new designs are showing up in the card configuration window, and so you know I like the “I just started blogging” card the best, but for the sake of that “three times karma” thing, I don’t want to piss anyone (else/new) off.

Moore Blogs/More Blogs...

Gmoore2WebLearned tonight, courtesy of Halley, that Geoffrey Moore has a blog (more than one, perhaps?).  In his “Dealing with Darwin” blog, Moore has a smattering of posts on topics pointing at the evolution of innovation, technology, and the technology industry.  The blog is named after Moore’s upcoming book of the same name… can’t wait to read it.  Moore also has a Dealing with Darwin website – funny, the site and blog don’t seem to be linked.

To me, Moore is a giant.  He certainly pioneered and advanced a variety of views on the tech industry that helped some separate the wheat from chaff particularly in software companies before, during and after the bubble.

I’ve written about Moore before.  I’m also about 20 minutes into a 40 minute video tonight where Moore describes what he thinks the evolution of the tech marketplace may look like for the remainder of this decade, and perhaps the next.  Funny thing – he spoke on the topic at Sand Hill Group’s Software 2004 conference and guess what… some of the industry shift he spoke of then is coming to bear today.  For Moore’s read on Microsoft’s recent strategy shift, and in particular Ray Ozzie’s role in it, see his post entitled “Microsoft Meet Darwin: Again”.

MooreGeoff, if you need someone to read galleys, do some part-time environmental scanning, or create an online community and blogs to support the cases and materials in, and readers of, the book, I could probably find the time and we could probably work something out… (grin)

Hey, in closing, if you’re not reading Halley’s Comment, which I refer to often here at blahgKarma, you should be.  Its a load of fun, the topics vary greatly, and I love the writing style.  Try it, you’ll like it!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Check out 'Blozzie'...

OzzieThanks again to Scoble, I see that Ray Ozzie is blogging.  You can see Ray’s blog here.

I’m subscribed – even if he doesn’t have much to say, the initial post indicates he’ll be writing and interacting with readers a bit on the new Microsoft strategy.  It will be worth much more than an ocassional read, I’ll bet!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

War and Peace in the Wonderful World of Wireless...

Not sure who’s reading that this might help, but what the heck…

At work, I have two separate wireless networks in adjacent buildings.  For seemingly no reason, reliability problems began popping up on both networks – intermittent client connections, inability for clients to obtain IP numbers via DHCP, the appearance of the router(s) not being able to route upstream…

I nearly replaced one of the access points, and then had a thought… since the (physically) adjacent networks used the same network numbering range (which is allowable), and since they shared the same WEP key (which is also allowable in theory), what if the networks were interfering with each other in some way.  BINGO!

Turns out both Linksys routers were using the same default WiFi channel, and with all that similar info between the networks, something was screwing up somewhere.  Changed the default channel on one of the networks and everything automagically seems to be working again.

A better solution for what I was originally trying to accomplish would have been to simply extend the initial network for additional geographic coverage.  Tried that, had trouble making one of the Linksys boxes act as a repeater, and then next thing you know the short term fix of  “just set up another network” turns into “your networks are screwed up”.  Easy to fix, good lesson to learn.

Monday, November 14, 2005


I made a tongue-in-cheek comment in my FilmLoop post this afternoon about a few blogging A-Listers not having mentioned it, and whether I beat them to it.  Well, it turns out I did!  Scoble mentioned my blahgKarma post (I guess he’s subscribed)… and he commented that I did beat him, Halley Suitt and Buzz Bruggeman in blogging on it.  Now THAT’s funny!

My crystal ball sees Halley making crazy FilmLoops of her son and sharing them with her friends any minute now.  And who knows what Buzz will Loop… there’s no telling!

I’m sure I just burned up one more minute of fame with this.  Only 11 minutes to go…

Funny FilmLoop Coincidence...

Biz2Trying to catch up on my business reading, and Business 2.0 is one of my favorite magazines that’s been languishing in a stack.  Got about half way through tonight when, in an article entitled “Tech’s Big Comeback”, I tripped over a comment about Prescott Lee, co-founder of FilmLoop, and how the company had moved into 285 Hamilton, the famous office building in Palo Alto and whose occupancy, according to authors Michael Copeland and Om Malik, has served as a kind of tech-health barometer, indicating the state of affairs in Silicon Valley. 

FilmloopBelieve me, FilmLoop quartering up in 285 could neither be an accident, nor insignificant.  It not only makes a statement, but might provide a little insight into what I expect the company’s mindset might be – something like “we’re big on the inside today, tomorrow we’re going to be very big on the outside”.

(In researching Lee a bit, I also found an interesting Podcast on ZDNet entitled “Building a Successful Startup” that he and Guy Kawasaki participated in.  What better way to understand a principal’s views on building a business than to listen to the advice s/he’s giving others on, well, building a business.  Can’t wait to listen…)

I have to say the article greatly encouraged me not only about the comeback of Tech, as the article is titled, but also about the tech industry’s amazing resilience and enormous elasticity.  Certainly this is not an American phenomenon, but as juxtaposed against post-Apocalyptic reports of death and dying in the Valley, it was a refreshing read.

As “The Web”, whatever we consider that to be these days, marches on, it will be very interesting to watch the new dynamics and trends in Tech businesses.  Today, smaller is better, IPOs are not only not a given but will be shunned by many, component and “part of the game/solution” as opposed to “lets build/own/deliver the whole enchilada” and having the public prototype and iterate your product/software/solution for you will all be parts of a Silicon Valley rebirth.  Or, I should say, they already are.

Guy Talks - People Listen...

KawasakiThis must be my week for cool new Internet “stuff”.  Got the following e-mail from Guy Kawasaki late last week that started with…

I’d like to show you the coolest thing I’ve seen since Macintosh: FilmLoop...

OK, that got my attention, especially from Guy.  He knows a little about the coolness of the Macintosh, having helped create much of it.  Not to mention he knows a bit about startups, tech ventures, etc.

FilmLoop is a small client/server application that allows creation of online slide-shows, hosted at and organized and presented fim-strip fashion.  To see one I put together in all of three minutes, click here and you’ll be prompted to install and register the player (that takes all of about 30 seconds), and then voila!  If you’re already using FilmLoop, you can go straight to my loop by clicking here – its a bunch of cool helicopter photos.

FilmloopBesides being able to create a Loop and share it with a couple of clicks (FilmLoop has a built-in invitation system, which works well), viewers can be granted privs to add photos if the owner so chooses, and there’s a catalog of public Loops, a couple of which I enjoyed including a Victoria’s Secret loop and a Skateboarder Magazine loop which I specifically did not enjoy for the models, but for the artistic expression and unique use of the product (grin).

The business model here is “free to Loop owners and viewers, supported by embedded advertising”.  I hope they eventually offer some sort of paid model sans ads – I don’t mind them, but I could never apply the product in the business world knowing I was embedding the advertising along with the content.

I’ll post more when I’ve used the product a bit more, but my first impression is “very cool”.  Its free, its unique, its flexible and it allows you to share Loops with the click of a button.  Why aren’t the cool A-Listers like Scoble, Halley, and Buzz not blogging about this yet?  Did I beat them to the punch?  Maybe Guy e-mailed me INSTEAD of them?  You think?(grin)

Go, FilmLoop, go!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

FilmLoop Testing

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Opening Pandora's Box...

Scoble mentioned his use of Pandora a few days back. I checked it out – its basically a service that lets you identify a song/artist you like, and then it sets up a personal streaming radio station with similar music on it. You can create multiple stations for different types of music, and if a song shows up that you don’t like, you can axe it from the station and it won’t be played there again.

Oh, and did I mention the service is free? Or that you can generate persistent and sharable links to your stations so you can share them with others (the link to my James Taylor Radio is Very slick…

Part of the Music Genome Project, this is a pretty cool use of personalization, not to mention the music is great. Who knew opening Pandora’s Box could be so cool?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Speaking Softly...

HeadSeth Godin writes a couple of interesting blogs (here and here for example).  Used to read him all the time – even wrote about him a time or two like here, here, here, over here (that was a great one – lots of resultant link love).  And then for whatever reason he fell out of my NewsGator settings and out of view.  (Seth, in case you’re reading, sorry I misplaced you.  I added you to the blahgRoll as penance).

Anyway… caught a quick note on Seth’s blog about his friend Ira Williams who wrote a new ChangeThis Manifesto “on Anonymous Generosity”.  I read it – its great (if you’re not familiar with ChangeThis concept or what a Manifesto is, check out the website).  Funny thing is, Seth missed the mark – the piece isn’t about anonymous generosity at all, but Humility.  Anonymous generosity gets a brief mention but its not the focus.  The piece is still very much worth the read, though… interesting ideas, and whether you agree with them or not, something to think about given America’s position in the world right now.  (Don’t get your hopes up, Harry – I’m not softening up on my positions on the President or the war – grin).

Even though Williams isn’t big on “random acts of kindness”, I have to say I do this and really enjoy it.  Its not particularly humble to say so, I suppose (I’m toying with you, Mr. Williams), but especially when I’m having a crappy day, and often when I’m having a good one, I’ll do some anonymous kindness, however small, and that makes me feel a bit better.  Favorites include buying the person ahead of you’s coffee at Starbucks or wherever (and BTW – if you’ve heard something about them dissing our troops, its all urban myth), giving up a place in line for someone who looks like they really need to go ahead of you, offering to carry a package for someone else who’s struggling with it – you know, simple and very inexpensive or free things.

Try doing something nice for someone else, anonymously.  You’ll like it, and I personally guarantee that giving a little good karma will get you some or your money back.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

How Does He Do That?

Scoble has a very cool feature active on Scobelizer… every comment string for a post has an RSS feed.  That is, a feed specific to the comments on one particular post.  Maybe this is commonplace, but I’ve never seen it.  Very slick – it means its way easy to follow a thread you’ve commented in without having to remember where the heck you commented, etc.

As an example, the post I commented on in “Robert Scoble – Devil’s Henchman or Devil’s Advocate” has 40 comments including mine at this writing.  I know this because after I posted I subscribed to the post’s RSS feed, and the additional comments have magically shown up in NewsGator.  Obviously, forming the feeds is automated… I’d love to know how he’s doing that.  Guess maybe its just a WordPress feature.  Blogger is starting to feel both dated and limiting…

Robert Scoble - Devil's Henchman or Devil's Advocate...

Early this year I posted something entitled “The Religious Wrong” about the ideological debate regarding Microsoft vs. Apple, and it got posted to Scoble’s link blog.  That was fun.  It was sort of amusing to see the reactions and see people railing Scoble as a way to vent their frustration with Microsoft.  Guess that must be a recurring theme, ‘cause they’re doing it again, but this time not necessarily Apple vs. Microsoft – more “anyone vs. Microsoft”.

Microsoft is taking services seriously, just like they’re taking modularization and component combination as application seriously, and they’re turning up the heat.  Whoda thunk it?  Oh, I don’t know… maybe anyone who knows much about the company?  And of course, because these concepts are being driven throughout the company, this must be the newest thing Microsoft is doing that they’ll either a) fail at, b) not really know what they’re doing with, c)steal from others or d) use to unfairly whack all those other companies that for whatever reason (undercapitalized, underinnovating, disorganized, generally screwed up) would have “won” but instead will “lose”.  Give me a break.

The Microsoft material on their sharpening focus can be found here, if you’d like to read it.  I actually found the beatings dished out to Scoble more interesting than the Microsoft material.  I think its an excellent commentary on folks sticking their heads in the sand, wishing the world (and business) worked differently, and/or bitching and moaning when they see success coming and perhaps streaming right past them, not bothering to stop.

Here’s the comment I posted in reply to Scoble’s original post  about the Ozzie and Gates memos, and the subsequent comment storm:

Wow - more religious wrangling with/against Scoble rather than focusing on the real issues at hand. Here are a few things to think about, like them or not.

One, Microsoft is the most influential company in the computer technology world, bar none. Most influential does not translate to “smartest” or “most innovative” on every topic, or every day, but by and large if you don’t think they’re the most influential, then fill the crack pipe again and smoke on.

Two, services make absolute sense in conjunction with a modular operating system, and/or modular applications, and/or modular components that make up applications. If you don’t believe that, see the point above about the crack pipe and join the fun.

Three, Microsoft has the wherewithal to win in the spaces they make “big bets” on. They’re incredibly well funded (hey, anyone else have $40B or so laying around, and how big a pile of cash is that, anyway?), their research organization is world-class, and they have a machine to move research to product to revenue to profit.

Bash Scoble if you like - I guess that’s kind of fashionable. But if you haven’t seen this focus coming you haven’t been paying attention. You don’t have to be there first to win, and in many cases not being first helps you win. In the game of sofware-as-service meets components-as-application, Microsoft will drive the market. Maybe THAT’s the definition of winning… ever think of that?

Microsoft will certainly continue to shape our computing world.  Is that good or bad… both and neither, most likely – it just is.  Grow up and smell the Starbucks, folks – when Microsoft makes big bets, they’re serious about them.  Hate the game, not the player.