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Permanent link to archive for Sunday, August 14, 2005. Sunday, August 14, 2005

Digital Producer: Podcasting -- Art vs CommercePermanent link to this item in the archive.

After a phone talk with Scoble, and a walk in the sun along a creek here in Park City, the result was a podcast for Microsoft. You can listen even if you don't work there.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Last week two podcasting companies announced investments by venture capitalists and angel investors in Silicon Valley and Boston. The investors must have some idea what businesses the companies are in, but we're no wiser after the announcements. What do you think? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Richard Stallman gets that they're called RSS feeds. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

One of the cool things about being in the Mountain Time Zone is that Meet The Press comes on at 8AM. One of the cool things about being in the mountains is that when you wake up it's in the low 60sPermanent link to this item in the archive.

Scoble: "A few people get physically ill when they read my blog." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Doug Kaye: "Chris and his team have launched what may be the last of the old-time public-radio programs, and they’ve aimed it right at the middle of the black hole that will swallow them and the rest of public radio: the Internet and podcasting." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Responding to Scoble Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named chuckBerry.jpgScoble responds to my post of yesterday about Microsoft's naming of RSS. I guess I touched a nerve, and that's okay. Let's get it out in the open, I think we both agree that's the best thing to do, that's the weblog-ish thing to do. Unfortunately his post also unleashed some trollish abuse in his comments, so I'm going to respond here.

The XML icon on Scripting News has a tool-tip that's visible when you hover your mouse over it. It says "Click here to see an XML representation of the content of this weblog." The XML icon in other contexts has the same function, but it might show you OPML, if it's a better way of representing the content of the page, as is the case in a directory, for example. It might even be used, totally legitimately, to link to an Atom feed, as well.

It was chosen at least in part because your CEO, Steve Ballmer, was touting the benefits of XML to end users in the press and at conferences. It seemed weird to me that this XML thing was so popular, but so hard to find. I wanted to give it substance, that's why I chose this icon. Also because I didn't see RSS as the only format that would ever be used to back up HTML. As you know I urged Microsoft to just use the white-on-orange XML icon, as others do, including most of the major publications that support RSS and quite a few of the technology companies.

So, while you imply that this is an inconsistency, I want you to know that a great deal of thought went into it, and that decision was made long before Microsoft was involved in RSS, but at a time when Microsoft was very much involved in XML. Surely your company can understand this logic, and why not just support it so we can be consistent. That's an important point a lot of people miss, it's not just important that one company be self-consistent, so as to build a sensible model for users, it's just as important that we all get and remain consistent, as much as possible.

I have pointed out many times that there are two sides to Postel's Law, and both sides make sense. I believe that "be conservative in what you send" applies to all of us. New formats that do the same thing as old ones are not good because they are non-conservative. It's reality that we have to live with them, because engineers resist cooperating, but we shouldn't encourage it. And that goes equally for concepts we introduce to users. Users have only so much attention they're going to give to us. The more noise there is, the more we lose their interest.

So that's why, when Ballmer was pounding his fist on the table saying "XML all the way. XML, XML, XML," he put the ball in play, and I just picked it up and ran with it.

You know, Scoble, when you used to work for me, I asked everyone on our team to watch the movie Any Given Sunday, to show how much we need each other to be successful. No team can get very far with just one star. Sooner or later we're going to lose a game, because that's how it works, and if you don't have a good team, you have a hard time recovering. When I came to visit in April we decided to call what we're doing Team RSS. That's not a Microsoft thing, or a Yahoo thing, or a NY Times thing, or a Richard Stallman, Donald Trump or George W Bush thing. It our thing, and if it's going to work, you can't be the one to tell us how it's going to work. Sure we need leadership, but leadership only works if there's respect for the team.

And if you don't have time to watch the whole movie, check out Al Pacino's speech about dying for the inch.


Last update: Sunday, August 14, 2005 at 6:07 PM Eastern.

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