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Permanent link to archive for Saturday, October 08, 2005. Saturday, October 08, 2005

Today's session on blogging tools was great. Kevin Howarth took notes, it's all there, and he welcomes comments. This conference was notable in that there were many African-Americans. Usually we lament the lack of color in tech conferences. Not this time. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Microsoft asks for feedback on their RSS icon. My feedback: a big thumb down. Use the white on orange XML icon and stop re-inventing.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Unfortunately the wifi situation at the ConvergeSouth conference is spotty so today will be another no-blogging day for Uncle Dave. I'll see you this evening, until then, take care.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I tried the Google news reader again, this morning, after it had loaded all my feeds (it seems to take quite a few hours to do that).This is the second blog-related product they've come out with recently that appears not to have been touched by human beings before it was introduced to the world (the other was the ridiculous blog search). I think they need to start using their own stuff before releasing it. And maybe look at the competition for ideas. When you're first into a market there's an excuse for being so wrong. But the first of this kind of software shipped six years ago. To give you a comparison, Visicalc shipped in 1979. By 1985 we had been through two generations of spreadsheets with Lotus 1-2-3 and Excel. Google's reader is a huge step backward from what was available in 1999. The arrogance is catching up with them. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Then again, in 1985 we also had Lotus Jazz. Remember that? It was its own bubble, supposedly was going to completely wipe out Microsoft (who Steve Jobs didn't like, even then) and every dipshit little Mac software outfit (like my own company). I remember opening the box on Jazz when it shipped, admiring the soft vinyl diskette sleeves and stylish box and manual. The software sucked. Bigtime. Hugely. In every way. Laughingly. Excel went on to rule the roost. Proving that all that glitters is not gold. And the emperor has no clothes. Just like today.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named hottub.jpgSo if I were hanging out with Eric Schmidt, maybe in a hot tub, drinking a glass of Cabernet or Chardonnay, talking about politics, the weather and such, and then Eric says, "Dave you seem to have a lot to say about Google and our industry, tell me, in your heart of hearts, with no hidden agendas, what would you like Google to do?" I would say Eric, since you asked so nicely, I'll tell you exactly what I think. First, start a blog, and talk about your favorite baseball team, what it was like taking your kids to the playground today, where you like to ski, who you voted for in every presidential election. Take a bit of time to catch up on the other blogs, get a sense of where your complany fits in among the other creative people on the web. Then stop shipping stuff for a while, and tell everyone you're not scared of Microsoft, and they have nothing to fear from you. At work, have two meetings every week with the people who work on the search engine you reach from the home page at Tell them what you like and don't like about the product, every week, and tell them how you like the improvements they've made. And then in the second meeting, invite a user to meet with you and the team, and ask them to do the same. Be creative in the kinds of users you include in the process. Steadily improve the search engine in response to their wants. This prescription will help shore you up against the true danger to Google, it's own arrogance and sense of self-reliance. You aren't an island unto yourself, the fountain of all wisdom, and your ship is floundering, but I'd guess you can't see it. That's the first thing to fix Eric, you have to see it as we do. Then you might actually make technology history and not be another mere flash in the pan like so many that came before. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

There are three significant factual errors in this brief piece about the deal with Verisign. 1. was a ping center before it was a weblog host (and before that it polled for changes). 2. It doesn't use RSS except in the most superficial way (changes.xml is also availble in RSS). 3. It doesn't send pings, it receives them. They said it backwards. It's like saying a power plant consumes electricity. They really need to get some people covering this stuff who have some kind of vague idea of how it all works.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Edgeio will "give you the ability to do new and (we think) really exciting things with your blog." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Marc at O'Reilly says if everyone thinks it's a bubble then it isn't a bubble. Hmmm. Not sure. Maybe it's a kind of weird mutant bubble, not exactly like the last one, but then still a bubble after all? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Surprisingly, mutant bubble is not a Googlewhack.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named buddha.jpgOkay, I'm back to normal. Had a nice dinner and a few hours sleep. It's shortly after midnight, east coast time, shortly after 9PM in California, where my biological clock thinks it is, and I'm feeling pretty good, like a human being again. Dinner was with Brian and Ruby, the lovely 30-something couple from Chapel Hill who gave me the buddha that still to this day sits on my dashboard and entertains young Americans from coast to coast. I'm caught up on reading about the deal, everyone without exception appears to be positive or at least cautious about it. No flames. Much appreciated. Google's news reader is an awkward slow, hard to use piece of software, like all news readers. Nicely done though, as if that matters. I'm afraid most people will think This is RSS? and give up on it. They really need to check out River Of News. Download a copy of Radio, the 30-day trial is free (as if Google couldn't afford the $39) and just try it out already. No patents. Steal from the best, it's respectful.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named harry.gifDoc Searls has a great quote from Harry Truman and a very nice thank you for yours truly, for which I am quite grateful. If you notice how many times I quote the Cluetrain, and have adopted Markets Are Conversations as my mantra, you'll see that the respect is two-way. Reminds me that an angry person in the audience at today's conference was giving Jay Rosen some shit, no one could figure out what he was saying, but he kept pointing at me saying I would support what he said. I asked for the floor, and volunteered that I agreed with everything Jay said, and it was true. We couldn't stump him once, he's the prophet of the blogs, bring the truth to the inkstainers, not that they want to hear the truth. I guess he's got a bit of Harry Truman in him too. Point is, there aren't many people whose philosophies match mine perfectly. Jay is one. Scott Rosenberg is another, as is Doc Searls. I guess that's some kind of security that there is a method underneath the madness, some logic that at least three people get. Now I'm going to paste my favorite picture of Harry next to this.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Jason Calacanis: "What does a marathon runner do when the marathon ends?" Permanent link to this item in the archive.


Last update: Saturday, October 08, 2005 at 4:26 PM Eastern.

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