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What should Microsoft do with podcasting/wikis/blogs/videoblogs?

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    Check this out IMlogging - I have crossed using an IM client and blogging, so instead of you talking to someone you are actually blogging to them! This is an exciting new advance in technology! I want to know when Microsoft is going to advanced and add IMLogging to MSN Msg? All you have to do is add a button that says 'Send IMLogging Post' that works exactly like the standard chat button.

    Or even better what about PicLogging, you use an RSS feed to transfer all the pictures to the consumer!

    Or better clocklogging; instead of getting the clock time each hour though a TCP or UDP packet it gets added onto the RSS feed and your client downloads it and updates your clock! Genius!

    <-- Look! I'm a Evangelist too, I created a brand new blogging term! Where is my MVP?

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    scoble wrote:
    We need a new internet tidal wave memo...

    But, Microsoft is so far away from understanding that it isn't even funny...

    A challenge to Microsoft: can we work together with the community to build such a suite without needing to own it all? Can we work with Google, Yahoo, iPodder, Technorati, Pubsub, Feedster, and all the others to build a really killer world where my son can share his info and his lists and his other stuff? Or, are we going to only want to live in our own world? Hint: this isn't like 1995. If we try to own it all we'll end up owning none of it. Apple is already kicking our (I need to watch my language). So is Google. Are we ready to cede EVERYTHING on the Internet to those two? >>>

    The change ms needs to make, is to it's business model: apple sells computer - gives away software

    google sells ads - gives away global DB

    microsoft sells everything - except a grab bag of not much - and even then treats you like a pirate to download it

    Yes microsoft needs a new memo - but it shouldnt be about the Office of blogging - it should be about a new way to do business with partners - where consumers using your software (free) makes value for your partners ( like google does it)

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    It is good for a company to listen to its customers.  But I think it is a problem when they start asking customers for ideas.  That is a bad sign.

    I am really confused with Microsoft right now.  They have many products that are doing well.  But it seems like the company is lost in overall direction.

    Maybe this is Ballmer's fault?  The interview he gave the other day consisted mostly of "I don't know's," and "We do that?" type of things.

    Is this guy really leading the ship?

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    DO NOT put an RSS reader within the BROWSER. AJAX/DHTML etc isnt robust enough for it. Make a solid app in .NET to mangage your RSS - i actually liked the sidebar idea or something similar.

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    I'd like to see Microsoft compete against 102,000+ OPEN SOURCE (read: FREE) projects at

    Microsoft needs to get out of "Fantasy Land" and start DOING SOMETHING.

    While Microsoft keeps talking BS about how one day in the future, everything is going to be so cool, other companies (like Google) are releasing good, quality products TODAY.

    Microsoft: "Tomorrow we will....Soon we the future we will..." etc etc etc

    Microsoft is blinded by what to do tomorrow, that Microsoft forgets today, and that's how other companies beat Microsoft. Because Microsoft is a dreamer, and other companies (again, like Google) are doing something today.

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    Oops! I just posted my whole reaction to that post over in the Windows Media Player 11 thread. I'll repeat it here:

    Well I guess since Scoble is asking for comments over on his blog (got to admire the way he tries to get more people involved over here) I'd like to say "podcasting".

    I am one of those who think podcasting is a fad, and given my recent comments about how absurd I found Curry's over the top evangelism at his Gnomedex keynote this may seem a rather odd request. I use podcasts on my commute (to pass the time, hopefully usefully) but frankly the quality of most of the podcasts is so toe-curlingly awful (does anybody other than their parents actually listen to or enjoy 'The Dawn and Drew Show'?) I can't see it catching on in the mainstream.

    But the new version of iTunes has changed my opinion a little on the way podcasting could move more into the mainstream. When podcasting gets as easy as clicking a subscribe button and having it automatically transferred to my iPod at sync time it opens up to a wider audience.

    I'd like the same on my Pocket PC please, but with video and ESPECIALLY webcasts too please Microsoft! You put a ton of these things out every week but it's too damned difficult to watch them "on the commute". The stumbling block is that Microsoft has a hardware problem. Try getting a decent stereo headphone lead for the Pocket PC and it's a nightmare (whole articles have been produced on the web about the nightmare of finding the right lead to fit the proprietary socket on the O2 XDA for instance). That's why iPod is winning hands down and my Pocket PC sits unloved unless I remember to convert a DVD before a long journey, other than to sync up my home and office Outlook schedules. Pocket PC is too fiddly, too much hassle and the source material isn't there. I tried transferring a downloaded webcast once - I only got sound which made no sense since it was referring to pictures I couldn't see. I transferred the "mobile" edition of The Dot Net Show and it was the size of a postage stamp. No fun! Life's too short. Back to the iPod and The Daily Source Code or Dot Net Rocks!

    Will podcasting take off mainstream? Early signs are it's fallen over already because the business model isn't there. I used to download Adam Curry's Daily Source Code whenever available - I think the show has a low signal to noise ratio but I like his (illegal) music mash-ups and Curry has a great voice and style for radio. Today for the first time ever it won't auto-download. Not in FeedDemon. Not in iTunes. Ah, iTunes! COuld the fact that suddenly Mr Curry is featured on the front page of the iTunes Podcast Top 10 which was launched only yesterday have anything to do with these sudden problems. Given his revelation last week that it was costing him 350 dollars a day to host his downloadable show has the popularity of the monster that is Apple finally broken his bandwidth? With no real business plan in place he's screwed. If I keep getting download failures I'll forget his podcast and move on to other things. Like reading the paper. Or a book. Or whatever it was I did when I found the Pocket PC didn't fulfill its potential. And if he adds advertising to try and sort out his business model people will stop listening anyway. Nobody wants to spend their time on a commute listening to bad adverts! There's the flaw in the whole podcasting "phenomenon". 

    DotNet Rocks is probably the only podcast I make a regular point of downloading each week, even without the convenience of hitting a Subscribe button. Why is that? Because it offers something I can't get anywhere else (even with a host who's heart is in the right place but who is toe-curlingly inept at times and has way too much of a 'let's turn this into a love-fest for Microsoft' tone to it). I'd love for that podcast to have more competition - ideally from someone more technically knowledgeable and more challenging but it's unique enough to justify the download despite its obvious flaws. And at least it doesn't sound like a guy on his own thinking out loud for an hour a day, which is what most of the so-called "developer-oriented" podcasts sound like. Professionally-produced (but amateur!) specialist areas is where the "minority" success of Podcasting lies. Not in trying to be hospital radio - we have professional far superior versions of that available on the airwaves already, thank you.

    But Lord you have to sort through a lot of crap to find the few nuggets you might be interested in downloading. Most of the great unwashed public will give up after their first few downloads based on the average quality of the average podcast. Given the immature state of the whole podcasting phenomenon and the constant rallying cries of Curry and co to "do your own podcasting" the signal to noise ratio can only get worse as every Tom, Dick and wannabe Harry rushes to produce their own variation on "thinking out loud". Which is why ultimately it will turn out to be a fad.

    (Trying desperately to get back on topic) But so long as DotNetRocks keeps podcasting stuff that isn't being done better elsewhere I'll still keep downloading it each week. Which is why I'd like podcasting (for iPod AND Pocket PC devices) built into Windows Media Player 11.

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    Brad L

    Great editor. Actually the editor is Microsoft Word. But, why can't I just click "publish on Internet?" Why do I need to copy it over to my weblog tool to publish it?

    Yeah, I've actually wondered why spaces did not plug in to MS word.  If it had that option, I would be using it.

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    nightski wrote:

    It is good for a company to listen to its customers.  But I think it is a problem when they start asking customers for ideas.  That is a bad sign.

    I am really confused with Microsoft right now.  They have many products that are doing well.  But it seems like the company is lost in overall direction.

    Maybe this is Ballmer's fault?  The interview he gave the other day consisted mostly of "I don't know's," and "We do that?" type of things.

    Is this guy really leading the ship?

    I think Microsoft HAVE lost their way. Latehorn has become a media joke (especially after the Hardware Conference fiasco and the 'take down your screenshots' fiasco) and Apple's getting all the attention. Look as OS.X Tiger. It's sexy, it's cool. Microsoft looks jaded and dull by comparison.

    All the buzz (which may be just a few "influential" individuals blogging feverishly and over-hyping things but we live in a world of lazy journalism and it's frightening how quickly these things get carried across to the mainstream media so that suddenly execs panic and ask "Why didn't we know about this?") is outside Microsoft products and visions.

    And maybe Microsoft are right to ask customers because customers spread the word far better than lazy journalists who can't be bothered to research dull press releases from tired old Microsoft do! Look at AJAX. Microsoft have had XML over HTTP since when? 1998? And suddenly it's everywhere (if you believe the blogs) and it's a "Phenomenon". And no matter how many times Microsoft jump up and down and say "But we had it for years and nobody cared" nobody really believes them. Same thing with "push" content and channels in IE4. Lots of nerdy marketing. Nobody bothered with it. Have customers talking about it (a la RSS) and suddenly it's hip, it's cool and the media are all covering it.

    Hence the sudden rush to shove RSS and ATLAS into Longhorn.

    I'm not entirely convinced these are the things I want being rushed into Longhorn, but I AM pretty sure that they're of more interest than the great evangelist white elephants they've pushed at us in the past.

    So what you see as "a lost direction" I see as "at last an attempt to find out what people want and to get the market demand behind it to make it a success".

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    jamie wrote:
    apple sells computer - gives away software

    Is that why less than 3 months after buying my Mac Mini it's charged me close to a hundred pounds for something that looks like a very minor service pack to the operating system it sold me?

    Or why every week since I registered iTunes I get an email desperately trying to get me to buy music that's way too expensive given it's quality and durability compared with what's on offer elsewhere?

    Apple are successful but it's because their stuff looks sexy, desirable and REALLY EASY TO USE. Microsoft's looks jaded and overly-complex by way of comparison and unfortunately Mr Clippy is NOT the right answer to making something more sexy and usable! 

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    Which community? The Microsoft developer community or the Gnomesex free music, free software and RSS 2.0 forever community?

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    Let's look at what you're asking for:

    - Interoperability. This is only a request because it's broken. It's like saying it's a feature to be able to change the oil in your car. The real feature would be no need for the oil.

    - Audio tagging standards leadership. We need to turn audio into something like the relationship between xml / xsl / html. Viewing an html that knows to grab a type of rendering and then grabs the content to match the structure. What would true leadership mean for this, would it be to make nice and take 10 years? Or, would it be to get it right the first time? How about both?

    - One ring to rule them all. Understand that if one company owns every channel of content publishing, it doesn't have to solve any of the hard problems, because there's no such thing as proprietary. Only with multiple companies involved will we automatically have to arrive at standards via the aforementioned leadership.

    - Something to rally the company, nay, the industry. Honestly we're rallied up enough already. Technology isn't interesting because it's new, it's interesting because it solves problems for real people. Almost daily. Wink These are new technologies and those of us in tech don't want to be embarrassed by not riding the wave. Fair enough, but I'd be more embarrassed at not thinking through every aspect of the practical application for people and knowing we provide something astonishingly useful. Does the podcasting medium astonish?

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    I don't know if the world of podcasting, all 8,000 feeds, can live in the already crowded space of Windows Media, or iTunes. I certainly was disappointed by the podcasting UI in iTunes. Besides the few shows that got selected for the front screen, searching for other shows is a pain.

    You're given a category, sub-category, and show interface that consist of lines of text. It's certainly better than the nested folder UI most normal people have problems with, but it's not much better.

    I don't know how to solve the problem besides saying, just make it simple.

    PS. One of the most annoying thing about iTunes, so far, is that you can't listen to a podcast & go browsing for another one because the audio stops once you navigate away from that podcast.

    PPS. Another annoying thing is that sometimes, when clicking on a podcast, iTunes would prompt me to enter my account info (this is a free podcast, mind you). If I click "Cancel", it'd also cancel my action, ie. not play what I wanted. Ended up having to click on it twice to get it to play.

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    Scoble wrote:

    "I want another "Internet Memo."  Yup.  FWIW, I heard Adam Curry say that you are running Microsoft.  So why don't you write the memo.  And then you can forward it to the lead team for their concurrence.  In the 90's, there were the ridiculously over-hyped "Halloween" memos.  In this decade, we'll have the 4th of July memo - the one where Scoble leads Microsoft into a Declaration of Interdependence. 

    But seriously, I have been so utterly impressed by what I've been seeing from Microsoft in 2005.  In the spring. I was at the Technology Summit in Redmond.  And I was stunned (pleasantly) by the tone and tenor of the open exchange. 

    And I saw (or stated more precisely, I heard) that same tone and tenor at Gnomedex.  So Microsoft is providing open specs to the community before products are shipped.  Woot!  And Apple (of OS X fame) is releasing products and then telling everyone what the extensions are.  An ironic and welcome role reversal for Microsoft.  I am glad that you and the Channel 9 team are making the changes real.  And I love the soul you are breathing into the creation!

    Lorin Olsen

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    Lorin, you're the CTO of Sprint, right? I hope I got that right. Honored to have you here. I wonder if there's other CTO's hanging out here.

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    Actually, looking at Lorin's blog he's a Systems Architect. Translation: someone a whole lot smarter than Scoble. Smiley

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    I guess I'm one of those that don't understand the nature or even the reason for podcasting.  I don't own an iPod, I don't really have the desire right now for one.  WHen I'm out running, at least three times a week, I'm usually found listening to the radio and at home I listen to the radio, nothing, or cd's that I have ripped into MP3's. 
    I have a dial-up internet connection, because the cost of having a dedicated connection is to expensive to justify when I only use it for two to three hours at most a couple of nights a week.  If I want to download things, I can download them at work or queue them up to download while I work.  Try explaining why podcasts would make sense to me.

    I do like the requests to make the webcasts easier to download and view.  I am the exception here as a full time administrator not a developer.  To me MS seems far away, the talk w/ developers is great, but outside of the newsgroups there seems very little interaction w/ me.  Where is the Channel9 for network admins?  It's great seeing videos about memory management but I don't give a rat's behind sometimes about them.  But show me a video of some task/application that will make my life easier as an admin then there is a connect.

    Office is great but my users do nothing more then spreadsheets, email and word processing.  We have one or two power users that use access for a form of database creation etc, but nothing else.

    I am a small business administrator, under 85 users, but I have a fairly large server farm, 15 serversdoing all kinds of things from email to cold storage of reports from my AS/400.  Integrate it w/ AD and let me manage it through Group Policy and I'll wnat to look into using it.

    I don't blog either, well maybe a little, but I'm the only that reads it.  I read maybe 15 different blogs, including scobles, but find no reason to add my noise to the internet out there.

    So how will MS reach me?  I run linux on my desktop as well as XP for gaming.  I have two servers that run linux @ home because I can learn more things @ less of a cost.  How can MS reach me?  I like the products I guess I don't find them sexy.  

    Keep up the good work Robert, looking forward to meeting you one day    

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    Special Event - Summer of Vlog 2005 - Vloggercue - July 8th from 6:00 - 7:20 PM EST

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