Towing the company line.

Robert Scoble notes why negative blogs are more popular than positive ones:

Seshadri PV asks a good question: why don’t the more than 3,100 Microsoft employee blogs get more attention, on balance, than Mini-Microsoft?

Human nature. We like shit disturbers more than we like people who are calm, rational, nice, and who post code on their blogs.

But Robert’s blog is more popular than Mini-Microsoft, which refutes that thought.

The truth is that like marketers, most company bloggers tow the company lineon their blogs. The difference with Robert and Mini-Microsoft is that they aren’t afraid to challenge the company line: well maybe Mini-Microsoft is a bit. It is that tidbit of unbiased and incisive analysis that readers enjoy, and that is why those blogs, positive or negative, are so widely read.

Code samples and the like are useful to the few that need those code samples, but Robert’s or Mini-Microsoft’s differing musings about how Microsoft could improve.

By the way Robert, is the deck is indeed stacked against Microsoft, it is they who stacked the deck that way by trying to crush competition in every market, rather than concentrating on building a few really excellent products.Microsoft will eventually get it right, but the resulting casualties are unacceptable.

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Recognizing the problem is the first step.

I sat down to watch a little television last night – Two and a Half Men then How I Met Your Mother between 8:00 and 9:00 pm on the local CBS affiliate, WIVB in Buffalo, NY. Unfortunately there was an audio problem. The sound would be on for a second, the off for three seconds. The problem was only occurring on that channel.

As a bit of research, and because nothing else was on, I left the station on to see how long the problem continued. It went on for the entire hour, commercials and all.

So not only was this a pointless hour for viewers, who would likely have switched to another channel.It also meant that advertisers who had paid for spots during those shows got no value for their money.

What amazed me is that during the full hour, either nobody at the station noticed the problem, or they couldn’t be bothered to fix it. Shouldn’t somebody be watching these things?

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Back on the grid.

Like Robert Scoble, I’m back on the grid, after a little vacation, and a little time away from home. But I find myself slow in getting back to reading the news, blogs, and other things I typically read.

It was nice to take a break from the constant stream of bad news in the papers. Do they ever print any good news? And it was nice to let the world go by without trying to keep up with every little thing.

There’s nothing like working on the deck, with the lake in front of you, and not much else going on at all.

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Mentos and Diet Coke at the cottage.

At the cottage we discovered that nobody but Matt and I had heard of the Mentos/Diet Coke experiment. Clearly we live in the echo chamber world of the internet.

So we decided to amaze everyone by performing it at the lake, on the dock, with the setting sun as a backdrop – after consuming a healthy amount of alcohol. You can see the results here.

Don’t try this at home kids. Matt ended up covered in soda.

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Wireless in the wilderness.

So I’m on vacation, and I haven’t opened my laptops in a couple of days. But today I wandered into a little town named Perth in eastern Ontario, Canada, and found a little pub/restaurant named o’reilly’s. They weren’t open until 11:30, but I sat down on the patio, opened my laptop, found an excellent wireless connection, and started downloading copious quantities of email.

A couple of minutes later a young waitress named Lisa noticed me sitting there and said hello. I mentioned that I was using their internet while I waited and she said no problem. And a few minutes later she brought me out a coffee while I waited. Given such pleasant service, I called the rest of my family and told them to come over for lunch. So now we’re sitting here waiting for our food.

So if you happen to be in or near Perth, make sure that you stop by o’reilly’s. I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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