Stumax 2

Digital Boogaloo

3 thoughts on “Gnomedex: Does Microsoft subscribe to RSS?

  1. Dean says:

    Just came across your site. I agree with much of what you’re saying. I get that you felt “an attitude … that they’re doing something really cool and forward-thinking, when it looks to many of us that they’re really just catching up.” I’d be annoyed too if someone showed me stuff I’d had for a while, and I thought they were claiming “Cool!”

    Some of what we showed has been done, and some hasn’t.

    I tried to be clear that the focus of the browser-discovery stuff was “make RSS part of the mainstream Windows experience,” not “stand and cheer because you’ve never seen this.” (grin) Clearly I didn’t do a good enough job there.

    If I were sitting with you 1:1, or even in a small crowd, without MSM coverage, I think the conversation about cutting edge v catch-up would be a lot clearer and a lot different.

    You wrote that I’d be better off explaining how we’re going to help make RSS available to more folks; I think that building RSS experiences into Longhorn (e.g. the browser one) should help here. In terms of making RSS better, it’s already pretty good; the list extensions let devs and pubs who use them deliver scenarios they can’t today.

    Last bit: I do want a conversation. I think a conversation “at scale” (so many bodies) is hard. Do you do a good job listening when people yell at you?

  2. Stumax says:

    Dean — Honestly, you seem like a guy I’d enjoy hanging out with and talking one-on-one about stuff. And I tried to say in my post that I thought the key insight from you guys was bang on. My point is that integrating RSS into the platform… THAT’s where you’re innovating, and the significance of that was lost in the presentation by the time you got to it.

    The secondary point to me is that you have an overall problem generating a real conversation when you walk into a room where half the folks are pissed off at you already and the other half aren’t really passionate defenders. That problem, in my view, is compounded if you don’t have a strategy for dealing with that anger.

    I was an actor in a theme park setting for 10 years, I was an improvisor for 7 years, I’ve taught teambuilding and improv in a corporate setting. I’ve been in just about any audience situation you can imagine. I have been in front of hostile audiences and have won them over and others I have failed to win over.

    I was once a company’s representative in a roomful of 150 people. I was supposed to be giving a teambuilding seminar, but they were pissed at the company. There was nothing to do but listen patiently, engage them in conversation, and eke out small wins where I could. I would not have gotten anywhere trying to shut them down.

    I know it’s hard to have a conversation with so many bodies, but it can be done. And when you’re Microsoft’s representative, you’re expected to set the highest standard. I want you guys to succeed. I’m a local. I have a lot of friends among your colleagues. So I hope you’ll take a hard look at how you’re being perceived in the world and put together a strategy for setting a better tone.

    I’m not the best blogger in the world, by far, so I don’t think writing captures the best of what I have to say on this subject. If you ever want to have a real sit-down, I’d be happy to share what I know about audience interaction, improv, and storytelling.

  3. Anonymous says:

    MS will be making their RSS extension specs available under Creative Commons.

    This is different from saying that it will be possible to write interoperable Free software. All they have to do is patent some aspect of the implementation, and the fact that the specs are free won’t make any difference.

    With a decent and honorable company, I wouldn’t worry about it. But Microsoft has pulled exactly this sort of trick before, and they will do it again.

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