Gnomedexers (and others): Besticker your laptop!

It occurred to me yesterday, but not completely: We have a lot of advertising space at our disposal in the form of unadorned laptop screens/lids. Hmmm…is it a screen or a lid? The screen is on the inside, right?

Anyway, I noticed that a few folks had stickers on their computers, and it struck me as a wonderful idea to fill up a little unused space. Since we use our laptops in public places, stickers will serve as conversation starters and are bound to draw a few questions that will give us all a chance to promote the blog/podcast/vlog/RSS/etc cause.

So, I’m putting out the call for all of you who have ugly non-stickered laptops to ask your favorite suppliers for a sticker to put on your laptop. No one expects anyone to advertise for a product they don’t believe in, but it’s in all of our interests to promote the cause at large.

Currently, I have only Firefox and Technorati. I am seeking the following:

WordPressMatt M. says they’re waiting on a new logo.

FeedburnerRick Klau says “coming soon”

GnomedexMr. Pirillo?

RSSMr. Winer? Microsoft (thinking deep pockets here…) – ok, not exactly blog or RSS related, but still a cool service.

Gnomedex – Dean Hachamovitch, Longhorn browsing and RSS Technologies

First, he shows us some photos of the Microsoft campus, which looks very much like the death star 😉 He says it’s an artist’s rendition of the campus, based on descriptions from our blogs.

MSN Spaces has 14+ million users.

There are 1500 Employee blogs

RSS is going to be warmly embraced by Longhorn.

Now their showing us IE7…cool! It has an RSS button that lights up when feeds are encountered. Hitting the button allows you to preview the feed(s). This is really awesome because finding feeds and how to get them into an aggregator is one of the hardest things to explain to people. Now it is basically automatic, aside from making the choice to subscribe.

We’ll be able to subscribe to searches, using RSS.

There will be a common feed list, so the list of feeds the user has subscribed to will be in the OS, and available to all applications via API’s. 

Enclosures can be almost anything – right now they’re typically podcasts/mp3 files, but in the future they could be calendars, photos, documents, etc. The RSS stuff in Longhorn supports these different types and encapsulates a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff developers would normally have to work out.

It also has list management – it’s able to deal with lists of feeds. Their new simple list extension specifications are available under the creative commons license. The specification will be available today at noon today here.

With RSS, easy subscription to feeds, and feed management built into the OS, I think we can expect the rate of adoption of RSS, and of course blogs, to accelerate dramatically. Microsoft, please release Longhorn soon. Longhorn beta 1 will be out this summer.

This means that companies wishing to get on the blogtrain before it leaves the station need to get moving. When all Windows users are starting to “get” RSS is not the time to be introducing and developing the content you’ll be trying to get to them via that technology.

Gnomedex Day One

Ok, I’ve got to drop the travel log approach because it’s just taking too long to write, and there’s cool stuff happening here at Gnomedex. There is a live stream on the conference, as well as a wiki.

  • Dave Winer, the keynote, is nearing the end of his presentation. Here’s some things that caught my ear:
  • The Internet is the platform without the platform vendor.
  • The Internet giants are discovering that even they are susceptible to competition. In order to maintain an open mind, you have to be thinking about how others can get you, no matter how unlikely it may seem.
  • Dave demos The OPML Editor – someone suggested calling it TOE. Hey, when it crashes, we can call that TOE Jam.
  •  60% of the population don’t know what a blog is.
  •  The scholars of Harvard don’t care about blogging. I’m rather sorry to hear that, especially since Harvard Business Review is highly regarded in my company.

More to follow…

Travel log: Day 1 going to Gnomedex

MKE to MSP: My flight was at 9:10 in the morning, a pretty reasonable time until you realize that the Transportation Suppression Authority is going to want their pound of flesh and perhaps an hour or more to consume it.

Anyway, there I am in front of the airport giving wife and daughter a kiss goodbye when I realize my phone is sitting at home. My wife, joy of my life, goes back home to get it after a brief should I/shouldn’t I discussion.

Finally I’m up where I need to be – at the gate. I’ve thwarted all attempts to suppress my efforts at transportation. I’ve gotten myself fed and watered and ready for a short wait at the gate to enjoy General Mitchell’s complementary (there was no mention of fees on the sign) Wi-Fi service.

It only takes a few tries and I believe my iPAQ is connected. I pull up my browser and get my regular home page (cached) instead of the intro page for the Wi-Fi service. This doesn’t bode well. Sure enough, the free Wi-Fi is good for everything but accessing the Internet.

The gate attendant starts announcing the rows that are permitted to board, and slowly we all file onto the plane. In a misguided attempt to give me a ”good” seat, they’ve put me in a low row number. Someone needs to explain to the airlines that noise from being behind the engines is no longer much of an issue, but being stuck with only picked over overhead space is.

Speaking of which, as I got on the plane I saw a sign titled ”Need more space?” with two pictures. The first shows a carry on bag placed in an overhead bin sideways, which wastes space, the second shows the more efficient front to back placement. When I’m finally in my seat I look up at the bin across the isle – there’s a bag sitting there sideways.

We take off and I settle in to do some serious writing and pull out my folding keyboard. It doesn’t work. At least I’m getting pretty good with Fitaly.

I end up in a conversation with the guy next to me, who runs a company called TPS International that does manufacturing systems. Dean’s a good guy, and we talk about printing, palm computing and manufacturing. I love those conversations because there is so much to learn.

Later at MSP I find the internet isn’t free – it’s $7 for “a session.” If I get desperate I’ll use my cell phone. I sit and have a beer, and finally get my keyboard working – while I like Fitaly, I like a keyboard better.

I get on the flight to SEA, and once again I’m stuck in a middle seat. At least I’m not tall like the guy next to me. That poor guy is really shoe-horned into his space. He’s an environmental science student, and we chat for a long time about all kinds of things. It’s one of those conversations where all of a sudden the plane’s on the ground and you realize you never got the person’s name.

I take a taxi to the hotel. The taxi driver is efficient, although he starts writing in a log book as we’re going through a complicated interchange, which was pretty exciting.

The Warwick hotel is an older hotel, but is nice. My company’s ?preferred? supplier was booked, as were a few others so this was it. One thing that amazes me is that they charge for Wi-Fi. I do not understand how anyone can still get away with this. But here in Seattle, where you’d think free Wi-Fi would be a must, everybody charges for it. What is lost is made up for in location – they’re closer than most hotels to the conference.

Anyway, in the evening I met up with Matt Kelly of Strategy Software and we talk about the new stuff they have coming out. They’re one of they companies that “gets it”, and the new enhancements sound good. We also discussed CI, the challenge of selling it as a function, and promoting it as an internal consultancy. Matt’s a pretty sharp guy and it was a productive discussion.

Then it’s off to bed.

Gnomedex – a small request


Tomorrow I’m off for Gnomedex, and I’ve been meaning to post a small resquest:

I would like to hear from anyone who’s attending, who’s been working on getting their company to start blogging. Doesn’t matter if you’re just fighting the battle or if you’ve won or lost, I’d like to hear from you.

I’m staying at the Warwick hotel, and my cell is 414–839–5572, and you can email me at swduncan at ml1 dot net.

LinkedIn Group for Gnomedex?

Back in January, I got invited to LinkedIn. I didn’t do much with it at the time, and didn’t have more than a few connections. Lately, I decided to remedy that. Now I have a few more. I’ve actually gotten some good use out of the system, and I think it can hold real value if seen for what it is.

For those of you who haven’t hit the link and don’t know, it’s an online networking service. You enter yourself to create an account – basically putting up a resume-like profile online. Once that is done you invite others to do the same and connect to you. You connect to past colleagues, you endorse each other’s work, and so builds a network of connections and references. Looking for someone that works for XYZ corp? No problem – just search for them, and the system will tell you how your connected and through whom, and provide a way to make the request.

Anyway, I’ve been using the service to find people for various purposes and I started noticing these logos showing up on some profiles. A read of their help pages revealed that these are there to show group affiliation. Group affiliation. Going to Gnomedex. Hmmm…

With Chris’s OK I’ve applied for a Gnomedex 2005 group, but after doing so I noticed in their docs that they do groups only every 2 weeks(!). Since the ‘dex is next week, time is short. I’ve sent LinkedIn a request for speedy service, and I hope they will respond.