Jason's Blog

Archive for October, 2004

Spot the difference between these photos…

by on Oct.27, 2004, under General

Saw this link on another site – kinda interesting. See if you can see the difference. Sit down, look hard – it’s hard to find.

Zoeken puzzle

It took me almost a minute to see the difference – how long does it take you?

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Blog’s taking off now in corporate markets

by on Oct.19, 2004, under General

I know a lot of us use blogs for our personal thoughts, comments, and general views, but it seems blogs are becoming more prevalent and even encouraged in larger companies. Now, not necessarily to report what’s going on with a company, but individuals in that company seem to be blogging about what they’re doing, or their thoughts, or other ideas.

Now, all of you know I’m not a huge fan of Microsoft and mostly have switched to Apple minus the whole gaming market and work. Or, I’ll use linux for all my heavy duty programming/oracle database work. Anyways, the point is that a lot of companies are encourging their employees to blog, and not just to blog about the company (although there’s a lot of that), but to blog about themselves, their thoughts, their lives INDEPENDENT OF THE COMPANY. For example, the person could totally complain about certain aspects of the company, or problems, or about a competitor’s products, and it’s accepted.

Now I’d imagine there’s of course a line there that has to be watched, but it seems that it’s more than a marketing ploy. Or, let me rephrase that – it’s a new kind of marketing. It’s not the traditional let’s target this consumer with this specific message to sell this product. This kind of marketing is “get to know us” and it’s honest. I think that’s what makes it so different than traditional marketing. It’s still marketing, of a sort, but it’s also much more than marketing, it’s relating to the customers, it’s forming a relationship between people.

As an example, for those who haven’t heard of Robert Scoble, you should check out his blog sometime. He’s an employee for Microsoft, but has some very interesting points of view. He also posts more than anyone I’ve ever seen, and for a Microsofty he seems to be a pretty decent guy. Of course, he is working for Microsoft, but I feel he’s generally pretty honest in his intent. NOW, I’ll say that with some reservation – he’s still VERY much a marketing and “figurehead” for the microsoft blogging world. As such, some of his posts I think are more “suck-up” in nature. Not all, but a lot of them due to the knowledge that a lot of readers see him as a representative for Microsoft. And as a good employee, you generally want to represent your company well. SO, keep that bias in mind. Anyways, the reason I mention Robert in particularly in this post is for this one post where he talks about the explosions of blogs in corporate america and how important they’re becoming in spreading word of mouth news. This is a perfect example and explanation of what I’ve mentioned, and this post gave me the idea to comment and spread some of the thought process here.

And a last note on regards to corporate blogging. I’ll have to say this for Microsoft – almost more than any other company, they’re pushing blogs right now. I mean, SERIOUSLY pushing it. I may not like Microsoft all that much for the whole monopoly thing, and not playing nice with others, but I do respect them when it comes to knowing trends, and moving their business forwards. Blogs are a big thing, and Microsoft is doing a fantastic job in comparison to Apple and many other companies with regards to using this new “medium” of communication. So, kudo’s to them, but Apple, and so many other companies, GET YOUR BUTTS IN GEAR AND LEARN. This type of thing isn’t going away, it’s massive, and more, failing to get into the game can be dangerous. You don’t want to fall behind in the IT world. The only other company that seems to be doing anything decent with blogs is Oracle, but a lot of their blogs tend to be VERY heavy in techincal info. (SO, if you like that kinda stuff, they’re a good site to check out.) Anyways, as a final suggestion with regards to corporate blogging – if your comapny isn’t doing it yet, consider it. Take a look at Microsoft as an example, and seriously think about it. There’s too many advantages NOT to consider blogging, or encouraging employees to blog. Further, if you’re truly serious about connecting with your clients, what better way to do so?

SO, with regards to “corporate” blogs, I figured I’d post some others out there for interested readers. These may be the blogs of employees for their personal commentary, or sometimes just a blog of technical thoughts/articles. A lot of people may already know of these, but I figured I’d post some of the more interesting ones. I’m not sure people are even aware of some of these:

  • Scobelizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger by Robert Scoble. Lots of good posts and links to other sites for information
  • List of common blogs people subscribe to
  • Microsoft Developer Network blogs – this is one of the more interesting ones, with a lot of good information. Seriously, check out all the developers blogs – there’s a lot of really cool stuff out there.
  • Steve Jobs’ Weblog – this one isn’t even really a blog. It’s more a marketing interface for Apple, and one I’m not terribly impressed with. Yes, I like Steve Jobs, but this isn’t a blog, not in the true sense of the word.
  • Oracle blogs – this is one of the better corporate blogging sites. Aside from Microsoft, Oracle is one of the only companies truly making use of the blogging world. And unlike microsoft, a LOT of their posts tend to be pretty indepth technically. Granted, some of them are almost too indepth and unrelated to what a lot of people use, but that’s like anything – pick and choose. Anyways, check em out.
  • Surfin’ Safari’ – a blog by one (the only one?) guy working on Safari web browser for Mac OS – pretty good overall. Good mix of technical/non-technical information.
  • Neil Gaiman Although not a “tech”, Neil is one of my favorite Authors, and his journals are always pretty in-depth and interesting. As a writer, I figured I’d post his blog here due to it being an example of being able to truly connect with the source. Scoble for example is a source for Microsoft, Neil however is his own company, if you will, and it’s interesting to read his stuff.

Of course, there are a ton of other blogs out there, but these are some of the more interesting “technical” or “company” blogs. Take a look, and feel free to comment with some other blogs you find interesting, or I should check out. And here’s a question: What do other people think about company bloggers?

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Quote and a thought.

by on Oct.13, 2004, under General

In a hive mind, or a hive mentality, an individual cannot be understood, nor allowed to exist within that hive. If he is, his individuality, his questioning could cause question to others, and disrupt the hive mind.
(continue reading…)

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Gmail invites

by on Oct.03, 2004, under General

I thought I’d post real quick, and offer some gmail invites to anyone who wants on and leaves a comment – I’ve got 6 left for anyone interested.

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