Category Archives: Blog

Hello? Steve? Cancel the Joe Isuzu ad campaign.

CNN: the most trusted name in news?  Must be on the web, because television is loosing ground to the Internet as a trusted source for information.  From that I segue gracefully into… the Edelman trust barometer found Microsoft is the most trusted name in business.



The Edelman Trust Barometer found Microsoft Corporation the most trusted global company, followed by iconic companies in their home markets, including Toyota in Japan, Haier in China, Samsung in South Korea, and Petrobras in Brazil.


I think MS is a great place to work, and having the company get this type of recognition feels good (especially for someone who used to be a closet MS employee).  I realize that Edelman is a PR firm which counts MS as one of its biggest clients, but this was, after all, a survey.


While I led off with the fun part of the survey… for me this is the really interesting part:



In the U.S., trust in “a person like me” increased from 20% in 2003 to 68% today.


In other words, most people in the US find the average employee is a more trust-worthy spokesman than the CEO.  Any connection to the surge in blogging?  It’s pretty hard to preen cause from effect here but I, for one, am hugely thankful for the change in culture at Microsoft which made it possible for employees like me to feel comfortable blogging in relative freedom about our work.


I suppose that brings me back to the beginning… perhaps the trust in Microsoft will not be limited to a single survey or a fleeting one-year occurrence.  With any luck, as more people are able to get a glimpse of the people working at Microsoft and the pride they have in their work, the world will realize that for us it’s really about building cool software, not crushing your enemies and seeing them driven before you.  While our moniker of “the evil empire” is something I look on with amusement, it’s not a nickname I view with pride.





For a deeper dive on the topic of what can happen for company trust when the employees step out from behind the protective shadow of a company’s CEO and PR machine I recommend you check out Richard Edelman’s essay The Me2 Revolution on his blog.

GoogleBlogTag is sooooo last micro-minute

Bengt, Steve and I spent a bunch of time posturing to figure out who could get their blog to the top of the Google search results for a made up word.  It’s a page rank game, how “popular” is your web site?

Bah, kid stuff.  Real men (real capitalist men) care about money.  Here’s the acid test: How much is your blog worth?


My blog is worth $15,242.58.
How much is your blog worth?

Thanks Tom for the pointer!

Hey, I can see my house from here!

On Sunday most people got their first glimpse of MSN Virtual Earth (well, the PR started Sunday at any rate) and frankly… it’s pretty damn cool.  Imagine the useful features of Google earth… but in a web page… no software installer needed (unless, of course, you’re not running a modern browser, but then you’re probably on a 200 baud modem as well). 


The site is cool for what it is, but it gets better, the Virtual Earth team thought ahead and built in some cool functionality to allow people to create custom maps… so one of our architects did.  To the see the fruits of his handiwork go to the start preview, click the down arrow next to the “start preview” logo and select “MSN Bloggers Map” from the Popular Feeds/Staff picks section.  Voila, a list of MSN bloggers showing their office locations on a satellite picture. 


Think about how fantastic this is; we’ve made stalking accessible to the insanely lazy and clinically agoraphobic.

The shrinking web

The reason the World Wide Web is called the World Wide Web is because it’s filled with interconnected links, allowing you to move from site to site.  Do you ever do that?


When I first started using the web, yes, I did click around from site to site, it was kind of neat.  Now, when I want some information I go to a search engine (typically Google, but I’ve just installed the MSN toolbar, but I digress), type in a search and go directly to the info I want.  I do very little “browsing” when on the web.  Two reasons:



  1. Many sites actively seek to keep you on their site
  2. The web is getting really, really big… wandering is not as interesting as it used to be, there’s just too much random crap.

The thing that has brought back interest in web surfing for me is the concept of the blog sphere.  A blog sphere is a subset of a subset of the web; it’s the blogs (one subset) I read (another sub set).  This narrowing of scope has made it much easier to navigate the web in an ad hoc fashion as I am no longer presented with the overwhelming scope of the web… I’m presented with the web as seen by people I think are interesting (who find interesting links, produce interesting content or are, simply, interesting).


All day today I’ve been listening to a new, free album I downloaded from Mercedes Benz (yes, the auto manufacturer).  Seeing as you don’t expect go looking for music on a car manufacturer’s site and I don’t own a Mercedes (or a Chrysler for that matter) it’s unlikely I would have happened upon this site on my own.  I found it because Paul left a comment on my blog, and he entered the URL for his blog.  Reading his blog I found the info on the Benz free music download.


Viewed as a whole, the web is full of a bunch of random crap.  Viewed through the filter of the people with whom I share a connection it becomes a whole lot more interesting.