Thoughts on Day 1 from Gnomedex

Given the horrendous connectivity problems throughout the day, I chose not to do any real-time note-taking during the sessions. Some random observations:

Dave’s OPML app is cool. I remember when I first “got” the outliner built into Radio a few years ago and getting really excited about it, and I documented how I managed my then blogroll in Radio. That process was a fun little hack, but for me the real epiphany with Radio’s outliner came when it was combined with Marc Barrot’s activeRenderer plugin which rendered OPML outlines on the fly into very nice javascript-enhanced HTML. (Speaking of which, what exactly is the status of the Web Outliner, which uses aR?)

Update: Had lunch with Marc Canter today, who tells me that there will be some news about the WebOutliner concept in fairly short order…

It’s nice to see a renewed focus on building these concepts out — though I suspect for this to really take off it’ll be via polished apps (one suspects Microsoft’s embrace of the format today will ensure such apps will be forthcoming) that integrate tightly with existing groupware apps (like Outlook, Groove or some combination thereof?).

As for Microsoft’s announcement, it’s not quite the “Bill Gates is coming to Gnomedex to announce they’ve bought the Internet” kind of announcement that was rumored… but quite significant nonetheless. As Steve Rubel suggests, with today’s announcement, Microsoft gave RSS the seal of approval that lets RSS “turn pro”. This means that it’ll become accessible to every Windows user; it’ll become a conduit for all kinds of information (not just blogs, but photo albums, calendars, documents) and will be part of the OS, which makes it accessible to every other app in the OS. (For more on this, check out Channel 9.) The cynics point out that Longhorn (the next-generation OS that Microsoft was discussing today) won’t ship for quite a while (two years? longer?) and therefore this announcement is rather forward-looking… but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s clear where Microsoft’s placing its bets — and that will help a number of companies, publishers and users adjust their own commitments accordingly. For those of us who have made similar bets on RSS, that’s a good thing.

I spent the majority of the afternoon talking with a variety of people in the hallways outside the main conference room (for notes on some of the sessions, check out Mike’s notes); my favorite conversation was Jon Husband’s observation that Pleasantville is a perfect metaphor for blogging. (It makes sense, but I’m going to watch it again before elaborating on it.)

An interesting day, and the Microsoft/Audible party at the Seattle Public Library starts in a few minutes. More later…

2 responses to “Thoughts on Day 1 from Gnomedex”

  1. Hey Rick. Wish I could have been there but ive been listening to all the direct podcasts.Just listened to the Microsoft RSS podcast from Gnomedex and Adam Curry closing speech both of which I'd highly recommend.Here's a direct quote from Brad Chase, once of Microsoft at the launch of IE4 back in the day (at Gnomedex they were previewing IE 7)Active Desktop was a pre-cursor to RSS – or a previous attempt at 'push' media : The difference today is the focus on consumers being able to 'subscribe' to their favourite sites, who themselves will ensure their site is formatted in the right RSS (or Microsoft ?) format to ensure subscription can occur seamlessly. Active Channels had a handful of 'professional' content sites (to quote Steve Jobs on 'professional' podcasters)Curry made an impassioned plea to let consumers 'get their media back' and also pushed that all industry players should be pushing for one click subscription. I'd recommend his talk over Steve Jobs 'Stay Foolish Stay Hungry' any day – His 'every user is a developer, and every developer is a user' is on the money at this juncture of RSS.From Brad Chase @ IE4 launch many years ago : Microsoft is focused on “a newer way of getting information, some people call it push, we call it sometimes Webcasting. It's the ability to have Web sites delivered to you. So not only do we think primarily people want to browse, but we also believe there's a set of people that want content to come to them. I know that I travel a lot, for example. And so it's really convenient for me to be able to take a set of sites, download them onto my notebook and browse them right on the plane, even though I'm not connected.”Bill Gates said at the same launch “Certainly, we believe we've made a lot of progress in the browser space. One thing we feel is that with this product, Internet Explorer 4.0, during its lifetime, we will go to over 50 percent market share of browser users. So IE 4 is a major event. Dynamic HTML, active channels, the mail client we've got here, the advances in Net Meeting, all of those are based on the feedback from the people who are out there using the Web in very interesting ways.”It's almost Ten Years on ! Who will have the last laugh ? and where is Rupert ?

  2. It was great to meet you, Rick, after reading your blog as a lurker for the past couple of years.I hoppe you'll let me know what you think after you watch Pleasantville again, just so's I can carry out a quick reality check to find out whether or not I'm actually crazy ;-)Hope we'll get a chance to meet again .. don't know where, don't know when …

Leave a Reply to AnonymousCancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.