Search as Entertainment

The business model for www.msdewey.com seems to be…uh, I’ll have to get back to you on that. Wait, it involves something about watching an attractive actress like Janina Gavankar do pythonesque sketches before returning your search query. For example, try these: the Fool Earthquake preparedness Schrodinger’s Cat Windows Vista Camelot Algebra What is your favorite…

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Blogs Have "Tipped"?

A few months ago, internal discussion revolved around IT Pro customer perception of the information in blogs (specifically blogs.technet.com and blogs.msdn.com) in relation to KB and other “official” sources. Was it “valuable”? Was it “authoritative”? Could it be “trusted”? Looking over the IE7 release notes here, what do I see? A product release notes page…

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Message Received and Understood

My manager attended a conference for technical content creators last week and brought back some interesting insights on tools, techniques and people issues. Her observations dovetail with some other recent conversations and reflections. For example, I sometimes struggle to explain to upper management why blogs are important to IT Pros. I decided this week to think…


Cool things to teach kids

A colleague asked for resources recently to help prepare for a presentation to school kids about neat things they can do with technology. Replies included the gems below from Coding4Fun:         Hardware ·         DIY Dance, Dance Revolution machine ·         Home Automation (X10) and .NET ·         Programming LCD Display to display music ·         Programming GPS Devices ·         Programming…


SWOT as a best practice

My team recently conducted a “post-mortem” analysis of our recent milestone performance. There are lots of ways to conduct and publish PMs, but we chose to use the SWOT analysis method. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. You can find a template for applying SWOT to a competitive analysis here. Read this microsoft.com…


Why Words Matter

First, the Exchange boffins have done a cool thing. They have decided to call themselves (and selves similar to them) ninjas and share knowledge through a new Wiki. Check it out, all the cool knowledge wranglers are doing this wiki thing. What’s the first FAQ on the wiki? It’s about words: Why is “Out Of…


Canary in a Coal Mine

Passion for Success notes an interesting beneficial side-effect from blogging: “Ever since I started blogging… (well i am into my 2nd week).. I realised I am no longer just a participant in life, but a keen observer of life, I watch and listen to normal day to day happenings and wonder if it would be an interesting…


We Are Here To Help

In this article about a recent change to Small Business Server ship date, an un-named Microsoft spokesperson is caught revealing some usually internal-only Microspeak: “This routine check of the initial software on the manufacturing line found that it contained portions of code deemed “non-final,” according to Microsoft.” Microspeak is one of the things a new employee at…


Principles

I found it useful recently in talking with some business colleagues, and most especially with my teenage children, to articulate the principles I value. Writing things down helps me live by them, and helps me express them in a way that is easy for others to remember. Discussion welcomed. Here are my principles: 1. Show up….

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Why Technical Writing Sucks

Jesper has a great new article on why no technology or software solution is going to dig us completely out of our security problems. Read it for the great writing, authentic voice and cogent thoughts. If you are a person involved in what we call at Microsoft (this week) “Content Publishing”, read it for the…