Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Red Couch: Microsoft

Scoble and Israel have posted their Microsoft chapter at their book blog. It's currently due to be called "Souls of the Borg" and to be chapter 2. It's a very interesting case study of blogging at Microsoft, and the role that blogging seems to have played in improving Microsoft's public image.

I have two and a half more specific comments. The first is that the chapter, including the stuff about Scoble, is written in the 3rd person. This seems to be a missed opportunity to use Scoble's first-hand perspective to the fullest. I'd consider having Scoble write some or all of the Microsoft material in the first person. Or perhaps I should say that I'd reconsider having this chapter in the third person; I'm sure that the question has already been discussed among authors, editors, etc.

My second comment is that while I think the book should have a Microsoft chapter, I'm not sure that it should be chapter 2. That somehow seems to make Microsoft more prominent than it should be in a book that's about blogging, rather than about Microsoft. I'd consider (again, perhaps I should say reconsider) making this the penultimate chapter.

The half-comment is rather a nitpick, or edit, and it may be silly to make it when I've just made a comment that suggests a radical rewrite. But the phrase "Scoble was posting up to 50 blogs or more on his personal site, Scobleizer, on his own time each night" says that Scoble had 50 blogs at the site, whereas I think it means that he was making up to 50 posts each night.

Thanks to Robert and Shel for posting as they write. I'll look forward to more, and will continue to attempt to be helpful enough to merit a signed copy of the book when it comes out early next year!

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Anonymous shel israel said...

Thanks for your constructive comments on our recently posted chapter. The issue you raise is one we anguished about--really. This is not a book about Scoble but by Scobble; nor is it about Microsoft. It is, however, a book about whey business should blog and Microsoft, happens to be a bright example. You cannot tell the Microsoft story without mentioning Scoble. To resolve it, I was the author of this particular chapter. I interviewed Robert's boss and co-workers. I was free to write from a non Microsoft booster perspective. We felt that Robert writing this chapter would have appeared self-promoting and would have damaged the overall objectivity to the story as we tell it.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Thanks for responding here so quickly. You guys know what you want the book to be... we're seeing a chapter at a time, as they are written, which means that we see chapters in isolation. I'll look forward to seeing more of the book.

4:45 PM  

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