Monday, May 24, 2004

Bill Bubbles about Blogs, but Bloggers are, as Usual, Elsewhere

Reuters reports via The Washington Post along with numerous other sources regarding Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates' comments about weblogs at their annual CEO summit. Chairman Bill touted weblogs as a great communications tool that is both a threat and an opportunity; the threat part is a given, as yet again Microsoft will bundle in their own weblogging tools into the forthcoming Longhorn operating system kernel to try to tame weblogs in Microsoft's image. But unlike earlier attempts to steal marches on Web content, it's likely that weblogs have escaped the throes of Microsoft on a fairly permanent basis. The huge mass of content built independent of Microsoft infrastructure that can be delivered to any platform via XML-standardized feeds is not likely to be tamed by any major vendor any time soon, leaving Microsoft and others who have not dialed in to these increasingly respected publishers to be mostly on the receiving end of this content. Weblogs are great, but we're discovering that not everyone is an Ernest Hemingway in the making; Microsoft has about 700 employess weblogging already, but thinking of the full force of their employess available to type out snappy bon mots, that's a pretty small percentage. People with something to say to a lot of folks make excellent use of weblogs and are an increasingly important part of knowledge management, but weblogs work best when one can poll from the widest array of opinions and insights possible - which requires a pretty large net, of experts, generally. Enterprises typically are not going to have enough webloggers to carve out profits on the authoring side of the equation - especially given the preponderance of free or cheap posting solutions. Most likely scenario in the next eight months: Microsoft acquires NewsGator or develops its own home-grown look-alike that eventually gets folded into the Longhorn kernel.
Post a Comment