Saturday, October 15, 2005

Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Negative

You've got to accentuate the positive,
Eliminate the negative,
Latch on to the affirmative,
Don't mess with Mister In-Between

Bing speaks to so many levels.

Pudding proof: just another quick post. Given that comments have been turned off, I find myself with some spare time to wander the web a little. Now, I can't play with right now because I web surf with highly restricted security settings (which kind of makes AJAX 'Oh-Nothing' for me). But I'm glad to see the press is getting and how gadgets became this Vista / / XP transitive beastie.

I'm curious if would have been included in the mix if they hadn't conjured themselves up and got something creative out there. I'm also reminded about how powerful Internet Explorer is not only as a web browser but also as a platform... just wander through some of the topics about programming in IE on MSDN and become amazed at the things you had no idea this little browser could do.

Anyway, so I bopped over to Sanaz's web space and scanned through it and saw this little snippet:

the next steps: slimming down our middle management and chiefs, revisiting the different disciplines at microsoft and evaluating: do we need these positions? do we need all these layers of management? can we be more efficient?

we have over 61,000 employees and only 8,000 of which are developers. doesn't sound right does it? not to me anyways.. well that's what my thinkweek paper will be on, doing more with less chiefs...

I look forward to that ThinkWeek paper! And what's empowering here is that any team that actually shipped something using efficient techniques is going to be able to speak from a position of power, versus say that smart guy waiving around books about scrum and stuff with a capital "X" in it. Ship something impressive first in a surprisingly efficient manner and then start waiving for attention.

Shareholder revolt? Well, I guess if enough shareholders take their proxy and look at question #1 and say "None of these folks!" that might just register on the leadership radar. For all the proxies heading my way (yeah, I hold Microsoft stock through more ways that I should), I'm selecting "Withhold all Nominees."

Where have all the comments gone? I pressed the big pause button this past week. I saw this comment overload coming long before it happened and it's a familiar pattern. It happened on BBSs when everyone else started by modems at Radio Shack. Happened on Usenet. As Clay Shirky notes in "A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy" it happens over and over again (like with Communitree).

Like Usenet, the contemporary non-efficient yet best approach would be to allow moderated comments that had a quick way to approve or delete comments (like a checkbox one way or the other for each pending one so that only one publish sequence would be required). I'll put a request into Goggle for that (I sure wish some community-specialist at Google was spending a day a week improving Blogger's features!) but I don't have high hopes of seeing that anytime soon. I could just open the floodgates and delete offending comments, but that's rather slow with Blogger, too, and, heck, I'm lazy so offending comments would probably linger for a day or more, leading to their own threaded life.

Or I could switch to another blogging service that had moderated comments (I want the comments to be part of the posting, not hanging off of the main page on some other server). But remember: lazy!

I grieve the loss of comments, as I'm sure a lot of you do out there, because some truly great gems showed up that provided interesting perspectives into Microsoft. It was just becoming harder to find the gems in the middle of egregious brain-misfires. The only thing I can think of in the short-term is to be a comment-monkey myself: if you have a comment and would like me to consider adding it on to a particular post, you can send an email to me at this mailto link and I'll give it a scan and when I have a bunch to post I'll add it, if it's got good content and no noise. Note that anything sent to that address is fair game for me to share. Send it elsewhere if you want it to be private. I have no interest in sharing who it is from unless in your message body you specifically add your name as part of signing the message. And use a freebie mail account or some remailers if you're worried about your own privacy.

As a social experiment to indulge my own curiosity, I might silently turn the comments back on in the future. But no time soon. And if that's not cool with you and you're interested in a space like the old Mini: create your own blog or such and commence with the posting and commenting. I'll link to it and any interesting comments that crop up.

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