James Governor's Monkchips

Note To Steve Gillmor: Podcasting is still not mainstream

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Some intriguing parsing of the new world of RSS enclosures and what they means for user services from Steve Gillmor (especially the notion of Skype to Sun walled garden integration). For those of you that don’t know what Google Fusion is here are some links. In short, its a My Google, a lightweight portal front-ending Google’s Bunch of Sloppy Services (Boss).

But why call for someones head? I don’t much understand the blogosphere meme of “Company A should fire such and such.” I have even seen a blogger reporter claim somebody should be fired even though that person had already left the company in question some months before…

I called Steve an analyst yesterday. I can’t think of many industry analysts that would publically call for Jeff Raikes’ head, though. Microsoft often does bring in outsiders, for consulting and so on, that have thrown rocks, but that’s in the context of ideas rather than personalities. 

And besides, shouldn’t it be MSN that competes directly with iTunes? Jeff Raikes is in charge of Microsoft’s Information Worker business, and Office franchise, which continues to drive squllions of dollars in revenue. Mainstream enterprise podcasting is one for the future, and probably won’t be a pay for play subscription download service, per se, rather part of an enterprise framework.[The rise of software as a service notwithstanding.]

My colleague Stephen O’Grady has made arguments about Gmail as a potential Exchange killer. But it won’t happen overnight, or even in the next few days… At RedMonk we have been somewhat disappointed by the lack of RSS support in MS products so far, but that could change quite quickly, as Scoble has been alluding to lately, ambiguous comments from C-level executives notwithstanding.

What is more, this post from Richard McManus is spot on in pointing out that MS is arguably ahead of Google when it comes to using RSS. Google’s support for RSS is pretty lame so far, and unlike Microsoft, Google doesn’t even have an enterprise business to support and defend. Where do i go to search blogs? Not Google but technorati or blogdigger. Google news doesn’t support RSS. I can post blogs to RSS through MSN Spaces just as easily as i can use Blogger, and can find neat hacks in that regard.. Noone has built a vendor supported third party aggregator on top of Gmail (as far as i know), while Newsgator remains a favourite of RSS-hungry Outlook users. And you know what–MS employees actually usefully blog, which is more than you can say for our friends at the Googleplex.

I don’t know what Eric Schmidt told you, but when i see support for a technology i am more likely to applaud it than when i hear about it. Showing not telling. Blogging is an extremely powerful business tool already, and RSS promises a beautiful cornucopia of further uses in enterprise and B2C contexts, combining as it does super lightweight publish and subscribe and workflow and information aggregation.

I am not saying MS has covered itself in RSS glory, but frankly what major vendor or service provider has? Sun, perhaps, although it needs to hurry up and start selling Roller support services as a corporate offering if it wants to make money from innovation. We’re still in a nascent market, blogger influence notwithstanding. But A-listers and alpha geeks have somewhat different needs from the mainstream.




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