The one time I didn’t mind the sun was being bbqed at Scoble’s

It’s a long and windy road to Robert Scoble’s bbq. (That’s long and windy, NOT long-er-winded.) But it ends with parking near a cul-de-sac and walking up to the front door and passing two little Sharper Image scooters prone on the grass, and stepping over the transfixed bodies of small children playing with Xbox controllers (“Bloop!”Zip”!) and happy adults talking determinedly about technology and of course, not-technology topics. Because even the geeky get sick of talking about their jobs/gadgets/tech problems all the time.

I had brought a key lime pie (noooo, I didn’t bake it – what do you think? This low-carb girl went to Larry’s Market) and a big bottle of wine to make up for the fact the pie smooshed a bit en route. I stuffed myself full of great food, including an evil Krispy Kreme glazed donut that is totally not on my health regimen, and met a lot of great people. I did have Doc Searls’s son pointed out to me, but didn’t get a chance to chat with the lad, and learned Scoble met him on an airplane! How does this happen, those one in a million moments of Robertness? I don’t know, ask him.

But over the course of the bbq I got to chat with folks about making music for video games, the lack of information around the Halo2 beta (no, I’m not one of the testers), how to pick a good digital camera (I got to hear Dave Winer’s views on his Nikon Coolpix, as well as the Canon contingent’s favorite choices), the old days at Microsoft and Apple, and the joys of small children (this last from Jeff Sandquist, who has a child that will rule the world one day if not through iron will, pure cuteness)

Actually, I got to hear a lot of Dave Winer’s views because I was lucky enough to sit next to him for perhaps a good hour in a group that bantered back and forth about Microsoft’s strengths and shortcomings and the way the technology world is going. (If you are wondering, the “nape shot” of Dave’s photos from the bbq – that’s me). Dave critiqued Microsoft at length on security issues that I don’t have any personal influence over (and he could describe more eloquently than I), but I promised I’d look into his requests of MSDN and Microsoft in general on the Web/RSS fronts.

First, although I haven’t done it this post, Dave’s asked us to ponder to making more accessible in terms of not mandating tiny fonts, making the blog posts more readable, and improving our RSS feeds. The reason I haven’t changed my stylish and unreadable ways is I need to double check how our controls render on the MSDNpages before I switch to neutral – it may be that I break our UI dictums as I did when I first posted this blog on the community home page. But at least that’s something we can work through and figure out.

Offering more RSS is something MSDN‘s been doing more of lately anyway, but there’s another MSDN site manager I need to chat with, and what Dave recommended in terms of the content of those feeds I gotta chat over with the Shawn Morrissey posse. In some ways, our blogs are doing what Dave Winer wants; in another, as Mr. RSS, he is sure we can do more for the public.

I have a feeling I’ve forgotten something else, but I gave DW my biz card and told him to feel free to complain to me any time. 😀 

And that’s pretty much true for everybody. I may not be all-powerful over here in Redmond, and I don’t know all the technologies by a long shot. But I have an innate gifts of making finding the people to pester, making pest of myself (leftover from my reporter days I expect :D) and the ability to fire off more emails faster than a Wild West shootout. And when all else fails, you can always try Ladybug. 🙂

August 10 – Addendum: I tried to change all formatting settings to neutral. Here goes!

Comments (11)

  1. William Luu says:

    Yes, RSS is good! 🙂

    In regards to the font styling, what you should be doing is defining your font inside the CSS file rather than inside the HTML document. Right now those styles are even being applied to your RSS, hence those who get your RSS feed will also see those font styles.

    If you do the styling inside the CSS file for the fonts, then those getting your RSS no longer see your fonts.

    The following would probably suffice:



    font-family: verdana, arial, helvetica;


    This will mean that the displayed HTML page will contain that font style, however, other forms of output, such as your RSS, won’t have the font. (The last two fonts are substitute fonts if the first is not available.)


  2. And we have CSS applied to the RSS displayed on MSDN, so it is in fact better for the display on MSDN if you avoid FONT tags in your blog postings…. I wish everyone would… in the end, the result on MSDN is that if we combine multiple blogs into one page, they would all look the same (according to our CSS), whereas now they all look different, some ok, some horrible…

  3. Thanks for coming! It was a great day and an interesting conversation.

  4. A good way to check how neutral your settings are is to press ctrl and roll the mouse wheel at the same time: this causes the base font size to change.