Raymond, is this your other blog?

Folks who know Raymond Chen, famous Windows programmer, well know that he enjoys crochet knitting (when we do local geek dinners he’s often seen stitching). So, when Nancy Folsom sent me this blog on “What Not to Crochet” a few moments ago I knew I had to point it out.

I guess there’ll be a blog for every niche. Or is that stitch?

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Pittsburgh vs. Seattle in Super Bowl

The game isn’t even over yet, but Mike Woycheck of the Pittsburgh Bloggers has already sent me email asking if I’d want to do a “friendly bet.” Seattle just beat the Carolina Panthers 34-14.

See, Seattle and Pittsburgh are going to meet in the Super Bowl. Pittsburgh has a deep football tradition. They are gonna be a very tough team to beat.

I’ll display my Terrible Towel in my office that they gave me for my birthday┬ábut I’m a Seattle fan.

So, wonder what the bet should be? Hey, we just bought a case of Windy Point wine made here in Washington. I’ll put that up for the Seattle side of the bet (we served it last night at our launch party to raves).

Mike, what will it be?

(If you’re outside the US, this is like the World Cup to Americans. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen owns the Seattle Seahawks and many Microsoft employees are fans — tickets to the game were extremely hard to get).

Update: Mike has the details on the bet.

I’m pushing for more transparency, here’s why

You only need to watch the PR (by Nathan Weinberg on the Inside Microsoft blog) that Microsoft received over the past week to understand that more transparency would be a good thing. Danny Sullivan, over on Search Engine Watch made the same point several times.

As I flew across the United States yesterday this story was at the top of page one on every newspaper I saw.

Note to Microsoft employees: if you aren’t transparent about when you deal with governments you will hand your competitors a huge advantage. If it were up to me I’d blog whenever governmental requests come in. One area that isn’t possible is when there are crimes involved, though. Companies regularly turn data over under subpoena.

One last thought on this story. It’s real easy to trash customer trust and very hard to earn it back. Transparency is the way here.

I’ll be at the Search Champs meeting with MSN too and will make these points again there.

How would you handle it if you were running a search engine or blog service and a government asked you to do something, even something with great ends? How would you have handled this case?