Halfway through my blog vacation (change in comment policy)

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Thank you Werner Vogels!

By kicking our behinds when we visited Amazon for a book reading an executive review on corporate blogging, he taught us a valuable lesson: "always be prepared."

So, this week when we spoke to BA Venture Partners (one of Silicon Valley's most powerful venture capital firms, the "BA" stands for "Bank of America" which is one of the world's largest banks) we were prepared with all the ROI answers that came up. Not only were BA Venture Partners there, but a bunch of CEOs and other Entrepreneurs were there too. They recorded it and we won over some very tough customers. Hopefully they'll have the recording out as a podcast soon.

Meeting Philip Rosedale, founder of Second Life, at that talk, was a major "cool meeting" for me. Next week I'm gonna spend a lot of time in Second Life helping my son, Patrick, build out his house, so it was good to have a conversation about where Second Life is going. Can you imagine a world where your blog or RSS feed will be painted on any 3D object? Philip can. And is. I told Philip about Eric Rice's new record label in Second Life.

But, mostly, this past week was about change.

Some things I've changed? 1) No more coffee. 2) No more soda. 3) Xercising. 4) No more unhappy people in my life. 5) Get balance back in my own life.

Thanks to all the interesting people I've had conversations with this week. More than 100 people by last count. Some, who, Gent Hito, showed me some killer technology (it's called RSSBus, and takes RSS into places I never really thought about. In other words, things that aren't blogs or news feeds. If you're a developer you should get a demo from Gent).

One of my most memeorable conversations, though, was with Buzz Bruggeman, CEO of ActiveWords and a good friend. He told me to hang around people who are happy. And I realized I had been listening to too many people who were deeply unhappy and not bringing any value into my life. He told me to listen to this recording on NPR about "finding happiness in a Harvard Classroom." He also told me about the four agreements, which are Don Miguel Ruiz's code for life. Good stuff.

It was that moment that I decided to moderate my comments here. Yes, I am now approving every comment here. And I will delete any that don't add value to either my life or the lives of my readers.

This is a huge change for me. I wanted a free speech area, but after having a week off I realize that I need to make a change. That, I'm sure, will lead to attacks of "censorship" and all that hooey. Too bad. I'm instituting a "family room" rule here. If I don't like it, it gets deleted and deleted without warning — just the same as if you said something abusive in my family room I'd kick you out of my house. If you don't like that new rule, there are plenty of other places on the Internet to write your thoughts. Start a blog and link here. Etc. Etc.

Anyway, another conversation that I had on Monday, with Bubba Murarka, lead program manager on the Windows Live search team, led me to say to him "why don't you guest blog my blog next week?" He said "yes" so starting tomorrow he'll be guest blogging here.

Now, that might sound strange, but Bubba is one of those guys who is a connector. Everyone I know loves him. He works at our campus in Silicon Valley and was one of the first Microsoft employees to buy a MacBook and put Windows on it. Translation? He likes trying new things and is someone I trust and feel good around.

His attitude is life changing.

Plus, he knows a lot about the tech industry. He can tell you how many shares of stock you'll likely get offered at Google, for instance, if you're gonna take a new job there. And he has not only a new MacBook, but a new Lenovo T60 that he says is a "rocking machine" on his desk too. And, he's one of those guys who ships software. He was on the desktop search team. When I visited him he was showing me some software that blew my mind, too. I doubt he'll tell you about that, but, that gets to the other part of my philosophy.

Help developers ship great software. Bubba has, so he's earned his way onto my blog.

See ya April 23!

Oh, and if that wasn't a good enough post for you? Here's some quickies:

Steve Rubel, senior vice president at Edelman, had dinner with me on Monday night and gave me a bunch of fun stuff (these are his favorite sites):

Ask a Ninja is Hillarious!
Hop Stop is a cool guide for city travelers, not many cities, yet, but shows off public transit. Here's the Hop Stop for San Francisco, for instance.
With Meebo, a Web 2.0 Instant Messaging service, you can sign into four accounts at once.
Want to see if there's a domain available on the Web? Instant Domain Search rocks for that.
Want to see popular sites in the Del.icio.us service (which lets people share their favorite Web sites) then use Populicio.us.
Or, maybe you want to see what a combination of Digg, Slashdot, or Del.icio.us looks like? Well, that would be Diggdot.
PopURLS is his favorite aggregation site. Shows off popular news from popular sites. This rocks.
Steve was praising NewsVine, which is a news site that combines news from both pros and amateurs.
The memetrackers that Steve uses include Memeorandum/Tech, TailRank, but also include Cloudee, a site I hadn't tried before. I've been using that and it's a good way to find what people are talking about too.

From elsewhere in my email and/or aggregator:

Orrin, of itsjerrytime.com, wrote to thank me for being the first site to link to their funny animations. He was proud that they were nominated for the first Internet Emmy's. That so rocks! Orrin and Jerry, you're welcome in my living room anytime! I watch your stuff anytime I need a smile!

Sarah in Tampa says to check out this unbelieveable geeked-out office. Oh, that's Larry Larsen's office and it made me drool. You might need to open this URL: http://www.greenjem.com/office/Cribs.wmv in Windows Media Player to see the video.

Allen Bush, of Sharpcast, gave me a demo of their new photo organization tool. It rocks. Instantly synchs your photos among multiple devices, multiple platforms, and multiple browsers. Not sure it's good enough for normal people, but there's a direction here that I really like. They blog too.

This week I'll be on stage with Matt Cutts of Google and Jeremy Zawodny of Yahoo (we're doing a keynote at the Webmaster World conference) and to help me prepare Andy Edmonds of the Windows Live Search team (we gotta get you a shorter and cooler name Andy if you're gonna compete with "Google" and "Yahoo") put together a demo of their new macro language.

Do you lend stuff to your friends? BillMonk lets you keep track of who's borrowing and not giving back.

Technology Rock Stars are hiring on here at Microsoft at a rapid pace, Ken Levy notices.

Wow, every attendee at the TED Conference (about 1,000) got a free copy of our book, Naked Conversations. That's a huge honor.

Do you know who this is? It's the 12-year-old daughter of Amazon Web Services evangelist Jeff Barr. She's doing a cooking video blog called "BiancaVision." That rocks! Do you know of other kids of geeks who are doing podcasts or video blogs?

Speaking of Jeff Barr, he's built a master list of ways to put RSS feeds on Web pages.

And speaking of video blogs, there's a Vloggercon coming up June 10 and 11 in San Francisco.

I heard some other company announced a calendaring service this week. Oh, OK, it was Google with its calendar. But did you check out Kiko too? They have a bunch of things that Google doesn't do like it can send alerts via any IM and lets you get RSS feeds off of your appointments. But, does it really have a hope of competing against the big guys? As I watch people use calendars, I sense that they are swimming upstream. As Steve Gillmor said in his podcast with Mike Arrington the other day, he wants Google and everything else can go to heck. What I thought was fun was here at Microsoft employees were sending around instructions on how to get Office 2007 to work with Google Calendar.

Greg Hughes is not just my brother's boss, but he's a security expert too, and he wrote a good blog on phishing scams and asks can it really be stopped? IE 7 is gonna try Greg, but it will be interesting to see the new anti-phishing technology will change the game.

The next London Girl Geek dinner is coming up on April 24. Some of my coworkers will be there.

Microsoft this week shipped Academic Search, so of course I read Gary Price for his reactions. Gary's a librarian. A search expert. And very influential.

Think the Easter Bunny hates you? He just might! (video).

Are you a TWiT'er? There's a LOT of geeks who are. I was getting emails and IM's all week after being on the show on Sunday.

And with that I'm off for another week of Xbox playing. Oh, regarding Xbox, my readers warned me not to let Maryam play Zuma. They were right. She's addicted. Even is waking up early now to play Zuma. And what do I mean by "Xercising?" Well, you get on your exercise equipment and start playing Xbox. Chris Pirillo lost 15 lbs by doing that. I find I can play half an hour of Geometry Wars while Xercising. Heheh, and I see the "Get Naked" meme continues with Xbox Live team member Larry Hryb being challenged to a fun video game of "how well do you know your Xbox?" Heheh! Larry's such a good sport.

Oh, and thanks to Hugh Macleod for the continued wonderful cartoons on your blog. Thanks for letting me borrow one for this post. They make me smile. And that's really all that matters, isn't it?