Ray Ozzie “optimized” (I just want a new office chair)

Jim Posner just asked me in email “any thoughts?” about Ray Ozzie’s speech recently at Microsoft’s annual financial analysts meeting.

You might have missed it, but about halfway down the speech Ray started talking about “optimization.”

That’s code for “all your attention data are belong to us.”

OK, OK, call off the black helicopters. This is the new “fuzzy bear” Microsoft. And, anyway, they are just copying Google.

You think that Google’s datacenters are just holding search indexes?

No, now Google is holding Scoble’s corporate email too! And, those servers know which emails I delete, which ones I forward, which ones I click on. It even “optimizes” those emails by pulling out spam. How nice.

Anyway, I’m getting off track. I went through and read Ryan Stewart’s thoughts on Microsoft. That brought me to Richard MacManus’ thoughts. Which brought me to Dana Gardner’s thoughts. Hey, ZDNet has some great bloggers, doesn’t it?

But Dana brought me to Joe Wilcox’s thoughts. The experience hub.

That’s all very interesting, but I think we’re all looking in the wrong direction.

It all starts with the blog. Now, why can’t I put my blog on the map? When you go to Live.com and search on “Scoble” why can’t I customize my results there with more information for you?

When I search on “Office Furniture” why is the first thing I see stores? I don’t wanna see freaking corporate info. I wanna know what HUMANS like to use in their offices.

None of the big search companies have figured out that it’s the humans who “optimize” the Web.

They just wanna collect the big company paychecks.

I’m hearing that too here at Podtech. It’s all bunk. If there is no audience, there is no advertising. I’m not an “eyeball” to be tracked, or optimized.

I’ll be looking for who lets me get to the other humans the fastest.

Here, let’s try this. If I can spend less than $500 for an office chair, which one is best?

Optimize that!

Get me the humans and you’ll add $2 billion in value. And, yes, Ray, I believe you know how to do it. You’re still the only Microsoft executive to show up at a grass-roots event in Silicon Valley.

Remember Active Desktop and Channels? Microsoft could have OWNED the blog world and RSS. Why did that fail? Cause when we looked at it all we saw were big companies.

If you optimize for them you’ll fail.

My attention data +is+ valuable. But if you forget about the little people we’ll remember and we’ll go with systems that put us on stage. Why was Channel 9 magical? Not cause of the shaky video camera work I did. It was cause it was the first corporate site that put CUSTOMERS ON THE HOME PAGE!

I’m missing the humans when I visit Live.com. Actually the new Spaces thing got us to pay attention to Live.com again. Take heed off of that.

Give +us+ control of our “optimizations” (er, attention data) and we’ll be on your side. Behave like Microsoft of old and we’ll just stick with Google.


Fun with eyetrak machine

Larry Larsen works at Poynter Institute. They are the R&D arm of the newspaper industry (their eye track research led to the development of USA Today back in the 1980s).

Today eye tracking machines are getting cheaper, smaller, faster, and easier to use. As evidence of this Larry put up some videos of him using his eye track machine while doing things like playing Xbox games. Lots of fun.

I’d love to have one of these and run my friends through it while using the Web so I could learn from how they look at various things.

Maryam’s blog gets upgraded

I always hated going to my wife’s blog, Maryamie, cause MSN Spaces just felt ugly and old. Today I visit and, wow, it has a much nicer design. Feels more like a blog.

It makes me wish that the Spaces team had done a much better job at BlogHer last weekend. Why didn’t they just say “check us out next Wednesday?”

Oh, I visit TechMeme (still my favorite news site, have you noticed it’s getting better lately?) and see that lots of people are talking about it.