Blogger dinner tonight in SF

Hope to see you in San Francisco tonight.

Update: Reservations are under Robert Scoble. They are giving us a semi-private space upstairs, so this should be fun! We’ll meet at 6:30 PM at Gordon Biersch, San Francisco: 2 Harrison Street San Francisco, CA 94105
phone: 415-243-8246 You can find parking in the parking garage below and they will validate your ticket at the restaurant. Please remember to bring cash as they will give us only one check for the table and will add tip to it.


Appleman raves about Google’s custom search capabilities

I had lunch today with Dan Appleman who, back in the early 1990s, wrote the most important Visual Basic programming book: all about using the Windows API with Visual Basic, among others. He’s the kind of guy Microsoft used to care about flying into see its latest developer initiatives. He didn’t go to Las Vegas yesterday. I wondered why and he told me he’s been helping his sister do Web consulting for a variety of companies. Says he’s seeing a whole new world outside of the Microsoft fence and that he’s most excited about Google’s custom search engine. Even built one for .NET developers called “Search DotNet”.

It, indeed, is pretty cool and lets people build search engines with very little noise.

Here, compare a search for “Silverlight” info.

Custom Google Engine search for “Silverlight” that Dan Appleman made with Google’s Custom Search engine.
Regular Google search for “Silverlight.”

Dan’s custom search brings back a much higher percentage of great results — and his results are solely focused on developers, while Google’s main results have lots of other results that have nothing to do with Microsoft’s Silverlight. He says that such custom engines are much more “SEO proof” than other approaches, because he decided which sources should be included in the result set. So, you are mixing an algorithmic approach with a human approach of someone who is highly expert and trusted.

Anyone notice how much faster Google is indexing sites lately? I do. It used to take weeks to get into Google’s engine now results are showing up in less than 24 hours.

He recently talked with .NET Rocks about site discoverability and the Google Custom Search engine too.

UPDATE: Just saw this come through my feeds: Charles Knight of Read/Write Web writes about the top 100 alternative search engines.

Microsoft “rebooted the Web” yesterday

One way you can tell how good a product launch is by waiting for the day after effect. Are people still talking about it? Still excited? Does it cause people like Steve Gillmor to change opinions?

The answer after reading all my feeds is yes. And the real story hasn’t even been written. Last night I asked Scott Guthrie whether he thought Google would use Silverlight. He told me he thinks they’ll have to at some point.

In the past, I would probably have written that off as some kind of corporate hubris. But not this time.

I can see Microsoft coming at Google with a raft of stuff built on top of Silverlight. For end users at home it’ll look slicker, feel better, and have far better video quality than anything Google can throw at Windows users with YouTube/Flash/etc.

Is it enough yet to say that Microsoft has an internet strategy? Not quite.

But the foundation has been built.

It’ll be interesting to see how Mozilla, Adobe, Google respond cause what Microsoft did yesterday can’t be escaped. In the hallway I met Jeff Prosise, co-founder of Wintellect. He told me that yesterday will be remembered as the day Microsoft rebooted the Web. Hyperbole? Maybe, but don’t miss why he’s excited: he’s going to be able to take his .NET skills and make Web experiences that are going to be far beyond what you can do with HTML and AJAX.

I also asked Scott Guthrie if the Office team was going to use Silverlight to bring us an online Office. He gave the corporate-PR answer, but the smile on his face said all that needed to be said. Microsoft isn’t about to let Google take over the Office space and now they have the platform to build upon and keep up with Google’s PhDs.

If you haven’t been reading my link blog, now would be an excellent time to start. I’ve put 38 articles, great stuff there much of which you won’t find on Digg or TechMeme, including the best writeups on the Microsoft announcements that I could find.

UPDATE: Laszlo says “don’t forget about us.” I think they are now in play for an acquisition from Google.