The Beast at the Blog Awards
However, no Free Stater post would be complete without a bunch of snark. From Damien again, we see that:
I got an invoice this morning for rental of the function room in the Alexander. You best sit down: It’s €2000. Microsoft has stepped in and offered to cover costs for it. I’m totally blown away by this offer and there were no conditions about it. We don’t now have to be called The Microsoft Irish Blog Awards or The Vista Irish Microsoft MSN Blog Awards or anything else [...] So remember to say thank you to the Microsoft people who turn up on the night and buy them a drink or two at the very least [...] Again thanks to the folks in Microsoft. There shouldn’t be a problem with space now. Someone from Microsoft is going to come along (at my request) and talk and answer questions about IE7 and RSSNow we've known Damien for a while and he's on the up-and-up and a very trustworthy guy. Nonetheless, we confess to misgivings when we saw that The Beast of Redmond has extended its clutches out to this event. As an example of what we're talking about, we spotted the following on the (MSDN, inevitably) blog of one Robert Burke, who appears to be the very same Microsoft employee in question:
Irish Blogging Awards...or even that obscure other one, run by giving-Ballmer-nightmares wunderkind Google. (Bogger? Bloggy? Someone help us out here.)
Damien Mulley, organizer of the Irish Blogging Awards, kindly offered me the opportunity to take part in the judging. But bear in mind that, in true blogging style, almost two thousand people have contributed electronically to the voting!
"How many of you have blogs?" asked celebrity blogger Robert Scoble in Cork a few months back, and less than 5% of the hands went up.
Microsoft has a great opportunity to help make it easier both to consume blog content, and also easy for everyone to contribute to the conversation. In the coming months, the next version of Windows, called Windows Vista, and also Internet Explorer 7, will add new features which will make blogging, and RSS, more intuitive and really take blogging mainstream.
For a technical perspective and more info, check out the Microsoft Team RSS blog. Don't forget you can also sign up for your own blog at MSN Spaces, or Blogs.ie, or Developers.ie, or Wordpress.org,...
One constant source of amusement here at Free Stater HQ is the PR value-for-money of Scoble to Microsoft. All those years of enduring public resentment over their ruthless business practices, shoddy products and ceaseless attempts to torpedo open standards; when all they had to do was hire a geek agony aunt to nod along sympathetically to the hacker population's concerns and offer reassurances that Uncle Bill cares (Agent Smith must be kicking himself right about now).
We have a suspicion also as to just how exactly the Beast intends to "help make it easier both to consume blog content, and also easy for everyone to contribute to the conversation.". We feel confident that that part has a great deal to do with the "new [Vista] features which will make blogging, and RSS, more intuitive and really take blogging mainstream", which in Microsoft-speak typically means this.
Update 14/03/06 - via ENN:
"A mention of Microsoft drew booing from the crowd which quickly died out when it was announced the software giant had stepped in at the last moment to sponsor the ceremony."Pussies.