Biz Blog Book

Robert Scoble and Shel Israel are writing a book on corporate blogging, and they’ve started a blog on MSN Spaces to support their project.

In the summer of 2001 I wanted to write a book on blogging but I couldn’t convince a publisher, even though I already had one succesful book under my belt. Three years ago, almost to the day, John Robb and I pitched a proposal for business-blogging book. Our working title was Blog the Organization. But we were way too early, and no publisher would touch it. Hopefully Robert and Shel will be more successful. Guys, I’d send you all my notes, but three years in the Blogosphere is a looong time, so I doubt there’s anything worthwhile in there.

(I would have posted this on their blog, but you can’t comment on MSN Spaces without a .Net Passport. Boo.)

Donations are Working

It’s been just one week since I posted the IT Conversations, and already I’ve received donations from approximately 1% of regular listeners. Here are my math and logic:

  • 3,005 registered listeners
  • 3,392 unique IP addresses for RSS requests (24 hrs)
  • 3,231 active mailing list recipients
  • 51 donations to date

Assuming some overlap between those who use the web site and those who use RSS, there are probably about 5,000 regular IT Conversations listeners, so 51 represents roughly 1%. FYI, the most popular shows are dowloaded or streamed to as many as 14,000 unique IP addresses, suggesting that one-third of those are regular listeners and two-thirds are ad-hoc listeners.

A Conference Bonanza

As regular IT Conversations listeners know, I work hard to get permission to offer audio from the premiere events in the IT world and beyond. Well, when it rains, it pours. In just the past three days I’ve received the original recordings from three of the very best conferences of 2004. Over the next few months — yes, it will take that long to release them all at the rate of 4-5 presentations each week — IT Conversations listeners will be treated to the following:

To make sure you don’t miss a single program you can subscribe to the podcast/RSS feeds on the pages linked to above or to the site-wide IT Conversations feeds. Or if you’re very 20th century, you can still get announcements via email. 🙂

New Features Prototypes

I’ve just posted two prototype HTML pages for some forthcoming IT Conversations features and I’m looking for feedback. (Add a comment here or send email to

The first is a Personal Profile editing page. It should be self explanatory.

The second page is to manage a Personal Podcast/RSS Feed. This one should be self explanatory, but that’s where I need your help. In case it’s not obvious, the idea is that each registered IT Conversations member will have the ability to manage his/her own RSS feed by selecting which programs should be included based on a variety of criteria. The motivation for this feature is that new listeners in particular are put off by the quantity and variety of programs and need help sifting through the archives. Likewise, podcatchers want a way to control what gets automatically downloaded into their MP3 players.

Remember, these are just prototype pages. They don’t do anything, the links are bogus and the supporting JavaScript automation hasn’t been coded.

As we’re still discussing on the wiki, it’s possible that these new features may only be available to members who pay an annual fee. But it’s my hope that there will be no tollgate impeding access to the programs themselves.

The Phil More Gang

Phil Windley’s first podcast includes clips from, and his commentary on a recent edition of The Gillmor Gang. Good stuff. But as Phil points out, it’s a whole lot less work to express commentary in text. One of the best-kept secrets of IT Conversations is the clip feature that allows you to insert audio from any IT Conversations program into any text blog or web page. In addition to being far less work than creating a podcast (not that that isn’t a perfectly good idea, too), using clips avoids the double encode/decode operations that make Thomas Barnett’s audio sound quite distorted. In fact, in Phil’s excerpt of Barnett’s speech, there are three encode/decode operations because the original audio was encoded using AAC-LD to get it from Pop!Tech in Maine back here, live, to the IT Conversations studio. The Gillmor Gang telephone audio in Phil’s excerpts suffers only two encodes/decodes. Using the clips feature, it would sound as good as the original MP3.