Category Archives: 2663

Darryl Burling’s podcast

Seems strange to write about this, as NZ Product Manager for SharePoint, SQL Server, BizTalk and Visual Studio Darryl Burling has just announced that he’s leaving the SQL, BizTalk and Visual Studio products, replacing them with Exchange Server and Microsoft Online Services instead.

A few weeks ago he started a podcast about the areas that interest him, and has done shows interesting shows about SharePoint, SQL and BizTalk so far. He’s even done one about Office Online, which I haven’t checked out yet.

Darryl comes from a technical background, having moved to the Product Manager role out of the Developer Evangelism team, and was an MVP before joining Microsoft. I think his podcasts reflect this, and it makes them worth a listen.

The various links to subscribe are on his website,

Ok, who didn’t get an Acer laptop?

I was just looking at the list of some of the people who got these things.

In no particular order: Robert Scoble, Craig Pringle, Mitch Denny, Brandon LeBlanc, Scott Beale, Joey deVillaMauricio Freitas, plus a heap of others I’m sure.

Naturally I went to Wally McClure‘s blog, expecting to see that he got one too, but no!

Jay Furr, a friend of mine who was very much an A-list tech-community person way back also missed out. Jay is famous for being the person who first called unsolicited email ‘spam’.

Presumably anyone who’s employed by Microsoft is ineligible, so maybe His First Scoble only got his because he has left?

I think people should obviously write to Aaron Coldiron to let him know that these guys missed out!

Ok, I don’t think anyone should actually write to Aaron about it. But I do wonder what makes some people qualify and others miss out. Wally is certainly well known around the tech community, and many who were around in the early usenet days know Jay. I suppose a lot of it comes down to reputation too.

Reputation is an interesting thing. The MVPs are largely considered to have good reputations, and I’m sure that most of the people who got these laptops are MVPs. You can’t build credibility overnight, but many of these people will soon enter their fifth calendar year of blogging (2003-2007) and have probably found their way into many people’s reading lists. I only started blogging during 2005, and fully appreciate that I don’t have the same kind of sway as many of the bloggers out there. And I’m still more accessible via Msgr than newsgroups.

In conversations about the Acer laptops thing, I’ve started to wonder about magazines compared to blogs (because I think no-one would’ve complained if Microsoft asked someone to review Vista on a particular piece of hardware for a magazine article). If someone in my generation wants an answer to something, they will search the web for it, rather than look through magazines. On the other hand, a magazine is more likely to be read in an evening or on a bus. I read a lot on my PDA / phone, and happily convert PDFs into Reflow mode for that. I think online magazines are good, and increasingly, magazine subscribers are being given logins to read the information online. But if only subscribers can read them, then search engines don’t tend to find the data too well.

Blogs really are the new magazines, just like podcasting is the new radio, but it can be hard to find the good ones. I could add a new blog to my reader most days, but what I have trouble with is culling them. And even finding time to go through them! It’s like I need to set aside time each day just to go through them, and more to work out what is worth spending more time on. Ah – the joys of balancing professional development and the rest of life.

Darren & James’ podcast

Adelaide’s stock is increasing again. 🙂 Darren Neimke and James Chapman-Smith have started a podcast about user-experience. The pilot can be downloaded from Darren’s blog. It’s really quite good too!

It goes for just 15 minutes, and I’m trying to encourage them to leave it that short. Shorter podcasts can be listened to when you don’t have time for an hour-long one. They can be archived more easily. You can fit them on a device with less free space (I’m soon upgrading my 1GB SD Card to a 2GB largely because of podcasts). And you can find stuff in them more easily. Suppose I hear a 5-minute discussion about something in an hour-long podcast that I like and want to re-listen to later. I have to keep the whole thing! As well as that, I need to remember whereabouts in the podcast it was, or else listen to the whole thing again. A 15-minute one still has the same problem, but those issues become less with a smaller file.

Those people who have known me for a while might know that for over a year I had a podcast about the Arsenal football club. I just recorded it on my PDA, typically in the car on my short commute. Occasionally I would abuse the traffic, but I don’t think people cared. But because my commute is quite short, it kept the podcasts short too. I never had trouble with finding content, because there were always more games to discuss, or injuries, transfer rumours, etc. Tech-podcasts can be harder that way, but I think there is always enough content out there to have a 15 minute discussion with a friend which you record and push out there.

Podcasting: It’s the blog you can read while driving.

I’m on the MS Developer Podcast

I'm listening to myself right now on the The Microsoft Developer Show from The Podcast Network, being interviewed about certification. The link is

I do talk too fast – that's a pain. I really need to work on that, especially if it's being recorded for a podcast. I don't talk so fast on the ones that I record myself (but they're not technical, and I'm just talking to myself, not to someone like Nick).

The show notes scare me a little. I see a mention of Dave Lemphers at 4:01. I like Dave a lot – great guy. When I saw his name there though, I thought "Oh, I don't remember mentioning Dave…", and wondered what it was about, considering some of his views on the MVP program.

Having listened to it, it's not too bad, except that I talk too long at the end (what – Rob talking too much? Can't be true…).

I'm happy to promote certification, and also to encourage people (both candidates and employers) to think higher of the certifications. After all, we really do need to know how people know.