I’m blown away by today’s events! No, not by Obama’s or Huckabee’s stunningwins, but by one of my blog posts on Network World that received a ton of Diggstoday. I blogged about Google’s efforts to not only use open source but alsofoster the creation of open source developers and software, giving Google adefensible position to effectively compete against Microsoft.
That Network World blog post was picked up on Digg earlier this morning. Thisis my first blog post that was Digg’ed (that received more than 1 Digg.) By endof the day the Google / open source post received over 740 Diggs, and over 95comments were posts on Digg in addition to those on the Network World blog.
That also created a lot of traffic on the Network World Microsoft Subnet blogsite. Mid-day there were more than 5,500 page views. That pushed the blog postonto the Network World front page Hot Topics section, at the number 2 spot.
Thanks to everyone who has been following and reading my blogs and podcast.And thanks to all of you who took the time to Digg the Network World post. Ifyou are a new reader, welcome to the Converging Network and to my Network Worldblog. I appreciate your reading, commenting and digging the posts.
I was pretty amazed when I first heard about the idea but if you’ve spent anytime in a MMORPG (massive multiplayer online role playing game) you know thatonline gamers are a passionate bunch. And today proved it.
This evening marked the first (that I know of) presidential primary rallyheld in a MMORPG game. Players in World of Warcraft held an in-game politicalrally and march for presidential candidate Ron Paul at 8pm EST. Players loggedonto to their “toons” and gathered to march from IF to Stormwind onthe Whisperwind WoW server. They even created a guild called "Ron Paul forPresident" (see the picture). I didn’t log in to check it out as I’m neither a WoW player or RonPaul supporter but the event fascinates me.
It’s amazing how “online” virtual worlds are changing the way welive. Virtual environments like Second Life, World Of Warcraft and Everquestcreates communities of online game players. Now that’s expanded to supportingpolitical causes, such as the Ron Paul candidacy. Could the WoW guild for Ron Paulbecome an informal political arm for a candidate? I find it totally fascinatingand wonder how online social, personal and business networks are changing how welive and work, right now, as we speak. Even more fascinating is where all thismight go in the future.
I hope my daughter was able to log into the WoW server tonight. I can’t wait to get the scoop from her on the event.
This has been one of those weeks. Sometimes I try out more stuff and I wonder if my Vista machine will keep running or keel over. I was reading Jeremiah Owyang’s blog and learned that he’s moved on to be an analyst at Forrester covering social networking. I guess if you are covering social networking even for a major analyst firm they have to let you keep your personal blog, lol. But I digress…
I haven’t played with twitter much but after watching an interview with Guy Kawasaki and hearing them both talk about their twitter networks I thought I should try it out. That led me to try out twhirl, a desktop client for twitter, which meant I had to download and run Adobe Air, something I’ve also not checked out before. Adobe Air is very fascinating — I’d equate it this way; Adobe Air is for html/ajax applications, what the Java Runtime is to Java, more or less. You only wonder about the security, or lack of, in these things too. Such is living on the edge I guess.
Anyway, if you twitter and want to be part of my network I would certainly join yours in return. I twitter at http://www.twitter.com/mitchellashley. (Pardon the bad background image… I’m looking for something better.)
I’ve outgrown reading my RSS feeds in Outlook and am looking at what RSS reader I should try out next. I’ve tried Google’s reader and while I like it, Google Reader doesn’t work well when you have as many RSS feeds as I like to follow. The RSS reader in Firefox doesn’t cut it either. I think I would prefer a web based reader over a standalone app, but I’m not sure.
So I thought I would call out to you and see if you have a favorite RSS reader and why. Feel free to comment here or send me an email.
I’m pleased to announce the formation of the Microsoft Bloggers Network.
On of the things that really helps me follow security topics is the Security Bloggers Network, set up to help aggregate blog information related to security topics. It also greatly increased the visibility of The Converging Network and readership of my blog. The two other networks this blog participates in have 32,795 and 224,343 subscribers in them. That’s powerful networking to get the word out!
I’ve started reading many more blogs related to Microsoft since joining Network World where I now blog about topics related to Microsoft and the broader industry. So, it naturally made sense to create a network for blogs covering Microsoft topics.
Add your blog to The Microsoft Bloggers Network, if you…
If you already use Feedburner, you are 90% there. If you don’t use Feedburner, you can still easily join the network.
To join, just send me an email.
We’ll, I’ve started my parallel blogging career (it is a career, isn’t it? 🙂 ) up on NetworkWorld today.
I’m excited to take on this challenge while continuing my blogging and podcast here on The Converging Network blog and After All These Years podcast. NetworkWorld give me a chance to expand the dialog beyond networking and security into the realm of Microsoft. I’m not a Microbot zealot, nor am I a Microsoft hater. Microsoft has done a lot of good for our industry and has made their share of colossal blunders and overbearing business moves; enough to keep us all interested in what’s happening in Redmond.
Probably the biggest challenge with Microsoft, aside from when their market dominance which can make it difficult for others to breath, is the cocoon Redmond creates and lives in. Hopefully, that’s where I come in, giving a broader market, product, competitive, and some day-to-day perspective about the pervasive Microsoft technology so many of us use.
So join me on the NetworkWorld blog (http://www.networkworld.com/community/ashley), starting with these two posts (here and here). And thanks for continuing to read The Converging Network blog and listening to the podcast.
I’ve been putting a lot of thought lately into where I’d like to go and what I’d like to do next in my career. First, I should say that I’m having a blast at what I do and the work I’ve done along the way has been exciting and tons of fun. Somehow I always feel like I have the best job in whatever company I work for, whether it be my own or someone else’s company. I think I’m one of the fortunate few that love what I do. But I’ve also felt this "tug" or "nudge" inside, a tug to do something beyond what I’ve accomplished to date.
Some good friends and coaches of mine, Carol Ross and Tracy Williams (along with some other friends), have been wonderful in helping me codify what that nudge is. Now I think I have a better handle on it so, I’m going to put it out there for everyone. Doing so also makes it more meaningful for me, and makes it a commitment that I’ll follow through on.
My goal; to play on a bigger stage.
I’ve had terrific experiences and successes building companies and products, such as StillSecure, Jato Broadband Communications, and BoldTech Systems, as well as the Internet, multi-media products and information systems I built at larger companies. Now, my goal is to take all of that up a notch, and more!
I haven’t said anything on my blog yet, but some of you know that I’ve been planning to wrap up things at StillSecure. Seven years is a pretty long time to put in any company these days and probably at lot longer than most do at startups. I helped start and build StillSecure because I’ve enjoyed the work, the people and strongly believe in the company and its vision – all of which I still do. And I have a great deal of satisfaction not only about what I contributed, but most importantly the strength and direction of a company I had a hand in creating and growing.
But being an entrepreneur means you constantly have new ideas and projects you want to work on. I’ve wrapped things up at StillSecure, formed my own company, and I am advising, mentoringand working with companies on product and technology strategies. At thesame time, I’m both looking for and building that larger stage I wantto play on.
Part of taking that "nudge" is really thinking deeply about what I’m good at, what my strengths are, and what I love to do. First, I love to talk to customers and create innovate products, and solve problems for them in ways the market hasn’t yet considered. I think you can see that in all the products I was a part of creating at StillSecure, for example. I also love to bring together market analysis, product plans, technology, customer needs, marketing efforts, and bring products to market that are not only financially successful, but also bring something new and unique to the industry. And, I also love to learn new things, write about topics I’m interested in, and help others through mentoring, teaching and leading. In addition to being a serial entrepreneur, I’d also consider myself a product and technology strategist.
So putting this nudge into action, to play on a bigger stage, I am joining the Network World blog . I’ll have some posts up beginning in the next few days or so. I’m VERY excited about this. It fulfills some of my key goals and it’s definitely playing on a bigger stage. I’ll still be blogging here, on The Converging Network, and podcasting along with Alan, but my posts on each blog will be different, not duplicates. When I have the URL for the Network World blog, I’ll post it up.
Onward to my goal of Playing on a Bigger Stage!
There’s a new blog on the block that you all should know about, Telecosm by Ike Elliott.
Ike’s both a telcom industry veteran and a pioneer in his own rights. He was with Level 3 and MCI (pre-WorldCom), and was an innovator behind the "softswitch" created during the 1990’s. Essentially, part of the techology we call VoIP today. Since then he’s been an entrepreneur, technologist, business leader, mentor and consultant through his company Practiq. See his intro post for more.
I’ve known Ike for several years now both through the telecom industry and we also play music together a few weeks a month at the church we both attend. After some gentle nudging over a BBQ chicken salad lunch at the California Pizza Kitchen on Friday, Ike decided to take the plunge into the web 2.0 world of blogging.
Check out his blog and help support Ike as he gets his feet wet in this new medium. He’s already posting and is off to a great start.
A professional friend and colleague of mine, Byron Acohido, dropped me an email the other day about a new book he and Jon Swartz are working on called Zero Day Threat. Now, you might say something like ‘zero day threats are old news’ but hold on just a sec. These two USAToday reporters have been covering security from the retail and consumer angle for the past four years. In the book they are working on, their premise is that the financial institutions of corporate America (and the world?) have consciously rushed to bring us online commerce and banking over the Internet, knowingly at the expense of our personal information and identities. If I’m reading things right, this sounds like the digital-age equivalent of tobacco manufactures not admitting cigarettes are addictive after doing confidential research to make sure the product has high enough addictive properties.
Sound like the ultimate in fiction conspiracy theories? Hold on to your assumptions for one more minute – the book is a non-fiction techno-thriller, based on information uncovered during their years of reporting on security.
A little background on these guys because they aren’t just some backwards beat reporters riding the latest wave of the Britney Spears daily non-news. In a past life, Byron uncovered and reported on major flaws with the Boeing 737 tail rudder controls, forcing Boeing to publicly come clean about the flaws, costing them millions. For this groundbreaking work, Byron was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting. (Correction, I had said Nobel instead of Pulitzer in my post originally. Guess that’s how highly I think of Byron 🙂 ). Jon Swartz, who I’ve talked to but don’t know quite as well, is a reporting stud in his own right. Jon’s covered the rise of Apple and the Internet since its emergence in the public eye and has been nominated for the same Pulitzer Prize.
Here’s a quick excerpt from their site describing the book. (Go to the site to read more.)
Biggie and Socrates were preparing to play bit parts in aninternational money laundering scam made possible by the financialservices industry stampede to exploit the Internet’s convenience andglobal reach. The little operation in the motel room may have lookedlike small potatoes. But Vonkeman and Gauthier would later discoverthat the pair worked in concert with a loose confederation of hackersand scammers based in the U.S., Quebec, Romania and Bulgaria. TheEdmonton addicts, in fact, comprised a prototypical cell of streetoperatives helping to carry out the final, riskiest step of onlinescams—extracting cash from hijacked accounts.
The set-up in Room 24 was not an isolated example. The Internet isrife with chat rooms where drug addicts and street toughs forgepartnerships with Third World hackers and fraudsters. This teeming,mostly unseen, world of Internet crime points up a cataclysmic shiftall too quietly reverberating through Western society. Here’s the dirtylittle secret about the digital age we live in: no one is safe fromdata theft and online financial fraud.
No matter how careful and tech-savvy you are, no matter if yourarely use a computer, you are more likely than ever to have yourcredit or debit card numbers usurped, to have cash surreptitiouslytransferred out of one your financial accounts, or to have someonesnatch up the proceeds of a loan obtained by piggybacking on yourcredit history. And once victimized, you will face more trouble thanyou might imagine trying to set things right.
What’s more, your chances of getting caught in this vicious cyclewill be greater next month, next year and the year after. AsInternet-based commerce and social networking inexorably expand, sowill your chances of becoming the victim of a cyber crime. At firstblush, it may seem like the Biggies and Socrateses of the world, andthe profit-minded hackers and fraudsters they collaborate with, areprimarily to blame.
But Zero Day Threat will make this provocative assertion:The real culprits are the stars of our financial and technologyindustries, corporations like Wells Fargo and Bank of America and theBig Three credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Trans Union and Experian,as well as tech giants Microsoft, Google and Apple.
These corporate stalwarts have leapt headlong into exploiting theInternet for profits, and, in doing so, created fresh criminalopportunities, which, for self-serving reasons, they proactivelydownplay to the public.
The book is available for pre-orders on Amazon and I’m going to have Bryon and Jon join us on an upcoming podcast. Look for an announcement sometime soon. In the meantime, support these guys by reading their exceptional reporting at USAToday and pre-ordering the book. Remember All The President’s Men? Now you can say you knew about this long before everybody else. 🙂