And big brains. I had the pleasure of briefing James Governor from RedMonk this morning. I must say, I do look forward to my sessions with him. James is refreshing. He's smart, opinionated, passionate and technical. If I can explain how it works, he doesn't always need me to plod through the demo. That means I can focus on more interesting demos and debates and get more from the time we have. He's open to a good line of argument. That is - he'll change his mind. Dogmatism is not something I admire much but luckily most smart people aren't into it either. James is undoubtedly a blogger to be admired but he can still take it when I point out that his feed link sucks (.rdf file download??) and that I want a picture. He has the cheek to take the piss out of my "bouffant" hair picture though (admittedly I am getting insecure about my cheesy press pic which I'm increasingly feeling it is not an accurate representation at all) but check out his hair??! Hello Kettle, I have Pot on line 2..Kudos however to Cote for a beard that secured my immediate RSS subscription.
It was interesting to debate some of the blogging technology in 2007. His ideas about how Microsoft brings together managed and unmanaged collaboration in 2007 is a strong perspective which I have begun to use in presentations. We have always done a great job of the unmanaged collaboration space and we are improving that too but the real trick in 2007 is the introduction of managed collaboration in a seamless way which provides process and rigour without quenching the power of creativity. With the advent of better workflow, content types, policies and records management in SharePoint we bring this together in one environment.
I also feel we are doing a similar thing bringing together the async and sync worlds together in a smoother continuum as we do a good job of integrating RTC with everything. I think he has a point about Microsoft's obsession with the Online/Offline debate - and yeah we need a better name for that which people get. We have a lot of different tools to help there and you could argue, some duplication however the integration between those products is generally so strong that the flexibility vs duplication debate is not for me the main issue.
Anyway, we need more analysts like James. At least life would be fun - anyone who still says "rock on!" unashamedly in a briefing gets my vote.