What happens when you get two prolific bloggers in the same room and add wine? They kiss and hug? Looks like it...
I almost didn't recognize Hugh last night fully suited and booted. I guess The English Cut is having an impact on him :)
Robert arrived with his wife Maryam freshish from a busy day in London and much to my surprise we had a talk from Maryam rather than Robert. She was fantastic and talked with passion and without prompts about her family journey in the blogosphere and the impact it had on people's lives. I'm hoping Ian captured the video of it and publishes. Summary is that Robert now takes out the trash, Maryam now blogs and it's changed their lives. Oh and they brought some brown girls only PodTech t-shirts. Zune brown almost!
I had a good chat with Hugh about our ongoing conversation that I'll blog more about soon. I also spoke for a while with Robert about life at Microsoft and how it's different being a Microsoft blogger from the UK rather than at "the borg centre" in Redmond. Sometimes it helps to share stuff from closer to our customers but it seems people really enjoy getting to know the product group people. I think we have more to share from the field to be honest and Robert encouraged me to tell more stories from the front lines which I guess is good advice. Expect to see more more of that.
I really enjoyed the chat with Maryam too - she's just so enthusiastic and collected a tonne of business cards and just seemed to enjoying chatting with everyone in the room. She brought a lot of energy to the place!
Final word goes to Sarah for organizing. She even looked a little shocked when presented with a belated birthday cake :)
[update] Ian has posted video of Maryam's talk last night
I went to the London Girl Geek Dinner last night and was pleased to find another Zune in the room with Barry at the wheel. We managed to do the social (I'm not using that squirting word) and share some tunes much to the excitement of...well, me and Barry really. I sent him Mogwai's Zidane soundtrack and from him I got a Mogwai single. Short shrift me think...one track for 10.
[update] Sarah added some photos of the sharing frenzy
There is something wrong about the squirting thing but hey, lets no go there. Meantime, Steven Levy writes a great piece about the wifi capability of Zune and notes that "Zune is a decent, if not compelling, alternative to the hard-disk-drive iPod". Pretty good from the guy who has written a book on the birth of the iPOD and his excellent article in Wired this month titled The Perfect Thing. Worth reading just for the part where he introduces BillG to the iPOD over dinner.
The wifi part of Zune is the part that excites me the most and this is the core of Levy's article. Zapping tunes to each other is cool but there is a lot more potential. Being able to zap podcasts that are not DRM'ed would be great. I just sat with a journalist at lunch and showed him some podcast content on my Zune and it would have been great to share there and then rather than have to send him the URL to get fetch it himself.
Another potential use is that mentioned by Zune product manager Scott Erickson. He envisages other possible scenarios "like allowing a concert performer to send a song to every Zune in the audience". I recently saw Keane at Alexendra Palace and paid £15 for a CD of the gig that I collected 10 mins afterwards. Would I have paid £10 for a version sent via WiFi to my device that I could listen to on the way home via my in car stereo? Yup, definitely.
Link to Levy: Zune Should Go Beyond 'Squirting' - Next Frontiers - MSNBC.com
I blogged about this little beauty a while back and was almost ready to order one from Amazon in the US until I found out that an old friend in the UK is behind this project and they're based in Hastings! Not only that but the 7" versions are now available in Currys and Dixons stores in the UK. Sweeeeeeeeet :)
Tip of the hat to Mr Greenhalgh!
Lots of working from home this week me thinks...if Jeff's photos are anything to go by!