October, 2010

  • Steve Clayton

    More Windows Phone 7 apps I’m playing with today

    • 1 Comments

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    Just been playing with Netflix and Facebook – having far too much fun with this phone. All of the above apps are now up in the Marketplace

  • Steve Clayton

    Is storyteller a job title? it is now

    • 3 Comments

    [image courtesy of Hugh and Rackspace]

    My email signature changed recently to reflect the new job I have here at Microsoft – for a while I didn’t really know what to call myself. An evangelist didn’t seem right (I don’t have a TV show or cloak), a futurologist seemed a bit lofty, and a Director of blah blah seemed a bit Microsoft. So I plumped for Storyteller. I’m not sure it’s the right fit but it’s the best I could come up with.

    Basically my gig is what got me started in earnest with this blog a few years back – telling the untold stories of Microsoft and hopefully helping people get to know us a little more. It sounds ridiculous as most people already know of Microsoft (even if by osmosis) but when you get big, the angles from which you’re seen sometimes hide the truly interesting stuff.

    Apart from being inspired to write this post by Hugh’s cartoon, I was mainly inspired by Steve Rubel’s post titled  The Rise of the Corporate Transmedia Storyteller. He notes

     

    The reality is, however, that organizations need to do more than just unleash their subject matter experts en masse. They need to activate them in multiple channels at once and equip them in how to create a compelling narrative – an emerging set of skills called Transmedia Storytelling

     

    I don’t know if I’m a subject matter expert but after almost 13 years at Microsoft I have a decent understanding of the company and have prided myself on trying to understand as much of the company as I can – not just one product or division. Hopefully I can do a little of this transmedia storytelling which is partly what I’ve been doing on this blog for several years but it’s now my day job. I have the tools, a new website coming along soon and plenty of support from folks across the company so far (early days yet…that could easily change Smile).

     

    In a weird sort of coincidence, I’ve stumbled across this notion of storytelling several times in the last week or so….Futurist Nick Bilton Sees Media’s Destiny: Storytelling was the title of an interview Wired conducted with the NY Times journalist. Meantime, TBWA has launched Projeqt – they call it a “creative storytelling platform” and while it’s only available to their employees for the moment, you can register for the beta. Some of the current Projeqts look pretty cool.

     

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    This storytelling this is clearly a developing meme though as a technique, it’s as old as time. As a kid I grew up around a ton of great storytellers in my hometown of Liverpool. As we sat around at family parties, the person who always got the focus was the great uncle or aunt who was sat in the corner, nursing a whisky and telling a fine yarn about the old days of Liverpool and how the dockers umbrella

     

    image credit [Trevor Owens]

    I digress…I suppose I really just wanted to tell you the beginning of my next story. A new job, a new country, a new home, new friends and exciting times ahead.

    The start of my Next chapter

  • Steve Clayton

    Shape up…Kinect is coming

    • 2 Comments

    Video demo for Your Shape : Fitness Evolved for Kinect – I need the game for sure and love the video. Reminded me of a Sony Bravia ad at times and  I love the visuals in the video….augmented reality styleee. Nice.

  • Steve Clayton

    Windows Phone 7 marketplace is fillin’ up

    • 2 Comments

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    A few times a day now I check out the Windows Phone 7 marketplace from my phone and invariably there is a new app for me to try (or buy). I know, i know….Apple users have been enjoying this ADD like state for years but now us lowly Microsoft types can do the same :)

    I’ve been impressed with the quality of the apps and though I’m still waiting for the official Twitter app to show up, I was beside myself with excitement when I noticed Seesmic’s app was in the marketplace last night. I can now get Twitter updates on my phone with a decent UI thanks to @loic and the crew. I’ve also added Shazam, Oinc, MSN Money, IMDB, eBay and FourSquare within the last day or so…oh and Star Wars: The Battle for Hoth for good measure. Seeing the LucasFilm logo and hearing the Star Wars theme tune arrested the attention in an Irish Bar yesterday. Oh and Xbox Live Frogger.

    Okay so we don’t have 300,000 apps in the marketplace but lots of the key ones (for me at least) are already there. What’s missing? Well the aforementioned Twitter app - which I know is coming along with Netflix – and a decent augmented reality app would be nice. A few of the utility apps like my banking application would be cool too but for the moment, I have to say I’m pretty happy and very impressed with the quality of the apps. The Windows Phone team has set a high bar on the UI and functionality for apps and right now, it’s paying off. The Tesco app below is a fine example – clean and elegant I think, as is this app from our own Channel 9 team

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    What’ll show up tomorrow…I’ll continue to update you but the easiest way to keep track is installing Zune 4.7 and browsing the marketplace from there where you’ll see something like this…

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    You can search across the marketplace and install direct from Zune 4.7 to your device.

    Wanna jump in and develop? Find out more at the App Hub

  • Steve Clayton

    How is your OOF?

    • 3 Comments

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    My pal Ewan Dalton wrote a post on the etymology of the OOF way back in 2004 on the Exchange blog. He explains that OOF was a command used in the days of Microsoft’s Xenix mail system, which set a user as ‘Out of Facility’ - i.e. Out of the Office.

    The OOF is  a very common tool of business and more often than not, you see a fairly common set of OOF’s Something like “I’m out til Wednesday and will reply when I’m back”. Some are more verbose, others less so but generally speaking the OOF is deleted as fast as a user sees it.

    I think the humble OOF deserves better though and about 8 years ago I was working with a Microsoftie by the name of Ian Ferrell. He has something of a thing for unusual OOF’s and I decided to take on the same approach - since then have always spent time crafting my OOF to make it fun, unusual, descriptive, and always with the aim of being memorable. After a while, people starting sending me email back to tell me they loved my OOF…they’d stop me in the coffee queue to say they thought my OOF was hilarious.

    It’s a small tool of the personal branding trade but a useful one. Give your next OOF some thought and liven up your recipients day. I’ll leave you one or two of my more memorable OOF’s in the hope they’re of some inspiration. Oh and my OOF is on right now so feel free to send email to stevecla AT microsoft.com to get the latest version.

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