independence day


It's independence day in more ways than one. Tomorrow morning I report to Microsoft New Employee Orientation, and begin my journey into the belly of the beast.

It's been a long time since I was a corporate employee. Thirteen years, in fact, since I left Congressional Information Service to start my doctoral program in Alabama. Thirteen years since I had a "manager." Thirteen years since my last 9-to-5 job.

One of the things I'm most looking forward to is being around a critical mass of smart, interesting people. Say what you want about Microsoft's products and business practices (and I've said plenty...), they have a knack for hiring some of the most amazing people. (Including, much to my delight, Lilia Efimova, whom I hope I'll see tomorrow at orientation.)

This is particularly important for me, because I'm not someone who's good at solitary thought and contemplation. My best ideas come not from quiet concentration but from animated conversation. I've said before that I often don't know what I'm thinking until I hear myself say it. So being in an environment where I'm surrounded by people who want to talk about the things I'm interested in will be an amazing opportunity.

A lot of people have been asking me what exactly I'll be doing at Microsoft--and I've not answered it directly because I still don't know for sure. What I'm hoping to do, though, is play a bit of a bumblebee role, talking to people in both research and product groups and cross-pollinating ideas. I'm definitely planning to do some work with the MSN Search team, since I already have a connection with them through the Search Champs program. I'm also excited to see what's happening with projects in the MSR Social Computing Group, like Aura and Wallop. (The Aura server appears to be down right now, alas...)

I'm glad Scoble has blazed a path for independent Microsoft bloggers. There will, I'm sure, be things I can't talk about. But it's also clear that there's lots I can blog about, and I plan to do as much as I can.


Paperwork at new employee orientation is all on the computer. That was the best thing. I hate writing by hand. I think you'll have a great time at MS. There are a lot of good minds that have the advantage of being open for the most part. Have fun!

We're anxious to hear all about your new experiences! Ditto on having fun!

Good luck, and I hope you're starting to feel more settled in. I lived in Seattle for two years a while back. Loved it.

hi Liz

Got myself a new voice recognition system; it is actually works. It took awhile to train my voice and have it integrated with the the program. Surfing through Lilia web site I found a plethora of information about blogging and the sociology of this phenomena. Curious that not many have used voice-recognition to blog with. I'm finding that my blog entries are more accurate in that there are less spelling mistakes and I express myself better verbally than I can with typing things out. It is so easy to be misunderstood in cyberspace.

The problem with voice recognition is you can go on and on and can become too, pardon the pun, verbose. But I find myself being able to blog faster and therefore the speculation is that I might blog more often. A lot of what I had been blogging about had been tidbits from other blogs and links. It seems that now with this software, my entries may become more autobiographical. I do have a blogger account that I haven't used much as well as being cross-linked with headless chicken as an invited participant and writer; perhaps I should try blogging as previously on the one blog and blogging with the voice-recognition on the other blogs to see if there's a difference in the two blogs content or presentation of similar content.

Perhaps one blog may have more of an audience compared to the other?

On a practical level I'm finding that the ability to record medical records at nursing homes and then processing the verbal information into textual information may make things easier for the health care teams that I work with. It would be interesting if moblogging would be integrated into a virtual cyberchart available to a health care team.

There has been much talk about a new Nokia 770 and I'm speculating how wonderful it would be to use that as my recording device and then sync it to my main computer and integrate a fax communication process that has my notes automatically faxed to the place where they need to go after they are transcribed. I got through my medicare audit just fine, but to be honest, I think integrating both blogging and electronic record keeping is an important thing for individual patients and the nation as well. blogs can make a team, and type of team, more dynamic, and collabrative; and takes into consideration a glocalized economy, and the fragmentation that multiple and varied schedules can create. Everyone is dealing with increasing volumes of work, with increasing connectivity, with less time to communicate.

Sorry to take all the space up on your blog but it sort of is fun using this voice-recognition system and I do think that the Microsoft people might find it interesting. I guess blogging touches upon the complex ideas of continuously archiving tons of personal data: there was a great meeting that Microsoft sponcered back in Octomber during which I got to meet and photograph Gordon Bell.

Anne Galloway had recently put up a very interesting follow-up blog post on this idea of continuously archiving juxtaposed with the idea of forgetting certain things in a world where everything is remembered for you.

I guess they will probably design into their software in the future systems allow or make it easy for people to erase certain experiences and to protect their privacy.

I think I can set a command to pop in hyperlinks and somehow cut and paste relevant links but I've yet to learn how to do this. Would be interesting of blogging speed can be measured and if it relates with the amount of meaninful discussions between persons: but not sure how one would measure this. In my field, teamwork can be measured by looking at outcome data.


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This page contains a single entry by Liz Lawley published on July 4, 2005 10:12 AM.

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