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Wish I Could Write Like Paul Thurrott [Ask the Readers]

Look, I recognize that I troll for hits. Though some of you do love it longtime, occasionally someone says “That’s it, I’m unsubscribing.” It stings (even though we don’t have a registration). Can’t you guys just leave and shut up about it? Still trying to find the sweet spot of substantivity and salaciousness to yield reader engagement. I’m convinced there’s an overlap somewhere and Paul Thurrott has found it. Matt Cutts found it too, except the man, let’s be honest, is obsessed with Google – yawn! In his own way Fake Steve found the sweetspot, somehow pulling it off in a way that was nice and nuts, though he burnt out. Oh, Michael Arrington, who doesn’t love him (other than Facebook, Engadget and AOL – but who loves them?).

Mind if I think out loud for a while? Tl;dr, this culminates in me asking you guys what blogs you frequent, who other than Paul Thurrott and turn this into an RSS swap and trade feed-for-all. Partly for the irony that we want people on our site yet I’m putting together an article to drum up links from and for the audience to other sites but, while sounding questionable, it’s actually genius.

Even though I try not to reblog and meta news you guys to death, instead I stir up some incendiary OC with some funny, sexy or otherwise provocative pictures laced in for you, and overall I’m pleased with it, always room for improvement. I read a lot of other websites, some about things that interest me, some by blogs and individuals who write in a manner that interests me not just to scoop up news (again, who goes here for news, you already know the news, I’ve seen some of you on more newsy sites than this) but to enjoy a good read and maybe to better myself by seeing that other people do it differently and it’s apparently working for them. I said the opposite in the title because of length restrictions but I don’t want to try to make myself a hybrid clone of various good writers, I just want to read the right stuff and who knows, maybe it will help me make you hate me less. I’m one of those guys, believe it or not, who needs to be liked.

Yesterday Smith wrote a snoozer about some fictional iPhone/WinPho decision he probably doesn’t need your advice to make, a lame attempt to start a flame war (at least I make mine action packed while spelling most words correctly), but maybe in an effort to show Smith (unless of course he swears he was trolling me for this purpose, to troll everyone else for him so he could lurk and not get his hands dirty, candy ass) that I could turn his dud into a record setter breaking fifty comments raking in more views than even the WP category because I’m just that good, I got involved and mixed it up with a colorful reader who goes by ed.

I forgot what he said exactly to set me off but I may have called him some names, think we both implied that the other was a sexual deviant, then he told me to stop calling him names and that I have anger issues and should read Paul Thurrott’s site to see how he writes and handles his audience. Now that was actually complimentary to Thurrott, but it reminded me of similar situations in which remarks invoking his name weren’t flattering at all, so I went off on this thesis of a comment which because it’s gold, would catch Ed by surprise and because I kind of want to make sure it sets off Thurrott’s Google Alerts as I wrote the thing trying to get it to read as if I weren’t writing it with him as my intended audience, but after the fact, now, … well whatever this is what I said, I’m actually going to blockquote myself (how’s that for narcissism):

ed:   I will see ur dot soon Doug, why are always on the attack mode dude. What did MSFT do to you to hate them so much…go ask Paul turrot how to respond to his readers and commenters

Me:   I don’t need to ask him how. I know how, check out his sites regularly. Just not my style right now, breaking out that somewhat fair and balanced personality for you.

I got an RSS client on my phone (well a Google Reader reader rather), and his is the only one out of over sixty feeds for which I have to and bother to do this, set to download his articles surrounded by the entire original unmobilized web pages, which are a bitch with about a thousand vertical pixels of server gibberish and graphics, a whole lot of unimpressively sizzling sizzle to slice through, about 600KB an article without the ads, served of course by IIS because the man’s got his reasons, just so I can get my Thurrott on offline while riding the subway. I even managed to sweat through some video radio show podcast thing he did a week or two ago, an hour long, the first podcast I’ve ever watched.

Then I take a stroll through the likes of WMPU and see people bringing up his name as if he’s an enemy to them because for every five good or neutral observations he makes about Microsoft he throws in a lightly negative jab or suggests that Google’s not bad at something. I wouldn’t really call them jabs, he’s not being combative, but that’s surely how they’re received.

For example, the sort of thing that rubs those people the wrong way even if you have the “Win Supersite!” website and its offshoots, in this thing, this tl;dw podcast, he brings up how Microsoft has exited the business of writing software for tomorrow’s hardware, that they won’t do that on Windows 8 or maybe ever again, and that that is among the reasons why their mojo and the excitement they stir is aligning with companies like Exxon (I actually stole that from him but used 3M instead of Exxon) and that this all started when Longhorn derailed, with the accompanying article, or maybe an older one, whatever, saying it had nothing to do with the feds keeping them down with the antitrust thing as Microsoft apologists claim.

Insightful shit I thought. Then he’s going on about how sweet Office365 is and even though I’m a Google fanatic I start to think hey maybe I shouldn’t just push Google Apps in my little reselling business, all this Sharepoint crap sounds like a recent client might have preferred it. Then I thought, man, that was definitely not the Howard Stern Show, time to get normal entertainment.

So back on WMPU and here too I run into these anti-Thurrott comments and when I see that shit in enemy territory, a site for Windows Mobile Power Users for example and whatever this place has become, just like that the people saying it and the other people not calling him out it, I get the impression real fast that they are condemning him, or the person they told sarcastically to go back to his blogs, for not being extreme fanatics like they are and even though I’m only on WMPU is because I too am somewhat fanatical I still like to get some of my information from a source of general reason. Not so much a personality or someone trolling for views (me) but reason.

Thurrott strikes me, and this is an impression he reaffirms each time I take a stroll through his new content and its irritating, really irritating decoration and even superstitial ads sometimes I think, as commanding more credibility than anyone else I’ve come across and I’ll often read what he’s got to say even if it’s as foreign to my interests as Sharepoint. Wish he’d write more about Google of course, but I guess I have to pay my dues, a few things about Azure and Sharepoint and then a treat about how he told the WP team this is exactly how NoDo would play out and they not only didn’t believe him but they got all whiny about it.

The funny thing? I only found out about him and how great Office365 is enough to actually look into it a little because some Microsoft fanatic on this website thought lowly of him for not being enough of a fanatic enough to inadvertently drive me onto the man’s websites.

That’s some poetic shit right there.

I think I did my diligence in getting to know Thurrott’s work. Not to sound like a Thurrott fanatic but I even went to each one of his little sub-sites to see if any RSS feed had articles the others didn’t or if they were all cross posts. I read articles he wrote about Longhorn dating back a decade to see how he evolved over Microsoft’s devolvement. I think I get the gist of him more than most and my impression of him is positive so It just blows my mind that he is not only not always seen as an asset at-large to the likes of the WMPU crowd .. ahh whatever, girly picture time, extra special for reading this much, girl by the name of Louise Glover:

I was actually keeping this a secret as I didn’t want to give WMPU readers further ammunition (“Oh whatever go read more Thurrott” or “Yeah maybe you should stop reading Thurrott") but now I’m unapologetically out of the closet and wondering who else there is other than Thurrott and us that you guys read and respect? Any other feeds I should toss into my Google Reader? You want to see what I’ve already got in my Google Reader? Fire this up, good stuff. I’m not asking whose style I should try to copy, I just want to know who you think delivers.

Meanwhile, maybe someone took more pictures of this broad, I’ll let you know.

Doug Simmons