Sunday, March 21, 2004

Honesty Online Higher than Offline

March 21, 2004
The New York Times
The Honesty Virus

This is an incredibly interesting article, that draws the conclusion that people are more truthful online than in person or on the phone. I’ve highlighted the most interesting parts below.

The author’s last two paragraphs are astonishing…yet he seems to be on the right path. I certainly agree that I can get to know someone just as well, maybe even better, by working with them virtually.

    Our impulse to confess via cyberspace inverts much of what we think about honesty. It used to be that if you wanted to know someone -- to really know and trust them -- you arranged a face-to-face meeting. Our culture still fetishizes physical contact, the shaking of hands, the lubricating chitchat. Executives and politicians spend hours flying across the country merely for a five-minute meeting, on the assumption that even a few seconds of face time can cut through the prevarications of letters and legal contracts. Remember when George W. Bush first met Vladimir Putin, gazed into his eyes and said he could trust him because he'd acquired ''a sense of his soul''?

    So much for that. If Bush really wanted the straight goods, he should have met the guy in an AOL chat room. And maybe, in the long run, that's the gratifying news. As more and more of our daily life moves online, we could find ourselves living in an increasingly honest world, or at least one in which lies have ever more serious consequences. Bush himself can't put old statements about W.M.D. behind him partly because so many people are forwarding his old speeches around on e-mail or posting them on Web sites. With its unforgiving machine memory, the Internet might turn out to be the unlikely conscience of the world.
    March 21, 2004
    The New York Times
    The Honesty Virus

Saturday, March 20, 2004

RealCommunities Business Model

Summary: Goal was to own the API for personal profiles

The business model of my previous company, RealCommunities, had an ambitious plan to create and then dominate in the area of personal profiles. Here's the short description from my business model document that I prepared for our angel investors (written in September 1999).

    Community (and Community Application) Portal
    As we build up a large base of customers we can create a portal whose purpose is twofold:
    • Enable individuals to find the “best” community for their needs (e.g. for mentoring, community opinion, experts, investment clubs, etc.)
    • Enable individuals to store, retrieve, update and otherwise maintain a “myrealcommunities” capability in order to
      • More quickly join new communities (that are powered by RealCommunities)
      • Be alerted to new communities of interest to them
      • Quickly find and manage their involvement in various communities

    The revenue stream from this portal could be from our customers (based on referrals, new members to their site), and targeted advertising (since we know a lot about what our community members are interested in).

    Traffic to our portal would primarily come from links from our products on our customers’ websites rather than through expensive branding programs.

RealCommunities Business Model Discussion document, 9/27/99
RealCommunities Executive Summary, 10/00
More about RealCommunities on

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Microsoft Talent Scout Blogs

Heather Hamilton, the Microsoft Talent Scout who gave us all the great ResumeBlog tips previously
(see my notes at
has now started her own blog at:

Several of the other Microsoft Talent Scouts are also doing a blog

Heather invites all of the SPM members to send her questions about “Marketing at Microsoft” that she will respond to in her blog. See her note below.

If you send a question to Heather, be sure to mention you are an SPM member AND provide a link to your ResumeBlog.

If you don’t have a ResumeBlog, you can create one in 15 minutes by following the directions here:

Please do not forward this message or re-post it to other lists, but rather if there are other people you know that might be interested, invite them to join our spmdiscussion egroup at

From: Heather Hamilton (Microsoft Sr. Talent Scout)
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 8:24 PM
Subject: RE: notes from our conversations

Hi Cynthia,

I wanted to follow up since our conversation and let you know that I am working on the "top 10 tips" article that we discussed. I have some other projects this week but it is coming along and you should expect it the middle of next week.

I also wanted to let you know that I am officially blogging at Maybe some of your folks would be interested in sending in some questions about "marketing at Microsoft". I'd love to hear from people! I've added a link to the Software Product Management eGroup. I hope I can contribute to some additional traffic for your resume blogs as well!