Microsoft: The

Microsoft: The "X" Men
I Have No Mouth and I Must Blog

Mur Lafferty | 28 Nov 2006 12:03
Microsoft: The "X" Men - RSS 2.0

The phenomenon of blogging has been going strong for the last five years, and, in a fit of navel-gazing, the phenomenon of reporting about blogging (or, God forbid, blogging about blogging) has been going strong for about four of those years. What are the roles of blogs? How much power do they have in regard to traditional media? How careful should you be when blogging about your personal or professional life? Blah blah.

Currently Technorati is tracking 60 million blogs. Some people have more than one blog, wanting to segregate parts of their lives into personal, business, political, gardening, etc. Sixty million blogs, slightly less than 60 million bloggers.

Well, now there are more. Not bloggers, though. Just blogs. Because your Xbox 360 can have a blog and give its opinion about you, your gaming progress and how depressed it gets when you fail to give it attention.

The Xbox Live service makes gamer information public; their rankings, reputation, what games they've played and so on. This information is used not only in Xbox Live, but several websites that gamers use for everything from finding opponents to establishing bragging rights. Microsoft emphasizes the ability to personalize your information in Xbox Live with a user icon, personal likes and dislikes, what zones you game in, and what games you're playing.

IT developers and members of the Xbox Community Developer Program, Trapper Markelz of Chicago, IL, and Steven Sopp of Durham, NC, decided to take the information and do something more than the typical community registration site.

In early 2006, Markelz attended the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference and was introduced to the term "blogject." Coined by technologist Dr. Julian Bleecker, it refers to an object that gathers data regarding its interaction with people or its environment - just like the Xbox stores information about the games it runs, how often it's played, player reputation, etc.

In discussions with Sopp, Markelz realized how the term could relate to the Xbox 360, and they had an Xbox 360-blogging prototype up in a couple of days. "The response from the prototype was so huge that we immediately developed it into a full blown product which became 360voice.com."

All the user needs to do is register his or her Xbox information at 360voice.com, and Sopp and Makelz will give the player's Xbox a voice. And now, what we have are well over 50,000 Xbox 360s proudly blogging away.

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