Inside the Insiders is a series of interviews with some of the most recognized and outspoken Microsoft influentials, journalists and enthusiasts I know. I plan to go around interviewing as many of these peers as possible to find out more about their background, life outside of Microsoft and their darkest Apple fetishes. At least that’s what I tell them. Little did they know their answers will help me annihilate them and my other competitors. So far my plan is working, and no one suspects a thing.
Brandon LeBlanc (right). Clay model (left).
Or so he tells me.
This time, I chat with Brandon LeBlanc who has a gift for multi-tasking. He used to blog for himself at MSTechToday as the Sidebar Geek (he’s very fluent in Sidebar I might add), which later implode, forcing him to blog on Live Spaces instead – a bold move. More recently, he joined Microsoft’s official Windows Vista Team Blog, writing for The Windows Experience blog – creating a-blog-in-a-blog paradox. If that wasn’t enough, he’s also Twitters. This interview would be considered counter-productive because he’s only responding to 1 question at a time.
Hey Brandon, sorry to take a bit of your “Halo 2 on Vista” time. Don’t worry, Master Chief will still be there when you get back.
Long: You can count that towards community service.
Who are you? And how do I know you’re not really a 65-year old sitting behind a computer?
You met me at CES so you know I’m not at 65 years old. However I do sit behind a computer a lot. 😉
Long: But you could have had a very clever disguise. Wonders what those anti-aging creams can do these days.
So you work for the evil empire right? How did you score that role? You’ve done a bit of stuff with Microsoft in the past?
Long: They must have done a pretty good job wiping your memory.
What do you do every day? Do you drive to Redmond? Do you eat as much snacks as the machines can pop out?
Do you think you’re living the “Scoble legacy”? If not, who do you aspire to?
Why do you blog? How many blogs have you had? What gets you going? How did you start blogging?
I blog because I feel I have important things to say and want to share that with folks who are interested. I feel my experiences are worth blogging about and hoping in turn generate excitement on my readers end on some of the cool things that you can do.
I’ve always had MSTechToday as my personal blog site. It has currently moved over to Windows Live Spaces due to a WordPress crash I had a few months ago and don’t have the time to fiddle around rebuilding the site. I’ve lost about 95% of my traffic I once had but hey, it’s all good. I used to blog for Robert McLaws at LonghornBlogs (before Windows-Now). I helped the LiveSide guys out for a few months. And of course I’ve blogged at The Hive.
I am extremely grateful for the blogging experiences I’ve had at each site. Robert is a awesome friend and Chris, Harrison and Kip are awesome too. I wouldn’t trade my experiences at those sites for anything. It helped me be a better blogger. Now I’ve got only 2 blogs: MSTechToday (at Windows Live Spaces) and the Windows Experience Blog.
Why Microsoft? Why not Apple or some other less-evil company?
I’ve been excited and following Microsoft since the Windows 95 Beta (previously I was pretty good with Windows 3.1). I was 11 years old beta testing Windows 95 on my dad’s old HP Vectra cause he didn’t have time to test it. I remember following IE4 pretty closely and so on. I used to tell my dad I wanted to work at Microsoft someday. He would use that as a tactic for me getting the best grades. If I got a bad grade, he would always say “you’ll never work at Microsoft with those kind of grades” and I’d always improve them.
Are you a Microsoft fanboy?
What did you study in college/university? If not, how did you gain the knowledge you have about computers?
My dad worked for Hewlett Packard and started one of our town’s first ISPs right out of our garage with some friends in 1994 so I was always exposed to technology. He would bring home systems and I’d play with them. He worked a lot so I always played and taught myself but my dad was always good at encouraging me to learn. And he was good at answering my questions. I gained my knowledge about computers by doing.
Long: Every kid should grow up running an ISP.
What are your first memories of Windows?
What did you want to be when you were younger, besides rich and famous.
What part of technology excites you the most? The gadgets? The acronyms? Or the bean-bags?
Would you ever want to work for Google or Apple?
What have you got in store for the near and foreseeable future? What are your goals?
Thanks Brandon. Prepare for your annihilation, I mean, talk to you soon.