Dan Gillmor:I’m looking forward to giving a talk tomorrow at Microsoft Research in Redmond. The topic, not surprisingly, is how technology and journalism are colliding and what that means.

In addition to my standards points, I’ll offer a few suggestions for the Microsoft folks on how they could make their technology better for tomorrow’s emerging grassroots media creators.



Several people I know, upon hearing that I was visiting Microsoft, wondered if a detente was in the works between me and our favorite monopolist. I always reply to questions like that in the following way: Microsoft is loaded with smart, hard-working and ethical people (I’d list the folks at MSR in that category). My issues are with some of the folks who steer the larger enterprise and some of their more ardent acolytes. There’s a distinction, and it’s always useful to remember it.



I continue to believe Microsoft is not living up, overall, to the ethical standards it claims for itself. That said, even when I’ve been harshest about Microsoft the company’s PR folks and many senior people have been willing to continue the conversation. I can’t say that about some of the companies I’ve dealt with, where even mildly negative thoughts are considered a declaration of war.



A couple of years ago, on a visit to Redmond, I stopped by an office to visit someone I’ve known for a long time. He has a droll, quick wit.



He didn’t know I was coming. When I knocked on his office door, he looked up, raised an eyebrow and said, “Ah, we felt a disturbance in the Force.”



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