My goodness, check out this email I just got:
Russell: I am writing to you with an admittedly unusual request. First of all- I must tell you, you have a very quickly growing group of fans at Microsoft and its PR agencies (one of which I work with). We have just recently discovered Mobitopia and are so incredibly thrilled with the enthusiastic voice, fresh perspectives, & very useful collection of information- (only regret is that this group of us hadn't found it sooner!).
As such, on behalf of Microsoft, I am pleased to extend an incredibly belated invitation to you to be a part of Mï¿½bius Europe 2003, an exclusive Microsoft event to take place at Disneyland in Paris April 2-4. Join 25 of the most influential mobile device bloggers and enthusiasts from around the globe to learn more about Microsoft's mobile strategy, test drive the latest and participate in an open idea-exchange about connecting people to information and entertainment today and in the future.
What is Mï¿½bius? Literally translated, it's a never-ending loop. For us it's a never-ending conversation about mobile technology. Microsoft's Mï¿½bius Europe 2003 will focus on connecting people, ideas and inspirations. We'll tell you about Microsoft's mobile strategy and products, but we also want you to share your thoughts on where you think the industry is headed, regardless of platform. Everyone there will be on the forefront of mobile technology, so the discussion is sure to be stimulating. You do not have to cover this event on the web if you attend, but youï¿½re welcome to write about anything you find interesting at this event. We'll also bring along some of Microsoft's coolest products, available now and in the future for you to check out, and give you plenty of time to socialize with the group.
If youï¿½re interested, your invitation includes travel, accommodations, meals and an uncensored (as long as you're respectful) opportunity to be heard. This year, since we're co-located with the Mobility Developer Conference, we also have a limited availability admission for those interested in attending MDC earlier in the week. More info here: http://www.microsoft.com/europe/mdc/default.asp
Thank you very much for your considersation, Russell. We completely recognize that the notice is VERY short- but thought the opportunity was worth putting in front of you.
I hope you will join us. We'd be honored and eager to have you aboard!
Wow, hey? This is so cool! I'm so very flattered! It's nice to know that my rants are being read by people who are actually in the companies I'm ranting about! And it's really great that Mobitopia is becoming so popular so quickly... It's easy to question contributing to a multiblog when you have your own, but obviously the sum is greater than the parts in this instance and is helping magnify all of our thoughts. This is all very cool.
Of course if you've been reading my personal blog for any length of time you pretty much know what my response was:
What a coincidence - I was just sitting here, up late, watching Bill Gates' Mobility Dev Conference keynote via streaming video when your email arrived. Thank you very much for the invitation, it's a compliment that you consider what I have to say online interesting enough to offer to fly me out to the conference.
However, I have to say that I normally take a very strong anti-Microsoft stance on both my personal weblog and on Mobitopia and am actively supporting your competition in my personal development activities and daily work life. So even though your offer is quite exciting, I have to turn it down so that my future rants will have some level of credibility.
But seriously, thanks so much for the offer!
I mean, hey. My rants are usually long-winded and uninformed, but at least they're from the heart, know what I mean? I tried to be cordial since I really am flattered to be invited, but I think it's important that Microsoft realizes the level of ill-will they've built up (though I'm sure they have an idea...). I hope that came across okay.
Anyways, this is all very fun... 'night.