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Showing posts from July, 2008

Google Ads = Masturbation, ie No-One Admits To Doing It

It's a "theory" born in a pub with some mates quite some time ago and I think it now deserves to see the light of day. Here it is in full: Clicking on a Google Ad is much like masturbation. If you ask anyone if they do either they immediately respond, "No way!" or, "Never have!". However there is a very large and thriving porn industry that primarily exists to satisfy people who masturbate. Likewise, Google make almost all of their considerable profits through advertising. Someone, somewhere is doing it ...

GONE: One Ticket To The Intranet Conference, Who Wants It?

[Updated] Ticket gone to Miki Szikszai , thanks everyone As you know I am presenting at the fast approaching 8th Intranet Summit * at The Duxton Hotel here in Wellington (Thu 21st / Fri 22nd August) and, after dishing out most of the complimentarys to clients, I thought you loyal readers should get the chance to go - one ticket for whoever wants it! FAQ: What's it worth: round $2,295+GST to you guv'nor What will I get: to hear me speak Oh, what else: around 15 other top notch presenters - read/subscribe to the Summit Timetable (click Agenda tab, top right) Ok, I want the ticket! Send an email to with the following details and it's yours - of course this is first in!! Name Position Title Company Name Postal Address Contact Phone Number Contact Fax Number E-mail Address The details are required by Brightstar to get your ticket to you. If they subsequently spam to eternity you let me know an

Chicken and Pig Make Breakfast - A Scrum Team Story

After mentioning Scrum yesterday I thought you'd like to know what constitutes a useful and effective Scrum team - it's pigs. This version of the explanatory story comes from The Agile Jedi : A Chicken and a Pig lived on a farm. The farmer was very good to them and they both wanted to do something good for him. One day the chicken approached the pig and said, "I have a great idea for something we can do for the farmer! Would you like to help?" The pig, quite intrigued by this, said, "of course! What is it that you propose?" The chicken knew how much the farmer enjoyed a good healthy breakfast. He also knew how little time the farmer had to make a good breakfast. "I think the farmer would be very happy if we made him breakfast." The pig thought about this. While not as close to the farmer, he too knew of the farmer's love for a good breakfast. "I'd be happy to help you make breakfast for the farmer! What do you suggest we make?" T

Make Your Public Event Calendar Usable To All

If you run a sports club, this post is for you. If you are on a community committee, this post is also for you If you host events, this is for you. If you put on shows, this is for you. In fact, if you do anything that has a date/time component that you'd like to share with people, this is for you . Yep, probably for all of us. Sharing calendars can be both: an effective way of letting everyone know a complete and utter technical pain in the bottomly region If you've posted up an events page onto your website you know how difficult it is to keep up to date, how the readers have to keep coming back to get the latest changes and don't even think about integrating with somebody else's "events page". Ok, so we all know the problem. What's the solution? iCalendar (normally shortened to iCal) ... yep, it's a geek word that you will come to know and love just as much as RSS. In fact, think of it as RSS for calendars. But that's enough geekery, if you want

Computerworld Talks About "2.0" When It Should Be Talking About Agile

Computerworld has a fairly bog standard article entitled, Five Web 2.0 development lessons for enterprise IT ("Corporate IT departments would benefit from adopting the methodology, some say"), that espouses a "2.0" spirit which totally misses the point. Web 2.0 does indeed live in a "constant beta" mode as the Computerworld article opens: Yahoo's Flickr unit reported recently that the latest update to the photo sharing website went live just before 5pm with nine changes made by three of its developers. The "deployment" was the 36th new release in a week where 627 changes were made by 21 developers. Such constant tweaking — called a perpetual beta in the Web 2.0 world — is common for companies like Flickr, which build applications for a consumer market that's always in flux. However this isn't because they are "Web 2.0", it's because they are agile companies. In a nutshell: some "2.0"companies use agile develop

Facebook (M$) Wants The Keys To YOUR Web Experience

Facebook Connect Will Be Game-Changing...and Dangerous With the news coming out of F8 this week, it was hard to not get caught up in the enthusiasm for Facebook Connect, the new authentication methodology which will allow you to login to third-party web sites using your Facebook ID and port your friend graph from Facebook with you. On the one hand, you have to admit this is revolutionary. The web will be transformed from the still (somewhat) closed system it is today, to a massively social experience - it's the "always logged-in internet." On the other hand, the company bringing this web to us is Facebook, the same people who had to be told by their users why Beacon was a huge mistake. Do you trust Facebook to control the next iteration of the web? My comment: Hmm, seems someone wants to own the keys to the Internet ... dodgy stuff I'd say. And already we're seeing web developers being sucked into the thought patter that it's "easier for my users to regis

If Only Superheroes Followed Proper Business Processes

(if they don't quite fit your screen then click 'em) (thanks to my mate Adam and his emailed Jokeslist ... old skool, but I'm chipping away, he now uses Flickr ... and is reading this via ... email, *sigh* ;-)

Google Moves One Step Closer To Being "Social"

a) Google knows all* about content. b) Google knows something about some people (those with Google Accounts). Google is now putting 'a' together with 'b' and starting to link (some) content with (some) people . No big deal? Not really, Facebook does that already, in fact Facebook probably knows all* about some people. But Facebook is a closed ("walled") environment, you're either inside playing or outside looking in, and despite what Facebook may think it's a very VERY small playground. Google plays on the World Wide Web. It does this by utilising ever increasingly used standards ( OAuth for instance) - this is a much larger playground. For more on this use of the basic building blocks see Breaking Down What's Happening on the Social Web by David Recordon at O'Reilly. One small step towards a truly global "social net". And this is a worry for the closed environment dudes which explains why Facebook immediately shut down access to Go

Computerworld Gets It Wrong About Google Calendar

Sorry, had to put this right - Google Calendar is a good choice — provided that you don't mind being tied to a web browser They say: The strengths of Google Calendar come in its connectivity. It's easy to share your calendars with other Google Calendar users, or even embed a Google Calendar widget on your web page. You can set the permissions others have concerning those calendars-whether they can see your events, edit them, or just tell whether you're free or busy. But people you share calendars with must have Google accounts of their own. Of course, the biggest strength of Google Calendar — its online existence — is also a potential weakness. You won't be able to view your calendar when you're not online, not yet anyway. I say - wrong! iCal. Google supports the industry standard way of sharing any calendar information between all modern calendar system - I use it to see my Google Calendar info in my Ubuntu clock (via Evolution) . It's even in the Google Calend

Listing The Latest Google Apps Upgrades

As most of you know I use Google Apps to run and thoroughly enjoy the freedom that I have when it comes to accessing and using my company information from wherever I am in the world (Wellington mostly) - as long as I have a good connection to the World Wide Web :-) A little aside before I plough on. For those that thought Google was only a search site you might find the rest of this article a tad, "Wow, I never knew that". To find out which of the many Google products and services (above and beyond search) that may work for you visit their Prouduct Help Page ( A-Z version ) ... and I've just discovered something called Google Radio Automation and Knowledge Seach that is only available in Russian, who knew!?!? Google Apps is "cloud computing" at it's finest (in my opinion) and there are many advantages** to running everything via a web browser such as the applications are constantly improving without me having to download a single thing

5 Useful Things About People-Tagging

Tags and tag clouds are everywhere but they are generally used to tag content (pictures, blog postings, documents, bookmarks ... ) and rarely to tag people. But I think people-tagging* unleashes a world of hidden and unknown connections across an organisation. Who knew Smith from Accounts also designed websites in his spare time, how can we bring together all those people that love using Google Apps to share the love, who can help with this emergency press release ... Through tagging you can start to discover and nurture the informal communities which are, I would content, the more useful and sustainable types. The opportunities to use a VERY simple approach (tagging/tag clouds) to unearth the hidden potential of your employees is one I love showing organisations and the outcome (decreased cost, improved service and/or increased reveneue) can be immediate. One final benefit that I have recently used people-tagging was sharing and merging of languages (buzzwords, techncal jargon, bu

Collaboration - Think Before You Jump For The Computer

It's funny but all the chatter about "collaboration" one tends to hear now-a-days (and boy, isn't there a lot) all centres around "on-line collaboration" ... the use of the computer as the ultimate collaboration tool. What a load of plop. I sat with a fellow "on-line collaboration / community wrangler" a while ago and we both used pen and paper as our collaboration tools of choice. And when I talk with organisations about collaboration I always ask if they use whiteboards, meeting spaces or Scrum-type meetings to collaborate as they can be the most cost effective, most efficient and, let's be honest, the easiest way to collaborate. So, when you next have a software vendor touting their latest and greatest collaboration software (which they may even sell as their "knowledge solution", *shudder*) think about yellow stick it notes, white boards in prominent places and getting people to talk to each other. Even though the "NASA Space

Google Applications - Not Enterprise Worthy?

[ Updated ] Seems Taylor Woodrow (large UK construction company) also gained savings by moving to GMail and beyond - CIO Magazine report ------ Rod Drury (local entrepeneur) has suffered from a lack of Google Docs functionality and made the statement, Google Docs is not a team collaboration tool . His point isn't limited to a select piece of functionality but the overall experience/approach/culture of Google: I’m sure Google themselves do this all the time and for that very basic scenario not be handled shows a staggering lack of enterprise empathy or knowledge. I questioned whether the tool was the right tool for what he and his team were trying to do. However, I would question the underlying belief that Rod and others have about Google "not being good enough for the 'enterprise'*". If your organisation is not limited by legal issues (as NZ Government agencies maybe - learn more ) then I believe all sizes of companies will gain immediate benefit from moving to &

NZ National Library Review One Year Of Flickr Use

And they like it according to the brilliant LibraryTechNZ post* from Courtney Johnston, Awesome photo – thanks!! Or, what I've learnt from our Flickr pilot She takes you through the learnings, fun parts, usage and recommendations of using a social networking site such as Flickr. I especially liked the way Courtney linked to the interesting comments people have made which had me revisiting a lot of the photos they have uploaded, excellent work. The recommendations are ones all organisations can learn from: What I've learnt 1. It feels really good when people talk to you on Flickr. It's one of the most enjoyable parts of my job. 2. Sort out the permissions stuff BEFORE you start loading images. Find the most unencumbered images in your database, then make them available in the most open way possible. 3. The trickiest challenge we've had during the Flickr pilot was a request to add this image to a Whaling group. It was a request that generated quite a lot of debate among

Free Event: Google in the Public Sector (Fri 25th July: 8:30am-10:30am)

Jan Zawadzki Ltd are hosting a FREE morning around " Google in the Public Sector " at the James Cook Hotel ( 147 The Terrace, Wellington ) on Friday 25th July (8:30am-10:30am). The event will cover: Google Tools in the Public Sector Google releases new tools and features on an almost daily basis - the pace of development is enormous. Come and learn about what's available and how to apply these immediately at enterprise, group, or even team level. We will take you on a complete Google solutions tour, including: Google Compliance - policy-based content filtering and archiving tools for email, Web and IM Google Sites - functionally-rich collaboration platform for streamlining internal teams and engaging external stakeholders Google Search Appliances - instant, real-time and secure access to the information stores in your enterprise: email, shared drives, content management and business applications Google Maps & Earth - tools for making geographic information eas

5 Questions To Ask When Wondering If To Moderate ("Censor")

Moderation and censorship often raises their heads when I introduce the "new approach" to Intranets (or whatever they should be called now). It is particularly prevalent around the use of blogs, wikis and discussion boards. Let me start of by saying that "moderation" and "censorship" are not inherently bad and are merely activities that are carried out. How they are perceived, "evil", "appropriate", "for the good of all", are merely attributes placed upon them by the person you're talking to. In reality any act of moderation can be viewed as any combination of the above by three different people. (I'll use the word "moderate" from now on as it implies more thoughtful and constructive reasoning than "censorship") As an external consultant it's not for me to place my beliefs upon the organisations I work with - particularly as I come from a very open background which my be totally inappropriate fo

Whitireia Web Intensive Week - my lecture slides

Sorry, not a lot to see without the notes. I will add them once I've delivered the lecture ("talk", "discussion"). | View | Upload your own

The future according to Bruce Sterling

The language Bruce Sterling uses in this presentation at a recent Innovations Forum is quite "West Coast American" but some of the nuggets he describes in the possible "totally connected" world are both out there and spot on. For me his "science fictional" description of what a geographically aware device" should be able to do is spot on. It's not about, "Oooh, maps" but the ability to safely deliver a 4-year-old to India for a sleep over with his mate Sanjay. And his catchphrase all the way - Don't make me think! Watch (about 35mins) and then wonder about your workplace and how it will TOTALLY change in the near future. Bruce Sterling from Innovationsforum on Vimeo . Thanks envirotainment for the link , top

Calling All Contractors And Consultants - Coworking Coming To Wellington

Coworking is a fantastic idea for someone like myself, independent of the corporates, fairly nomadic around the offices but social and loves to hear the buzz of human activity. Here's a grand description from the ever present Wikipedia: Coworking is an emerging trend for a new pattern for working. Typically work-at-home professionals or independent contractors or people who travel frequently end up working in an isolated way. Coworking is the social gathering of a group of people, who are still working independently, but who share values and who are are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with talented people in the same space. Here in Wellington Steven Heath and Peter McVicar are setting up somewhere to cowork - if sound like it is for you, visit the website, * and register your interest. They have some indicative costs , think $500 all in with a discount for founder members. This was posted this on the NZ-2.0 mailing list a week or s