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Showing posts from November, 2008

Off Topic But Worthy: Stop Racism In New Zealand

(a cross posting from my personal blog - I know you'll forgive the blurring of the boundaries in this instance) Stop Racism - it's not much to ask ... is it? Especially when you read Protecting My Child’s Innocence by mrsgooding This is the moment when I thought, "Fuck 'em, racist bastards - STOP IT!!!" But sometimes, there are things that you can’t ignore. Especially if they are emotionally affecting someone you love more than life itself. That someone is my only daughter, Bea. Yesterday, she came home from school hysterical after a very traumatic bus ride. Five teenage boys taunted her and THREW STONES at her INSIDE the school bus while taunting her saying she doesn’t belong here and that she’s an Asian b*tch . If she was not in a public place, who knows what extent they’d go to in their desire to be hurtful and destructive. I shudder at the thought. It took all my herculean effort not to break down while my daughter narrated what happened to her over the pho

Recession Time Calls For Tough Calls - Here's Your List

Vaughan Merlyn takes a pragmatic look at what IT Departments can do in these increasingly tougher times at his IT in a Recession - What’s Different this Time? post. Echoing an earlier post here ( Tough Times Call For Easy Decisions ) he sets the scene for his list of actions: We’ve been in recessions before, and the innovator versus controller behaviors - ever present - do tend to stand out during such times. I guess the appropriate variation on the old cliche is “When the going gets tough, tough CIO’s innovate!” There then follows a list of actions that any CIO can ponder , including: If you have been a responsible IT leader, you’ve already done the reasonable cost cutting and cost take-out measures, and run an efficient IT operation. Cutting any further is likely to cut into bone and muscle rather than fat. Is the best thing we can say about IT that when money is tight, we should do less of it? My problem with the knee jerk reaction is it reinforces the perennial perspective tha

Why Don't Government Agencies Ask?

Following up from How Will You Know It Works? Ask Those That Use It! this popped into the reader, How much would your department pay for a 10% improvement in customer satisfaction? : Every agency struggles to provide the best possible outcomes and customer service with the resources they are given. However few departments or agencies look outside for help - even to other government bodies. Yep, the answer is to ask : The article, If you liked this, sure to like that , discusses how Netflix's programmers had gone as far as they could with their available resources and skills, so the company decided to make a large slice of their information available publicly (anonymised to protect privacy) and see where others could take it. So how about it NZ Government agencies, why not let go a but and ask. And we know you can :-) This isn't just a pipe dream. The UK government is running a competition at the moment, asking the public to come up with innovative ways to use government data t

How Will You Know It Works? Ask Those That Use It!

So, you're putting in something new or improved* and you don't know if it's working ... ask someone! That's it. Get off your butt and ask. Simple? Welllllll, not always. For those individuals that already look at information, systems or service from the "real persons" point of view this is just plainly obvious and to learn that others don't operate like this will probably a bit of a shock - it was and devastatingly still is to me In my experience, most "head office" staff members operate with a, "I have something to say, what tool can I use to make sure everyone gets to hear me?" ... that tool is usually email and/or the "news" section of the company Intranet. How about this, replace "I have something to say ..." with "What question will I be answering by supplying this information?" . Simply changing your view will ... Have you supply answers not novels; Prompt you to use language appropriate to those as

Using The Web, How Does Anyone Find The Time?

A common (yet slowly diminishing) cry from management of organisations is still, "This web-stuff, isn't it just playing ... we don't have time for our staff to be playing on our Intranet! "* And that's correct, no-one has time for staff that playing, FULL STOP! If you're paying someone to do a job then they should do the job. Some jobs, however, are not as easily defined and measured as, say a bus driver. The bus needs to be driven from A to C via B arriving with a required amount of money at very particular times. Having said that the bus driver is now-a-days also seen as "an ambassador for the company" and therefore is given a whole lot more tasks around "customer satisfaction" that are a lot less measurable. And the word "playing" for some coms with a meaning of "mindless, unfocused time wasting". If the word is "playing" is replaced with "creating innovation" then it's allowed because the &qu

In Troubled Times It's Good To Extend A Hand - Your Turn

The fine and very fabulous Brenda W ( ) passed this on and I now ask you to read it, pass it on (cut-n-paste is grand, go for it) or even better donate! Time for me to ask fir a little favour. On Monday, we are going live with another round of G1G1 [ Mike: "Give 1 Get 1" ]. It's turning out to be really hard to ship outside of US, but we're starting get better at twisting Amazon's arm, and there's an initial promise to start shipping to parts of Europe. Aus/NZ aren't yet on the list, but I am hopeful for an early-to-mid-2009 push. People from anywhere can "just give" which means donate via Amazon. The more XOs [ Mike: name of the laptop - more ... ] that move via G1G1, the more laptops we have to run small and medium sized pilots, to developers doing interesting stuff (like Moodle!), and most importantly to supply laptops to small Pacific Island nations where a "small pilot" can cover the whole place -- like we

Ideas From The Innovators On Where Enterprise S/W Is Going [video]

From Derek’s Blog - Cloud Computing Panel A wonderful discussion from an all-star panel at the recent ReadWriteWeb conference where they took a closer look at the implications of the current shift towards cloud computing and discussed the possible business models around it. The panel featured Adobe’s CTO Kevin Lynch ,’s CEO Marc Benioff , Google’s Dave Girouard , and VMware’s CEO Paul Maritz . It was moderated by Tim O’Reilly . Listen for a great response from David Girouard (Google) in response to the question, ¨What do you guys think of Microsoft Azure?¨ I feel like I’ve been saying for 18 months now that comparing Google Apps with Microsoft Office was apples to oranges and I feel like, great, bring out there and we’ll finally be able to have apples against apples and we think our apples will taste better. So, it’s great ... it’s not gonna be here for a while and we have a great opportunity to extend the lead that we have [...] but it’s a great endorsement finally by Mi

Rotorua: Engage Your Community Conference - agenda, venue and my workshops

Waiariki Institute of Technology, Mokoia Drive, Rotorua - Friday 29th November 2008 See everyone at the workshops (1pm - 2:15pm / 2:30pm - 3:45pm) - How to get there (by 8:55am) View Larger Map The day's agenda ( more on the RoSSCo website (pdf)) Here's our Google Calendar version of the Rotorua conference agenda (pdf) so you can add it to your own calendar using its iCal feed To learn how to create your own public Google Calendar showcasing your own events read our guide: Make Your Public Event Calendar Usable To All What the conference is about A key aim of the conference is to raise confidence amongst the local community to use new Internet tools to improve effectiveness and efficiency. The event is also an opportunity to find out about the free or affordable IT support available to Rotorua community groups through the Rotorua E-Rider Service, and the Waiariki IT Literacy Campaign, and also online through We

"Microsoft in some ways remind me of Brittany Spears"

Ha ha ha ha ... *ahem*, this paragraph from Why do SharePoint Projects Fail - Part 3 made me giggle somewhat: Microsoft in some ways remind me of Brittany Spears*. Both crash things, both can be abusive, both get themselves into trouble with the law, both have ignored legal judgements, both have loyal fans who love them no matter what and detractors that will never accept they can do anything right, both get caught with their pants down on occasion, and both have produced some pretty ordinary crap in their time. Despite this, they sell squillions of copies and make a ton of money. *Just in case you read this article at some future point where Brittany is long forgotten, substitute whichever starlet is in rehab The articles though are a top read if you're looking at SharePoint, and a lot of you are. Don't rush down the Microsoft SharePoint route without first talking with Knowledge Cue who deliver to your business needs and not just a "working SharePoint platform" wh