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Showing posts from April, 2009

Laurence Millar's Parting Words

I asked the question a while ago whether Laurence Millar's leaving from the New Zealand Government's State Services Commission (SSC) would be detrimental to "open data" and use of "the cloud" within New Zealand and today he posted his final SSC Blog post, Government in the global village. He talks, from the NZ Government's point of view, about two areas close to my heart and I have to say his viewpoint matches exactly that of my own. Offshore data ("cloud computing" - use of Google Apps and the like) NZ will never have the scale to establish a data centre at the price points available from cloud computing, so we will need to decide how much value we place on the areas of risk ... Open up government data ... government acting alone cannot achieve the outcomes ... will increase the level of trust that NZers have in government Underlying the this "world change" is a "consumerism" of IT which is now part of the

My Brooch, Here's Where You Can Get One

Many of you have seen me sporting a natty wee brooch on my suit jacket and quite a few have asked me about it. In fact I am averaging about 5 people per day complimenting me upon it and asking who made it. Oh, and yes I am aware that a man wearing a brooch draws people's attention to it in the first place :-) The brooch is based upon a range created by Sue Tyler called " Unbearable " . Sue, based here in Wellington (New Zealand), uses the awesome online Ponoko service to design, create and sell this and many other examples of her SuperVery jewellery . Anyone that has attended any of the very successful Craft2.0 fairs or Webstock equivalents ("Craftstock", of course) will have experienced a Sue Tyler run event. You can also catch Sue on the Friday editions of TVOne's "Good Morning" programme as well as follow her SuperVery blog . Most awesomely of all you can buy her fantabulous jewellery online at any of these: Etsy Shop NZ shop Ponoko Shop

3 Steps: How To Migrate "Your Mail" To GMail / Google Apps

Moving from one system to another is never fun the very thought of migration can can place a wall between you and a "better world". This can be frustrating as hell when you can see the new world being used by others but you just can't get to it because of the system you're currently using. In the email client world there hasn't been a lot of innovation because, to be honest, once you've got sending, receiving and replying sorted what else do you want. There are clients that are slightly better at finding your emails, managing your contacts and hooking into your calendar system but fundamentally it's been a world of "meh" for a long time. But then along came GMail. GMail initially and then the Google Apps version changed the way we look at: Size : it is so big we no longer think about removing old emails to save space Search : finding old emails is no longer an issue, it just works Conversations : emails are no longer distinct elements but a par

1 Easy Way Of Making Information Usable

Make it legible - use Plain English Heck even the NZ Ministry of Education are gonna give it a whirl ;-) It's easy to do as well. Really, it is. When you write for someone think of one reader , a real person in your organisation that will have to take your writings and actually do something with it ( they don't have to know ). But, if you really truly can't think of one person you either need to STOP writing as you don't have an audience and are wasting your own time OR you need to pick up the phone and talk with people to find one. Once you have that one person in mind you may find it useful to talk with them, have them check your writing and even ask them to critique it. After a while you'll know their style and write naturally for them. Then you find one other person. And if it sounds like hard work because you're putting out soooo much information and you believe you have the time then I would suggest you are dealing in quantity and not quality. Some

Open Source: What It's Not

Speaking to an old friend and past colleague sometime ago I was struck by how he saw the weird and wacky world of "open source". He talked about it as more than a way of creating, distributing and supporting software, in essence he saw it as a (new) way of operating if you're a software vendor that promises $0 cost software for all . He also saw this as a lie! As an example he related a story of how he had had discussions with vendors about a (traditional - eek) Intranet CMS for a client. He then delivered the options to the people with the money (management) and it went something like this: Mate: Ok, so the choice is ProprietarySW at $1,000 and OpenSourceSW at $0. Management: Wow, it's OpenSourceSW, surely. Mate: Hmm, but OpenSourceSW is limited and only meets about 50% of what we know we want right now whilst ProprietarySW probably meets 95%. Mgt: Ah. So what do we do? Mate: Well, OpenSourceSW vendor says it's all sweet because "we" can ge

3 Reasons Why Free is NOT Free

I am still surprised by those that are experienced and knee-deep within 'the cloud"* asking me why a company would pay for the Google Apps Enterprise when they can use the free one. The obvious answer is that you get more ... dur! Everyone with Google Apps gets 25 users with access to: Email Calendar Docs (words, numbers and presos) Sites ("wiki" + gadgets) With Google Apps Enterprise (which costs) you have the above PLUS: Email security and archival/retrieval Voice and video chat Video (think in-house YouTube) Single sign on using your in-house authorisation (SAML) As many users as you'd care to pay for (around NZ$100/user/year) Oh, and don't forget about the Google Apps Education Edition which is "free" excluding Postini and Video but talk to your local reseller ASAP ;-) But remember, the "free" verson is NOT free. This is a comment I left on Ben's Diversity.net.nz sometime ago that explains what I mean: ... When I take SME

LinkedIn Is A "Recession Happy" Service - Are You Using It?

It's interesting to watch the growth of LinkedIn during these troubled times (ie, redundancies). I can almost detect those that have lost or think they're going to lose their job by the flurry of activity as they connect themselves to those around in order to cushion the change. But merely connecting to others you already know on LinkedIn misses out on a larger audience - those seeking you because of your skills. A while ago Chris Brogan wrote Write Your LinkedIn Profile for Your Future that is of the same mind: It’s an opportunity to stay connected to people, and to demonstrate where you are now, and where you plan to go next. Chris then outlines a stack of very practical tips to achieving that: Review your LinkedIn profile. Look at it as if you’re a prospective new boss, or a client. Would you hire YOU to do something? If not, rewrite it. Keep it tight. Do as much editing as you can. Enter your blog’s RSS feed on the profile page. People want more color. Add a photo. N