Monday, November 27, 2006

Simplicity is the hallmark of truth

This was the one thing my grad school adviser told me that really stuck with me. Joel Spolsky provides an excellent example of this maxim in his discussion of Windows shutdown options.

Bonus link: Moishe Lettvin, a developer of the feature, tells the ugly story of the development of shutdown in Vista.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The authority of easy

Tim Bray leads his readers through an exercise that shows why Wikipedia gets page rank. In short, it's because FAQ type information is typically readily accessible. It's not the authoritative source, but it is easy, and authoritative sources tend to be the furthest thing from easy.

This isn't that different from using Google to find help on a product because the manufacturer's site is useless.

So, if you'd like to retain your authority on the web, make it easy for people to find the information they care about.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Sushi Documentary

This is excellent!

Though intended as farce, some of it I actually find to be pretty accurate (curtain protocols, illegal menu items, yakuza knife tricks) Oh, and the pouring ritual is dead on. That seng character you always see on Japanese beer labels means fresh, i.e. "draft".

There was no singing though. There is always singing at the Sushi Bar.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Is IM the heart of collaboration?

Ephraim Schwartz proposes IM as a unified collaboration platform. While this is an interesting viewpoint, I view IM as something closer to all-purpose glue than a platform, but maybe that's just semantics.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Engaging the blogosphere

Adina Levin points to a good example of business blogging. Michael Pollan dismisses Whole Foods Market as "industrial organic" in his book The Omnivore's Dilemma, repeatedly comparing Whole Foods to Walmart. John Mackey, co-founder of Whole Foods, replies with a lengthy "open letter" on his blog.

Here's Adina's take:
The response is partly satisfying; it's a good example of a business using blogging to participate in a public conversation about it's business; and Whole Foods could go much further to use blog openness to be better corporate citizen.
In another example, Mark Cuban regularly uses his blog to respond to inaccurate and misleading reporting about his various businesses. Buried in a post about how it is ridiculous to say that the NBA is rigged, he takes on the Miami Herald for shoddy reporting:
Apparently the Miami Herald is reporting i screamed at the NBA comissioner after the game the other night. Didnt happen. Didnt say a word to the man. Not a single word. And that was absolutely by intention.

Apparently this “reporter” has written he has several “sources”. Well they must be the same sources the tabloids use to find two headed babys and aliens, because it didnt happen.

Later in the same post, while still taking on the Herald, he sings the praises of blogging:
You are also the reason Im thankful for this blog. In the old days I would have had to make the rounds of media, doing my best to discredit your efforts. Now I can just write this blog, link and let your work discredit itself. Which is a whole lot more fun.
Two totally different styles, but in both cases, the business is directly engaging its customers and potential customers through the blogosphere.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Leveraging the intranet

This Cringely column on PBS local stations as a non-profit Akamai is a thought-provoking look at the value of intranets. The arguments around intranet v. Internet have always been about bandwidth and service level v. ubiquity. When the intranet is the ISP’s network and therefore your Internet gateway, from an end user perspective, the lines blur. This is also different from the traditional caching approach, as the content is hosted on the co-located servers.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Gentle prodding from an unlikely source

It has been a full month since I last posted here, but I've been relentlessly blogging internally, with a record for me of 27 posts in that time frame. We are very slowly getting some traction, as more people get more active, but we still have a l-o-n-g way to go.

However, I really don't mean to neglect CollabuTech. I've been meaning to cross-post my relevant internal postings here, but just haven't made the time to do it. However, when I checked on the health of the internal blogosphere, I found this waiting for me:
Ever since Eric Jurotich starting blogging internally, his posts on CollabuTech have pretty much come to a screeching halt.
Yikes! I wasn't expecting to get called out, however mildly, for my lack of CollabuTech posting by a co-worker on the internal blogosphere. So, expect to see much more here over the next few weeks.

Of course, if we could encourage my proverbial partner to contribute to both spots, we'd all be better off. :-)