Julian Wraith

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Tag: Twitter

Note to self…

Wow, it’s been a while since I wrote anything and my head is brimming with ideas on things to blog about. Now, I could come up with an army of excuses why I did not blog… such as, “I have moved house” or “I spent time today cleaning next doors cat’s vomit from my path”. But all in all they are just good excuses not to post rather than actual reasons. All of these things have also even stopped me opening Twitter each day. Today I found all sorts of information in there, including the fact that the company I work for, SDL, has taken over Language Weaver. Moments later I found this news in my email inbox; maybe I should work bottom to top on my emails?

Anyway, I wanted to share two things that I wanted to write about but did not get the chance so far (blah, blah). First up is Clone Detective. My current project is undergoing some re-factoring both in approach and content. A natural progression of a project running this long, things change and thus we must change also. One of the things being addressed is the code that has been written and how good it is. In my part of the work on this I came across Clone Detective for Visual Studio; this neat tool discovers how much of your code is duplicated allowing you to see what methods you can merge and how you can restructure the code. In this particular case, 25% of the code was duplicated which is way more than you would have ever spotted with the naked eye. Even if you write great code, I think this is well worth downloading.

Next, for the new house (did I mention that?) I had to install a new wifi network. I opted for a N class wifi network hoping that even poor connectivity would give me a decent connection. The curse of any wifi network is that, unless you are sitting next to the access point, your connection is bound to be suspect. Whilst annoying, a long Ethernet cable is usually allot faster. To make this all happen, I needed to purchase a new wifi adapter and grabbed a Sweex wifi adapter from MediaMarkt. I chose it mainly because the price was right (read: cheap) and I figured it would work just as well as any of the others. Well good news it did! But this tale is not of the adapter itself but what was in the box.

In the box was a note from the founder of Sweex, Leon. It reads:

“I had a dream

Some time ago I had a dream in my sleep.

I dreamt that I was shipping millions of boxes around the world

(which is exactly what my company Sweex is doing).

And inspite of useful products in them,

I experienced an empty feeling in myself.

I sat with the dream for a while and pondered over it.

Then I realized – I needed to fill the boxes with my wish for you.

Here is the content:

“Dear receiver of the box, from the bottom of my heart I wish you a life full of happiness, peace and wellbeing”

Now the boxes are full.

Leon

founder and owner of Sweex”

WOW. As a result, I will buy more Sweex products because, unlike all the other companies out there, it seems this guy cares about me. OK, maybe not really, but at least I was made to feel this way and he also made this more personal than any website could ever do, because after all I had a piece of paper, in my hand, in front of me now, even when the website was closed.

As a result I have made a mental promise to write more notes to people to say something to them, but first I will write a note to myself to write more blog posts!

Follow Forty Twitter CMS Gurus In Three Clicks

Jon Marks has compiled a list of 40 CMS gurus you can follow on Twitter. I made the list, thanks Jon!

SDL Tridion: Publish to Twitter

SDL Tridion has published an eXtension to Publish To Twitter, you can download this and a more plugins for your SDL Tridion implementation from SDL Tridion World

Status.net aims to do what Twitter can’t

Chelsi Nakano has recently published an article on CMS Wire about Status.net. For those who have no heard, Twitter is not the only micro-blogging tool out there. I little while back I blogged about Yammer and its advantages to an enterprise and its ability to network groups of people together which ultimately helps knowledge sharing. Identi.ca plans to commercialise micro-blogging much like Yammer but with some distinct differences under the name of Status.net. Apart from trying to make money where Twitter does not, the main ones I liked where:

  • Possibility of public or private service
  • Your own sub domain e.g. sdltridion.status.net and also the ability to map your own domain on to the same service e.g. we.sdltridion.com
  • Ability to integrate adverts into the site
  • Ability to lightly theme your service – I guess how Twitter allows you
  • Ability to integrate with an LDAP or remote authentication protocols to allow you to use an existing user base

There are more features for you to read about, those just grabbed my interest directly.

The advantage of such a service to an enterprise is that not only can you make a nicer internal micro-blogging service but now you can have an external one to interact with your customers better. Being able to understand either your customer or your employees better is a distinct advantage and one area where more and more services and offerings will be coming online soon. I can see the application for this in organisations where I work, but are these companies ready for such a tool? Typically, those that make the decisions are not who are able to yet grasp this and that does not apply everywhere. Those companies who do want this and see the benefits to gain massively from it.

Salesforce captures the Tweet cloud

Salesforce will, this summer, release a new feature of its Service Cloud by adding a feature monitor Twitter conversations and questions about a company. The Service Cloud aims to companies using Salesforce to better engage their customers by connecting them to social networks, online communities search, chat etc. The new feature allows connection to Twitter.

To some extent I like this idea. I already monitor Twitter for information around certain topics but I have always resisted the temptation to react directly to a tweet because I don’t want people to feel that a company is watching them. Twitter, should be a place where I can have a rant without the company I just ranted about asking me a few minutes later if they can help me. If I need help I will ask for it, non?

Via Webware.com.

CMS Vendors go head to head

A few weeks back CMS Watch’s Kas Thomas posted his “reality checklist” for CMS vendors. Each vendor should ask themselves 15 tough questions about their product. Now Day has put down the challenge to all other CMS vendors, the CMS Vendor meme, to answer the questions from the check list.

Now, next to Day the CMS vendors have been posting their scores. Currently the leaderboard looks like:

  1. 44/45 – e-Spirit ***
  2. 43/45 – Jahia
  3. 43/45 – Hippo CMS
  4. 42/45 – Magnolia
  5. 42/45 – EPiServer
  6. 42/45 – GX *
  7. 42/45 – Midgard
  8. 42/45 – Nuxeo **
  9. 41/45 – infopark
  10. 41/45 – KnowledgeTree
  11. 40.5/45 – Enano
  12. 40/45 – Day
  13. 40/45 – Alfresco
  14. 40/45 – GX
  15. 40/45 – CoreMedia
  16. 40/45 – Sitecore
  17. 40/45 – Alterian
  18. 40/45 – OpenText
  19. 40/45 – Ez Systems
  20. 38/45 – dotCMS
  21. 37/45 – Vignette
  22. 37/45 – Autonomy Interwoven
  23. 36/45 – Escenic
  24. 33/45 – Sense/Net
  • bold scores are where the vendor did not score themselves but it was subsequentally worked out by Jon Marks
  • * Score adjusted to reflect original scoring system
  • ** Vendor does not seem to be able to add up 🙂
  • *** Was 45, now 44

Many of the answers to the checklist are very tongue in cheek but many of the questions do not really go deep. Mostly the questions surround how available software is either to download, easy it is to install or how clear the pricing is. These are indeed important things but I do feel the list missing something more concrete. Only two of the questions (3 & 7), for instance, address something to do with content editing. Surely this is one of the most important areas to cover and thus deserves more attention?

Of course this list is not a complete check list, but it seems more tuned towards vendors such as Alfresco as most of these types of vendors will probably score highly. However, it is nice to see the vendors interacting together and at least, it seems, giving honest scores.

Update 19/03/2009: Adding the meme ID 9c56d0fcf93175d70e1c9b9d188167cf suggested by Bertrand Delacrétaz. Find more related pages on Google.

Update 19/03/2009: Added infopark

Update 19/03/2009: Added dotCMS and Midgard (no scores yet though)

Update 19/03/2009: Added Vignette (no score either)

Update 20/03/2009: Added Nuxe (finally a score!)

Update 20/03/2009: Updated Escenic’s score

Update 21/03/2009: Added Sitecore’s, EPiServer’s & OpenText’s scores

Update 22/03/2009: Added Autonomy Interwoven (no score)

Update 23/03/2009: Added Alterian & Hippo CMS

Update 25/03/2009: Updated scores according to Jon Marks blog

Update 27/03/2009: Added KnowledgeTree

Update 02/04/2009: Added Enano

Update 03/04/2009: Added Ez Systems

Update 09/04/2009: added e-Spirit & Sense/Net

Update 15/04/2009: Updated e-Spirit score

Yammer: Twitter for the Enterprise

Now Twitter is one of those things. Either you get it and you love it or you just plain hate it. I personally love it. I could tweet all day long except I don’t have time. It is a little too far to go to tell people exactly what I am doing but it does not stop some people. I personally, just give general updates on my general activities and you too can follow me on Twitter.

Twitter is a form of micro-blogging and basically offers people you know or people who want to know you the chance to stalk you.

Twitter is very public with even direct replies being visible. This is an open way of sending messages and you have to be careful as when you tweet something it is then visible to the whole world. Unfavorable Tweets that are about your employer or a customer should not be in the public domain. Add to this that some people’s Tweets are pushed to Facebook and then we have a recipe for making big holes for you to climb into.

Well, to make your life a little safer, Yammer has introduced a system similar to Twitter only with security. People who have the same email address domain as you (e.g. someone@sdltridion.com) can join a closed network where you can blog to each other what you are doing. Looking on the surface there is nothing very special here but used to enhance connections between people doing the same things in organizations, this tool has distinct advantages.

Getting started

This is surprisingly simple as you only have to enter your email address to start the signup process. Once you have confirmed that you got the email they sent you, you can create your profile and join the network. Once you sign in you are given the chance to invite people you know from the organization and that’s all there is to it.

Working with it

There are four ways to post to it, you can use the Yammer website, download the desktop application, the blackberry or iPhone application. You can do pretty much anything you can do with Twitter such as reply on posts, follow people, invite more people and search through the history.

Advantages

So why would this be interesting? Well knowledge sharing is a about a two main areas; sharing knowledge in a documented way (explicit) and sharing knowledge person to person (tacit). In the case of the latter it is important to build relationships between people. People feel they have a relationship to someone based upon what they know about them and on this they can build trust. How many times do we think we know a celebrity based upon what we we’ve read about them? In a business sense, this might be knowing what someone is doing in the office, what projects they are working on or what activities they are doing in common. This is where micro-blogging can help people connect and share information easily. This tool helps build such networks and relationships around an organization which will ultimately lead to better ability for the organization to work and share effectively

Costs?

There are two versions of Yammer; one free and the other not. For free you get all the micro blogging features in a closed network. However, you can’t control the network you have created (such as removing a fired employee). If you want to do that, your organization can take ownership of the application for the very modest sum of $1 per user per month.

Security

Well, there are two aspects of this. Firstly, anyone from your network can post anything they like and anyone from the organization can be watching. Users themselves need to watch what is said and those they do not use the medium to whine or complain about life. Additionally, you are posting to an outside network and thus it should be common sense not to post anything that would be deemed legally sensitive. Whilst Yammer ensure on their site that it is secure I can’t help feeling that this will be the major blocking factor for many organizations.

Conclusion

I like it, but I feel that many organizations are not really ready for such a system. Should they be then I feel that they would reap the benefits of having this short line of communication between their employees. Most employees will not abuse Yammer and in most cases an organisation’s fear of abuse is usually is greater the actual threat of abuse. If any such abuse takes place it can be dealt with by the administrators.

The free version is really good for friends or family and the subscription model is an absolute must for organization. Without administrators the risk of former employees still being able to access the network is just too high.

Screenshots

Follow me on Twitter

If you want to follow my updates on a regular basis then I suggest you follow me on Twitter. You can do that from the stream: http://twitter.com/julesdw.

*tip, if you want to see more about a particular topic on Twitter, then check Twitter Search.

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