Random snippets of articles, books, magazines, and websites that were striking at the time I read them.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Process Review: Update

My process review assignment has progressed further since my initial post.

And so far everyone seems to agree with the framework (Roles, Workflow, Standards, Technology, and Policies) that I had initially proposed.

The only thing that we later added to the framework was a Transition Plan, i.e., a plan that will help the firm implement the recommendations that will come out of our process review.

It is also beginning to look like this framework will be usable for future process review assignments.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Process Review

Sometime last week I was requested to review the support process of a software company. Since I am not an expert on the software support process, I had to wade through contracts, review existing forms, procedural flowcharts, and interview quite a number of people to understand the "pains" that they experience with the current process.

After the initial dive into the details and wracking my brain for the appropriate analysis framework, I've come to the (preliminary) conclusion that my Process Review recommendations must cover the following areas:
  • Roles. To ensure that the various parties understand what is expected of them.
  • Workflow. To describe the sequence of events that must take place for the company to properly render software support services.
  • Standards (Forms, Checklists). To ensure that the correct and complete information is collected and properly handed off from one role to another throughout the process.
  • Technology Support. To make historical analysis, periodic review, and monitoring possible.
  • Policy Decisions. To make explicit the support service levels that must be delivered by the organization.

I'm glad that I stumbled across The Vision Thing a few weeks ago; Effern's many posts on creating workflows are a helpful reminder of what works (and what does not).

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Color Scheme 001

My first attempt to create a color scheme for possible use on a future website.

Created using the technique described in Adam Polselli's website, using a Snail on Leaf photo in the 28mm photography magazine as the source of inspiration. Color Scheme 001

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Color Schemes inspired by Photographs

As part of my ongoing quest to improve my creative side, I've been:

So it was quite nice to run across Adam Polselli's site today, and see his post entitled "Where'd Ya Get That Color Scheme?, because that page pulls my three tracks together.

Looks like it's time to revisit my photos in Flickr and see if they help me come up with a color scheme that I can use on a new website.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Furl -- Bookmarks on Steroids

Stumbled across Furl today, and it didn't take long for me to sign-up to this free, fabuluous service.

From the website:
''Furl lets you save anything you see in your browser. The easiest way to do that is to have a "Furl It" button right on the toolbar of your browser. When you find something you want to save, you click the "Furl It" button.

That opens up a new window with the title and URL of the page you are looking at already filled in. You can then add comments to, rate, and categorize the page (or not). When you're done, click "Save".

That's all. Next time you view your archive you will see the new entry.''

Once you've got your archive set-up, people can view your public entries, sign up to be notified of updates, and yes, they can even blogroll it (an RSS feed is available per archive).

I hope the business model behind the site is totally solid, because I want this free service to be around forever.

Inside the mind of Jeff Bezos

One of my friends sent me a link to the recent Fast Company article on Jeff Bezos. Extremely cool.

Here are a few of the excerpts that I found either funny or interesting:
''Amazon still hangs whiteboards in the elevators, as it did back in the skid-row days, when the barely postcollegiate employees were so overcaffeinated and hyperactive that they amused themselves by scribbling away between floors.''

Considering my own firm's obsession with white boards -- we've got a lot of them -- I found the idea of white boards in elevators a really cool idea! I've already reached the point that I find it difficult to explain concepts without a bit of chalk-talk, so I just love this idea.

''Bezos pursued his idea of a decentralized, disentangled company where small groups can innovate and test their visions independently of everyone else. He came up with the notion of the "two-pizza team": If you can't feed a team with two pizzas, it's too large. That limits a task force to five to seven people, depending on their appetites.''

I totally agree with the concept of small, agile teams.... although it's the first time I've heard it described as a "two-pizza team". Reminds me of Fred Brooks' classic essay, The Mythical Man-Month. That's always worth a re-read.

''Bezos loves making decisions based on hard data, but when that's not possible, he believes in the power of being "simpleminded," relying on common sense about what would be in the best interests of his customers.''

So true! Common sense really rules, and it's a lot less common that we think.

All in all, that was a meaty article that gave readers insight into the way Jeff Bezos thinks and works. Kudos to Alan Deutschman for a great read.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Haloscan Comments and Trackbacks

I just learned today that Haloscan offers not only commenting capabilities, but trackbacks as well.

So I did a bit of fiddling around with my Blogger template and managed to get both comments and trackbacks enabled on this blog.

Wouldn't even have known about it if I hadn't noticed trackbacks enabled on The Vision Thing earlier this evening. Thanks, Effern!

Now if only I could add categories...

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Testing Meme Propagation In Blogspace: Add Your Blog!

This posting is a community experiment that tests how a meme, represented by this blog posting, spreads across blogspace, physical space and time. It will help to show how ideas travel across blogs in space and time and how blogs are connected. It may also help to show which blogs are most influential in the propagation of memes. The dataset from this experiment will be public, and can be located via Google (or Technorati) by doing a search for the GUID for this meme (below).

The original posting for this experiment is located at: Minding the Planet (Permalink: http://novaspivack.typepad.com/nova_spivacks_weblog/2004/08/a_sonar_ping_of.html) --- results and commentary will appear there in the future.

Please join the test by adding your blog (see instructions, below) and inviting your friends to participate -- the more the better. The data from this test will be public and open; others may use it to visualize and study the connectedness of blogspace and the propagation of memes across blogs.

The GUID for this experiment is: as098398298250swg9e98929872525389t9987898tq98wteqtgaq62010920352598gawst (this GUID enables anyone to easily search Google (or Technorati) for all blogs that participate in this experiment). Anyone is free to analyze the data of this experiment. Please publicize your analysis of the data, and/or any comments by adding comments onto the original post (see URL above). (Note: it would be interesting to see a geographic map or a temporal animation, as well as a social network map of the propagation of this meme.)


To add your blog to this experiment, copy this entire posting to your blog, and then answer the questions below, substituting your own information, below, where appropriate. Other than answering the questions below, please do not alter the information, layout or format of this post in order to preserve the integrity of the data in this experiment (this will make it easier for searchers and automated bots to find and analyze the results later).

REQUIRED FIELDS (Note: Replace the answers below with your own answers)

(1) I found this experiment at URL: http://www.wingedpig.com/archives/000168.html

(2) I found it via "Newsreader Software" or "Browsing the Web" or "Searching the Web" or "An E-Mail Message": Newsreader Software

(3) I posted this experiment at URL: http://myfood4thought.blogspot.com

(4) I posted this on date (day, month, year): 03/08/04

(5) I posted this at time (24 hour time): 01:46:00

(6) My posting location is (city, state, country): Manila, Philippines

OPTIONAL SURVEY FIELDS (Replace the answers below with your own answers):

(7) My blog is hosted by: Blogger / Blogspot

(8) My age is: 33

(9) My gender is: Female

(10) My occupation is: Consultant

(11) I use the following RSS/Atom reader software: Bloglines

(12) I use the following software to post to my blog: Blogger

(13) I have been blogging since (day, month, year): 29/10/03

(14) My web browser is: Mozilla

(15) My operating system is: Win XP