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Sunday, July 30, 2006

What's the logic?

Where is the logic in this? The generic "people" don't believe what just "anyone" tells them. But they'll believe their friends. I'll buy that.
Seth posted this on Friday:

People don't believe what you tell them.

They rarely believe what you show them.

They often believe what their friends tell them.

They always believe what they tell themselves.

Note: I reprinted it in full here. It did not make sense to force you to follow the link to read such a short piece. Had it been longer, you would have followed the link.
So if you are a good friend, they'll believe you.
What if you are not?
Doesn't trust and "trustworthiness" come into play somewhere?
I'd like to believe it does. Of course, trust takes time to build. And seconds to lose!
What do you think?
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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Collaboration - Real-time

Via Stowe Boyd found this cool tool to share freely a desktop view with others on a conference call. Realtime collaboration enabled without any software to install as it is all browser based.

I have only viewed the demos and love the promise. Will need to actually try it out to see if it delivers. If it does, it will definitely be a new tool in my toolkit.

Check it out. What do you think?

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Friday, July 28, 2006

sysadmin day - July 28th

System Administrator Appreciation Day

If you can read this, thank your sysadmin

A sysadmin unpacked the server for this website from its box, installed an operating system, patched it for security, made sure the power and air conditioning was working in the server room, monitored it for stability, set up the software, and kept backups in case anything went wrong. All to serve this webpage.

A sysadmin installed the routers, laid the cables, configured the networks, set up the firewalls, and watched and guided the traffic for each hop of the network that runs over copper, fiber optic glass, and even the air itself to bring the Internet to your computer. All to make sure the webpage found its way from the server to your computer.

Read more about this day here.

Then take some time to thank your admin or support person today.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Milford Daily News - Sunday Section

Milford Daily News - Sunday Section
Originally uploaded by shersteve.

The Insight section of the Sunday paper with the article on the area bloggers including moi.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Broken web site

I was interviewed last week for a story on local bloggers that appeared in the Sunday edition of the Milford Daily News. Dolores and I were away this weekend but my daughter managed to pick up a copy of the paper at the local market. Meanwhile away visiting my brother, I tried to find the article on the web site.

The search works nicely. I entered "blog" and it returned quickly with a bunch of results. Scrolling down, I found the article with the reporters name in the 4th result. Clicking on the link gets

Page Not Found: Error 404

Sorry, the page you requested is not available.

Please visit our home page for the latest news and information. Or, visit TownOnline.com to connect with another Eastern MA Community.

If you have any questions, please submit your feedback and select "TownOnline.com" as the site you are referencing.

The TownOnline.com Staff


So I tried reading the link itself (http://www.milforddailynews.com/businessNews/view.bg?articleid=96103) to navigate from the home page to the article. I noted that the URL has "business news". Went to the home page and looked for the business section. There is no business section.

Cool, maybe that is the problem, in any case, I am out of luck today.

Well, maybe because it is Sunday, they don't update their articles to the web site until later. So I tried again later Sunday, then Monday, and Tuesday, and Wednesday. The system was consistent. Same result each time.

By now I was also getting more determined to resolve this. I followed the link to submit my feedback to them this morning. I received an email this afternoon with the following:

Are you still running into this error ? If so, could you be more specific ?

You know there is a problem when the support people don't get it!

I controlled my temper and prepared a good step by step outline of the problem. I even included the pattern that I had been detecting in my research. For each of the results returned in the search, some article links worked and some did not. Each of the ones that did not all had "business news" in the URL. Aha!

I sent that email response back to them this evening. I'll let you know what happens next. I do not expect an answer tonight. It will probably come sometime during the day tomorrow.

Updated 7/27/06 - no answer via email. Web site still broken, the same search results as noted previously are occuring today.

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Monday, July 24, 2006

Quick Update

Just to provide a quick update, we'll be traveling back to MA today from Chicagoland where Dolores and I spent sometime with my brother and his family. I'll have some pictures as well to share of what we did this weekend.
  • Visited the Indiana Dunes National Park, climbed Mt Baldy, walked along Lake Michigan's shore 
  • Saw an American Legion baseball playoff game (my nephew was pitching).
  • Biked some trails in the Morain Hill State Park and visited the McHenry Dam (on the Fox River). Had a great meal at the Sagano's (a Japanese restaurant in Barrington, IL).
  • Walked in the Cuba Meadows Preserve.
A good long weekend, full of family and fun times. I return to work tomorrow. Dolores continues her summer vacation although since she has been away for the week (she went out before I did), she has some house chores to catch up on.
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Saturday, July 22, 2006

CoComment does more

As readers of my blogs will note, I have and use CoComment. Why? The comments I leave on other blogs used to get lost like pieces of bread left on the trail in the woods. With CoComment I could more easily track where I did say something and could always go back to see if the conversation continued.  As others used CoComment, their comments would appear in the column as well. With a bunch of improvements just released, the conversation can be tracked whether others use CoComment or not.
No, that is three cheers worth: Halleluiah! Halleluiah! Halleluiah!
Check out the recent improvements in the column on the left.
Check out the full listing on the CoComment blog.
And please do check out CoComment, I can not see how it would not help your blogging.
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Monday, July 17, 2006

Cook an egg with a cell phone

From the edge of the earth where 
if you have enough time on your hands,
and if you have an egg, are hungry
And if you happen to have two cell phones within a cell zone to provide coverage...
yes, you can cook an egg.
Takes about 1 hour but its cooked...
Who thinks of these things?
Thanks to wservernews for the link!
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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Readability Results - what they say to me

I posted the summary of the Readability results for each of my personal blogs. I do write on blog Synergy and 100Bloggers but both of these are group blogs. The results of these 5 tests would be more instructive for my own writing.
Here is what I think they say:
Gunning-Fog index, which is a rough measure of how many years of schooling it would take someone to understand the content. The lower the number, the more understandable the content will be to your visitors. Results over seventeen are reported as seventeen, where seventeen is considered post-graduate level.
I have a high score of 8.67 (P4GCE) with TE close at 8.61 and a low score of 7.42 (PR). I average 8.25. My work and education related writing tends to be more formal. My running writing tends to be the least formal. Overall I write for an 8th grade level.
Flesch Reading Ease is an index number that rates the text on a 100-point scale. The higher the score, the easier it is to understand the document. Authors are encouraged to aim for a score of approximately 60 to 70.
With the target at 60-70, and only two of mine below 70, I would say most of my writing is just a bit high on the scale but not far off.
Like the Gunning-Fog index, Flesch-Kincaid Grade is a rough measure of how many years of schooling it would take someone to understand the content.
I have a low score of 4.81 for PR and the others are all within 0.05 of each other. A real tight range. This says I write for a 5th grade level.
So what does this say for the bottom line? I think it says to keep on what I am doing.
You, of course as my readers, have the final say.
Do I need to change anything in how I write?
I look to you to be bold and provide your suggestions and comments either directly on the blog, or via email. You can reach me at shersteve at gmail dot com.
We are in this together. As much as I write for myself, I write for it to be read.
I welcome your advice.
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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Quotes & Links

From Joshua Porter writing at Bokardo

The one major idea behind the Del.icio.us Lesson is that personal value precedes network value. What this means is that if we are to build networks of value, then each person on the network needs to find value for themselves before they can contribute value to the network. In the case of Del.icio.us, people find value saving their personal bookmarks first and foremost. All other usage is secondary.

Read the full posting on The Delicious Lesson

From Susan Kitchens writing at 2020 Hindsight

Dell is a company that gets itself into trouble with its customers for shoddy customer support. Nonexistent customer support. Kafkaesque customer support. Runarounds. Non-solutions. If you buy a Dell, you might as well start banging your head against the wall right now. Dell’s customer support acts as though its mission statement is “No concession to the hated user!”

And what’s the name of their Director of Design & Usability? Ken Musgrave (albeit a different one), the person who coined that phrase.

Read the full posting to enjoy the irony of this!


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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Simplicity Day - July 12th

Did you keep things simple today?
Did you know that today was Henry David Thoreau's birthday?
I had forgotten, so if you did as well, we are not alone.
We'll just have to take Trevor's advice and celebrate "simplicity day" late, like maybe, tomorrow!
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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Book Alert - 10 Ways to Make it Great!

10 Ways to Make It Great has just been published by Phil Gerbyshak.
Check out the line up of endorsements for the book on Phil's website! Quite impressive.
I have ordered my copy of the book. Consider ordering one for yourself.
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Monday, July 10, 2006

Signs, signs, signs

Signs, signs, signs
Originally uploaded by shersteve.

This picture brings back the lyrics of the golden oldie:

"Signs, signs, everywhere the signs
Blocking up the scenery, breaking my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the signs?"
Having just traveled a good deal from MA to central PA and back, there are loads of signs.

Some good ones: clear and destinct.
Some not so good: like this cluster.

Do you really observe the signs you see?

Sunday, July 09, 2006

What do they make?

What do they make?
Originally uploaded by shersteve.

As Dolores and I drove to PA last weekend, we came up behind this truck on Interstate 84 heading to Hartford, CT.

Mindful of the road and traffic, I started reading the back.

Phoenix Products. Okay, I know a phoenix is a mythical bird that rises from ashes. But the sunlight over the water, in what looks like a canal or river?

"Best quality products - best quality service" Okay so they make agressive claims. But what do they actually make?

They show their web site address and 800 number. Good idea to help folks contact them. If they knew what they wanted?

"Nothing replaces parental supervision" Now this one gets me. What are they after?

I had Dolores take this picture. Then when the opportunity presented itself, I pulled along side the truck to see if they said anything else to solve the mystery of what product and service they actually provided?

I think I could have driven a few more miles behind them and still not guessed. Certainly not a very convincing and intuitive advertising campaign.

Would you like to guess what they make? Drop me a comment or email. I'll reveal the product on Friday unless some one guesses correctly before then.