Too much e-mail? Then, set up a wiki server. January 31, 2006Posted by Matsu in Management, Technology.
add a comment
Last night I received the February 2006 edition of Inc Magazine. A teaser on the cover caught my eye. It said, “E-Mail overloaded? Time to get a wiki.” It pointed the curious reader to page 41 where an article titled “The end of e-mail” actually states that if you get too much e-mail, you may want to switch to a wiki server.
Now, I will be the first to admit that there is tremendous value in collaborative software, like a wiki server or SubEthaEdit. In fact, this past year I have gained a much greater appreciation for collaborative software tools as I have seen them used very effectively in meetings, both virtual (online) and in person. But, is a wiki really an equivalent replacement for e-mail? No, it’s not. But, it turns out that’s not what the article is suggesting.
The article suggests that if you are using e-mail to allow several people to create or edit a common document, then you should switch that work away from e-mail and onto a wiki server. Now, that makes a lot more sense to me. In fact, according to the Gartner Group, wikis will be installed on no less then half of all corporate networks by the year 2009.
My advice? Use e-mail to communicate and a wiki to collaborate.
Steve Jobs pulling all of the strings at Disney? January 31, 2006Posted by Matsu in Management.
1 comment so far
I just received the February 6, 2006 edition of Business Week. It’s the one with Steve Jobs on the cover and the article about how he’s taking over the Magic Kingdom (as part of the Pixar buy out he was given seat on Disney’s board of directors – after all, he is the majority stockholder). This interesting article speculates on Jobs’ potential influence over how Disney operates (and also mentions the real influence he’s already on the industry through Pixar).
Is it true that ‘worse is better?’ January 29, 2006Posted by Matsu in Management, Technology.
I’m a slow reader. At least it takes me a long time to finish a book. One reason is I have so little time to devote to reading anything that is not necessary for my job. The other reason is I tend to read a lot of different books at once. It’s not that I lose interest or that one book bores me so I end up switching to another book. It’s not that, at all. Instead, I have many interests and so I end up reading parts of several books when I do have time for elective reading.
Today, I finished reading Hackers & Painters by Paul Graham. I found many parts of it interesting and amusing. I say amusing because he opens with some humorous insights on why nerds are the way they are and how they grow up to become hackers. He also makes some interesting arguments about software development and ends with the characteristics of a good programming language.
Can you make pearls out of mud? January 21, 2006Posted by Matsu in Humor, Japan, Random.
Today I discovered something new. There is a way to take a plain old pile of mud and through a process that even a child could follow, turn it into a shiny sphere. Yes, it’s pretty strange, but true.
As often happens when I read blogs, I followed a few links and ended up down an Internet side road that I didn’t know existed (one down, 23 billion to go). The blog by Jason Kottke mentioned a some strange phenomenon in Japan where kids were making shiny mud balls. I followed the link to a more official looking news story and discovered that back in May 1999 a psychology professor who studies early development took the process he learned from a preschool teacher and taught it to other kids to see how they would react. His primary focus was on how children play and learn through play. The Japanese word for this bronze sphere is Dorodango.
Open Source: It’s not just about the software January 19, 2006Posted by Matsu in Technology.
1 comment so far
Right now I am attending a Lexington Professional User’s Group (LPLUG) meeting where we are watching an interesting video about open source software and the open source community.
It is fascinating to hear about the evolution of software development when a single programmer collaborates with one or more other programmers and the social dynamics that come into play. When you extend that to the open source movement, you end up with many programmers who may be total strangers, but are brought together because of a common interest in solving a particular problem through the development of software. Then, social structure is brought in to help organize the group in order to make the project a success, but that can easily morph into unnecessary rules and unwanted politics. The rules are created to insure that only like-minded people can contribute or maintain the code. Then, when there are disagreements on how to operate and who to include in the process then it can get very political. Of course, politics can be interjected even without conflict but that will just hasten the introduction of a conflict. That’s just human nature.
As I think about it, one of the greatest challenges to open source software and the open source community is the people who make up that community. They (or we) must protect ourselves from our own need for rules that are restrictive in order to build walls or exclude others. We are also vulnerable to the negative impact that social politics introduces in large groups that don’t have clear lines of authority and responsibility and are forming that in an almost ad hoc manner.
add a comment
While it’s true that I have owned Apple Macintosh computers ever since the first Mac was released to the public in January 1984, I can’t say that I have always been impressed with what Apple has done with their hardware and software. In fact, several times over the past 20+ years I have wondered if they had lost all of their innovative employees to some other company or maybe they were recruited by Disney to add to their stable of imagineers. Well, I no longer wonder if Apple can innovate. Based on the technology they’ve developed and released over the past few years it’s clear they are hitting their stride, again.