Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The difference between telling and showing

This post is a text book example of how not to write a post for a public affairs blog. Americans are bombarded with the world is going to end rhetoric. In order to be credible you need to show rather than tell.

In the case of net neutrality, you need to explain example by example what the practical consequences would be if the point-to-point architecture of the Internet were to be compromised. You need to cite specific examples of Internet Service Providers limiting access to demonstrate that this is a serious issue. Most of the time Save the Internet does this. This post fell short of their previous standard.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tom Gutnick at CPCUG

Tom Gutnick gave a most informative tour of open source application software. One thing that interested me was his characterization of ubuntu as open source for humans, by which I took him to mean that ubuntu was the best Linux distribution for those of us who are not technology experts.

A complete list of the software his discussed is at his web site. I am thinking of trying the open source office software, as well as GNU Cash, and possibly the project management software.

Friday, November 20, 2009

How to get your company noticed

Newspaper ad sales fall again
With the depressed state of the overall economy, newspaper ad sales fell 28 percent in the third quarter.
Ad revenue totaled $6.4 billion, according to figures from Arlington-based Newspaper Association of America. It was a narrower decline than the previous period.

With advertising at an all time low, the surviving advertisers stand out. An ad that runs now will capture far more attention than an ad running in boom times which has to compete with all the other advertisements. Futhermore, an ad that runs in hard times automatically creates an image of financial strength.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Simple test for search engine visibility

Do a search on your company's name. Does your web site come up in the first page of results? If not you are in trouble.

Fixing this is very easy, but you do need to fix it. More and more customers are finding companies by searhing on the Web. If they can't find you, they can't very contact you.

I am constantly surprised by how many well established companies fail this simple test.

Chosing free beer over free speech

The post could also have been entitled he who pays the piper calls the tune.

More and more I see it suggested that musicians look to corporate sponsors to fund their tours and not even try to make money from recording their work.

In such a world corporate sponsors will have even more power to determine who is a star and who is a starving artist. Where will the next Bob Dylan come from? Who will write the songs which speak truth to power if everyone is auditioning for their corporate sponsor?

The future for the individual preformer never looked worse.

Recording Potomac tech events

Ross suggests that we find a way to record local tech events and put the result online. I think it is a great idea, but am not sure what I can do to advance it, save link to it.

Part of what I have tried to do with this blog is highlight local tech events. I think our local tech scene is greatly under valued and our contribution to technology goes unrecognized.

Friday, November 13, 2009

New to me local tech blogs

the agile approach, Phase2's insight on the buisness of web


Publishing Transformation Blog, A Blog created by David Case, Business Development Consultant at Apex CoVantage. Thoughts and news about Publishing Transformation through workflow engineering and technologies.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The method in Murdoch's madness

I wrote off Murdoch's latest threats to remove News Corp feeds from Google News as so much blather until I read Boing Boing:
So here's what I think it going on. Murdoch has no intention of shutting down search-engine traffic to his sites, but he's still having lurid fantasies inspired by the momentary insanity that caused Google to pay him for the exclusive right to index MySpace (thus momentarily rendering MySpace a visionary business-move instead of a ten-minutes-behind-the-curve cash-dump).

So what he's hoping is that a second-tier search engine like Bing or Ask (or, better yet, some search tool you've never heard of that just got $50MM in venture capital) will give him half a year's operating budget in exchange for a competitive advantage over Google.

He may, in fact, get a taker. And it will be a disaster. A search engine whose sole competitive advantage is "We have Rupert Murdoch's pages!" will not attract any substantial traffic. The search engine will either go bust or fail to renew the deal.

The problem with the deal to give Google the exclusive right to index MySpace is that it cheats the users whose postings create the value of MySpace. If I am a musician who is obliged to give my music away for free on MySpace to presuade fans to come to my concerts, I want the widest exposure possible. As Google is by far the largest search engine, I might overlook this limitation, or I might not. I might find a place to post my music that was visible to as many search engines as possible. Murdoch simply does not understand the online economy.

Edit -
Looks like Microsoft will to oblige NewsCorp.

Friday, November 06, 2009

The problem with KickRSS

I wanted to create a public RSS reader of all the local tech, marketing, and PR blogs. I wanted one where the new posts would automatically float to the top, so readers could track the local zeitgeist.

Alas, my Tech on the Potomac KickRSS list does not seem the work that way. It appears to favor the blogs most recently added to the list rather than the most recent posts irrespective of blog. Can any of my readers suggest an RSS tool that would do that? If you remember the old Blogdigger tool, you will know what I am talking about.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Nominate your customer

The 2010 Federal 100 nomination form
Federal Computer Week is now accepting nominations for the 2009 Federal 100 awards program, which recognizes individuals in government and industry who have played pivotal roles in the federal information technology community.

Deadline: Dec. 11.

If your customer looks good, you look good.