Monday, August 20, 2007

I was in a blog!

While editing a wikipedia page today, I searched for a policy on handling . One of the links was a blog entry semi-related to that topic, so I clicked. Someone claimed my company was doing some wikipedia astroturfing. Again, I clicked. It turns out the astroturfing was actually me throwing in my $0.02. Great.

The lessons to learn:
  • Never edit company-related content.
  • Full disclosure. On discussion pages, disclose that you work for them, but are not representing them.
  • Companies should create wikipedia accounts for matters like this. While there may be a conflict of interest, wikipedia allows everyone to participate. Companies should create accounts so that they can show their official position while respecting the process.
  • Wikipedia users apply guidelines when they support their position.

Lucky for me, no one reads blogs (my adsense account can attest to this), and the blog entry never even got close to being news. This is the kind of thing people lose paychecks over.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

"Nappy Headed Ho" sues Imus

In other news, nappy headed ho Kia Vaughn is suing D-list former radio personality Don Imus for slander.

"This is about Kia Vaughn's good name..."

Before this story, she had no name--good nor bad. Now, she's defending, and advertising in the process, her name by being a selfish, greedy, whiny ass bitch.

Go ahead, sue me too; I need the page views.

Apes and Typewriters

A followup on the No Touching school, monkeys, and typewriters:

It seems some parents in New Zealand decided to name their baby "4real," sans the obligatory "biach." Stupid? Certainly. A surprise? Nope. Apes are no better. Give six billion apes a typewriter and the job of producing a name, and at least one will get the idea to move his fingers up a row.


The VMWare IPO sold shares at $29. Within an hour, they were selling for $50. In order to participate, most brokers require a $500,000 account.

"If I had more money, I'd be rich."

On Wikipedia

Most content on Wikipedia is crap. When editing, "if in doubt, take it out."

Monday, August 13, 2007

Ideas DOA

As an employee at 90's startup trying desperately to be relevant in the 2000's, I have access to the corporate idea wiki. Most of them are pretty bad ideas. Some people neglect researching their ideas (a protocol like ICPM quench was suggested), some try to port the latest trends to the corporate world. In all these ideas (no comment; proprietary crap is still proprietary), I've noticed three recurring problems with ideas:

Useless technology
Sure you can do it. You can put a "reply to all" button on keyboards, but that doesn't make it a good idea. Before adding the page, make sure people will realistically use the technology.

Intrusive technology
So you're going to immerse users in your beta world. Make sure you have users' interests at heart. Users might not want use all the features in your world, so don't make them jump through hoops there for someone else.

Trendy technology
These ideas are made by people who spent too much time next to the kool aid bowl. They use the latest acronyms and buzzwords, and usually "leverage" the companies latest pet project.

Far from mutually exclusive, these usually go hand-in-hand. These problems aren't unique to large companies, either; even startups need to keep it in mind. If your product isn't the useful, shows copious ads with minimal functionality, or spends more time touting web 2.0, ajax, and xml, you've lost focus on the most important thing: users.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Ergonomics design flaw

At work, today, they decided to round up the conference room chairs that ended up in cubicles because some conference rooms were empty. The also pointed out an ergonomic reason.

Basically, they say sit like the person in the picture, and you won't have back, neck, wrist, or other problems, and they're probably right, but they forgot something: how am I supposed to spend 5 minutes (let alone the 15 minutes between breaks) in the same, perfect position?

Don't tell us the easy parts of ergonomics, then quit, or maybe they're saying a desk job just isn't for me.

Disclosure: I do not have ADHD.