Monday, September 30, 2002

Corporate weblogs

Marketing Magazine.  Jim Carroll. Corporate weblogs.


It likely won’t be too long before we see an official Harley-Davidson blog that features ongoing commentary, news and updates from an “evangelist” within the Harley organization. Featured within the main Harley-Davidson site, the effort will emerge as a powerful means by which the company can further cement its digital relationship with its customers. Harley has a new model coming out? It’s reported directly to Harley fans through the blog. Someone is doing a cross-country bike ride on a Harley with the monies collected going to a charity? Write it into the blog. A new Harley ad is released? Link it in the blog, and viewers will follow.
[John Robb’s Radio Weblog]

Blogging from the couch

Ernie sent me an e-mail expressing shock that I’m just now figuring out scanning. Come on – cut me some slack! Scanning just always seemed so, well, boring.



But I’ve got religion now…



And as long as we’re making technology discoveries here in the Klau house, we went ahead and fooled around with 802.11b. Yup, wifi is here. (Translation: I can now access the DSL connection via a wireless connection from my laptop anywhere in the house.)



It took a while to get it configured properly, but now things are humming along quite nicely. I’m looking forward to seeing where I can find wireless access (rumor has it it’s in a bunch of airports). Any recommendations?

PaperPort Rocks

I’ve never really used imaging software, but have always been familiar with the claims. Reduce the paper in your office. Organize your various documents. Make everything searchable.



Blah, blah, blah.



Or so I thought. I fired up a copy of PaperPort Deluxe 8 over the weekend, and am stunned at how intuitive it is. I have it running on our home desktop – a P4 with a huge hard drive. My wife has a huge recipes collection - so I decided to give a whirl at scanning in the recipes.



Though my scanner has a sheet feeder (I have the wonderful HP g85 xi), scanning is a bit of a manual process. (If PaperPort has an automated sheet-loading function, I haven’t found it.)



But the end result is outstanding. It creates thumbnails of every scanned image. You can add your own annotations to images – including highlighting, text comments, etc. Multi-page documents are no problem. Best of all, PaperPort has an OCR component built in that will automatically add all words in the scanned images to a text index. The search engine supports Boolean queries. Scans can be logically grouped by folder, so your searches can be restricted to folders (and their subfolders if you wish) – adding context to the search.



The product costs just $100, and I was up and running in less than 20 minutes. My wife, a bit of a skeptic when it comes to these things (she rightly discounts much of what I do as so much geek adoration), was floored when she saw she could do full-text searching of her recipes database. An added bonus? When I’m done scanning, I can dump at least one of the file cabinets entirely. I’m now thinking about other areas we can address – bills is an obvious area – to further reduce the paper in our house.



The image files are not small – about 50 or so recipes so far and it’s taking up several hundred megabytes. Fortunately the hard drive runs to 75 gigabytes, and additional hard drives are cheap.

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

JOHO on Peters

Tom Peters and Branding. I got to go be in the live audience yesterday of a Tom Peters webinar where for an hour he railed, riffed on great quotes, told stories, and test-i- fied. Hell of a performance. While the rest of us are nattering among ourselves, Tom is out making converts among the heathen. [JOHO the Blog]



Guess I’m not the only one sitting in on webinars this week… maybe I need to reconsider my opinion of Peters. I find it hard to read his books (I bought the Professional Service Firm 50 recently, and it looked like a layout that Wired would’ve turned down – too many colors, too many fonts, too much YELLING), and his PowerPoint slides to be indecipherable.



On the other hand, David’s assessment of the presentation this week sounds good. I’ll have to check it out.

Marketing your firm through individual weblogs


Don’t Forget the Brownies. Denise’s “Interview Tips“ almost make me reconsider my pledge to never interview for a job as a lawyer. Seriously – after reading this, doesn’t it make you at least think about going to work for Crosby Heafey? Employers gain a lot when their employees are allowed to have a personality – kudos to both CHR&M and Denise for laying it out there.



If there are any law students reading this blog, make sure to swing by Denise’s site and read up on what interviewers look for when you chat. [tins ::: Rick Klau’s weblog]


I posted the above to my own weblog last week, and thought it merited additional discussion in the context of marketing your law firm on the internet. What makes Crosby Heafey unique is not that they “allow” Denise to have her on weblog – it’s that they link directly to it from her bio. Anyone who happens to browse Crosby Heafey’s site will see info about Denise and be able to go directly to her blog. (Other law firms like Pennsylvania’s Buchanan Ingersoll have prominent bloggers – the head of their appellate practice maintains a site at http://howappealing.blogspot.com – but don’t link directly to those blogs from the firm web site.)



What I find lacking in so many law firms’ sites is the sterile, impersonal feel to so many of them. Denise’s weblog is an outstanding example of how one person in the firm can add some color to a firm’s overall image. The results may be fairly straightforward (a visitor has a better impression of the firm after visiting) – or dramatic (a prospective student elevates Crosby Heafey in their job search because they’re more impressed with the obvious “culture” at the firm as a result of reading Denise’s site).



There’s an element of risk involved in letting a lawyer maintain their own site, outside the control of the marketing department. On the other hand, that can be managed through periodic monitoring and a clear communication of objectives. I know I think more highly of Crosby Heafey as a result of Denise’s site – and am certain that there’s a potential for other firms to embrace the model.

Find the Leaky Pipes

If you’re in the tech business (whether you sell into it, work in it, or represent it) and you haven’t read Crossing the Chasm, stop reading right now and buy a copy. It’s one of the books that really defines the space – so much so that Geoffrey Moore (the author) created a consulting group based on the book’s themes (The Chasm Group). In short, the “chasm” is the space between the early adopters and market saturation – and Moore identifies trends not previously understood about how organizations can identify and cross the chasm so that their company can accelerate its growth. (His follow-up book talked about that rapid growth phase, Inside the Tornado.)



In any event, I got to attend a web conference Moore gave last week for Placeware customers. (Placeware is the web conferencing service I use to demo our software over the web and give web-based seminars to prospects and customers.) The focus of Moore’s presentation was the current economic climate and provided a detailed look at how to successfully sell technology solutions in that climate.



I won’t try to summarize his presentation. It’s remarkably lucid, very substantive, and well worth the hour or so it’ll take to watch it. Placeware has the archive available online – definitely check it out.



As a side note, Placeware should be commended for lining up such great webinars for their customers (and anyone else who happens to swing by their site). That commitment to improving their customers’ business – while demonstrating the value of their own product – is outstanding. And kudos to Moore – who could have simply used this as an opportunity to shill his new book and instead used it to share some great insights. (Granted, he mentioned the book –  but as an extension of what he covered in the hour presentation.) Based largely on some of the topics he covered, I’m already working on reshaping our own sales strategy for the next few months.

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Don't Forget the Brownies

Denise’s “Interview Tips“ almost make me reconsider my pledge to never interview for a job as a lawyer. Seriously – after reading this, doesn’t it make you at least think about going to work for Crosby Heafey? Employers gain a lot when their employees are allowed to have a personality – kudos to both CHR&M and Denise for laying it out there.



If there are any law students reading this blog, make sure to swing by Denise’s site and read up on what interviewers look for when you chat.

Homeowner Lesson

If you ever see a couple guys from a cable company show up with big shovels and power tools – unannounced – ask lots of questions. “Why are you here?” would be a good start.



But most importantly, if you tell them not to cut something – it turns out you need to furnish an exhaustive list of what they should not cut. I foolishly requested that they not cut the electric fence we put in for our dog. I did not realize I should have also requested that they leave my phone line in tact.



Result? Yup. Both phone lines cut. No dial tone, no DSL.

Sunday, September 22, 2002

Annotated Blog Bibliography

An annotated bibliography on weblogs & blogging, BlogBib CARL 2002 [LLRX Newstand]



Hadn’t seen anyone else pick this up. Caught it at Sabrina Pacifici’s LLRX site. The Newstand is a great collection of daily links to tech news around the web.

Friday, September 20, 2002

SpamCop on the Beat

Thanks to Genie Tyburski and Mike Masnick for their recommendation of SpamCop to address my dislike of spam. It costs $30/year, and I signed up this afternoon. Here’s what I did:




  • Configured my e-mail address to point to my SpamCop address.

  • SpamCop queues up any likely spam and places it into a “hold” folder

  • Configured my mail client to download mail from my SpamCop address

Advantages to this approach:




  • SpamCop filters spam before it ever hits my mail client.

  • SpamCop gives me the ability to see what has been filtered, just in case it catches e-mails that aren’t actually spam.

  • I don’t change my interface – I still use the same e-mail program.

  • E-mail from me still shows up as from my e-mail address.

This is a very transparent solution, and so far I’m impressed. I set it up four hours ago, and it’s already caught a dozen messages that were in fact spam. So far, so good.

bStats - a new Blog Stats program

This looks pretty cool: Pyra (company behind Blogger) has come up with a stats package specifically for bloggers. Right now it’s only available for blogspot plus users, but they hope to make it available for others soon.



Check out the screen shots – lots of very useful improvements over traditional site tracking tools.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Hildebrandt: Relationship Intelligence for Law Firms

Joy beats me to the punch: Today, Hildebrandt’s TechGroup and my company (Interface Software) published a white paper about the importance of Relationship Intelligence in law firms. Joy’s comments:



Relationship Intelligence and Law Firms. The Hildebrandt TechGroup, a division of law office management consultancy, Hildebrandt International, published a white paper entitled: 1=963”>Relationship Intelligence in a Competitive Market.

With information provided by Interface Software, the white paper is an excellent law firm CRM primer. The white paper also describes “The Partnership’s Dilemma:”

“The nature of the dilemma is that profit squeezes are hindering investments in a new business model that incorporates new programs such as practice management, knowledge management and client relationship management. The new programs require new staff and new systems—just at a time when firms are compelled to spend more on these line items just to maintain their current capabilities. At the same time, many firms are also experiencing downward pricing pressure … “ [ excited utterances]

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Spam filtering?

I’m looking for an outsourced spam filtering system. I rent my domain (rklau.com) from Verio, and can point my mailserver address to any machine. I figure there has to be a couple of companies out there who will serve as a gateway for my e-mail – and nuke the spam while sending my e-mail on to my mailserver.



If you know of anyone out there who does this, drop me a line.

Exciting Utterances...

Knowledge Management in a Spanish Law Firm. Knowledge Management at Uria & Menendez, one of Spain’s largest law firms.

(Spotted on Peter West’s SynapShots, a blog of “citings for knowledge workers”) [excited utterances]



Joy has added a wealth of information on her site about KM in law firms. It’s well worth checking out her recent posts, including:




Keep it up, Joy. And hopefully now that I’m caught up (more or less) on the last week or so of posts, I can be more timely in pointing out these great additions!

Google's Democratic Leanings

Matt asks: Has pagerank run it’s course?




Daniel Brandt: Google’s Original Sin. [Scripting News]




» A good piece.  The main thrust is that Google’s reliance on pagerank, far from being democratic, is uniquely autocratic.  Because sites with a high pagerank matter most, they have more power and it is harder for site with a low pagerank to get noticed regardless of the relevance of their onpage content. … It’s quite possible that [Google sees] an advantage for themselves in the tyranny of pageranks and the power of corporate America to wield them! [Curiouser and curiouser!] ( emphasis mine)

When I started this blog ten months ago, Google ignored my site. Why? Because nobody knew about it – there were no inbound links, no readership. Over time, people found it and linked to it. Google crawled the site – but didn’t update the site very often. Traffic to my site grew incrementally, but Google was still hanging out on the sidelines waiting to see if this site was for real, or just a flash-in-the-pan thing.



As the number of inbound links grew (according to Google, it now knows of 838 inbound links to www.rklau.com/tins/) and the frequency with which my site was updated grew, Google started visiting more frequently. With few exceptions, Google now updates my site daily – and accounts for about 50-60% of visits to my site. Because more sites link to me, and because I update the content frequently, Google ranks me higher in the search results page. (Odd but true fact? I’m now the #8 “Rick” at Google. Look out, Ranger Rick.)



Why is any of this relevant? This site is the work of one guy (me) – no commercial entity managing the process. Yet I’m in the top 10 search results for things like “business relationships“ (#1 on that one), “cross selling“ (#3), and ”knowledge management weblogs“ (#4). Not only does this ultimately disprove Brandt’s claim that Google establishes a tyranny of high-trafficked sites (any of the search terms mentioned above are highly applicable to more commercial entities than my blog), it also establishes that Google is a good barometer of what other Internet users find useful about a particular term.



If anything, blogs increase Google’s democratic leanings – by increasing the likelihood that one individual’s comments ( good/bad/otherwise) will ultimately help identify the relevance of one page to the term in question.



For anyone maintaining a site – no matter how new or low-traffic it may be today – the lesson is to ensure that others are aware of it and can link to it. Those two facts alone will get you in the game – and help Google make you part of the broader community of sites worth visiting. In my case, it took about 6-8 weeks from creation to index. Mention on a high profile site that’s frequently indexed by Google could move that up to a matter of days.

Monday, September 16, 2002

We Missed You, Jenny

Jenny recounts her hellish PC experience over the past month. Makes my experience of replacing my wife’s PC last week seem rather trivial. Must be something in the Illinois air…



Welcome back Jenny. Maybe that effort to christen Saint Isidore of Seville the patron saint of the Internet ain’t such a bad idea… at least you’d have someone to pray to. (And he was a librarian!) I think I might be on to something…

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Re-branding (again)

This is a good summary of challenges faced in re-branding efforts. The U.K. has had a couple swings at this particular pitch… wonder whether this newest effort will work?




Third time is charming: Great Britain, which has re-branded itself not once but twice this year alone, is once again heading back to the drawing board:



In January the BTA [British Tourist Authority] launched its UK:OK slogan, which was later quietly dropped in favour of a £40m global campaign with the new line, “Only in Britain. Only in 2002”.

Now the BTA, which is responsible for attracting tourists from abroad and generating tourism revenue in Britain, has decided Britain needs to be rebranded all over again.

The organisation’s business plan for 2002/03 and beyond says: “BTA has identified that a brand protocol is required that accommodates a generic, coherent and relevant presentation of Britain.”
Do they really think that a “generic presentation of Britain” will lure tourists to the UK in droves?

Obviously, the BTA has it’s hands full trying to come up with a brand that will “allow each national area” of the UK — England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — “to maintain its own identity alongside the main Britain brand.” Unfortunately, with that many competing interests fighting for a piece of the brand pie, it may be impossible to create anything other than a generic brand.

Perhaps just changing the name of the country is the most elegant solution to this problem. However, as we’ve noted before, any re-branding that goes on in Britain is a tough sell to the British public, so they probably won’t take too kindly to the notion. Any thoughts from across the pond? [The Shinola Awards.]

Obey Demand

Obeying demand.
Tom Stewart’s most recent Barely Managing column in Business 2.0 takes a look at the market for DVDs as the realization of video-on-demand that so many sought. Tom has a finely honed sense for organizations’ preference for order over profit. I only hope the RIAA is reading as well. Some clips from the column:




The DVD is — surprise — the form in which we have produced video-on-demand. Gerald Levin, former CEO of AOL Time Warner (AOL), was right: Video-on-demand really is a killer app.



[…]



In so doing, they taught us all a lesson. The prophets of video-on-demand overlooked something about “demand” — namely, whose demand it really is. You don’t create demand; you obey it.



[…]



When demand is running around loose, smart leaders don’t make too many plans. Instead they make hypotheses, then adjustments.

[McGee’s Musings]

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

e-gray.com: Parody site lampoons Gray Davis

EBay Mulls Legal Options Against Parody Web Site, USA Today – “…eBay is considering legal action against a parody Web site that lampoons Gov. Gray Davis and is produced by his opponent’s campaign. Campaign workers for Republican Bill Simon said they plan to keep the Web site, called E-Gray (www.e-gray.com), online.” [LLRX Newstand]



Talk about tough campaigning, this site is ruthless. Gotta admire their cojones, even if you don’t necessarily agree with the politics.

Expense Reports...

… have got to be the bane of existence. is there anyone out there who has a good system for keeping up with expenses, gets reimbursed in a timely fashion and pays their corporate expenses consistently?



It’s incredible how much time this has taken out of my morning – here I am at 8am, and I just spent 90 minutes sorting and reporting expenses from the past five weeks on the road.



Ugh.

Monday, September 9, 2002

Freedoms post 9/11

Why is Newsday.com the only place I’m seeing this list (from A.P.) being published? [Steven’s Weblog]



Had lunch today with a guy at a major DC-based think tank. Among other things, we discussed the wide berth the media is giving the Bush administration when it comes to issues like, oh, Constitutional rights. (You remember those, right?)



Thanks to Steven Vore for catching the above link. I guess seeing everything collected just makes it that much more incredible:




Some of the fundamental changes to Americans’ legal rights by the Bush administration and the USA Patriot Act following the terror attacks:

* FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION: Government may monitor religious and political institutions without suspecting criminal activity to assist terror investigation.

* FREEDOM OF INFORMATION: Government has closed once-public immigration hearings, has secretly detained hundreds of people without charges, and has encouraged bureaucrats to resist public records requests.

* FREEDOM OF SPEECH: Government may prosecute librarians or keepers of any other records if they tell anyone that the government subpoenaed information related to a terror investigation.

* RIGHT TO LEGAL REPRESENTATION: Government may monitor federal prison jailhouse conversations between attorneys and clients, and deny lawyers to Americans accused of crimes.

* FREEDOM FROM UNREASONABLE SEARCHES: Government may search and seize Americans’ papers and effects without probable cause to assist terror investigation.

* RIGHT TO A SPEEDY AND PUBLIC TRIAL: Government may jail Americans indefinitely without a trial.

* RIGHT TO LIBERTY: Americans may be jailed without being charged or being able to confront witnesses against them.

Copyright © 2002, The Associated Press

An Answer to the Multi-Author Weblog Macro

Roger Turner sends in this answer to my question of a few days ago:



Inserting the macro:




<%local (adrpost = @weblogData.posts.[”<paddedItemNum>”]); if defined ( adrpost^.sourceName) {return ( string.popSuffix (adrpost^.sourceName, “:”) )} else {return (”“)}%>

into your #itemTemplate.txt file (for the multi-author weblog category) does exactly what I was looking for: takes the sourceName from the contributor’s RSS feed and strips the colon and everything following it. I’ll soon announce where this multi-author blog is (and you can see the results there). In the meantime, thanks to Roger for sending me the answer! I love seeing this kind of generosity online.

Saturday, September 7, 2002

Ethics in Business School

Business Week.  US business schools begin to integrate ethics into their programs.  While the AFA grad below said something a little trite, his sentiment is basically on the mark.  Tell me:  which guy would you hire?   


The exercises seemed to be a hit with enrollees. “Business has a long way to go to win back the public trust,” says Jeff Phillips, a graduate of the Air Force Academy, a captain in the Air Force, and now a UMich first-year MBA student. He credits his military training with a basic belief: “We’re taught to do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.”

Some of Phillips’ classmates quietly scoffed at his view. But the idea of going to jail seemed to resonate strongly in the minds of some members of the Wolverine Class of 2004. “You just don’t want to be that guy,” says Ojas Patel, who finished medical school before enrolling in the MBA program.

What’s worse is that the article implies that many in the class are totally indifferent to ethics and some are even openly hostile to the concept. [John Robb’s Radio Weblog]

Multi-author weblogs and author names

I’m maintaining a new multi-author weblog, and saw this nifty macro that Userland posted here. It takes the title of the RSS feed and passes that through as a value that you can use in the itemTemplate. The end result is that when it takes Bob Smith’s post, you can have it say “Bob Smith” in the post in the multi-author weblog.



So far, so good. Except that my contributors are using Radio categories to route posts to the multi-author weblog. And Radio wants to create category names that include the author name and the category name. The result? The value that the Radio macro identified above uses is “Bob Smith: Category Name”.



I know there’s a way to strip strings in Radio, but the only references I’ve seen are to use Radio’s string. firstSentence.



What I really want to do is take the string, strip everything after the colon, and use the edited text as the author name. Any ideas?

Friday, September 6, 2002

Marketing Info and Sales Leads Online

Find Sales Leads and Other Prospect Lists. This response to a question from a site visitor appears in our How To … Do It with Research! section. We answer this question: Regarding research on specific industries, where can you find a listing of companies within a specific SIC/NAICS code that is either free or inexpensive? Also, where can you find detailed information (Sales, # of employees, etc) for private companies that is free or inexpensive? [The Virtual Chase]



The one recommendation TVC provides is to ZapData, which turns out to be a branded offering of data giant Dun & Bradstreet. In a prior job, I subscribed to iMarket‘s MarketPlace product – also a D&B product. Turns out that ZapData is just the web version of iMarket – one’s a desktop product and one’s a web product. Odd that they’d each have a separate brand – if the data’s the same and only the deliver mechanism changes, why bother investing in developing two distinct brands?



Anyway, if you’re looking for non-D&B data, here are some other outlets for marketing and sales info:




Lest anyone think that any of this kind of data that’s “free” is worth anything, I’ll quote from TVC:




Information is not necessarily free. When it accurately, and in a timely fashion, adds to what you know, it has value. The sooner you accept the fact that such information incurs a charge, the sooner you can get on with your research and obtain an answer.

Aggregator's back...

… the hard way. Many thanks to Will, Ron, and Joe who guided me to a number of resources for restoring my subscriptions in the news aggregator. Only problem was that Radio was particularly hungry yesterday – and not only did it eat my subscriptions file, but also managed to chew up the backup. Hmmm….



Lesson learned: regularly back up the mySubscriptions.opml file that tracks the RSS feeds you’re subscribed to. (It also appears that it’s a good idea to enable this preference in Radio so that it always saves a backup of your subscriptions in the “gems” folder.)



Remarkably, it didn’t take that long to do – most of the sites I monitor were already in the blogroll I maintain, so getting those back in was pretty simple. In the process, I saw a number of new sites I want to track – which is just another reminder that sometimes it’s a good idea to visit a writer’s blog instead of just relying on their RSS feed.

Thursday, September 5, 2002

Light posts

Very light posts the last few days. Working on a project that will be released next week (stay tuned) and traveling.



In the meantime, enjoy this quote from my Ukrainian cab driver today in Buffalo (you can add your own thick slavic accent):




“Laugh is my second profession in United States. I like having to make smile face for people with not money.”

 Uh-huh.

Wednesday, September 4, 2002

Playing along

Whatever. Go Meme Go. { The longest path?. { Memetics Experiment. It’s a dirty job but somebody has to do it. {A memetics experiment — pass it along. {Life in the Aggregator. { An Experiment: Life in the Aggregator. How far can it travel?  Please play by passing it along, including all source links… [jenett.radio] } I’m willing to play [McGee’s Musings] } There we go. [via Seb’s Open Research]} (via both2and) [Radio Free Blogistan]} Yeah [Stuff from Wozz]} This is the longest I’ve seen yet – puleeeeeze pass it along… ;~) [jenett.radio] } [sysrick.com] [The Peanut Gallery]

Tuesday, September 3, 2002

Area Woman On Location


Area woman goes behind the scenes at The Onion, gains potentially unique insights: If you enjoy The Onion as much as I do, you won’t want to miss Kathryn S. Wenner’s behind-the-scenes report published today in the American Journalism Review. [How Appealing]

Thanks to Howard Bashman for this pointer. The permanent link to the American Journalism Review article is here. It’s a great read. I absolutely love this quote, submitted by The Onion’s editor as part of their Pulitzer submission (for their coverage of the 9/11 attacks: “Holy Fucking Shit: Attack on America“):




Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.  -George Bernard Shaw

Al Macintyre's Radio Docs

Al Macintyre’s Radio Doc Sources.
A great collection of links to Radio documentation, tips, tools, experts. I keep finding new, juicy things and ripe, proven resources. High editorial value. Thanks, Al. [a klog apart]



I’ll second Terry’s endorsement. If you’re looking for a good place for Radio tips and tricks, Al’s list is a great resource.

MITRE and the Thank You Database

Is E-mail the Killer App?. …In March, 1998, MITRE, a non-profit corporation and a leader in knowledge sharing practices, created a “thank you“ database. It works like this: Whenever someone replies with a “thank you,” the entire e-mail thread can be cc’d to a “thank you” e-mail box. The “ thank you” e-mail is copied to MITRE’s database and the knowledge sharer (the recipient of the “thank you” e-mail) is recorded as an “expert.” The “expert” is credited for sharing his knowledge. Each time someone retrieves that “thank you” e -mail, the expert is awarded a “hit.” Each day, the number of “thank you” e-mails and “hits” are totaled and experts are recognized on the organization’s intranet as knowledge sharing champions. A “Top Knowledge Sharer” is rewarded with a MITRE -funded training class (up to $3,000) of the recipient’s choice.

… This “thank you” e-mail system follows Tom Davenport’s idea of “baking” knowledge into work. Davenport, in a recent Harvard Business School Review article posits:
“The key to success … is to bake specialized knowledge into the jobs of highly skilled workers – to make the knowledge so readily accessible that it can’t be avoided. While there are several ways to bake knowledge into knowledge work, the most promising approach is to embed it into the technology that knowledge workers use to do their jobs. That approach ensures that knowledge management is no longer a separate activity requiring additional time and motivation.” [excited utterances]

Wow. A great post on overcoming cultural hurdles with some simple, proven (and low-tech!) techniques. I’ll have to e-mail a friend of mine who’s a higher-up at MITRE and see how successful this has been. Thanks to Joy for spotlighting this. I see a lot of parallels to using weblogs for a similar purpose.

To Serve and Protect Market Share

Ah, Marketing!.




Flight Attendant: Please prepare for our landing in Tanzania…
I’m sorry, it is now called “New Zanzibar”
Excuse me. It is now called “Pepsi presents New Zanzibar.”
- The Simpsons

Panama City, a Florida town of 9,000 souls, has decided to put ads on their police cars. The mayor said: “We had some concerns over the sponsors. We don’t want to do anything that would make our city a laughingstock.” It’s a little late for that, Your Honor.
All that’s surprising about this latest incursion of commercial propaganda is that, given its relentless logic, it took so long. (More surprising is that the Police Chief’s name is Sam Slay.) [JOHO the Blog]

Monday, September 2, 2002

Screenshot of the activeRoll with Radio NavLinks

A picture named desktop_screenshot_small.gifHere’s a screen shot of what the desktop website looks like now that I’ve got the Radio menuing added as an activeRoll. (It’s too small to see in this snapshot; click the image to see it full size.)



Thanks go to Marc Barrot for making this so freakin’ easy.

Adding navlinks to all Radio desktop pages

After adding the radio_navlinks outline to my desktop website, I realized that only solved part of the problem. The other was getting the same navigation options for all Radio pages – the Aggregator page, the preferences pages, etc. If you add the activeRoll to the #template.txt file, you’ll end up publishing it to the rest of the world.



That’s when it hit me – all of Radio’s “private” pages (i.e., the pages that only you as the user see, not what the rest of the world sees when reading your blog) are served up from the www/system folder. I copied the #template.txt file from the www folder into the www/system folder, and then modified the #template.txt file to add the activeRoll macro containing the radio_navlinks.opml file. Bingo.



This makes my own internal use of Radio far more effective.

Radio NavLinks

Radio users only:



Just created a Radio outline called radio_navlinks.opml. The idea was to take all of the desktop Radio functions and put them into one outline. I then used the activeRoll macro by Marc Barrot (it’s part of his activeRenderer suite) to put the outline in my desktop website template. The result? All Radio navigation options are available on my desktop website home page. I no longer have to navigate to two, three or four pages before getting to the one item I want.



If you want to do this, there’s a couple steps:




  • Save radio_navlinks.opml in your gems folder.
  • Add <activeRoll ( “file:///C:/Program Files/Radio Userland/www/gems/radio_navlinks.opml” )> to your #desktopWebsiteTemplate.txt file wherever you want the navlinks to show up (I added them to my top-left corner).
  • Make sure <%activeRendererHeader () %> is included in the head section of your #desktopWebsiteTemplate. txt file.

Please note: if you use this format, then you will always have the navlinks displayed whenever you load the desktop website. The downside: if Userland updates the navigation options, then you won’t have those new menu items included in the navlinks outline. You can always point the activeRoll macro to the file that lives at my site – but if you’re working offline you won’t see the outline. Your call which makes more sense.

Excited Utterances - Now Available in RSS

Excited Utterances, Joy London’s excellent blog about KM and the law, now has an RSS feed. Welcome, Joy – now my lazy butt can actually read your posts more often.



Anyone else interested in Joy’s site can view the RSS feed here; Radio users click here to add the site your subscriptions.



Joy – if you’re looking for a good newsreader that will allow you to subscribe to other RSS feeds, I mention a few on my “about this site” page; other good recommendations are available from Jon Udell in this article from May. (I still prefer Radio’s aggregator, but if you’re not using Radio that’s not really an option, is it?)

V: The Final Battle on DVD

A picture named v_theseries.jpgCheck this out:



The #5 top selling DVD at Yahoo! Shopping is V: The Final Battle. Who knew that this 18 year-old TV miniseries would still be such a huge hit? From the synopsis:




The epic television miniseries comes to an explosive conclusion as a motley force of humans makes a final stand against the reptilian visitors who intend to harvest them as food and use the earth as a giant water cooler. The cast of the original series—including Marc Singer, Faye Grant, Jane Badler, and Robert Englund—returns, with the notable addition of Michael Ironside as tough guy Ham Tyler.

Talk about guilty pleasures…