Overheard: Word of the Day


February 21, 2009  5:03 PM

Overheard – The power of XBRL

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“Imagine this: Pick up a paper report or spreadsheet and shake all the numbers off it. Got it in your mind? Lots of information piled up on the carpet all over the place? Now try to get those numbers back into the report. Does this ’50,000′ go against ‘sales’ or ‘salaries? Where did this number come from? What about that footnote? Pretty much impossible isn’t it? But it’s not far off the everyday reality of moving business information around today. That’s the business problem that XBRL solves.”

XBRL: Digital business reporting

Really REALLY good tutorial on XBRL basics here.

February 21, 2009  2:53 PM

Overheard – Google ditches radio

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
The flushing sound you hear is what remains of the $106 million Google paid to purchase the dMarc Broadcasting advertising network back in 2006 at the start of its radio misadventure.David Coursey, Google: Not the King of All Media

There was reason for concern because, as we all know, Google is, was, and shall remain a media company pretending to be a technology company. That is an important thing to remember: Google has yet to create a big moneymaker that isn’t tied to search-related revenue. And I think that business is starting to show cracks as new technology appears on the horizon even as Google’s search results become less useful over time.

Google ditched their audio ads. That’s not the big deal. The big deal is that so many companies are behaving as if they’re buttoning down before the storm. I thought we were already IN the storm.

Each day the earth seems to shift beneath my feet a little as the vendors we work with struggle to get back to their core competencies — and at the same time realign their marketing messages to capture the attention of anyone who’s dropping dollars.

I have this mental picture of farm animals being skittish before an earthquake or the dogs sensing a thunderstorm half an hour before there’s even a cloud in the sky.

Maybe we’re all sensing the cracks in Google’s foundation?

I need to read more about the semantic web.


February 20, 2009  1:14 PM

Overheard – The lady or the tiger

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“If there is a bright side to the current economic crisis, it might be the death of the cool the company, and that would be fine with us. During the dot-com bubble, Silicon Valley companies went out of their way to provide concierge services, gourmet food, ping pong tables, and other workplace perks. They did this to compete for talent, but they also did this to remove any reason someone might have to leave campus.”

Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson, The Death of the Cool Workplace

Today’s Word of the Day is going to be Results Oriented Work Environment.   It’s a management philosophy where the first commandment is “Work isn’t a place you go, but something you do.”

When I talk about working at a ROWE,  I’m always reminded of my kid’s pop-up book where the guy is asked to pick a door — behind one door is a beautiful lady that will grant all your wishes. Behind the other door is a ferocious tiger that will eat you up.  (The original story is much more devious.)

But it was the kids’ version I kept thinking about when I was trying to decide whether or not to come to TechTarget.

You see, TechTarget has been a ROWE since it was a start-up. Before I came to TechTarget, I’d never interviewed for a position that didn’t mention how many paid vacation days and sick days and personal days I’d get. It was a little scary to be told “No vacation, no sick days, no personal days…you decide when and how much to work.” Was a ROWE the beautiful lady or the ferocious tiger?

Most days as I tap dance to work, I think I’ve picked the beautiful lady.  Some days as I pry my fingers from the keyboard after 14 hours, I’m sure I’ve picked the tiger. But the tiger is of my own making and even that is empowering.

People can’t believe it when I tell them I don’t have vacations or holidays or sick days.  I just work until the work is done. Of course, since there’s always work to do — and TechTarget was smart enough to hire people who love what they do — my colleagues and I put in more hours, accomplish more work and take less time off than anyplace else I’ve ever been employed.

Once you take away the tyranny of the clock, there’s nothing to stop you from working more.  Brilliant.


February 19, 2009  1:25 PM

Overheard – The Obamaberry and White House security

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“Since I do not want my private conversations looked at by those out to embarrass, the only course of action is not to correspond in cyberspace. This saddens me. I have enjoyed conversing with each of you.”

George Bush, 2001

I guess by now you’ve heard that President Barack Obama has the use of a security-enhanced BlackBerry — dubbed the Obamaberry — to correspond with a small group of personal friends and senior staff.

In this short podcast, former deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin shares why President Bush didn’t have one of his own.  I was surprised to learn that security was an issue Joe thought could be solved — the real danger was political shenanigans.


February 18, 2009  3:07 PM

Overheard – Out of the mouth of memes

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

What’s it like to be an Internet meme? A look at the people behind my Top 10 Internet Memes.

“It was just a clip in a sales CD. We just needed something to record.”

Vinny Licciardi as quoted in ‘Bad Day’ Net hero hails from Durango

“Listen, I just think it’s bizarre and funny. My main consideration is that my daughter doesn’t get embarrassed about it.” — Rick Astley

“I am sitting here laughing at myself. Is that really me? It’s like I’m not in my actual body.” — Caitlin Upton

“The appearances on Ally McBeal were (admittedly, by David Kelley) inspired by the original ‘Ooga-chaka’ internet dance file, but the Ally McBeal work was not done by me.” – Michael Girard

“I kept telling everybody while were practicing that it didn’t really matter so much what you do as long as you get the claws right.” — Brian Lundmark

“If you haven’t heard the story, we won’t perpetuate it here. If you have, the recipe below should serve to refute it.” — Neiman Marcus Web Site

“We just thought, O.K., they’re funny. Suddenly we started getting hits. I was like, where are these coming from?” –  Eric Nakagawa

“The Internet was an inexpensive way to promote the mythology and back story associated with the movie. And that, in turn, generated a loyal fan base, which created a lot of buzz and word of mouth going into Sundance.” — Daniel Myrick

“You make movies for the big screen, sitcoms for TV, and something else entirely for the Internet.” — Mesh Flinders

“As we were making it, we said it’s a really bad idea, we’ll never show it to anyone.” — Damian Kulash


February 18, 2009  1:29 PM

Overheard – Top 10 Internet Memes

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

Here’s my list of the Top 10 Internet Memes.  Want to know how these people felt about becoming an Internet phenomenon? So did I.

1. Dancing Baby
OO-ga-chuka. OO-ga-chuka.  Michael Girard’s software demo creeped people out even as they wondered — how did he make that???

2. Cookie Recipe from Neiman Marcus
True or False: After a woman and her daughter are ripped off dining at the Neiman-Marcus Cafe in Dallas, they use the Internet to exact revenge.

3. Blair Witch Project
Before the film even opened, there were fan sites and Usenet Groups. BWP demonstrated the power of the Internet to create a buzz, no matter how bad your movie was.

4. LOLcats — I can has cheeseburger?
You can thank Eric Nakagawa for starting this digital photo craze.

5. Bad Day at the Office
We didn’t know his name back then, but Vinnie Licciardi did what a lot of us would have liked to.  He was the original Mad Man.

6. LonelyGirl15
Is Bree real or is she some new kind of TV program on the Internet? Over two million people tuned in to find out.

7. RickRoll
When you’re RickRolled, it’s like you open a door on the Internet and your whole family jumps out and yells “SURPRISE!”   Even the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade got RickRolled.

8. Thriller Wedding Dance
If you’ve been to a wedding lately, you may have noticed the trend towards a choreographed first dance. No, it’s not because of Dancing with the Stars.

9. Miss South Carolina
Dumb blonde? Nope — just a fascinating look at panic.

10. Here It Goes Again
Tired of your band playing in the garage? Put that gym equipment to good use.


February 17, 2009  1:04 PM

Overheard – What’s holding up electronic health records?

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
The $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that passed Congress last week allocates $19 billion to establish centrally linked health data infrastructure to contain the health information of “each American” by 2014 and to set up the new office of the “National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.”

Fred Lucas, ‘Exceptions’ in Stimulus Bill Allow Sale of Health Records

The banking industry successfully moved to electronic records. What’s really so different about health care?

For the life of me, I can’t understand what the holdup is for electronic health records. It seems like a no-brainer with a lot of components, like HIPAA already in place. Yesterday’s article in the Washington Post attempts to explain some of the issues — but as I read it, I found myself shaking my head.

I don’t buy “privacy” or “security” or even “lack of standards.”  Like all things, it probably comes down to money and profit.  Let’s hope Obama’s $19 billion finally gets the ball rolling.


February 16, 2009  3:06 PM

Overheard – How to speak Windows Server 2008 R2

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
With the first public beta release of Windows Server 2008 R2 comes a new version of Remote Desktop Servers (RDS), formerly known as Terminal Services.

Douglas Brown, First Look at the Updated Remote Desktop Services Web Access Portal in Windows Server 2008 R2

Douglas Brown, over at DABCC, has put together an excellent chart for all of us who are trying to keep up with “what’s Microsoft calling it now?”

Old Names
New Names
Description
Terminal Services (TS)
Remote Desktop Services (RDS or RD)
This is a “Terminal Server”! It allows users to connect to applications and desktops via RDP connections
TS Licensing
RD Licensing
This component manages all the RD Client Access Licenses
TS CAL
Remote Desktop CAL
This is the license itself
TS RemoteApp
RD RemoteApp
This is the ability to publish a single application to a user seamlessly without a desktop.
TS Gateway
Remote Desktop Gateway
This allows for secure connection to RDS servers over the Internet
TS Web Access
RAD Web Access   (RemoteApp and Desktop Web Access)
This is the web page that users use to login to a RDS desktop and/or applications
TS Easy Print
RD Easy Print
This is the driver-less solution for printer redirection over a RD user session.
(new in R2)
RD Connection Broker (New)
This component manages the session load balancing and session reconnection in a load-balanced remote desktop server farm. This includes both RDS and Virtual Machine (VDI) connections
(new in R2)
RD Virtualization (New)
This component allows users to connect to a virtual machine vs. a RDS published desktop.


February 13, 2009  6:16 PM

Overheard – Raw data now!

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
Raw data now! Raw data now! Raw data now!

Tim Berners-Lee, getting the crowd to chant at the 2009 TED conference

Founder of the web Tim Berners-Lee spoke of the next grassroots communication movement he wants to start: linked data. Much in the way his development of the web stemmed out of the frustrations of brilliant people working in silos, he is frustrated that the data of the world is shut apart in offline databases.


February 11, 2009  4:28 PM

Overheard – CIO as Chief Process Officer and Cheaper by the Dozen

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
A good rule of thumb—it’s not always doable—is try to implement new processes without technology, and afterward bring in technology to boost them rather than make them dependent on technology out of the box.

Mike Hammer, as quoted in CIO as Chief Process Officer, Not Strategic Leader

I was sad to see that Mike Hammer passed away. I’d just been reading through Peter Hinssen‘s new book IT/Fusion and had looked up Mike again to see how he pictured the role of the CIO changing. Not surprisingly, he and Peter seem to be in agreement.  Because the CIO runs IT and IT crosses all the business silos, the CIO is in the perfect position to see the big picture and improve business processes.

Now mind you, my whole perspective for thinking about business processes comes from listening to my grandmother read me “Cheaper by the Dozen” when I was a little kid.  (I’m talking about the original book, which believe me, has nothing to do with the Steve Martin movie.)  In the book, the father was a time management expert.  He practiced his profession at home too. For instance, while his children brushed their teeth, they listened to how-to-speak-a-foreign-language records so they were learning something useful while they brushed.  (I loved that part.)

It wasn’t until I was in college that I learned the father (and author of the book) was Frank B. Gilbreth! Gilbreth was an expert in what became known as Time Motion Study and he practiced exactly what Mike Hammer preached.  He looked at a business process that needed improvement, proposed how it could be improved and THEN looked at technology could help.  The technology that Gilbreth chose back in the early 1900′s was the brand new motion picture camera.

I think I’m going to back and read more about Frank and Lillian Gilbreth.  I bet there will be some interesting analogies for how to improve business processes in this century by looking at how Gilbreth approached improving manual work processes back in the early 1900′s.


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