Sunday Links

Links for Sunday:

  • Nothing is created out of thin air: The Story of Stuff [Link]
  • JG Ballard died recently, Ballardian has a write-up with several links [Link]
  • A nsfw and tasteless song about internet commenters [Link]

Things to try: Tracks

Normally I’m not the guy that uses a task management scheme (which, I have the feeling, sometimes only exist to fill its creator’s pockets) or similar procedures. A good old Excel sheet, or nowadays a task-centric web app, always provided all the task management I needed. Despite all that i have to admit that Tracks (local installer here) looks quite promising. Especially for freelancers, where the line between private and professional tasks is often a blurry one.

Enterprise Information Systems and Definitions

Some terms are too often used with only a rough and blurry definition of what they might contain and in which context they can be applied. I am as guilty of this as is every information worker. So, to make sense of terms like Knowledge Management, Internal Communications and eCollaboration, they have to be defined first. Regarding Information Architecture and User Experience, this article tries to incorporate these topics in a unifying concept. It is thoughtful, written with insight, and only the first in an upcoming series, so you are hereby ordered to read it – not only because it accomplishes the feat of simultaneously coining and explaining a new term along the way: the Enterprise-Wide Information System.

WordPress and Strato: Upload and WYSIWYG Editor Problems

How to install and configure WordPress when you are stuck with one of the worst hosters in the world, like some friends of mine were:

  • Make sure you have the appropriate hosting package, at least one that features the so-called ‚Weblog Pro‘ option.
  • In the Strato Customer Center you can install WordPress (which is the software behind the fancy ‚Pro‘ name) with a few clicks. There is only one thing to keep in mind: You cannot install it in a subdomain.
  • After you are done you can access a brand new WordPress installation with only a few minor shortcomings. Of course, I am being sarcastic here, the few minor shortcomings are 1) no possibility to upload files or images via the admin/edit-interface (FTP only) and 2) no working WYSIWG editor either.
  • To fix number one, create a file named php.ini (filename in lowercase, please) with these lines of code within:
    memory_limit = „16“
    safe_mode = off
  • Upload this file via FTP to your main WordPress-directory (to make sure that the PHP-settings are applied to all directories on your webspace you should also upload it to your wp-admin, wp-content, wp-includes and your upload-folders) and number one should no longer be a problem.
  • I don’t know why the WYSIWYG-editor works fine now, but here is what solved it in my case:
    • Install the FCK-Editor plugin and activate it
    • Edit any post with it
    • Deactivate it…
    • … and now the default WYSIWYG editor should work fine.

This is obviously not a very good way to spend some of your precious hours. And i haven’t even mentioned the circumstances of working with more than one domain in the same Strato account yet. I am just so glad to have hosted on a reliable hosting provider that made the setting up of this site a breeze.

Enterprise 2.0 ROI revisited

As i mentioned here before, i think that a sociological perspective might be able to shed light on the much-debated Enterprise 2.0 & ROI-topic. Well, so how could a starting point for this approach look? This list of social software usage offers some promising hints. Granted, these examples are all formulated in a way that measuring hard  figures might seem nearly impossible at first, but you have to keep in mind that social interaction between employees can also yield a measurable revenue – even if it is only one employee posing a question.

ThoughtFarmer is Intranet 2.0?

Definitely a tool to keep an eye on: ThoughtFarmer. In contrast to SharePoint, this seems like a really easy-to-use and intuitive portal and collaboration suite. And on a related note, this must be one of the neatest intranet rollouts i have ever seen.

SharePoint Pitfalls, Planning and User Experience

SharePoint links for today:

  • Dig yourself a hole: Top SharePoint Pitfalls [Link]
  • Some user experience concepts, applicable to SharePoint, but not exclusively [Link]
  • Toby Ward on SharePoint Planning and Governance [Link, via]

Sunday Links for April 19th

Sunday links:

  • A Time Travel Cheat Sheet [Link]
  • Steampunk Magazine Issue 5 Released [Link]
  • Visualized Sorting Algorithms [Link]
  • In my next life, i wanna be a regular customer at the Brooklyn Superhero Supply store [Link]

Sun, IBM, Microsoft & Cloud Computing

With their heads in the cloud, the old dogs of technology are bent on learning some new tricks

I really like the title of this article about cloud computing.

Enterprise 2.0 and the ROI Mystery

Apart from individual use or hype that hardly relates to your average company, the value and ROI of Enterprise 2.0 tools in organizations is still questionable. The main problems can be found outlined in these articles:

  • Dion Hinchcliffe: How to measure the ROI of Enterprise 2.0 tools [Link]
  • Also take a look at his slides from the Web 2.0 Expo [Link, via]
  • A more realistic and pragmatic viewpoint comes from Dennis Howlett [Link]

What makes me wonder is that, coming from a sociological background, i don’t see any insurmountable problems in measuring, and consequently determining, ROI of so-called ’soft‘ correlations. The social sciences have developed a strong and proven tool set for exactly this type of phenomena. Of course, the adapting of these tool sets to the enterprise could require more resources than management is willing to provide, but i think that, on a more manageable level, sound results can be found by even small teams and small initiatives.