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Check your URL and RSS Feeds!!!!! February 1, 2009

Posted by Jeremy in Uncategorized.
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I am excited to bring up my blog on a different host!  Progress is all around.

Please note the changes to the web address and the RSS feed address!

PLEASE GO TO

BLOG ADDRESS: WWW.REFOCUSINGTECHNOLOGY.COM

AND

RSS FEED: http://feeds2.feedburner.com/RefocusingTechnology

Excellent New Quote to add January 30, 2009

Posted by Jeremy in Other.
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I just read an excellent quote that I have to add:

“Accountability breeds responsibility.” Stephen R. Covey

Starting a new Blog?? January 29, 2009

Posted by Jeremy in Business, Green Business, Social Networking, Tools.
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Blogging is an awesome way for people to share knowledge.  Whether it be for personal or business reasons there are many good reasons to give it a try.

Personally, I think that businesses should have a blog.  It would be in their best interests to have an active blog.  They can discuss what’s going on with their business, products, markets, etc.  This allows the customers and potential customers to connect with the company in a more personal way than they will on a standard web site.  It also allows the business to be a knowledge provider and earn trustworthiness with the clients and potential clients.

If you decide to start a blog you need to start reading ProBlogger’s Blog (twitter @ProBlogger).  He has a wealth of information for blogging.  His blog should be on every blogger’s list of required reading.

Today, he compiled a list of 29 tips (archive articles) for you if you are starting a new blog.  Here is the article:

Starting Your First Blog? 29 Tips, Tutorials and Resources for New Bloggers

If you haven’t started a blog for your business yet, you might want to consider it.  If you do consider it, check out the ProBlogger blog post above for help.

Do you blog?  Does your business blog?  What do you see as the benefits and drawbacks?

New Quote January 28, 2009

Posted by Jeremy in Other.
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Just thought I would let you know that I added a new quote to the Quotes page:

When the world says, “Give up,” hope whispers,”Try it one more time”. ~ Unknown

Google to get Skype’d?? January 27, 2009

Posted by Jeremy in Business, Efficient Technologies, Tools.
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Just read a “rumor” that EBay is looking at selling Skype.  Rumor has it that Google may be the suitor.  That could be quite an acquistion for Google.  They are quickly expanding their offerings and this could really help them to expand the potential of VOIP.  Skype also makes pretty good money so that could be good for the bottom line.

Rumour: Google to buy Skype

Google could rapidly become the one stop shop for online communcation.  Also, how can Skype and Android be integrated??  Very interesting potentials when you consider Google’s focus and other assets.  Interesting rumor.  We’ll see what happens.

What is crowd sourcing? January 27, 2009

Posted by Jeremy in Business, Business Solutions, Efficiency Process, Efficient Technologies, Green Business, Resourcing, Social Networking, Tools, Virtual Office.
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Okay, I am going to share information that I am finding as I try to understand the concept called “Crowd sourcing”.   Here is what I found as a base definition on WikiPedia:

Crowdsourcing is a neologism for the act of taking a task traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people or community in the form of an open call.

So from a basic perspective utilizing many resources to do a task.  It’s a very interesting concept and I am wondering how it can be best utilized.

I will keep you up-to-date as I try to figure out how to best utilize it…

Please feel free to help me understand and post a comment!  Have you crowd sourced something?  Have you provided crowd sourcing services?

What’s with all the titles? January 27, 2009

Posted by Jeremy in Business, Development Process, Resourcing.
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In today’s IT market buzzwords are definitely the sale point.  Microsoft has made an artform out of changing technology names to flashy names.  This also occurs in the market for resources.  You will hear terms like analyst, programmer analyst, senior developer, team lead, architect, etc when it comes to the development realm.  I think that the definition will depend on a company by company basis.  I would like to give a brief idea of what I see as the differences.

Analyst

An analyst’s job is very self explanatory.  They do analysis of business systems.  The main focus is to outline the business need and document the requirements.  In most cases this person is semi-technical but not typically a developer.

Progammer/Developer

This is someone I see as able to write code.  They are given a technical specification for a system and they write the necessary logic to make it work.  They should be able to write the code and troubleshoot it to make it work.  Typically will not create design or architecture models.

Senior Programmer/Developer

Very simply this is an experienced developer.  Typically I would say that somewhere in the 5-7 year range will transition developers into this category.  Some are able to transition before that.  It is primarily based on skillset combined with experience.

Software/System Architect

Architects titles will change but the general concept is that they are able to see things from a high level structure and can think though the best model for system design.  They understand business, software, and systems.  The architect will look at things from a long-term viewpoint to build a system that will adjust to meet needs in the future not just current needs.  The person would be able to do the job of a developer but would add to that the ability to see things from a high level.  This type of person has a mixture of skill and experience.  Experience alone is not enough.  This is not a skill that can necessarily be learned because it is dependent on ability.

Team Lead

This role is usually a senior developer or architect that has some level of management and mentoring responsibilities.  A team lead will NOT always be an architect.  Many times you will find that the person will be a developer and not have the skillset of an architect.

Enterprise Architect

The enterprise architect is a higher level architect.  A software/system architect would tend to focus on systems, the enterprise architect would focus on the entire enterprises architecture.  This would include software, networks, external connections, etc.  They will look at the overall architecture of the entire business system.

Summary

There is definitely a difference in the roles that are played.  Also, there is huge difference between the titles from company to company.  In some places people can move into architecture roles purely through seniority.  If you are trying to hire people don’t just look at titles look at what they have done.  I hope that this brief outline will give you a better idea of what you are looking for.

Observing the Twitter in it’s native environment January 26, 2009

Posted by Jeremy in Business, Business Solutions, Efficient Technologies, Green Business, Social Networking, Tools.
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Twitter Bird

Well a little over a month ago I posted an article called “Some Thought about Social Media” and I said at the time that I was trying out Twitter.  Well, I have definitely enjoyed using Twitter up to this point.  I think that it is pretty cool technology but I am never quite sure how to answer the question “What is it?”.

Even though I can’t answer the question, I have found a few things that I think could be utilized when utilizing Twitter.  Three observations that can help improve traffic, communication, and marketing.

1. Blog/Web Traffic

One of the things that I notice with Twitter is that is a great tool to announce new content on your site/blog to people who are following you.  This can be very beneficial to companies because you can get your customers to follow you and send them virtually instant updates.

There are tools that can be used such as TwitterFeed that can automatically create tweets when your blog gets updated.  This is a great feature to promote the new content on your blog.  By providing the information via Twitter your followers can see when you have updated your blog and hopefully come check out you new content.  You may have even expanded on discussions from Twitter on your blog so this could generate traffic and conversation on your blog.

2. Hash tags

Hash tags are really a work around that someone came up with in order to get around the fact that Twitter doesn’t have groups.  The group simply picks a hash tag like #refocusing and then you put that in every message that you intend for the group.  When the group wants to see it the conversations they can either search or use some of the tools that can monitor search results.  This allows for anyone who wants to be involved to simply add your tag and provide feedback.

This could be a way that you could interact with remote employees, vendors, business partners, etc.  You could also utilize it to receive feedback about your recent presentations or product releases or whatever you have been doing.

Through creative use of hash tags there are many things that you could do on Twitter with them.

3. Potential for constant instantaneous contact

Many companies thought that sending emails over mail was so advantageous because it got in the hands of their customers faster.  Can you imagine how quickly you can get a tweet in the hands of your customers?  Many people have constant connection to Twitter through the Blackberries, IPhones, and other mobile phones via SMS.   This means that you can potentially have instanteous constant contact with your customers.

I read something that gave an example of a restaurant that was extremely slow one Thursday evening.  So, at 5:30 the owner decided to put out a tweet that said from that time until 9:00 anyone who came in with the special code provided on twitter would receive a 40% discount and free dessert.

Obviously, this wouldn’t bring in everyone who was following but on a slow night wouldn’t five, ten, or twenty families make a pretty big difference?  What other form of marketing could you do this kind of thing?

No bull tweet

I think that Twitter has a lot of potential for use by business.  “The rules” haven’t really been defined as to how to best use it for business.  The ideas above are just some observations that I have noticed in the last month of using the product.

Are you using Twitter?  Do you have creative ways that you are using Twitter?  Any observations that you have of the product?

Shameless: Follow me on Twitter

Dung Powered Water Purifier! January 23, 2009

Posted by Jeremy in Business, Efficient Technologies, Green Business.
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No I’m not kidding.  There is a company in the U.S. that has created a water purifier for questionable water sources (ocean, urine, sewage, etc) that can be powered by cow dung!  Sounds strange but in thinking it sounds like a great idea.

Here’s a summary (from: 25 Most Promising Green Businesses).

Better known as the inventor of the Segway, Dean Kamen is now manufacturing the Slingshot, a filterless water purifier that makes drinking water out of sketchy water sources like sewage, ocean water, and urine. It runs off of cow dung and generates enough electricity to run a building full of light bulbs. Hoping to instigate a phenomenon, Kamen is handing units to impoverished villages. The handy device costs the rest of us $1,000-$2,000.

Here’s a couple of another link that I found about this To Build a Better World.

It is amazing what inventors can come up with.  No limit to innovation!

Great post: 5 Steps to Improve Productivity January 22, 2009

Posted by Jeremy in Business, Tools.
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Okay, this article is very loosely technology related but I thought that you might find it very helpful.  I think that author discusses some great efficiency/productivity tips.

5 Tips for More Productivity in 2009

In the article the author says the following:

And AVOID the “summary” section of a meeting in these emails. Truth is, very few people read it.

That was amazing to me.  I actually always read it and I like to have an Agenda in that area.  I guess it really depends on the person.

There was also a duh moment in here to me.  When I read it,  I really thought that it was a paradigm shift for many.  It was when he said:

In meetings, too many people focus more on taking notes than on capturing action steps.  We focus more on communication, storage, and organization of information than on the one thing that actually moves us forward: ACTION.

Great quote.  Very good post.

I hope that it helps you!