27 03 2008

Zemanta is an interesting little Firefox extension for blogger’s.

If you write a post in wordpress, blogger or typepad the Zemanta plugin lays out some relevant content (pictures and sites) based upon what you are typing in the post.

This seems like it would be very nice tool. Unfortunately I can’t bring myself to use the online editor in WordPress.

If they ever integrate it with Microsoft Live Writer I’ll definitely give it a go.

Zemanta Blogger integration from zemanta on Vimeo.


When an IT department is too big

8 01 2008

There’s a good article at downloadsquad today titled, “Three reasons IT departments are shrinking.” The three reasons include outsourcing, lack of IT staff and less frequent system-wide changes. I think the reasons cited are very good and speak the truth (You should also read the comments. Some of them are as good as the article).

I would add another reason to the mix and that is that some IT departments are just too big and NEED to shrink.

I am part of an exceptionally small IT department. There are less than twenty-five of us. Nine members make up the support staff, including helpdesk and network support. The remaining thirteen or so are programmers and management. This department supports over two thousand users at more than thirty-five remote locations. We get the job done with current technology and produce solid deliverables.

In comparison, I have worked with many companies that are four to five times our size and the amount of time it takes to get things done is appalling. The various teams don’t talk to one another and in many instances don’t even know one another.

We certainly have our own issues. Being small is not always a good thing and there are times I wish I had more bodies to throw at a problem. When push comes to shove I simply call in a business partner and we do our best to gain from a knowledge transfer when a project is said and done.

At the end of the day we know how to conquer a problem or pursue a solution with the best of them. One of the reasons we can get this done is because we are a small team and working lazy or inside too many layers just doesn’t fly. Not around here anyway.

FastLadder – Don’t bother just yet

3 07 2007

I just learned about a new feed reader called FastLadder on Lifehacker. What excited me about the Lifehacker post was the following,

Fastladder has integrated search! It’s really fast and easy to use. I’m not sure yet how deep the search goes (i.e., I don’t know how many feed items Fastladder saves), but what’s there is really good.

Too many times when running through feeds in Google Reader I would like to search on something I know I read but can’t recall which feed. Alas there is no integrated search in Google Reader (silly, I know). So off I ran to FastLadder. The fact that I had to signup prior to even learning about the service was a bit offsetting but signup I did, which was quickly followed by uploading my OPML file.

Ok, uploading done. Where is the search field? Ahh, right where you would expect it to be, above the list of feeds. I do a search for FastLadder and get nothing. OK, I figure maybe I need to have at least read the post on FastLadder for the search to work. I run through the Lifehacker posts, yep, there’s the FastLadder post, and off to the search I go.

Again the search yields nothing.

This time I search for Lifehacker and it brings back the Lifehacker feed. This is no good.

Apparently the touted search feature does nothing but search the name of the feed you are subscribed to which makes it useless as far as I’m concerned. Ugghhh, how disappointing.

This is the first time I can recall that a Lifehacker post led me astray. I’m hoping I’m missing something and the search is really there but a couple of commenter’s  on Lifehacker pointed out the same thing. Guess I should have read all the comments first.

I’m back to waiting on Google to integrate searching into their reader.

Google Apps For Your Domain – Themes?

26 05 2007

My wife had been using Yahoo for her personal email for a few years. After much persuasion I convinced her to move her primary email to Google via Google Apps For Your Domain. While it is certainly functional it ain’t very pretty. I wonder if Google will allow themes via the GAFYD start page?

I know it would be a headache to allow themes for those accounts that are actually hosting a company’s info due to colors, logo’s, etc. Our account is not color or logo specific at all.

If this feature is available now I’m sure not seeing it.

So, Google, if you could turn themes on for GAFYD start page it would really be appreciated. 🙂

Same song, second verse…

8 05 2007

I’m going to give this blogging thing another shot. Hopefully it won’t be as neglected as my first time around.

Post number one is done!