Friday Links: June 16th
How does your organization get its mission-driving info out to its supporters? Many of us writers promoting technology solutions for non-profits have been talking to you about RSS feeds for last year, touting them as an a approach to constituent communications in many ways superior to the traditional email newsletter. But a study by the Neilsen-Norman Group claims email is still a far more effective approach, in part because RSS is not widely used or understood, and in part because e-mail is an inherently "warmer" technology. Further discussion of this study can be found on Rich Zaide's Basement.org, and Celeste W's Studio 501C blog.
Everyone's read by now that Bill Gates will begin transitioning out of his responsibilities at Microsoft to devote himself to the charitible foundation he and his wife created. Read the Microsoft press release here. And learn more about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation here. Its not the only change at Microsoft - alpha blogger Robert Scoble, who has been the face of Microsoft in the blogosphere, departed for start-up PodTech.net. His blog is at http://scobleizer.wordpress.com. He's also well known for his blook on blogging, Naked Conversations, co-authored with Shel Israel.
He's a bit dramatic in his style, but Dave Churchville writes a very interesting blog on software development - and one I suspect is particularly valuable for the non-programmer who needs to manage programmers, or contract with them, or just hold them at bay. I particularly liked his recent post on fixing bugs:
Sure, we all understand that perfection is just an ideal, but we still should strive to fix every bug that we know about, right? Well, it's this idea that is the biggest misconception in the software industry.In his current post, he says he received a lot of comments that he is striking at a straw man, that no one really believes that fixing all known bugs should be seen as a priority in software development. But I think many who buy software do feel this way, and this article may help to sharpen their perspective in planning with their developers if and when a bug should be fixed.
An interesting debate has raged around the blogosphere in the last couple weeks in response to a polemical piece posted by Jason Lanier: Digital Maosim - Hazards of the New Online Collectivism. The post attacks the enthusiam for massively collaborative web projects, in particular, Wikipedia:
The hive mind is for the most part stupid and boring. Why pay attention to it?...The problem is in the way the Wikipedia has come to be regarded and used; how it's been elevated to such importance so quickly. Andthat is part of the larger pattern of the appeal of a new online collectivism that is nothing less than a resurgence of the idea that the collective is all-wise...Discussion has been fast and furious - a sampling of it can be found of the superblog Boing-Boing. I think its just a piece of the larger cultural debate going on right now about the role of conventional media, and traditional authorship, in the wake of new media enthusiam.
And now for something completely different
Read about it here: Last week, state oil monopoly Petrovietnam's financial arm ordered 21 officials to write "self-criticism" reports for not singing karaoke at a business contract-signing ceremony.