Archive for the ‘communication’ Category

Jan03

My Resolutions for 2010

I’ve been kicking around the idea of publishing my personal resolutions for 2010 for a couple weeks and just decided to pull the trigger.  My thoughts, what better way of pushing myself to follow through than to publish them on the web for all to see.  I’ll try to take a couple checkpoints throughout the year to let you know how I’m progressing.

So, without further ado, here are my resolutions for 2010:

  1. Develop and iPhone app.  I have a few ideas but I won’t reveal those just yet.  Look out for the announcement when the app is ready though :)
  2. Blog more – 3-4 times per month is my target.  I plan on blogging about my iPhone development experience as well as about some topics I’ve been hoarding from my day job on implementing SAP SRM 7.0.
  3. Clean up my resume and create a web-ready version (linked on this blog obviously).
  4. Develop a new website – I suspect this will likely be to complement the iPhone app but I would like to build a custom WordPress theme for nathanhjones.com.
  5. Reach 500 followers and 1,500 tweets on Twitter.  I hover between 140 and 150 followers and just hit 600 tweets today.
  6. Exercise more – 4-5 times per week.  Throughout the last couple years I have been working out 2-4 times a week but I would like to raise the bar a bit at 4 to 5 times to help get in better shape and shed a few pounds.
  7. Lower my golf score.  Notice I didn’t say handicap there :) .  Over the last few years I’ve only been able to play a couple times a year because work has consumed so much of my time.  My goal for 2010 is to play more and get my average score consistently in the 90′s (high 90′s is ok by me for this year).

I wanted to list 10 (for some reason that sounded like such a nice, even number) but this is all I could muster today.  If I manage to achieve all of this with time to spare in 2010 (unlikely, unless you find me a new job)…I’ll add a couple more.

By the way, how does everyone feel about the fact that years will now almost always be prefaced with ‘twenty’ instead of ‘two-thousand’?!?

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Feb28

Garyvee’s New ObsessedTV.com

So, I’ve seen mixed reviews of Gary Vaynerchuk’s newest venture, ObsessedTV.com.  Some love it and a couple hate it, but I’m not sure they’re really giving it a chance.  I must admit, when I first loaded it up I was a bit shocked at the direction he took but I think it’s a pretty solid play.  I mean, it’s different than we’re used to from Gary (hell, it’s not even 100% Gary) but he’s expanding his empire…what did you want him to do another wine show?!?  Perhaps something dedicated solely to Cabernet Franc, Gewürztraminer or Burgundy?!?  What gives!  He’s been there and clearly conquered that and while it will take time for people to adjust, I think it’s a step in a great direction.

Now, onto the show – I watched the Mark Bittman interview.  I’m not really their target demographic which is why the “set” probably wasn’t what I expected.  I can’t really take it to them for that though, it’s what I would consider a pretty standard set for interview format shows.  Overall, the episode seemed pretty “early stage” to me in that Samantha didn’t feel totally at ease, maybe even a little nervous.  Maybe it was the new setting but some of that may have been Mark who, in my opinion, seemed a bit snarky.  I think he’s earned a little of that right and I still think he’s a very interesting man.  Anyways, I look forward to future episodes as they just off the jitters and I can’t wait to see what kind of guests they can swing.  Knowing the little I do about Gary I’m sure they won’t disappoint.

In closing, I think it’s great idea that has real potential and it’s a bold move into a new demographic for Gary.  I want to see how it plays out but like I said earlier, he’s conquered wine and is making a play to expand his media empire.  For that my friends, you have to respect him.  As Gary would put it, he’s hustlin’ and you can’t get down on someone for that!  Keep up the great work Gary and I look forward to the other stuff you plan on bringing us.

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Sep27

LinkedIn Gets Facebook Style Messaging

Every few days I get a message on LinkedIn about ‘hot SAP career opportunities’.  That’s excellent except for the fact that responding to messages on LinkedIn isn’t the best experience and I still enjoy my current job.

LinkedIn recently made a move to improve their messaging capabilities.  Sadly, they’re doing a very poor job of simply copying Facebook.

Facebook has been enhancing it’s messaging system for a while now and it’s actually pretty good.  I can message a friend, a friend list or an external email address.  I can add dozens of friends to a single message (I’ve added up to around 20) and the interface is clean and very easy to use.  The ‘new’ LinkedIn message center is simply a less functional copy of Facebook.

LinkedIn only allows up to 10 contacts on a message.  I can’t think of too many situations where I’d need more than a few people on a LinkedIn message but there are always exceptions and the fact that they’ve limited it is just silly.  They also don’t allow me (at least that I could figure out) to enter someones email address.  What if I want the message to go to an account that isn’t linked to my LinkedIn account, or to a co-worker that doesn’t have LinkedIn (yes, there are still those few).

One thing I did like about the LinkedIn message composer is the fact that it allows me to choose which linked email address the message is sent from.  Definitely something over Facebook…but then again Facebook doesn’t really need this.  I don’t want my work email address sent to people when replying to job opportunities.

Here’s a couple shots of the different messaging services for comparison:

Facebook Message Center

LinkedIn Gets Facebook Style Messaging

I know devloping these kinds of services requires a lot of work and I appreciate that.  It’s better than what it used to be.  I just think if you’re going to blatantly copy another social networks messaging capabilities you need to do it justice.

 

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Jul02

Review: AIM for Windows Mobile

AOL launched a mobile version of it’s once king AOL Instant Messanger (AIM) the other day and initial findings are promising but they’ve got a ways to go. ReadWriteWeb thinks it’s a must have app for Windows Mobile devices and I tend to agree if they make some changes. However, hands down it beats what Google is offering for my mobile phone without downloading a third party application…a big fat goose egg. I understand they’re pushing their own mobile operating system but come on! Blackberry has one and Bill Gates isn’t even running the day to day operations at Microsoft anymore so let bygones be bygones. But I digress. I know it’s still in Beta but here are some thoughts.

  1. IT’S A HUGE BATTERY KILLER!!! I know the TREO 750 already has ‘poor’ battery life according to critics but this drains it faster than Britney Spears bounces in and out of rehab. I can normally get through a full day with moderate email/phone usage but when I’m running Mobile AIM my battery is ready for charging by 11AM – that’s roughly 3.5 hours of use for you bean counters. This has got to be fixed before launching the final version.
  2. IT’S A MEMORY HOG!!! I’m not sure if it’s just intense processing or if it’s an actual memory leak but I gained 12MB of memory after shutting down AIM. Gained means it allocated it back to usable memory when I shut it down…it was using 15% (give or take) of my processing power. On a mobile device that’s a HUGE amount of processing power!
  3. It doesn’t give external notifications (other than sound which is just obnoxious) when you have a new IM. If you choose to turn on sound it will play the standard new IM sound. However, if your phone is on vibrate it doesn’t do anything to alert you.
  4. The interface is visually pleasing and mostly functional, here are a few comments:
    • Good:
      • Navigating between various conversations and your buddy list is extremely easy, especially if you have a touch screen. I think without a touch screen many of the features I enjoy would be difficult
      • You can add/edit/delete groups and friends which is pretty slick for a mobile Beta release
      • You can easily toggle between available, busy and invisible (major plus considering Google Talk hasn’t even got that right in their desktop client yet)
      • Setting messages (away or status – however you use them) is a breeze
    • Bad:
      • There are some issues with how it ‘pages’ when you scroll through your buddy list – it’s a little clunky. This may be attributed to the fact that it’s using so much processing power and the system chokes a little when you try and scroll
      • When you’re in the conversation mode the ‘send’ button is on the wrong side – at least compared to the TREO 750. Text messaging on the TREO is displayed a lot like IM conversations and the send/close buttons are on different sides than AIM Mobile has them. This is big from a usability stand-point – I’ve already had several messages that didn’t get sent because I clicked the wrong button. Just takes getting used to I suppose…
      • There is an ‘alert me when’ option on the menu that I can’t seem to activate. Not sure how it would work given the fact that I don’t get notified of IMs unless I’m physically in the application
  5. There isn’t an automatic updater. Not a huge deal but definitely an inconvenience. Now I have to go to the Beta site and download the new version every time they release a fix. They have said an update notification is on it’s way in a future version though. In the mean time it would be nice if the site included dates/times of the most recent release so I could guesstimate whether I should install again. Maybe I’m just missing it because that seems like common sense.

Here are a couple things I’d like to see them add on top of general usability/performance:

  1. Add an option to my photo menu to set a particular image as my AIM icon
  2. Add an option to my photo menu to send images to AIM buddies if I’m logged in
  3. Allow me to add a link to my Windows Today screen that will take me to a new IM if there is one

My current client has blocked AIM/Google Talk so if you’re in the same boat this is definitely worth the download. Here’s a shot of the user interface from the AIM Mobile site.

(image courtesy of AIM Beta site)

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