Wednesday Aug 20, 2008

Get Satisfaction

I have written elsewhere about some colleagues have been experimenting with Plazes. This led me to raise bugs/rfes. So I bugged these using the plazes web form; they're usually really proactive and they replied but pointed me at their getsatisfaction site. I have raised the new items as topics but have discovered they have a web widget and so have used a personal tag and placed the widget on my snipsnap plazes page, which displays the last five topics tagged as mine. I thought you'd like to see the widget, I have decorated it with a <DIV style="..." statement and added a BORDER=0 attribute to the <IMG> tag.

<script SRC="http://getsatisfaction.com/plazes/widgets/javascripts/c178c17/widgets.js" TYPE="text/javascript"></script> <script SRC="http://getsatisfaction.com/plazes/topics.widget?callback=gsfnTopicsCallback&length=0&limit=5&sort=recently_active&tag=davelevy" TYPE="text/javascript"></script>

I'm really impressed with 'Get Satisfaction', its some great rating and scoring tools.

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Tuesday May 20, 2008

tweeting your plaze

Plazes now have a twitter feed for people to publish to. They contacted me, but I need to consider what I think about that. I have made promises to people about how I propose to use it. I hope that other Plazes followers wont be disappointed.

Monday Nov 12, 2007

More about Plazes

As you may know, I am a fan of Plazes and one thing I havn't had time to document is that our friends as plazes have fixed one of my informal RFEs (More...). You can remove a traze from your trail now. The remove activity button is all over the site. This'll make managing the plaze trial easier and more accurate. The mobile phone interface seems to remain problematic, but the whole site is becoming useful for keeping touch with highly mobile colleagues.

Sadly there is no Solaris agent and the Linux one seems to have gone into hiding, but I have a few ideas and am trying to work on an answer between other projects.

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Wednesday Aug 15, 2007

Microblogging

And then there were micro-blogs. I have just a finished a conference call about Consolidation with a customer, and hooked up with a colleague Lou Springer with whom I had a quick chat about Twitter. If you don't know what this is, then you'll have to go there.

It's been best described to me as micro-blog site, that delivers to a number of clients, but potentially most interestingly to the phone by SMS. (This means that the article length is limited, you're not publishing essays there!) Lou's not the first to suggest I subscribe, but its quite popular with the people that persuaded me to start out at facebook and there is a facebook integration application so I joined up and bumped into the people who'd invited me.

I've spent two days playing with it and was deciding that I wasn't keen on yet another application that I could use to tell people where I am. However,

  • it seems more popular than plazes, so I get more feeds from from more people, and some from the same
  • it has a phone & IM publication interface, although it uses AIM and is allegedly having difficulty in making the latter work.
  • it can be set to read your feeds on the phone, which is good for days when one doesn't connect to the internet by computer, (I wonder how I'll feel when I'm on holiday), however, this could be the killer justification .
  • Lou says its great for home workers as for him it becomes one of the technology equivalents of people walking past your desk/office, so this might also apply to geographically dispersed teams as well.

I also feel that my del.icio.us feed is a micro-blog, since I always try and comment the URL's and you get some view of what I think of the page, or sometimes why I was reading it. I also gather everything together (except this blog feed) at Planet DaveLevy, which includes the blog entries from my bliki. (These aren't very exciting but it is another window on to my life, although most of this content is just documenting stuff, its facts I want on the internet.)

I think, I'll keep my correspondence at twitter to micro-blogging stuff of relevance to my followers (thats the word they use, I'm not starting a cult), and use it mainly as a reader. If you want to know where I am, you'll have to find me at plazes, and I need to wait for them to fix my outstanding niggles.

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Saturday Jun 23, 2007

Plazes 2.0

Plazes, which I wrote about here...  just updated, actually a couple of days ago,  their agent and presumably the back-end infrastructure and proved the Web 2.0 permenant Beta adage as the true as ever. Its an interesting problem with their architecture that they need to update the laptop clients. I hope they have improved their network update functionality as the automatic update failed to work on my XP client and the manual downloads did not become available for a couple of days. I was still able to use the phone to update the web site though so no catastrophe.

The web site functionality seems much richer so thats good.

To me one of the biggest outstanding problems is that they don't stimualte a self-help community. It would be easy enough to copy the games companies, or even Dell and Sun's developer forums. Its sort of interesting who does and who doesn't. For instance I can't find a Sony-Ericcsson official community site but have found an unofficial bulletin board for Sony Errison users. Flickr has a help site although I have only found two forums, New Ideas and everything else. My favourite of the official sites are the games sites of which Bioware Forums are a good example offering personalisation tools to allow people to track their own interests. Several of the Bioware fan forums use Invision's community management software. Two implementations that illustrate the strength of community and the personalisation capability within this tool  are Gibberlings 3 and Spellhold Studios, while RPG Dungeon uses Simple Machine Framework. As ever, you need to read the small print to discover which are free and open source. Both these solutions have RSS.

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