New home on www.1moment.org and other new URLs

I have moved my blog(s).  1moment is now 1moment.org.  A couple of years ago I even had 1moment.net, but it expired due to stupidity, because I didn’t update the email address for that domain. One day I’ll get the .net back and .com as well :-)

We also re-launched a couple of other blogs to which I contribute or which I manage such as

Of course my committment to tickerTXT continues.  We soon will publish some news and hopefully launch a nicely updated website.

No fiction but damn good

Read that Wired article about Dan Kaminsky‘s story to save the Internet. The guardian has some nice background and a Youtube video showing a presentation by Kaminsky about the security threat. It’s like a spy thriller…

Looking forward to Barcamp Berlin and …

Well, it has been a long time since the last entry. And so much has happened, the birth of groupDNA and as a spin-off tickerTXT. What was a what if idea has become the main focus.  The team has grown to 4 co-founders. In June we won the Berlin Seedcamp, in July we were awarded a special prize at the Hasso-Plattner Ventures Social Entrepreneurship Event. In August we got the ok for support by the Zukunftsagentur Brandenburg (ZAB). In September we had an incredible week at the London Seedcamp final – one of only 23 startups, selected from several hundred applicants…

This week and the next will be quite interesting as well.  There have been some nice meetups leading up to next weeks web2expo. I met the Amazee founders Dania and Gregory Gerhardt.

 

Barcamp3 Berlin

Barcamp3 Berlin

 

 

I am really looking forward to finally be able to attend a barcamp – this weekend in Berlin. If you are quick, the registration reopened, so go for it.  A couple of weeks ago, the list seemed complete.

I am thinking of suggesting a subject close to my heart.  The principles for group technologies.  For a long time we assumed group applications had to be technologies with an emphasis on function: communication, collaboration, coordination…  Contact management, time and planning applictions…  We now are moving from functional software to functional web services.  The web has led to relatively few really interactive new group services, they were just better than the old device centric software.

APIs are an afterthought of quite old-fashioned platform designs: facebook is an open company directory, Salesforce is a virtualised SAP world.

A few thoughts about service design principles for infromal groups based on sociology, anthropology, psychology and observations:

  • Groups are best in relatively small numbers with little or no hierarchie
  • Groups are heterogenious – there are always minorities, groups need to differences among their mebers to exist
  • Groups are inclusive – they embrace normally new members, they normally do not exclude people for “technical” reasons.
  • Such groups have no purchasing power – they normally don’t have a budget.  Every commercial decision is tedious because because of that. 100,000 € employees are suddenly discussing about pennys.  The smaller the budget, the worse.
  • Technology for groups has to be seamless, unobstrusive.

 

Groups are

Status update

I am doing great, though this blog suffers a bit :-) My startup tickerTXT.org is attracting a lot of interest and sympathies. We need to publish more. We have won the Berlin Seedcamp and received an award for social entreprise project at the HassoPlattnerVentures event for Social Entrepreneurship. See our site for more info. (tickerTXT: Winning Seedcamp Berlin 2008 :-) )

The techy blog qompute.net which I share with friends is also getting traffic. Why? Well there is one old article about ECOdiscs and the problem this causes Mac users. We have a solution :-) Most recently people seem to be very interested in our articles about our usage of Google Apps, how to combine your personal Gmail account with your company’s or projects’s Googlge Apps account. The bug workaround regarding a customised domain for blogger is quite popular too. Virtual companies including seemingly esoteric stuff like web service telephone exchange systems (PBXes.com) have their fans as well…

Qompute gives you currently a pretty good idea, where we tickerTXTer spend some of our time on :-)

Service as an afterthought

The Toyota approach is an old hat for quality in industry type productions.  Include quality in the process, it’s cheaper and better.  The same should be true for information age services.  The only way to find out as a customer is being happy on a regular basis and have problems sorted out quickly when they occur.

When some parts within companies begin to think about how to make their life easier and that of the customer more difficult, this usually has to do with service quality.  And it has to do with an attitude which often can be simplified by “squeeze customers if the individual sums are low, the numbers high, if the number of predicted complaints is not likely to seriously damaging the brand, if the short term profit is higher than the forecasted service and reputation costs “.

That happens if the customer satisfaction is not really at the core of the company’s mission.  The company is disconnected and the departments begin to see the whole thing as an operation.  Doing a little less here, more marketing there, oh and some cost cutting.  Of course things shouldn’t get out of control.  To prevent that let’s make customer surveys and escalation strategies.

Why this, why now?  Skype took away my few puchased SMS credits because of inactivity.  Before that they sent me a couple of emails warning me of the fact.  What should I have done?  Spamming my friends with SMS?

It wasn’t so much the money I lost ( a couple of Euros), it was the attitude and the reason given in FAQs.  Because of “accounting reasons” etc.  That is lame.  And the following question is why in the first place?  Does Skype make more money because of that?  I doubt it.  People who rarely use them won’t come back once their credit has been removed.  I certainly won’t buy anymore credits if Skype doesn’t change or gives me my money back.

And then after I wrote a service complaint, I got another few emails.  This time they said:  complaint received.  Sorry, too many requests, come back to you later. Are you satisfied with the serice so far? Please give us a feedback and answer a couple questions.  The questionnaire was far too verbose, went over several pages and towards the end repeatedly asked generic questions like would you use skype again, do you like us or have you been satisfied with the person in charge?  I couldn’t even skip those silly questions.  Is there a better way of refuelling the fire of anger?

Microsoft meshed up

Is Mesh enough to keep MS in the game for the long run?  It certainly has the marks of Ray Ozzie and as many bloggers and commenters have stated, it looks like a Groove Web 2.0.  Groove was the Ray Ozzie’s project before he moved over to Redmond.  And before that he was Mr. Lotus Notes.

Groove is now an optional part fo MS Office, a far cry from the original intentions.  And Groove had potential as a Lotus Notes 2nd generation.  Why didn’t it succeed?

It was as if Ray Ozzie and his team stopped half-way then, it was trying to be open, but only so much.  It aimed at replacing Lotus Notes, but it limited itself to the Windows world.  It wanted to break into the small and mediumed business market, but failed to understand the investment decision processes of that market.  It wanted to become viral, yet it wanted to charge 70 or was it 100$ per user and many potential customers could not run Groove, because you needed a really powerful PC.  It wanted to empower the user to create and share spaces, yet introduced complex and infrastructure heavy top down certifications in order to please potential corporate IT departments.  It wanted to become a haven for a developer community, but rarely listened to them.  Made important changes without involving their best supporters.

Even then Ray Ozzie seemed a little out of touch, his old blog is testimony of that.  He seemed no not understand what openness means and therefore open source.   And it looks like he still doesn’t (and here) The paper is nicely written, uses words and definitions, which I like, but mmmhh.  It’s the consequence, the solution which doesn’t fit.  It tries to put a mesh on Microsoft’s existing world, rather then prepare for what is coming.  It tries a unified top down approach, daddy Microsoft will take care.

At the moment the MS family try to adopt Yahoo.  Struggles a bit in the embrace that one.  MS is now having a big word with the foster parents, the Shareholder. Oh and later daddy will also talk to the rebel kids Mac and Linux and their cousin Google, don’t worry.

I am not worried, because that gigantic top down approach will not work.  MS has increasingly had trouble with big projects.  And MS has always been a little slow keeping up with the times and now they have Google and all the web players outrunning them.  BTW Google despite it’s size has a track record of starting small, sometimes even innocent projects which then take off.  Think of App Engine, let’s just get it out with Python, so what, developers trust Google to add other frameworks.  And building trust, well let’s say it’s not really the strong point of Microsoft.

I wanted to write just a few words anded ended up with more.  An even longer but interesting article can also be found on Bob Warfield’s SmoothSpan blog.

We are still in the twitter kindergarten

I would like to highlight interesting twitter stories which seem to appear like whirlwinds, they start slowly with the right conditions and then accelerate incredibly fast and might leave traces: people being stunned and surprised, anger, some emotionally hurt.  The first reactions are about blaming, calling for order, rules and technical solutions.

First there was the twitter mob, we are still learning, but we have acknowledged it.  Now there is another twistter (?), the privacy discussion.

A twitter user signed up for a twitter group service. In order to keep things private, the service asks you to create a new twitter account with the aliasname of the group.  Then you should sign up with that new alias twitter account.  By accidentaly signing in with the personal normal account, all the private messages became public.

The premacy of Twitter is by default everything is public, privacy is an option.  Therefore we have to be very careful when using twitter for very private messages.

Twitter is simple, therefore people love it and want to use it for all kinds of purposes.  The beauty of the web20, combine things.  By mashing up services we need to learn to deal with the increasing complexity of the privacy issues.

Let’s not blame the very thing we love about twitter, the simplicity.  The discussion about group features of twitter is ongoing and I like the way twitter has not rushed in to just add more features. And maybe they shouldn’t because that could be done by 3rd party services like GroupTweet.com.  Or hashtags.org.  I like that growing ecosystem, because that allows us to have an incredible playground, try out new ideas, but also improve them or throw them away, try another approach.  It allows us to develop a free and open culture.

How about “twindergarten”?



Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.