Does the environment you are in impact the meeting?

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What happens when you need to reboot yourself? When you reach that point of error rates that you realize the only thing you can or even should do is reboot yourself. For me that was last night at 9 pm. I realized I had been running so fast I hadn’t stopped to do the right things.

So I rebooted. Cleared the machine. Started from ground zero.

How often does that happen? I can recall feeling the way I did last night maybe 4 or 5 times in my entire life. Its not a pleasant feeling when you reach that point.

I got a great email about the Salieri Anti-Pattern from an old friend. They actually reminded me of another person who suffers from that anti-pattern at times. He brought up the grudge factor that often pervades the behavior of someone stuck in Salieri mode. I had forgotten the grudge mode and we talked about it possibly being its own anti-pattern. He agreed in the end that grudge holding in and of itself was a behavior of a couple of anti-patterns and wasn’t limited to the Salieri Anti-Pattern.

Grudges in an of themselves (held against people or programs) really are hard to separate into which anti-pattern is most likely to have or hold one. The interesting conversation we ended up having at the end was around the very concept of communication as a process. What are the environmental factors that directly influence the result of communication?

He reminded me of a meeting we had many years ago in a building that was pretty old. No air conditioning, in Chicago and it was probably 90 plus outside. The meeting was contentious and argumentative the entire time. Why? We were all hot and uncomfortable. Two weeks later we met with the same group in a different building (air conditioned) discussing virtually the same topic and we accomplished out goal.

So what are all the environmental variables that impact communication?

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow?

How sticky is your blog?

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There is an old marketing argument about web advertising (eyes on a page) that talks about number of hits. Of course the number of hits any one site has is only relevant to the search engines used and the parameters of that search. The interesting stat for any web site with information is the stickiness of the users.

How many people hit the site and stay to look at more things is really the interesting stat. There are many sites (in particular blogs) that have catchy titles that draw people in. The reality of that situation is the content doesn’t keep the readers and the “bounce". Bounce being the negative Internet term that shows how long people actually stay and what they do on your site.

In the KM space you want a high positive bounce rate (I found what I needed first time and left happy). You don’t want a high rate of returns by one user in a short time period (I looked and looked and never found what I needed).

In marketing and retail you want click through (I searched, found what I needed and continued to the next phase purchasing). The same is true for KM as well (found it, downloaded it, left site) although retail sites would prefer you linger so that just like in a physical store they can tempt you with before you check out. BY the way to retail stores that store car fresheners by the register I only buy air fresheners when on a trip in the car and realizing that either someone in my family (or me) smells. I never buy them at the hardware or grocery store. My wife might, she thinks car fresheners make great stocking stuffers.

For a blog you want time on page or stickiness. How long is the person sitting on your blog.

All of these of course are slowly but surely making their way into the design and shaping of web sties. Not as much KM yet, we still struggle with the various problems of KM (to high of a failure rate in finding what people need).

The only reason I am bringing this up today is that WordPress added the stickiness of users to their stats this week. It is an interesting stat overall. I like that 33% of the people who hit my blog read other posts. Its an interesting stat to have. Now if I could only figure out a way to bring it up in a conversation.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

I am ready to wear ultra cool future shades :-)

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I believe it was Arthur C. Clarke who said any race significantly technologically advanced would appear to be magicians (I paraphrased the original quote). In thinking about that I wondered what the magic coming in the next couple of years would look like.

Truly it is magic. What once seemed of legend is now common place. I remember watching the initial reruns (I was 6 when it premiered so missed all but the last year on live television) of Star Trek and marveling at the communicator. Now, the cellular phone replaces that device. I also marveled at the tri-corder and frankly a lot of what that could do is possible now. Not all of it, but some of it is now possible.

This brings me to my theme for today what is coming around the corner. I’ve talked a number of times about my quest for the circular slide rule. Now I have a new quest. Today I carry a laptop and an iPad. The short term goal for me is to be able to function fully with just the iPad. I suspect (I am close today) this won’t take but maybe the release of Office 2013 for the iPad giving me the last bit of functionality to use/leverage with the device.

What lies just beyond that? What magic waits for us in the coming years? Well the first thing is a unification of storage. Step 1, fewer and fewer local hard drives and more cloud storage. Connectivity therefore has to improve as well. For the most part my cellular data experience is its ok for music but it is not ok for video.

The Magic that is coming

  • Better storage models
  • faster and more efficient cellular connections
  • Applications that allow you to choose where to process the information they are handling – ie on the fly simply offload to a remote computer or VDI without losing or changing your current status or device.
  • Ubiquitous cellular connections (seriously 15 dollars to download a gig of data? You have to be kidding me. Why did we break up AT&T in the late 70’s predatory pricing was part of that problem).

A future so bright we will all need ultra-cool shades.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

How do you use it once it is in the cloud?

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Moving data is still painful.

I am cleaning up some old hard drives (getting rid of some consolidating others) and trying to get the two places up to speed (I am trying a couple of cloud drives and windows storage solutions) to solve some overall home storage problems.

Would it be possible to link together a large number of USB drives in an array? It would create an interesting home drive solution. I suspect its physically possible but no one has really come up with a valid business reason other than having a lot of USB drives strung together.

Storage is the next big problem that needs to be solved. I have moved most of my laptops to SSD drives. My work laptop is an older Dell system with a 5400 rpm hd. You can tell the difference. I boot my work machine and walk away. My other machines can actually be turned on and used in a very short time period (30 seconds or less).

Of course storage is another story long term. I have as I’ve mentioned before a large number of digital pictures (more than some I suspect a lot less than others). These pictures range is size from 200k to 5 meg or more. Thousands of pictures sitting on three different spinning disks (and I am adding a fourth this weekend). Lots of data I don’t want to lose (so the 5th copy is now a cloud backup of one of my sources).

Storage will continue to be a problem. Heading down the build the Syncverse path, I suspect storage could be the delaying factor in building that solution. It wouldn’t be about the first iteration, it would be the backups and HA systems required that would drive the storage of the overall system into the stratosphere.

The reality of storage isn’t just where do you put the items, its how do you use them once they are there.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

Do we need software architects

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Listening to an orchestra’s interpretation of music is truly amazing. It brings together the strands of music within an orchestra to produce the sound we all hear and recognize. Great music is as much a management of the sounds as it is the composition. It takes a creativity that is different to create the music. That is the composer. The conductor takes that creation and builds it into something an orchestra can act upon to create music.

Many software solutions are like this. The creative being the concept and conceptual architecture and design of an idea. The implementation of that idea is the developer.

Traditionally software architects have done the first part of solutions. A friend of mine says “someone has to develop the interfaces” but I am beginning to wonder. In the case of most applications today we start more and more often with the mobile device. An architect has already defined the various interfaces of the mobile device and there really isn’t a net new reality that could be added. Wi-FI or Cellular the data connections are known.

Mobile device platform companies build frameworks within that for rapid application development. If you know the limits of the client and the solution do you need an architect?

I get that I just mentioned architects, but frankly systems architects present interesting problems. They solve problems between software and hardware and publish those API’s and other modes and then disengage. In the modern development environment do we need as many architects?

It is a problem I have been wrestling with for a long time. It is the convergence of reality and the confluence of conceptual design and implementation.

It may not longer require an architect. Which leads me to the question do we need software architects? I see a need for system’s architects as they would provide the application developer with the interfaces required for the platform. I am starting to see less need for Software Architects.

.doc

Scott Andersen

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The return of the Syncverse concepts…

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A structural framework for portability. Today portability reminds me of the old turkey drawings we did every year in my classroom before thanksgiving. It’s a dexterity thing where you have the kids trace their hands. It helps them focus on creating a shape with an guide built in. That turkey represented your hand on a piece of paper with the fingers spread out to represent the feathers of the turkey. That is portability today. We can do it, but we have to take everything out of one finger, pull it to the center and then push it out to another finger. Time, resources and of course the potential for error exist in that system.

In the Syncverse I talk a lot about where the data needs to live (Myverse, LocalVerse, Eduverse etc.) with each of those layers syncing to your Myverse. The Myverse represents a truly portable solution that allows you to securely control what gets moved where and when. Lately I have been calling that the transaction layer.

That is the layer that allows an organization to have true portability. It does however require a role that many organizations don’t understand and that is the Cloud Broker. I suspect many people particular those working for cloud service providers will say “we don’t need no stinking brokers.” They sadly would be wrong. The cloud broker would act as a front end for the system that the customer wants to build. They, the broker, would build and host the transaction layer that would allow them to offer the customer true solution portability. There are many other things that a broker would offer organizations but for now this is the huge win for everyone.

My view that I began more than three years ago with the Syncverse is that in the end this is the ultimate direction that Cloud Computing has to take. There is so much information out on the Internet that we need to both acquire and secure that not having something like the Syncverse in the end will impact both government and business negatively.

There are entire industries that could quickly assimilate and expand the value proposition they have today. Yes, many of these industries are in decline – this would be a chance for them to be reborn. Instead of a daily newspaper you get a daily digest that you sign up for – it costs less (no printing, no paper) and is specifically tailored to what you want.

A brave new world…

Of course the ultimate value of the Syncverse is that it would be free – not controlled but free.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

Some interesting communications patterns…

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Still on the trail of communications patterns and anti-patterns, I was thinking of the balance you need on a team to create the synergy of high performing teams.

What does that look like?

It is a balancing act. You do want someone who at times can take on the role of a dancing bear and preform for the entire meeting. They cant’ be that role every meeting. You need someone who soothes the feelings of others, a meeting mom as it were (or dad not trying to be stereotypical). You need an idea person so the environment has to be safe for them to brainstorm. You need a pattern I haven’t talked about much – we’ve talked about a number of anti-patterns over the many months I’ve spent on this topic but not as many patterns. In looking at the book Transitional Services I have found in fact there are a number of patterns I’ve missed. So, to build your team here are some new patterns to consider:

Pattern Nick Name Behavior
Aggregator This person takes a bunch of ideas and pulls together a usable iteration combining the best parts of other ideas.
The wild idea person This person is rare and easily scared, be aware of this and allow for free and open brainstorming sessions. Otherwise you will never see this pattern.
Care Giver This is the great soother of a meeting, they make sure everyone is
Expander (pattern that works with the builder) Takes ideas and makes them bigger – stronger
The builder (beware the Salieri Anti-Pattern here) This is the person who brings reality to the ideas and helps build them into something even bigger. They do have a tendency to scare the Wild Idea and Care Giver into staying quiet. In Salieri mode they can be vicious about ideas that aren’t theirs (and they seldom have net new ideas in that mode)

These are critical team members in building the next great idea.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.