In through the outfield blog

11 posts from April 2009

06 April 2009

Today my bins are ‘wheelie’ clean

It is becoming a common complaint that too many of us are bringing work home (the almost ubiquitous spread of Blackberry devices is a factor in this).

However, this took an unexpected turn for me this weekend, as I ended up cleaning my two large local authority wheelie bins as a result showing a colleague around the Business & IP Centre on Friday.

cobweb - information for businessI was demonstrating the brilliant Cobra database and the thousands of Business Opportunity Profiles it contains. As I mentioned in a previous blog (Wheelie cleaning up in business), I like to surprise my visitors by pulling up the Wheelie Bin Cleaner report.

So when emptying my re-cycling boxes into the wheelie bins I realised today was the day to clean them out.

On the topic of unusual business opportunities, one of my colleagues stumbled across a Business Opportunity Profile for Life Model, but I have no plans following up on the advice in this guide at home.

02 April 2009

I was an April fool, but it’s no joke for SlideShare have always been a fan of April fool stories. My previous job included producing a daily press cuttings service for my organisation, and I used to look forward to trying to find all the April 1  ‘news stories’ for inclusion. One of my all time favourites was from the Daily Mirror announcing that the Channel tunnel diggers had struck gold half-way to France.

The big ’story’ from today has been the Guardian newspaper letting its loyal readers know that it would shortly be giving up on old fashioned ink and paper. Instead they would switch to Twitter for all future news coverage. The Twitter switch for Guardian article has some lovely touches about the benefits of reducing all news to 140 characters. Even going back intto their archives to ‘re-write’ history;

Major stories already completed include:

“1832 Reform Act gives voting rights to one in five adult males yay!!!”;

“OMG Hitler invades Poland, allies declare war see×6e for more”;

and “JFK assassin8d @ Dallas, def. heard second gunshot from grassy knoll WTF?”

slideshare logo

On a less amusing note I received an email today from SlideShare (a free service I blogged about in 2007).

Hi infield,
We’ve noticed that your slideshow on SlideShare has been getting a LOT of views in the last 24 hours. Great job … you must be doing something right. ;-)
Why don’t you tweet or blog this? Use the hashtag #bestofslideshare so we can track the conversation.
Congratulations,  SlideShare Team

I checked my three presentations and sure enough one of them had rocketed to 751 views. This was something of a surprise and perhaps I should have been suspicious. However, it took a blog post from Phil Bradley (Slideshare April Fool joke goes disastrously wrong), before I realised I had been conned.

As Phil points out, SlideShare have made ,”a huge error”;
I don’t appreciate anyone manipulating data on my content. That SlideShare are so relaxed about this, and feel they can do what they like is really sending entirely the wrong message about how they view users and content.

To be fair to the authors of this ‘prank’ have confessed their sins on Phil’s blog, and apologised to their customers;

My sincere, personal apologies. Its just an April Fool’s prank. I understand why you are upset, however, we did not mean to offend our users who we love. But I can see your perspective.
Rashmi, CEO & Cofounder, SlideShare

I think I can  forgive them this time, but fear many of their customers may move to rival services as a result.

The British Library is all a twitter about Yammer


Although I like to think I have my finger on the pulse of Social Media, it took a colleague in our marketing department to introduce me to our Yammer page.

After a very short space of time we have 97 members and several hundred messages.

For those of you who are also new to Yammer, it is a micro-blogging tool for the enterprise, launched in September last year, and has already been nominated for the CNET Webware 100.

Yammer is a tool for making companies and organizations more productive through the exchange of short frequent answers to one simple question: ‘What are you working on?’

As employees answer that question, a feed is created in one central location enabling co-workers to discuss ideas, post news, ask questions, and share links and other information. Yammer also serves as a company directory in which every employee has a profile and as a knowledge base where past conversations can be easily accessed and referenced.

Anyone in a company can start their Yammer network and begin inviting colleagues. The privacy of each network is ensured by limiting access to those with a valid company email address. Information is never shared with third parties.

The basic Yammer service is free. Companies can pay to claim and administer their networks.

Yammer was founded by former executives and early employees of PayPal, eGroups, eBay, and Tribe. It is backed by venture capital firms Founders Fund and Charles River Ventures.

We have all worked at companies and understand the needs of companies to share information within a private network. We built the solution that we would want to use ourselves.