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Limit the Triggers February 3, 2017

Posted by stewsutton in business intelligence, Collaboration, Communications, Education, Fitness, Social.
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Our brains are wired to feed on information.

So its a good idea for us to be in control of how that appetite gets satisfied and not let social media companies decide when they should tempt us.

We can start by turning off app notifications on our phones, tablets, and computer, particularly ones for live video broadcasts, whose see-it-while-you-can alerts are designed to engender a fear of missing out (they are stored so you can come back and watch later if/when you have time).

To further stem the temptations, try the social media news feed diet: Do serious work only on tech that was available before the year 2000.

Make your main work devices completely off-limits to social media so distractions aren’t even possible. Don’t log into Facebook or even install the app. (For extra help, try the News Feed Eradicator for Facebook browser plugin.)

Hide your phone when you’re working, driving or doing important socializing.

Studies have shown even the presence of a phone, on silent, can cause poor academic performance or less-meaningful face-to-face interaction.

It’s time to take your attention back!

Too much digital (pods, pad, phones…) bad for you? January 2, 2013

Posted by stewsutton in Collaboration, Communications, Education, Humanity, Information Technology, Learning, Social, Wisdom.
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The brain retains a certain amount of plasticity throughout life — more specifically, the way we think can be reshaped. Thus, if the brain is trained to respond (and enjoy) the faster pace of the digital world, it is reshaped to favor that approach to experiencing the world as a whole. Soon, it comes to crave that experience, as the body increasingly craves more of anything it’s trained to respond to favorably.

The problem it seems is in relationship to deep-thinking critical thought that accompanies the reading of a longer narrative. The slow contemplation of ideas, concepts, possibilities, and consequences derived from consumption of material composed within a longer narrative may be an endangered species if there is an an attractive, visually appealing, shallow construction of “similar” material competing for our limited attention.

So can the rush toward mobile digital content consumption be a threat to our ability to think properly? Clearly there are examples of where the digital mobile world is introducing positive benefits to education and the workplace. And while some would favorably represent the actions of content skimming and filtering made possible by mobile devices, favorite apps, and a nearly infinite Internet-based “library”, the very action of rapid movement through content is what serves to rewire our brain.

So maybe its better to lay off the “apps” on our mobile device and take the slow road of thoughtful consumption via eBooks and similarly formatted content.

Corporate IT Trends December 9, 2011

Posted by stewsutton in Collaboration, Communications, Information Technology, Social, Software.
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Does this look like the correct ratio as we trend into different tool sets within corporate IT?  What do you think?  Leave a comment.

Trends for Corporate Information Technology

Suggested Trends for Corporate Information Technology

Modern E-commerce Site Setup June 30, 2011

Posted by stewsutton in Architecture, Information Technology, Security, Social, Software.
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Today, there are a number of considerations that should be thoughtfully weighed as a startup business or existing small business seeks to setup or modernize their online services.  Its not the web site design emphasis of the 1990s nor is it a heavy weighting on the “platform” that became a major focus in the mid 2000s.  Today the focus on modern ecommerce is a balance across several elements:

  1. The content management aspects to the business enterprise
  2. The relationship of the business with its “social graph” ecosystem
  3. An understanding of the security around data collected and managed
  4. Content design that properly reflects the brand identity of the business
  5. Off-premise management of infrastructure – (data and applications in the cloud)
  6. Choice of platform(s) to support business needs in the most cost-effective format
  7. Outsourcing skills for design and sustainment tasks for business operations

This is a far cry from the days of setting up a simple website and its clearly more to think about than in the days of a simple shopping-cart site.  While there are clear places for both of those examples, businesses today are seeking to differentiate services within an increasingly network-connected ecosystem that requires more planning and thought toward business operations.  Each business has its unique needs and preferences.  Approaching the elements of a modern e-commerce business enterprise seeks to balance cost and performance that make the best sense for the business, its near-term and long-term prospects.

Content Mgmt Goes Social June 30, 2011

Posted by stewsutton in Architecture, Social.
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There is a transformation taking place now in the CMS space.  These systems that were quite content to be content management products are getting a “social” upgrade.  This is part of a broader pattern as large social suites compete with the social technology integration into the traditional enterprise IT stack.  How soon until we see social RDBMS, social routers, and social tape archive systems is not clear, but the category of CMS has taken the plunge.

At the center of any modern eCommerce solution are several core components and one of them is a CMS or content management system.  The CMS takes responsibility for managing all of the digital content assets that are used within the eCommerce system.  Most modern CMS solutions have been rapidly advancing to take on the functionality of a portal and a social platform.

This progression further simplifies the architectural specification for a modern eCommerce solution.  The assets managed by a CMS range from blocks of text to images to videos.  Modern CMS solutions also address the presentation of the collected content using visual templates and guides.  And the interaction with that same content is generally facilitated through highly-focused programs which are integrated into the CMS using plug-in and widget frameworks so that a highly tailored eCommerce solution can be built with the unique functionality required by the business.

While there are numerous CMS solutions, a small number stand out as compelling approaches toward a cost-effective formulation supporting an eCommerce need. Drupal, Joomla, WordPress, Liferay, Alfresco are five open-source content management systems that have commanded attention through significant use across the marketplace and each has specific advantages.

 

Drupal

Official site: http://drupal.org/  —  Drupal was formed in 2001

Notable Features:

  • Multiple sites can be managed with Drupal and across multiple languages.
  • Utility ranges from a blogging site, corporate site, personal site, gallery, or full eCommerce site.
  • Site users can be managed using standard registration, including OpenID support.
  • There are multiple access controls to help manage the activity of site users.
  • A custom menu system, template customization, advanced search, RSS feed aggregator

 

Joomla

Official site: http://www.joomla.org/  —  Initiated as an offshoot of the Mambo CMS in 2005.

Some Notable Features:

  • Supports control of multiple sites and in multiple languages natively.
  • Utility ranges from a blogging site, corporate site, personal site, gallery, or full eCommerce site
  • Site users can be managed using standard registration, including OpenID support.
  • Full support for Access Control Lists.
  • Page cashing for increased performance.
  • Network asset linking does accomodate moderately descriptive URLs
  • Many Extensions: Over 6,000 free and commercial plugins available

 

WordPress

Official site: http://wordpress.org/  —  first released in 2003

Notable Features:

  •     Highly optimized for blogging.
  •     Custom and easy to switch themes.
  •     Users can re-arrange widgets without editing PHP or HTML code.
  •     Support for tagging. Advanced search by tags.
  •     Highly intuitive UI (User Interface).

Native applications exist for Android, iPhone/iPod Touch, and BlackBerry which provide access to some of the features in the WordPress Admin panel and work with WordPress.com and many WordPress.org blogs.

Liferay

Official site: http://www.liferay.com/

Notable Features:

  •     Can tag and categorize contents.
  •     Document Library Manager, Recent Documents.
  •     Alfresco, Documentum, and other document library integration.
  •     User management based on various roles and groups (ACL).
  •     WebDAV Integration (which allows edit and management from remote web servers).
  •     LDAP Integration
  •     Microsoft Office Integration
  •     Calendar/Chat/Mail/Message Boards/Polls
  •     Wiki (supports Creole as well as MediaWiki syntax)

 

Alfresco

Official site: http://www.alfresco.com/  —  Introduced in 2005

Notable Features:

  •     Document Management.
  •     Web Content Management (including full webapp & session virtualization).
  •     Multi-language support.
  •     Officially runs on Windows, Linux and Solaris.
  •     Desktop integration with Microsoft Office and OpenOffice.org.
  •     Pluggable authentication: NTLM, LDAP, Kerberos, CAS.

The Social Graph June 30, 2011

Posted by stewsutton in Social.
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According to Wikipedia, the social graph is a term coined by scientists working in the social areas of graph theory. It has been described as “the global mapping of everybody and how they’re related”.The term was popularized at the Facebook conference on May 24, 2007, when it was used to explain that the Facebook Platform, which was introduced at the same time, would benefit from the social graph by taking advantage of the relationships between individuals, that Facebook provides, to offer a richer online experience. The definition has been expanded to refer to a social graph of all Internet users.

For businesses seeking to leverage the social graph concept as a core function of the business, it has become relatively easy to integrate with existing services like Facebook that are offering an expanding social graph. Some integrations look like the tightly coupled Zynga games that operate in close connection to the Facebook platform. Close coupling with Facebook allows the social network of friends to be a click away in an application that has a friends and family network component.

So having a social graph integration strategy is important for network based businesses.  As platforms like Facebook and Twitter expand their social graphs around the world, it becomes less likely that a business will want to make the investment re-create that same information.  While this increases the near monopoly that companies like Facebook have in this space, it also makes it easy to decide what to integrate with.