Tom The Architect

Technology and other Interesting Stuff

Tag: f4t

The saddest RSS feed ever

The Department of Defense News Releases feed allows technology to present a view of the the Iraq War that news does not. This feed contains the public press releases of the names of the casulties in Iraq and Afghanistan. I for one find this feed to be filled with nothing but loss and sorrow. I consume a fair number of RSS feeds and this is one feed that makes all others trivial.

If you are anti-war here is a feed of information that only motivates one to fight for an end even harder.

If you are supportive of the Iraq war you should subscribe to this feed to ensure that you have a clear understanding of the impacts of your support.

A feed that pains my heart to read.

Can you serve others better than you serve yourself

I have thought about this a great deal. The degrees of abstraction are endless. I have thought about it from a systematic perspective, from a social perspective, from a business perspective and so on. The answer I come to consistently is NO. Now let me explain.

The guiding point is: You cannot serve others any better than you serve yourself. I am not saying, if I want my friend to have a nice car, I must first have a nice car. Nope, what I am saying is, if I want my friend to have a nice car, I must first have the ability to give a nice car. At a personal level the actions we take that define us, are the foundations of our interactions with others. The personal side goes down a deep meta rabbit hole and is best left for another time.

The part that is more plain is from a business and systematic perspective. I had previously written “A provider cannot deliver a continuity of experience greater than the continuity of experience the provider has internally.”

You cannot manage a customers inventory any better than you can manage your own (definitely if you are using the same systems, people, and processes).

Do you think Ford could build cars for toyota better than they could build Fords, uh Nope.

Do you think that the U.S. can run a country any better than we run the U.S., uh Nope, just look at Puerto Rico (Usually worse).

If you have variability in your business process when you share those processes with your customer, guess what they get the same degree of variability.

If your email system sucks when you use it, it will suck when you host it out for your customers to use.

Do you think that Google employees have better mail services than Gmail users, I bet they do, but all services being equal I bet its darn close.

The reality is the systems, people and processes we use internally will never generate better results just because your using them on someone’s behalf.

Big Mac vs a Book

You can get a Big Mac 24 hrs day but our local library closes at 8pm.

Continuity of Experience Rule of Thumb

A provider cannot deliver a continuity of experience greater than the continuity of experience the provider has internally.

We are Enron

The financial statement of the United States of America was released on December 15. The best explanation I have seen can be found here. The report is put out by David Walker the Comptroller of the United States of America. I have seen him speak on CSPAN and he is very direct about the state of our national finances.

The hypocrisy that is Congress, never ceases to amaze me. The Sarbanes-Oxley legislation is meant to prevent another Enron, mean while Congress continues keep 53 Trillion dollars of debt ‘off balance sheet’, something a public company could now never do. The future doesn’t look to bright.

Under Communication Limits our Effectiveness

Why do we have so many meetings that have few observable results?

Simply.
Under communication creates over congregation.

We have so many meetings because the participants spend a great deal of time and effort removing ambiguity and aligning expectations. The ambiguity and misaligned expectation are the symptoms of to little communication. Face to face communication is rich and powerful but it is expensive, requiring parties to be present at the same point in time and space, and has a limited scope of accountability. There are techniques to increase the accountability of people who use face to face communication as a primary communication mechanism. Techniques like formalized follow-up and written recaps create artifacts of the communication.

The lack of communication in any organization forces people to seek the richest form of communication. Over communication is key to reducing the number of meetings and managers must be conduits for and facilitators of communication. I found that when I feel like I am communicating to much, I am really just communicating enough.

So over communicate you might find that you have fewer meeting and become more effective.

To Delete (private) or Not To Delete (not private)..

That is the question, is it private or not private, or is it even your data. This all, in an interesting article about search history and how it should be handled (via WSJ).
John Battelle thinks the search engines should take a stronger position.
The Attention Trust lays out the principles that customers should require of their consumers of their attention.
The government is trying to protect your data and at the same time trying to ensure that they have access to it.

The way I see it, its our data without the user Google wouldn’t exist and the government is sanctioned by the people for the people. We need to be more demanding of our online relationships when it comes to the privacy and handling of our data. We also need to be more exacting and demanding of our elected officials in protecting our basic rights. It’s not that the government shouldn’t have access to our Internet activity, that access should follow due process, be visible to the user or their legal representative (in some cases this may be a court) and be transparent. Companies should respect the user’s rights and provide clear mechanisms for customers to exercise those rights. We minimally share copyright on our user data. Companies need to recognize that joint copyright and set forth a framework for collaboration and rights management (which may include explicit termination of rights).

Just my two cents.

oh yeah

Questions in my mind,

What is the value of the history of human behavior (online or offline)? Don’t know, but that information serves us to this day, will Google query history, who knows.

When do the names on a war memorial become obsolete? Never.
What about privacy, can someone refuse to have a family members name on a memorial? Not sure.

Is it just me

In San Diego I never see Banks showing the time and the temperature. It may just be a Midwest thing, something for us to complain about, no time or the weather. Or in San Diego, The temperature is perfect and who cares what time it is, it’s just now.

Thinking about the Long tail (Core Dump)

I was listening to the Resignation Gang (Part 3) and was interested in the arguments around how people like to get their news and inversion of the network. I have a couple questions running through my mind:

Does the head of the Long tail exist because the market has been unable to deliver meaningful specialization?

  • Does the impact of low cost software and hardware make specialization more affordable?
  • Do improved information strategies make specialization more accessible and understandable for the tail?

The idea that the head of the tail exists because of inefficiencies in the market makes me think that mass market and mass production are dying. It will linger for a long time but it will die. From content to pharmaceuticals to services, all will be become capable of serving the tail.

If the network is inverted does that make everyone a part of the tail?

  • What opportunities exist in a infinite tail scenario?
  • What is the most efficient mechanism for value creation?

I was thinking that affinity based collaboration may become the new organizational model. In order to manage the scale and complexity of the infinite tail, an economy based on cognitive products and services will be required. I don’t foresee anytime in the near future when we will be dealing with less information. The growth in the amount, type and quality of information will force people to seek solutions that a match the efficiencies of the market and of their own cognitive processes. The cognitive economy will arise as a function of the emergence of the infinite tail.

Links:
The Gillmor Gang RSS feed
Resignation Gang (Part 3)

An estimated 168 million Americans lack broadband access at home!

A Reuters article (via News.com) points out:

An estimated 42 percent of Americans had high-speed Internet access at home in March 2006, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. That was up from 30 percent of Americans with high-speed access one year earlier, it said.

Wow, 168 million people do not have Broadband at home. The funny thing is many (technologists, the technorati, and the like) refer to the network as being ubiquitous. Its not, and given the cost issues ($49.00 for Comcast) and the political BS around the last mile and now net neutrality, its likely that many may never get Broadband. 168 million, in that number lurks the digital divide, and we as a country don’t seem to be doing much about it. Anybody want to guess how many children are deprived the benefit of the information super highway. Dial-up doesn’t count in my book either. Sad very Sad.