Third Thursday – August 2013 – Social Media Club #smc.iom

Prosciutto, anchovy and onion pizza.Hey everyone, Third Thursday is upon us again and it’s time for our monthly meet-up! Bring all your Social Media news, your exploits and achievements and come share them with your online friends.

For those who have never joins us, Social Media Club is a venue for people active in Social Media to share ideas and collaborate with one another. We meet once a month for lunch with the aim of learning off one another and sometimes, even just putting a face to someone we have met online. It’s an open event, so please come and join us. It doesn’t matter if you’re just curious about what Twitter is all about, or have been using Facebook since it was just invented. It doesn’t matter if you’re using Social Media for work or whether you’re just worried about how it’s changing our lives. Come and join us for a drink or a bite. We’re a friendly bunch 🙂

We meet down at Paparazzi on the Third Thursday of the month. This month it’s Thursday 15th August. Come join us as 12:30

Seeing the world in a brand new light #livefornow

Just came across an awesome video featuring Dynamo and Pepsi:

The video is pushed out by SpreadItFast, a media company specialising in creating and amplifying trends in technology, fashion and lifestyle spheres.

Hope you enjoyed the video as much as I did. So, anyone know how he does it?

DevG – The first meeting

I was lucky enough to be able to attend the first ever meeting of DevG, a DEVeloper Group here in the Isle of Man that looks to bring together developers from different backgrounds in a community event where people can share experiences, learnings and even pitfalls with one another. It’s the brainchild of Zak from Fuzzelogic Solutions who is an avid developer himself and dare I say it myself, a .Net guru. Anyway, the first evening was pretty conversational which I quite enjoyed. Not having a fixed topic means that people could talk about pink elephants, mixed martial arts or even their gym exploits; but that didn’t happen. Instead everyone got down and dirty with different aspects in application development. Here’s an extract from Zak’s blog:

It was great to have the conversations and chit chat among the group which consisted of different backgrounds converging on Microsoft technologies. There were brief conversations around the current trend in the market, .net, agile, oo + patterns and developers mindset. It was really great hearing the “real world” encounters and very encouraging to see every on the same page.

The good news is that everyone enjoyed it enough to want to do it again, but I don’t believe we have a date or a venue for the next meeting. So, watch this space; I’ll let you know when the next one is.

Our project in the news

How cool is this, our project got a mention in this week’s Computer Weekly. It was only an inset in a bigger article about SOA, but it feels great to get some recognition. Here’s how the inset read:

On a budget he jokes is “less than John Prescott’s expense account”, Allan Patterson, director of the Isle of Man’s government information systems division, has delivered an internal cloud-based SOA that could be a showcase in microcosm for what much larger organisations will be doing in future.

“It is what I would call ‘building a virtual house’,” says Patterson.

“The foundations are our twin active virtualised datacentres running on a Windows platform and our IP network across the whole government estate of 250-300 locations – GPs’ surgeries, schools, sub Post Offices, etc.

“On top of that is the equivalent of the pipework and wiring – the common services – which mean we can build something once and use it many times.”

This has drastically reduced the IT organisation’s costs, but also brings wider benefits.

Patterson says, “We have seen a massive take-up of online services such as web payments by the business community and individuals – we now have about 5,500 users for online services, which for the Isle of Man is huge.

“I strongly believe this is how we make government-to-business more effective. We have even got people who no longer maintain tax books because they trust us to do it – so there are efficiencies for end-users as well.”

I had little to do with the dual data-center architecture, but I was responsible for the application architecture that delivers the online services integrating the government website with a variety of back end systems. I’ve been involved in a number of projects over the last few years, from websites selling sexy lingerie (that was Figleaves) to integration between different police systems; but this one is my favourite so far; mostly because I’m not only involved in technical delivery, but also driving change and working at a more strategic level.

(kudos to the girls down at Strive (@sherrilynne, @charlie_h and @lottieb) for putting it together and pointing me in the direction of the article)

How to get noticed

Interesting post on Jeremiah Owyang’s blog about how to get noticed. It all makes good sense, but it doesn’t hurt to iterate his thoughts here:

  • Have a goal
  • Develop a unique brand
  • Get personal
  • Attend local events
  • Lead events
  • Be interesting
  • Archive your achievements

Personally I think these are great pointers in any walk of life, but they are more easily achieved online than offline. We all tend to build a personal brand, whether explicitly or implicitly; it just makes sense to manage and nurture it. Anyway, those are just the highlights, read the full post here

Time to think

Thinkstock Singles

Interesting article on BBC about how people need time to think and how people at the top (using Barack Obama and David Cameron as example) see this as a major obstacle to achieving their optimum effectiveness. It goes on to list some pointers that will help you get your thoughts together, namely:

  • Choose your moment. No more lunching “al desko”
  • Choose your location. It doesn’t have to be atop a mountain
  • Have your props at hand. Aristotle or Moyles?
  • Give yourself less to think about. Your mobile has an “off” switch
  • Have the desire to think. You can get it if you really want

I think I’m quite lucky in that I have a 10-15 minute walk to work every morning and that helps me put my thoughts together to prepare for the day. Walking back home also helps me put those thoughts to rest so I can enjoy my home time. I also get to spend some time at the gym regularly and between bouncing on the treadmills and trying to pump iron, I do get some quality thinking time.

Read the whole article here. There’s a pretty interesting comment thread following it too. What about you? When do you get your thinking time?

World Wide Web

How to upset a customer

Melting ice cream by child's feet

What do you think is a best way to disappoint a customer? I’m sure you can come up with a big list, but right there at the top is promising something and not delivering. I arrived at the airport this morning nice and early because I knew they had free Wifi here, fired up my laptop … and no Wifi. It wasn’t all bad though, because when I tried 30 mins later the network was there, so it could well have been undergoing maintenance, but it did set me thinking all about promises and expectations. In the meantime, FlyBe announced that the earlier Gatwick flight had been delayed because of “technical issues” and that the flight to Birmingham and the flight I was on were delayed because of an “aircraft change”. Now don’t get me wrong, I do expect operational problems to creep in from time to time, but delaying three flights (out of the three on the board with that airline) is shocking!

Anyway, way to my Wifi incident. The reason I was upset was because something was promised to me (by way of a hanging advert and prior experience) and was not delivered. If there had been no prior expectation, I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about it. It’s like like Wifi is so ubiquitous that you expect to find it everywhere (yet); so spending an hour waiting in a location without Wifi wouldn’t have been a problem for me. However, the expectation that something was supposed to be there and wasn’t was a totally different ball game.

I expect some industries are also harder to deal with than others. Airlines and trains in particular have a reputation for missing their schedules, but you can imagine that with all those moving parts, problem are bound to happen. I don’t envy companies who provide satellite internet services for example, as there are physical factors that can prevent proper delivery of their services. Wifi is another matter. Everyone with a wireless router at home will know that once it’s set up and running, it can run for months without needing any attention. That’s one reason why this morning was so “interesting”.

So, what really upsets you?

Motherboard of a computer