Jun 02

2013 Internet Trends

By David Scifres Applications, Business Comments Off on 2013 Internet Trends

Interesting macro data on the tech world.

Aug 27

Home Cafe And Market Place

By David Scifres Business, Photography Comments Off on Home Cafe And Market Place
IMG_0316BIMG_0168Home Cafe Pano 1IMG_0219BIMG_0167BIMG_0158B

Home Cafe And Market Place, a set on Flickr.

Quite simply the best cafe in Bowling Green. Their sandwiches are wonderful. I can’t wait to go back and try a pizza. The Sunday brunch was excellent as well.

Mar 09

Zite – Intelligent Personalized Magazine

By David Scifres Applications, Business Comments Off on Zite – Intelligent Personalized Magazine

Move over Flipboard, there is new personalized digital magazine in town – Zite. What makes it so different? Well, much like Pandora, Netflix and Amazon, Zite uses your previous actions or viewing habits, as well as social network activity, as an indicator of what you will most likely want to see in the future. And then it brings you that content. You can give a thumbs up or down on specific content to help further refine the content you are delivered. In a world of information overload this could be a huge time saver.

Once you install the app, you can connect it to your Twitter and Google reader account to get things going. This is not a requirement however. After that, you are presented with a taxonomy of information you can select from to further refine the kinds of articles you will have in your personalized magazine. Assuming the system actually learns as I use it, it should be a huge step in the right direction.

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Feb 03

Top Drupal Modules

By David Scifres Business, Uncategorized Comments Off on Top Drupal Modules

Essential Drupal 6 Modules

  • Content Construction Kit (CCK) – The Content Construction Kit allows you to add custom fields to nodes using a web browser. Part of drupal 7; still a contrib in drupal 6. Allows you to define new content types (e.g. blog entry, event, or employee record…) and add “fields” to them. A field could be plain text, an image, a flash video, or whatever. You can also adjust how these fields display in the live view. No drupal install should be without this module.
  • Views – Empowers non programmers to build dynamic streams of content displaying any number of fields. The content may come from nodes (a.k.a. content types and fields), users, system log entries, etc. You can display this stream in any number of formats including RSS feeds, tables, or just the vanilla view for a content type. You can also create pages or blocks — its very tightly interwoven with drupal. Nearly every drupal module worth using is integrated with this module. Extremely powerful when used in combination with CCK.
  • Panels – Think of it as a layout manager. Create a 1,2,3 column layout. Or a 3 column layout with a full width footer and header, and plop pieces of content in them — say a view, a block, or a node. It also introduced a concept of contexts, selections rules, and relationships.
  • Token – Tokens are small bits of text that can be placed into larger documents via simple placeholders, like %site-name or [user]. The Token module provides a central API for modules to use these tokens, and expose their own token values. Note that Token module doesn’t provide any visible functions to the user on its own, it just provides token handling services for other modules.The basic token API is now a part of Drupal 7! Unfortunately, other things like the a browsable token UI, and field & profile tokens did not make it into core and will be supported here for Drupal 7.
  • Embedded Media Field – This extensible module will create fields for content types that can be used to display video, image, and audio files from various third party providers. When entering the content, the user will simply paste the URL or embed code from the third party, and the module will automatically determine which content provider is being used. When displaying the content, the proper embedding format will be used. The module is only an engine, and requires a supported module to function. These include ‘Embedded Image Field’, ‘Embedded Video Field’ and ‘Embedded Audio Field’. These modules are included in the contrib folder of the module, so they can be easily activated from the module administration page.

Top Usability Drupal Modules

  • Printer, E-mail and PDF versions – There are still people out there who prefer to print out content to read later. This module does just that, and also lets them send your content via email.
  • Custom Breadcrumbs – Allows administrators to set up parametrized breadcrumb trails for any node type. This allows CCK-style node types to have “Home > User Blog > 2005 > January” style breadcrumbs on the node view page itself, synchronizing cleanly with custom views or pathauto aliases. Breadcrumb visibility can be customized via a php snippet.
  • Nice Menus – Nice Menus enables drop-down/right/left expandable menus. It uses only CSS for most browsers, with minimal Javascript for IE6. (Version 2 uses the Superfish jQuery plugin for all browsers, with an option to disable JS, and falls back to CSS-only for browsers that can handle it.)
  • Taxonomy Menu – Automatically generate menu items for categories. Handles syncing between taxonomy and menus, and is ready to be used in conjunction with views or panels.
  • Content Profiles – This module builds user profiles as content (aka nodes), which opens the opportunity to use all the powerful modules for content for user profiles too, e.g. the Content Construction Kit (CCK). It’s intended to be simple and useful, but extensible by further modules. Content profiles can be restricted to certain roles; the module also supports separate content profiles for different roles.
  • GMap – The GMap module provides an interface to the Google Maps API within Drupal. It integrates with the Location module to provide users a clickable map for entering latitude and longitude, as well as to display maps of Drupal nodes and users. GMap can be used to create interactive maps with various map markers and content in map bubbles, taking advantage of Drupal’s other content management features. The module also provides a Views display plugin which allows users to display the results of a view on a Google map.
  • Location – The Location module allows real-world geographic locations to be associated with Drupal nodes, including people, places, and other content. The Location module allows admins to collect addresses, geocode them (translate addresses to lattitude/longitude), and associate locations with Drupal nodes and users. Location data is automatically used to generate GeoRSS within your existing RSS feeds. Location also provides an API so that other modules may take advantage of its address storage and geocoding features.
  • Calendar – This module will display any Views date field in calendar formats, including CCK date fields, node created or updated dates, etc. Switch between year, month, and day views. Back and next navigation is provided for all views.
  • Date – This package contains both a flexible date/time field type Date field and a Date API that other modules can use.

Top Marketing Related Drupal Modules

  • Google Analytics – Adds the Google Analytic code to your site.
  • MailChimp – This module provides integration with the MailChimp email delivery service. While tools for sending email from your own server, like SimpleNews, are great, they lack the sophistication and ease of use of dedicated email providers like MailChimp. Other players in this field are Constant Contact and Campaign Monitor.
  • WebForm – This module adds a webform node type to your Drupal site. Typical uses for Webform are questionnaires, contact or request/register forms, surveys, polls or a front end to issues tracking systems. Submissions from a webform are saved in a database table and can optionally be mailed to a nominated e-mail address upon submission. Past submissions are viewable for users with the correct permissions. Webform includes some simple statistical tools to help in form design and evaluation and also allows the whole table to be downloaded as a csv file for detailed statistical analysis.
  • Path Auto – automatically generates path aliases for various kinds of content (nodes, categories, users) without requiring the user to manually specify the path alias. This allows you to get aliases like /category/my-node-title.html instead of /node/123. The aliases are based upon a “pattern” system which the administrator can control. Pathauto depends on the Token module.
  • Path Redirect – This module allows you to specify a redirect from one path to another path or an external URL, using any HTTP redirect status.
  • Global Redirect – Once enabled, an alias provides a nice clean URL for a path on a site. However Drupal does not remove the old path (eg node/1234). The problem is that you now have two URLs representing the same content. This is dangerous territory for duplicate pages which can get you sandboxed by the search engines!
  • Link CHecker – The Link checker module extracts links from your content when saved and periodically tries to detect broken hypertext links by checking the remote sites and evaluating the HTTP response codes. It shows all broken links in the reports/logs section and on the content edit page if a link check has been failed. An author specific broken links report is also available in “My Account” (D6+ only).
  • Node Words – This project allows you to add meta tags to Drupal pages, both manually and automatically based on various settings. Paying attention to meta tags, such as keywords, description and canonical URL, may help obtain better search engine positioning. Nodewords will not be supported on Drupal 7, the new Metatags module is taking its place and is a major ground-up rewrite. A possible upgrade path is still under discussion.
  • Page Title – The word “title” is a bit overloaded. Every piece of content in Drupal has a title, and so does every page. The page title is the one found in the HTML head inside the tag. It is also used on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) and can greatly enhance your websites SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This module gives you granular control over the page title. You can specify patterns for how the title should be structured and, on content creation pages, specify the page title separately to the content’s title.
  • Google AdSense – This module provides web content providers with the means to earn revenue from visitors by displaying ads from Google AdSense™ advertising service on their sites.
  • Print – By editing the default print.css or specifying you own CSS file and/or the print.tpl.php files, it is possible to change the look of the output page to suit your taste.

Top Social Modules for Druple

  • Facebook Connect – This module allows users to login on a Drupal website through the Facebook Connect API – using their Facebook login and password.
  • Druple for Facebook – This set of modules and themes turns Drupal into a platform for developing Facebook Applications. This allows you to embed your content and features within facebook, or allow facebook users onto your site via Facebook Connect. With Drupal for Facebook, you can harness all the power of Drupal in you Facebook App. If you already have content in Drupal, you can expose it on Facebook.
  • Flickr – ccess photos on Flickr’s site via their API. The module provides a filter for inserting photos and photosets and allows the creation of blocks for rendering a user’s recent photos and photosets.
  • Media: Flickr – Flickr Photoset capabilities to the Embedded Media Field module, upon which this module is dependent. To use it, enable the Embedded Video Field module, and add a Third Party Video field to a content type. For Thumbnails, you’ll also need to apply for a Flickr API key. After that, editors will be able to paste a URL or the embed code for a Flickr Photoset page or Slideshow into the field, and it will be displayed automatically. Additionally, that URL will be parsed automatically, so the module will know the difference between a Flickr Photoset URL and that of another supported provider, such as a YouTube video.
  • Media: YouTube – Provides support for the YouTube video provider for Embedded Media Field. Note that if you’re using the Media Mover module, this will also add the capability to send harvested videos to YouTube and store the resulting video in your Embedded Video Field!
  • AdThis – Provides an AddThis.com button or toolbox to let your users share your content to social network sites.

Top Drupal Admin Modules

  • Admin Menu – Makes the Admin use drop down menus saving tons of click time
  • Root Candy – A Theme designed specifically for the admin to clean things up and make it easier to use
  • Chaos Tool Suite – This suite is primarily a set of APIs and tools to improve the developer experience. It also contains a module called the Page Manager whose job is to manage pages. In particular it manages panel pages, but as it grows it will be able to manage far more than just Panels.
  • Advanced Help – Allows module developers to store their help outside the module system, in pure .html files. The files can be easily translated simply by copying them into the right translations directory. The entire system can appear in a popup or not as the module prefers (and by taking away access to view the popups, a site can force the popups to not exist). The system ties into Drupal’s search system and is fully indexed, so the entire contents can be searched for keywords. the help files can be placed in a hierarchy as well, allowing for top down navigation of the help.
  • FileField – A universal file upload field for CCK. It is a robust alternative to core’s Upload module and an absolute must for users uploading a large number of files. Great for managing video and audio files for podcasts on your own site.
  • MimeDetect – MimeDetect provides an API for consistent server side mime detection using the PHP FileInfo extension, the UNIX ‘file’ command, user supplied mime data, or file extension lookups. It is distributed with its own magic library for use with the PHP FileInfo extension to make mime detection more consistent in different environments.
  • WYSIWYG API – Allows to use client-side editors to edit content. It simplifies the installation and integration of the editor of your choice. This module replaces all other editor integration modules. No other Drupal module is required. Wysiwyg module is capable to support any kind of client-side editor. It can be a HTML-editor (a.k.a. WYSIWYG), a “pseudo-editor” (buttons to insert markup into a textarea), or even Flash-based applications. The editor library needs to be downloaded separately. Various editors are supported (see below). Wysiwyg module also provides an abstraction layer for other Drupal modules to integrate with any editor. This means that other Drupal modules can expose content-editing functionality, regardless of which editor you have installed.
  • CKEditor – This module will allow Drupal to replace textarea fields with the CKEditor – a visual HTML editor, sometimes called WYSIWYG editor. This HTML text editor brings many of the powerful WYSIWYG editing functions of known desktop editors like Word to the web. It’s very fast and doesn’t require any kind of installation on the client computer.
  • TinyMCE –
  • Whizzywig – Purported to be the fastest and smallest WYSIWYG Editor and 100% customized for Drupal?
  • IMCE – Image/file uploader and browser that supports personal directories and quota.
  • Transliteration – Provides a central transliteration service to other Drupal modules, and sanitizes file names while uploading. Generally spoken, it takes Unicode text and tries to represent it in US-ASCII characters (universally displayable, unaccented characters) by attempting to transliterate the pronunciation expressed by the text in some other writing system to Roman letters.
  • Image API – This API is meant to be used in place of the API provided by image.inc. You probably do not need to install this module unless another module are you using requires it. It provides no new features to your Drupal site. It only provides an API other modules can leverage. Currently GD2 and ImageMagick support are distributed with ImageAPI.
  • Image Cache – ImageCache allows you to setup presets for image processing. If an ImageCache derivative doesn’t exist the web server’s rewrite rules will pass the request to Drupal which in turn hands it off to ImageCache to dynamically generate the file. ImageCache has been moved into core in Drupal 7.
  • Image Field – ImageField provides an image upload field for CCK. ImageField is a CCK-based alternative to the legacy Image project. It boasts features such as multiple images per node, resolution restrictions, default images, and extensive Views support. ImageField does not provide a built-in thumbnail solution, but complements the incredibly powerful thumbnail generation module ImageCache. ImageField is being added to Drupal 7 core.
  • Video – Video module allows you to upload video in any format, play video in any format, transcode video to FLV using FFMPEG (can be extended to any transcoder), automatically creates video thumbnails, use video thumbnails in video node teaser, fast and very reliable API for converting videos and auto thumbnailing, can be used as an all-in-one video solution for Drupal.
  • CAPTCHA – A CAPTCHA is a challenge-response test most often placed within web forms to determine whether the user is human. The purpose of CAPTCHA is to block form submissions by spambots, which are automated scripts that post spam content everywhere they can. The CAPTCHA module provides this feature to virtually any user facing web form on a Drupal site.
  • reCAPTCHA – A more robust CAPTCHA option.
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Dec 10

Who is online and what are they doing?

By David Scifres Business Comments Off on Who is online and what are they doing?

Arno Ghelfi for Bloomburb Business week published a visualization this week breaking down current U.S. social media internet usage by activity and age. From top to bottom are the more active users to the more passive. Age groups run left to right. I particularly like the categories of social media users not only because it seems to be logical breakdown but because it resonates with me relative to my own internet usage. Though I really think that Boomers and Seniors are more active in social media than this report is giving them credit for. I’d actually like to see the data and review the methodology by which it was collected. Nevertheless it is an excellent visualization.

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Dec 05

Totally Killer Open Source Solutions

By David Scifres Applications, Business Comments Off on Totally Killer Open Source Solutions

Totally Killer Open Source Solutions

  • Fedora – A Linux-based operating system that showcases the latest in free and open source software. Fedora is always free for anyone to use, modify, and distribute. It is built by people across the globe who work together as a community: the Fedora Project. The Fedora Project is open and anyone is welcome to join.
  • MySQL – Open Source Relational Database.
  • MyPHPAdmin – A free software tool written in PHP intended to handle the administration of MySQL over the World Wide Web. phpMyAdmin supports a wide range of operations with MySQL. The most frequently used operations are supported by the user interface (managing databases, tables, fields, relations, indexes, users, permissions, etc), while you still have the ability to directly execute any SQL statement.
  • WordPress – A semantic personal publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability.
  • Drupal – open source content management system.
  • Joomla! – the dynamic portal engine and content management system.
  • Magento – The PHP based eCommerce software platform for growth that promises to revolutionize the industry because of its modular architecture and unprecedented flexibility.
  • GIMP – GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP). Freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.
  • SugarCRM – Commercial open source customer relationship management (CRM). CRM software for sales force automation and customer support deployed on demand or on site.
  • Open Office – A multiplatform and multilingual office suite compatible with all other major office suites.
  • OSTicket – Open source support ticket system simple, lightweight, reliable, open source, and easy to setup and use.
  • Elgg – A leading open source social networking engine which can be used to power your social network. It includes blogging, networking, community, collecting of news using feeds aggregation and file sharing features. Everything can be shared among users with access controls and everything can be cataloged by tags as well.
  • Open Atrium – is a platform for building team portals that can be extended to meet highly custom knowledge management needs for large organizations’ intranets and extranets. It starts with “out of the box” features like a blog, a wiki, a calendar, a case tracker, a shoutbox, and a dashboard to manage content. These features can be expanded to meet unique needs for large organizations so that full scale enterprise collaboration sites can be built with Open Atrium as a base. By fully leveraging Drupal, all of the strengths of Drupal can contribute to creating custom features for Open Atrium within a framework that is already tailored for team collaboration.
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Oct 26

12 Excellent Productivity and Project Management Tools

By David Scifres Business, Productivity Comments Off on 12 Excellent Productivity and Project Management Tools

Productivity and Project Management

  • Google Apps – Get constant enterprise innovation with Google, saving your company the time, money and hassles of managing these IT solutions yourself.
  • www.centraldesktop.com – Central Desktop’s is a web based SaaS solution for businesses to collaborate, manage projects and connect their people. It has great centralized document management and version control capabilities.
  • www.tomsplanner.com – Create and share Gantt charts online with Tom’s Planner Gantt chart software. No more messy excel spreadsheets.
  • Mingle – Mingle, the agile project management tool, was built from the ground up to adapt to constantly changing processes, business priorities and program/project structures within your development environment.
  • MindMeister – Free web-based realtime collaborative mind mapping tool for brainstorming and project management (with iPhone app).
  • FreeMind – A Free Open Source Graphical Mind Mapping solution written in Java.
  • www.basecamphq.com – Trusted by millions, Basecamp is the leading web-based project management and collaboration tool. To-dos, files, messages, schedules, and milestones.
  • 5 PM – Web-based project and task management application for your team. The powerful features are accessed through a smart customizable interface.
  • Goplan – is an project management and collaboration tool for individuals and teams. Tasks, Tickets, Calendar, Time tracking and Documents.
  • Bananna Scrum – Banana Scrum is a Web-based Agile tool for teams that use agile development methods, primarily Scrum.
  • Time Meter – Application designed for time and expense tracking that works under Microsoft Outlook.
  • @Task – Offers project management software as well as task tracking, project life cycle, workflow, gantt charts and other project tracking software and services.
Apr 26

The Greatest Ad Campaign Campaign

By David Scifres Advertising, Video Comments Off on The Greatest Ad Campaign Campaign

You must watch this to the end to get the point.

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Apr 07

Economic Indicators & Stock Market Returns

By David Scifres Business, Productivity Comments Off on Economic Indicators & Stock Market Returns

Below is a example of a website service for data visualization offered by a company called Tableau Public. This particular visualization is from Stephen McDaniel of Freakalytics and demonstrates how to display complex relationships between multiple metrics by looking at the stock market patterns relative to economic conditions from 1901-2008.

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Feb 27

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – A Leadership Fable

By David Scifres Books, Business Comments Off on The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – A Leadership Fable

A couple years ago I read a great book, from the New York Times Best Seller list, called “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni“. Lencioni uses a fictional setting to discuss very real issues that anybody in Middle and Upper management would immediately recognize assuming they had any degree of perception during a typical staff or team meeting. The issues are not clear cut (again realistic) and can easily favor one function or department over another. The team leader patiently takes them through a team building process.

In this fable Kathryn Petersen has been tapped as the new CEO of DecisionTech, Inc. This start-up company is well funded and well staffed with quality personnel, but for the past two years has been unable to produce meaningful results. Sound familiar? As if that task wasn’t daunting enough, Kathryn has to deal with the complexity of working directly with the former CEO. He is now heading up business development and is an integral member of her team. I’m sure you have similar dynamics going on at your level of management don’t you?

At the core of the book is a model related to creating high functioning teams. The pyramid below summarizes the 5 key areas that you need to address starting at the bottom and over time, working your way up in order to build a high functioning project or management team.

Dysfunction 1: Absence of Trust

These quotes of Kathryn’s, the CEO, seemed to clearly define this dysfunction:

  • “Trust is the foundation of real teamwork.”
  • “Great teams do not hold back with one another.”
  • “They (team members) admit their mistakes, their weaknesses and their concerns without fear of reprisal.”
  • “I see a trust problem here in the lack of debate that exists during staff meetings and other interactions among this team.”

Dysfunction 2: Fear of Conflict

“If we don’t trust one another, then we aren’t going to engage in open, constructive, idealogical conflict.” Failure to do so results in:

  • No collaborative solutions.
  • Solutions that lack the input of all team members.
  • A team with “artificial harmony” – skin deep team approval. Tacit agreement followed by people pursing their own interests anyway – sound familiar?

Dysfunction 3: Lack of Commitment

Essentially this is failure to buy in to decisions.

  • Share Opinions: “It’s as simple as this. When people don’t unload their opinions and feel like they’ve been listened to, they won’t really get on board.” Weigh in before they buy in.
  • True Consensus: “Consensus is horrible. I mean, if everyone really agrees on something and consensus comes about quickly and naturally, well that’s terrific. But that isn’t how it usually works, and so consensus becomes an attempt to please everyone.” And when this happens you have a weakened solution that probably will not work well.

Dysfunction 4: Avoidance of Accountability

The pyramid continues to build on itself. There must be commitment before there can be accountability.

  • “People aren’t going to hold each other accountable if they haven’t clearly bought in to the same plan.”

Dysfunction 5: Inattention to Results

“Our job is to make the results that we need to achieve so clear to everyone in this room that no one would even consider doing something purely to enhance his or her individual status or ego. Because that would diminish our ability to achieve our collective goals. We would all lose.”

If there is going to be ego, it should be collective ego that is greater than the individual egos. Similarly, people are going to look out for their own interests. However, the team’s interests (results) should be more important than individual interests.

Id’ recommed this book to any senior leader or person responsible for a group of people tasked with meeting a common set of goals. It doesn’t matter if you believe the group is currently dysfunctional or not, it would help you take that group to the next level either way.

Feb 26

Is the BloomBox for Real or the Next Segway?

By David Scifres Business Comments Off on Is the BloomBox for Real or the Next Segway?

Watch CBS News Videos Online

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Feb 23

Mapping the Future – Global Strategy Institute

By David Scifres Business, Life Comments Off on Mapping the Future – Global Strategy Institute

In my Leadership MBA class we have been studying many of the issues put forward by the Global Strategy Institute. In particular I liked this visualization or mapping of the future that they presented. Click on any node on the map to read more information about a particular event that the future has in store.

The CSIS Global Strategy Institute is dedicated to promoting long-range thinking about the big global issues that loom before us. To this end, they created a “map of the future” for the years 2008 through 2012. Public and private sector leaders across the country (and the globe) will have to contend with certain inevitable events, unstoppable trends, and predictable developments over the next four to five years. GSIS’s goal is to paint a picture of what the landscape will look like and to identify the major signposts we can anticipate. They have grouped these coming events into seven categories: science and technology; politics; major conferences; forecasts; construction; sporting and culture; and important dates.

Today’s leaders function in an environment marked by rapid change, ever higher levels of complexity, and ever shorter decision time frames. This map is the CSIS Global Strategy Institute’s modest attempt to help us all elevate our thinking beyond today’s headlines and to anticipate the competing obstacles and opportunities we can expect to navigate in the future. As we retreat to higher ground, the hope that we gain clarity and a sense of direction for the years ahead.

Feb 22

Central Desktop 2.0 – Major Usability Upgrade

By David Scifres Business Comments Off on Central Desktop 2.0 – Major Usability Upgrade

Central Desktop 2.0 adds great new features like:

  • Great New Dashboard – far more usable an flexible
  • File Previews, Download Files as PDFs and File Views
  • Added Wikis for Knowledge Base work
  • Web 2.0 Social Stuff – Avatars, Blogs and Forums
  • Workplace, Company and People Tab
  • Time Tracking enhancements
  • Enhanced Tasks Features

To see all the new features go here:

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Jan 05

iTablet – iCovet – iTreasure

By David Scifres Apple Comments Off on iTablet – iCovet – iTreasure

Rumor is that Apple will be releasing the iTablet perhaps in March – announcement should be in late January and that they will start around $1000 price point according to Techcrunch. I can hardly wait to see it. Below is a video that shows one of the things Apple could do with such a device besides making the Kindle and Nook look like a pager by comparison. Given Apple’s roots in education and their recent foray with higher ed. podcasts, I’d say textbooks on the iTablet will be a VERY real possibility.

May 16

MacBook Air vs Sony Vaio

By David Scifres Business Comments Off on MacBook Air vs Sony Vaio

And here I thought the macbook air was the only computer capable of fitting into an envelope. Behold an alternative for those so stuck in the MS World they could not think of making the switch . . . . Continue reading »

Nov 02

FeedburnerFeedburner just announced the ability to integrate Google AdSense into your Feedburner blog emails, RSS, etc . . . you just login and go to the “monitize” tab.

Chad can you test this out with our blog and make sure we know how to do it. We definitely need this on the rv.net bog.

Oct 25

Eat That Frog – “Put it On Paper”

By David Scifres Books, Business Comments Off on Eat That Frog – “Put it On Paper”

“Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”

William Jennings Bryan

The #1 thing you can do to help ensure that you get more done is to put your goals on paper. Seriously, only 3 percent of adults have clear, written goals. When you compare these folks to their equally educated peers they accomplish 5 to 10 times more. Do you know what your goals are? Figure them out and try and get as much clarity around them as you can. Write them down, share them with others, etc . . .

I belong to a group in Nashville called Vistage and they have a “Probability of Completing a Goal” model they share with people to help them understand how important it is to write down your goals, share them and meet with someone to review them on an ongoing basis.

  • 10% complete a goal when they simply hear it as an idea or suggestion from another.
  • 25% complete a goal when they consciously decide to adopt and write it down
  • 40% complete a goal when they decide when to do it – in other words, make it time bound
  • 50% complete a goal when they plan how to do it – this means writing down specific tasks, tactics, milestones, etc . . .
  • 65% complete a goal when they commit to someone else that you will do it
  • 95% complete a goal when they have ongoing reviews, an accountability appointment if you will, with the person that they made the commitment with

Brian Tracy, in “Eat that Frog” suggests the following seven steps for dramatically increasing the likelihood of achieving your goals.

Step 1 – Decide exactly what you want. If you use this for work goals, discuss with your boss. What exactly is expected of you and in what order?

Step 2 – Write it Down on Paper. As indicated above, something happens when we write our goals down on paper. It’s as close to magic as you will find at work. Writing it down, will help make it more real. If you want to take it a step further, share you goals with others. That will further increase your likelihood of achieving them.

Step 3 – Set a deadline (or sub-deadlines). This is a key part of having S.M.A.R.T. goals. Set a deadline and hold your self accountable for the date. Without this, your goals and tasks will lack urgency.

Step 4 – Make a list of everything you can think of you are going to have to do to achieve your goal. Keep adding stuff to the list until it is complete. It is a living list that grows and shrinks as the project/goal moves forward.

Step 5 – Organize the list into a plan by priority and sequence.

Step 6 – Take action on your plan immediately. An average plan executed vigorously is far better than a brilliant plan that lacks action. Or as Guy Kawasaki said, “Don’t worry, be crappy!”.

Step 7 – Resolve to do something everyday that moves you toward you goal.

Clearly written goals have a stunning effect on your thinking, they motivate you, create energy, release creativity and stimulate action. What are your goals, both professional and personal? Who do you talk to about them? Do you discuss them regularly?

Oct 03

Here are a some additional plug-ins I think we should be considering for the future blog of rv.net.

  • Subscribe to Comments -Subscribe to Comments 2.1 is a plugin that allows commenters on your blog to check a box before commenting and get e-mail notification of further comments. It is one of the most popular WordPress plugins out there for the simple reason that it helps foster a community around your blog by encouraging commenters to come back and stay engaged in the dialog
  • Popularity Contest – This plugin will help you see which of your posts are most popular. Views, comments, etc. are tracked and given configurable point values to determine popularity.
  • Word Press Mobile Edition – A PDA friendly interface for your blog.
  • Landing Sites – When visitors is referred to your site from a search engine, they are definitely looking for something specific – often they just roughly check the page they land on and then closes the window if what they are looking for isn’t there. Why not help them by showing them related posts to their search on your blog? This plugin/guide lets you do that, works with a long list of search engines!
  • Encourage Subscriptions

Anybody want to step up to chase these down?

Oct 02

DilbertEverybody needs their own personal mission statement. Fortunately there are resources available on the internet to assist us in creating one without having to actually think about it. 🙂 Mission Statement Generator by Dilbert

Sample mission examples:

Our challenge is to seamlessly provide access to emerging opportunities while maintaining the highest standards


We interactively leverage other’s parallel paradigms and assertively maintain high-payoff benefits to stay competitive in tomorrow’s world


It is our business to professionally enhance prospective products and services so that we may quickly create timely deliverables to exceed customer expectations


It is our mission to interactively create high standards in intellectual capital as well as to competently disseminate virtual deliverables

It’s addictive, seriously, go create your own. Enjoy, David

Sep 05

PEW Internet Logo

This is a very interesting study PEW just released on Internet Video viewing.

“Online video now reaches a mainstream audience; 57% of online adults have used the internet to watch or download video, and 19% do so on a typical day. The growing adoption of broadband combined with a dramatic push by content providers to promote online video has helped to pave the way for mainstream audiences to embrace online video viewing. The majority of adult internet users in the U.S. (57%) reportwatching or downloading some type of online video content and 19% do so on a typical day.”

View the Report

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