Event Blogging

Dan Bricklin’s essay on the dynamics of event blogging, based on his experience at the Democratic National Convention, provide some useful thoughts for the bloggers who may cover the ASAE meeting:

What we learn from the Convention blogging:

Event blogging is different than normal, daily blogging. In normal blogging, you watch the world go by and pick and choose things you want to comment upon. There is material online to point to and react to. There are ideas that well up and you take the time to write about, but few people may be waiting for them. There are many, many bloggers. Some read other blogs and choose the posts they think others should read. Through popular gateway blogs like some of the well known political blogs, and tools like Blogdex, Daypop, and more, things bubble to the top.

Events are another thing entirely. The time is very condensed and the amount of information is concentrated. If you are “covering” the event, you have to look at it all and provide perspective to a reader who doesn’t see all of the context that you do. The event marches on and won’t stop for you to take time for thinking and writing. Picking and choosing is harder — if you stop to blog, you might miss the keystone piece of what’s going on.

Good stuff. I know I usually have a hard time just keeping up with voice- and e-mail while at a meeting like this, let alone trying to write something coherent.

Column Two: CMS Myth #1: Installing a CMS must be hard

James Robertson takes a stab at busting some CMS myths. First up: Installing a CMS must be hard.

Installing the CMS software can be easy. It should be easy. If isn’t easy, ask why.

During our last CMS selection we required that our web admin be given demos to install from the finalists in our list. That ended up ruling out a couple of companies who couldn’t provide installable code without sending their own engineer over to do it.

Our theory was that if the company had not thought about how to make the initial installation easy then there were probably lots of other areas that had not had proper attention either. I couldn’t find a specific post on his site, but I’m pretty sure I picked up the idea of an effective installer as a sign of quality from reading Joel on Software.

Netcraft: Will Firefox repeat Netscape's mistakes?

Netcraft: Will Firefox repeat Netscape’s mistakes?:

Against this background, the news that Mozilla will be working with Adobe, Apple, Macromedia and Sun to develop an open, scriptable plugin model is worrying. The logic behind this move seems to be that in order to capitalise on users’ increasing willingness to consider alternatives to Internet Explorer, Firefox needs to match it in all areas, including plugins. What is particularly ironic about this move is that it represents an eerily exact rerun of an earlier – failed – strategy.

This post argues that Firefox may be going down a somewhat proprietary path with this plugin approach and possibly creating security risks along the lines of ActiveX. I am not too worried about that for one reason: firefox remains open source. If the developers take it in a bad direction I’m confident that another group will pick up the source and go somewhere else with it. While competing forks of firefox is not ideal it is better than having no choice at all.

In the careful what you ask for department…

RSS Traffic Burdens Publisher’s Servers:

InfoWorld, which is hosted by Verio, is committed to RSS. But Dickerson says he’s spoken with other large media sites that have delayed implementing RSS feeds, citing potential overhead on IT infrastructure. Some major publishers of RSS feeds are high-traffic sites that already use content distribution and caching to manage server load, such as Yahoo.

While a relatively small number of sites are currently seeing RSS traffic on the scale of InfoWorld, that’s likely to change as the technology becomes more popular. “If RSS is going to go from fairly big to absolutely huge, we’re all going to need to do a little more work on the plumbing,” Dickerson writes.

I wonder if any of the RSS client authors/producers have thought about randomizing thier collection times a bit to spread out the load?

Update:Bloglines‘ CEO has a few thoughts on how to improve the load issue.

Skinner Box Web Design

Jeffrey Veen on Damage in Web Design:

Bad design is based on the arrogant and extremely difficult attempts to modify user behavior. Good design derives innovation from existing user behavior. Guess which one succeeds more often?

Veen points out in the article that trying to modify user behavior will result in the user leaving your site for an alternative or routing around the perceived damage. There is no lid on the bad web design skinner box.

What is our strategic direction? And we need more chairs in Salon A!

The anonymous association CEO who writes View from a Corner Office has posted a brain dump from their annual meeting.

I think the post shows very well how association execs are expected to lead/facilitate the big picture strategy thing for the organization while also making sure there are enough chairs in the proper configuration in the meeting room. To me, that descirbes the art of association management in a nutshell.

R&D vs. Project

From McGee’s Musings:

The superficial resemblance between software development and construction in the physical world obscures the fact that often what we are doing in software development is more R&D than it is general contracting. Knowing which parts of the project are routine and which might be pushing the envelope requires a more sophisticated form of estimating and budgeting than vanilla project management techniques.

That makes a lot of sense to me.