The experience of any social network is only as good as the activity of the people on it, right? Quite a few of my friends have joined Google+ and experimented with a couple of posts, but it doesn’t really feel for me that it’s taken off as a social graph tool. It works pretty well within the interest graph, though, and maybe that’s because the API is currently read-only. There are a ton of tools that help you market on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook by managing accounts and automatically posting, but because these aren’t currently available for Google+, the posts and shares seem a little more genuine because people have to actually post directly. It’s a subtle issue, but it means that G+ captures a little more energy, as the posts feel more like they come from people rather than social media management applications. I guess it all depends on who you follow, though. Anyway, I’ll be trying to spend a little more time on Google+ in the coming months and getting involved in the communities that I’ve joined.
It seems every interaction I have with a company these days is followed by a “how did we do?” survey. It’s not like we step aside and forget the company when we’re going through the questionnaire - it’s still part of the experience. Imagine if this was true for high street shopping, and after every purchase, no matter how large or small, we were being chased out of the shop by someone begging for feedback.
It’s strange how influential an operating system UI can be on web design. I remember back in 2006 everyone was using Apple’s shiny table effect and it seems we may be about to see a wave of websites designed using Microsoft’s Windows 8 ‘Metro’ UI style.
Do these large companies that make our most popular devices’ operating systems set the trend, or are they one step ahead? The interesting thing this time round is that the Windows 8 style we see here is designed primarily for touch. The buttons aren’t just part of the UI, they are also delivering content. This means almost the entire screen real estate can be UI. It also works well on various screen sizes - not just desktop and mobile, but desktop to mobile with everything between. This is addressing the same problem many web developers have been solving by using responsive web design. If web design is inspired by operating systems it’ll be interesting to see what affect Windows 8 will have in the coming months.
Things have been ticking over nicely since Microsoft updated its Exchange Online services to Office 365. The other day I needed to find the spam controls (Forefront) and they weren’t where I was expecting them to be so I thought I’d post the details here in case anyone else is having trouble finding them. You’ll need to be logged in as an Office 365 admin:
- Login to the Office 365 Portal
- Click ‘Admin overview’ on the left
- Click ‘manage’ under ‘Exchange’
- Click ‘mail control’ on the left
- Click the ‘configure’ link on the right under ‘Forefront Online Protection for Exchange’
That’s it. Hope this helps :)
I’ve been a big fan of Clay Shirky since I read ‘Here Comes Everybody’, and he’s recently been featured on TED talking about how the open source model of organising, or self organising, groups of hundreds of people can be an incredibly powerful way of producing software, not just technically but democratically. Specifically, he references Git, which unlike many other Version Control Systems (VCS), operates in a distributed way, that is there isn’t one central place or repository - everyone who is participating has access to all the source code and all the source code history. As he explains, this is a remarkably powerful way to foster distributed collaboration, but so far this has mainly been harnessed by the open source software community. This video really gets you thinking about the possibilities of version control for other purposes, such as politics, law, business, etc. The video is just under 20 minutes and I highly recommend watching it.