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Archive for October, 2004

Learning Object Repositories are a thing of the past

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Learning Object Repositories are a thing of the past as seen through the cyber glasses from Teaching and Developing Online.

Learning object repositories are a thing of the past. The material should reside in the location it was originally created for. Once tagged in that location it can be found as easily there as it could be found in a repository. The money being spent collecting all the objects into a repository should be spent on developing an automated tagging system then the complete web becomes the repository, removing the need for duplication of objects.

Possibly a narrow tinted view through the cyber glasses.

Via: OLDaily

Written by anol

October 8th, 2004 at 11:15 pm

RSS in a company

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Talking about RSS in a company

Questions people ask

  • What’s in it for me?
  • Why is it better than existing ways of distributing/aggregating data?
  • How many feeds are there? Where do I find them? What if a website doesn’t have an RSS feed?
  • How comes that it is supposed to reduce information overload if it looks like increasing it?

Introduction trajectory (just thinking aloud here)

  • Got some early adopters of RSS readers internally and talk to them to find how “RSS lifestyle” fits in the company.
  • Find/create a critical mass of RSS feeds relevant for people in a company.
  • Sort out access rights issues.
  • Make sure RSS reading tools are there, easy to use and well integrated with existing systems.
  • Now talk about it…

Written by anol

October 7th, 2004 at 11:13 pm

Posted in Social Media

Content Manangement Without A System

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Content Manangement Without A System from Asterisk*
Summary: It is quite possible, in fact could be preferable, to manage content and distributed authorhip without the use of a content management system (CMS). Regardless, it’s very important to have a process in place before you chose a CMS.

Why a system? Why not?

Well, let’s start with a story.

Sally is the manager of a large corporate intranet. She has a decent size budget, some support from her IT department and some big ideas. She also has numerous stakeholders to deal with and a ridiculous amount of content that needs to be updated, refreshed and maintained.

After quite a bit of research she decides to look to a content management system as an answer to all her content management problems. She purchases a CMS (at a ridiculous price) that promises to easily allow Sally and her horde of stakeholders to manage their intranet and dissolve their content management woes.

Then the problems start. She can’t customize it the way she wants and on top of that they’ve got to license SQL (again at a ridiculous price) and purchase a new server to even run the damn thing. She realizes most of the implementation is way over the head of her IT resources and decides to pony up for a support contract. Now she’s into a monthly fee.

The support is so-so, but she eventually gets things up and running. Whew. Oh wait, now the exceptions begin to roll in. The templates don’t fit with the forms that Mike in HR wants to add, and Ursula down in accounting wants her site organized differently than the rest of the departments.

Of course none of this custom work is covered in her support contract so she brings a consultant in to do it for her. Mo’ money, mo’ money, mo money.

She gets it all sorted out in time, after hiring the consultant on full time to manage the templates and exceptions and then, a few months down the road, she comes to find out that only four departments are actually using the damn thing and she is stuck making all the crucial and timely updates herself anyway.

Written by anol

October 7th, 2004 at 11:12 pm

Posted in Information Design

User Experience Tradeoffs

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Interview with Andre Haddad, eBay by Mark Hurst at Good Experience Blog
Andre Haddad is the Vice President of eBay’s User Experience & Design (UED). He’s in charge of the user experience for eBay’s 114 million registered users…During our interview, Andre listed five major tradeoffs, and why eBay’s decisions within those tradeoffs necessarily make the seller’s experience somewhat complex.

Tradeoff: Ease-of-use vs. customer safety
One of the things we know is a big barrier to selling is seller verification. In order to open a seller’s account on eBay, we ask for specific banking and credit card information that is critical to our trust and safety systems. They are incredibly effective in helping us prevent fraud from happening, but from a user experience standpoint, a lot of people are reluctant to provide eBay with their checking account information..

Tradeoff: buyer/seller experience
Another theme is seller ease-of-use and buyer experience. ..

Tradeoff: Ease-of-use for new users vs. power for experienced users
It’s not easy to have one experience that fits all these different needs. We’ve developed different interfaces, recommendations to help users without having to research a lot, and tools – either online or desktop software that allows bigger sellers to scale. The new seller’s problems are more transparent, because you can project yourself into their problems. But experienced users have other problems. They’re very vocal, and they ask us to solve problems that don’t necessarily impact sellers trying to figure out eBay. Sometimes the two groups have quite different priorities.

Written by anol

October 7th, 2004 at 11:10 pm

Posted in Usability & Design

Syndication for Intranets

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Headline Syndication for Intranets by Amy Gahran, at CMS Watch

So you have an intranet. Perhaps it’s supported by a costly and complex content management system. It’s full of rich, useful content that could enhance many types of projects and collaboration throughout your enterprise. Unfortunately, most peoplewithin your organization probably only access a small, narrow portion of the of that information. They aren’t aware of what the rest of the intranet can offer because they don’t browse beyond their normal “info-grazing” range.

[..]

Webfeeds and Your Intranet
If you aren’t already using it, you’ve probably at least heard about a new online communication channel: webfeeds (RSS or Atom format). Also called headline syndication, webfeeds are a way to announce and provide access to your content. They also allow easy syndication of content from outside sources to your intranet. Consider that this publishing option is:

  • Direct
  • Time-saving and convenient for users
  • Completely spam-proof
  • Can be automated as part of your existing intranet publishing process

Amy suggested some content Strategies for Intranet Feeds –

  • Create general in-house webfeeds
  • Integrate content from external webfeeds into your intranet
  • Syndicate in-house content across departments (or between different sections of your intranet)
  • Custom feeds specified by individuals
  • And here what she forgot to mention in the CMS Watch article

    Organizations which are just getting started with publishing their own webfeeds and which also have an intranet might consider debuting webfeeds internally, before publishing them to the outside world. This can serve three important purposes:

    1. It can help generate enthusiasm, understanding, and support for webfeed publishing throughout your organization, which can enhance your later external webfeed-related efforts.
    2. It can aid the inevitabletroubleshooting and fine-tuning that happens with any technology-related project, in a quiet internal way.
    3. Internal webfeed subscribers and enthusiasts often come up with great new ideas for how webfeeds might be put to good use. Welcome their creativity.

    Written by anol

    October 7th, 2004 at 10:34 pm