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January 23, 2008 | Paul Bourdeaux: Software Maintenance.  How Far Have We Come in 15 years?

In 1993, the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University published a study named A Study in Software Maintenance.  As part of this study, one task was to examine the development processes and the software tools used within maintenance (life-cycle support) projects.  Three pervasive themes presented themselves in the findings: Tools, People, and Software Process.

This is the first in a three part blog to compare the findings of that 1993 paper with the general climate of software maintenance today.  The first area of findings that we will look at is the area of Tools.

January 21, 2008 | Greg Ness: Super Bowl XLII: Advertising at $100,000 per second

imageThe battle lines have been drawn for the Super Bowl XLII: the Patriots and the Giants. The only thing left between now and Feb 3rd is the build-up to football’s—and advertising’s—main event. Way back in October, AdAge reported that Super Bowl advertising was 90 percent sold out, so it looks like the Fox Network is already a winner. With advertising going anywhere from $2.7 - $3.0 million per 30-second spot, we are talking $100,000 a second for advertising time. Yowsa! Here is a rundown of which advertisers have purchased time in the Super Bowl and what they have planned for their considerable investment.

January 18, 2008 | Eric Ista: Cloverfield: Lost in Manhattan

Cloverfield,” a good old-fashioned monster-attacks-big-city movie that premiers today has already had a monster-sized presence on the web.

January 18, 2008 | Greg Ness: The Future of Newspapers: 66 Major Trends

The newspaper business is undergoing rapid change and a PowerPoint presentation from the World Association of Newspapers (WAN), underscores 66 major media-related trends that are having an impact on all media—including newspapers. Aaron Wall at WebProNews does a nice job of summarizing these trends into a few key categories.

January 16, 2008 | Dean Froslie: Presidential Candidate Sites Lack Search Engine Optimization Basics

As presidential candidates strengthen their online presence, it seems obvious their sites would be highly-optimized for search engines, filled with relevant content and primed for online marketing. According to Search Engine Watch, however, most candidate sites deserve failing marks for search engine optimization.

January 14, 2008 | Greg Ness: Forrester: Huge Room For Website Improvement

Forrester has reviewed over 1000 websites since 2002, and only 3 percent have passed their test. That means 97 percent failed! That leaves plenty of room for improvement. According to Forrester, the biggest culprits are a lack of proper scenario design, and poor or non-existing persona development. Without these two important tools, it’s easy for a website to get off on the wrong foot leading to frustrations for everybody—especially the user.

Forrester commented in one of their research reports that a well-planned and executed website redesign can have a huge payback with a positive ROI achieved over a short period of time.

January 11, 2008 | Greg Ness: Guy Kawasaki Video: Measurement and Metrics Will Drive Marketing Programs in 2008

imageAuthor, marketer, A-list blogger, venture capitalist, and entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki is interviewed by Jeremiah Owyang at Forrester. See the video on the Forrester Marketing Blog.

Guy says measurement and metrics will be big in 2008. He also talks about entrepreneurism and how he uses social media to drive business for his company, Truemors.

January 10, 2008 | Greg Ness: Entrepreneurship and The Curse of Knowledge

A recent article in the New York Times purported that as we acquire more knowledge, our creativity and our ability to innovate diminishes. The reason is the Curse of Knowledge: “The better we get at generating great ideas—new insights and novel solutions—in our field of expertise, the more unnatural it becomes for us to communicate those ideas clearly to others.” In addition, once someone acquires a certain amount of knowledge in a given area, the more difficult it becomes to see outside the box of the self-made constructs they’ve created to deepen their understanding.

It’s a powerful argument and it seems to be borne out if you look at many venture capitalists: they rarely invest in companies started by anyone past their 30s. VCs are looking for people with bold ideas that can be evangelized and clearly communicated to others. There’s more on this youth/knowledge/entrepreneurial thing here.

January 10, 2008 | Paul Bourdeaux: Shoeperstar Winner - A blog contest about… blogging

While this is a little off from my usual topic of Software Reliability and Maintainability, it was still too interesting not to blog about.  Big name internet marketers Ted Murphy of Izea and Jeremy Schoemaker of ShoeMoney are putting on a contest to determine the next Shoeperstar Winner.  To win, bloggers have to, well, blog about why they think they should be the Shoeperstar.  It presents a very interesting example of the power of viral marketing and SEO.  All of the blog entries will undoubtedly link back to both Izea and ShoeMoney, further bolstering there already impressive SEO rankings.

Former Sundogger and rising blogosphere star Max Pool of Code Squeeze has thrown his name into the ring with his entry, 10 Reasons Why I Am A Shoeperstar Contest Winner.

January 08, 2008 | Greg Ness: Widgets, Widgets Everywhere

Widgets, those mini-software applications, that you can download and embed on web pages, are on a tear, and most of them are coming from third-party developers. Some examples are applications such as iLike, Bunchball Games and Picnik. Forbes recently highlighted the explosive growth of widgets in this recent article. To illustrate this growth, Forbes cites the story of Facebook, which opened its platform to third party developers in May of 2007 and now has nearly 13,000 widgets available that have been downloaded 765 million times.

January 07, 2008 | Greg Ness: Social Networks, Email and Privacy

With all the buzz around more sophisticated social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn, its easy to lose sight of the fact that if you believe in Metcalfe’s Law—a network’s value is proportional to the square of its users—venerable email is still the biggest social network of all. As Max Kalehoff points out at Online Spin, email is “the mother of all social networks” with 91 percent of people ages 18 to 64 utilizing the medium.

Even though many pundits would point out that younger generations eschew email in favor of IM, text messaging and other more personal networking means, Max argues that as this younger generation enters the work force, email, by the nature of its widespread adoption, is a de rigueur social network in the business world. He also adds almost all social networks still use a person’s email address as the main hub for identification and widespread communication needs. Email may be a more “stuffy” way to communicate than those who use today’s social networks prefer, but email has reached critical ubiquity, and at least it provides a firewall on most personal data.

Lately, concern has also arisen over how much power these social networking companies possess and who owns the personal data that resides on their servers and websites (see Scoble’s posts Disabled and Erased). Doc Searls also has an interesting take on the Scoble/Facebook issue over at the Linux Journal (Dependence vs. Independence). So does B.L. Ochman (Data Ownership and Portability) .

January 06, 2008 | Greg Ness: Doc Just Posted A SlideShare of The Cluetrain Manifesto

Doc Searls just posted a SlideShare presentation (embedded below) with the 95 Theses of the Cluetrain Manifesto (Doc was one of the authors). Every time I read their theses, I am amazed at how prescient they were in 1999 seeing what was ahead, and what now is, in many cases, fact.