Found Them … Finally

For a while now I’ve been trying to remember the name of the company that makes a product similar to Google Adwords. A while back I remember reading an aussie blogger’s figures on what he made a month/week/day from Google’s offering, and this other, new one.

Turns out it’s Chitika. Not that this information is any good to anyone … but I wanted it on the site so later it can be here for the next time I forget.

The cool thing about eMiniMalls (the product) is their implementation of ajax-y functionality. Well, one of the cool things I’m sure.

The Beginning

When looking at direction, before development of a System, you have to think about the consumer. This should play very heavily in the minds of those that do the pre-development … the direction of the development.

So where does it begin? There are heaps of things I would suppose … you have to get inside the head of the consumer, you have to target a specific type of consumer, you have to know your market place, research the latest movements amongst that market place … etc etc.

In our line of work, generally, it will involve computers somewhere. Most hopefully, that will be without a doubt.

I have had a couple of ideas lately that while definately not unique, are still going to change the way the industry we work in … works. It’s going to mean getting in front of the competitors in a big way, unless they’re doing the same thing. It’s also going to mean a new kind of website. Not new to the web, but new to our industry.

I may be barking up the insanity tree, or the hopeful tree, or the tree that will lead to just another couple of ideas on the wayside. But right now, I think not.

So we’ll see.

If you have a computer, where’s the best place to beat the competitor? At the beginning. I must confess, this thought probably was sparked by an article talking about how Google is taking over the desktop. This led me to think about how to use the internet without "using" the internet. A great mindset to have the consumer gain. Imagine being able to search for "stuff" without being on the net. You just have to have your computer on. No going to a website (that happens after the search), no firing up IE or Firefox (or Opera/Mac Stuff (you know what I mean Brett :))) … but being able to access information RIGHT NOW from the desktop. Single click.

It’s gonna rule. RULZ.

Nerd Stuff

Okay, here’s some cool articles/posts i picked up on today through Slashdot. They range in topic.

This one is very interesting. After reading through most of the posts, it’s easy to see trends. That there aren’t any really. Every man and his dog posts on Slashdot, so you get every perspective. And this is good. I’m happy to have my job the way it is :).

Brain stuff has always interested me. Neural … capacity … .

A Comparison of OpenOffice and MS Office. It’s pretty obvious who the writers think wins. On a side note … Open Office 2.0 is ready for download.

Simpson’s in Arab Television. Omar? Badr? It’d be interesting to see what kind of things they changed.

If anyone’s been following the craziness of arguments surrounding violence/sex in video games (Sims2, GTA:San Andreas, …), then this article might interest you. Looks like Jack Thompson might be getting a swift kick in the …

Anyway. That’s all for now. Just news posts, no great intellectual insights … heh heh.

Some Kind of Gem

Okay, anyone who knows me can testify that I never get excited about some kind of idea. Never. Ahem.

Anyway, I finally got around to watching the Video of a demonstration on using Ruby on Rails. RoR (hah, that sounds like something a mmorpg kiddie would yell at you as they stood over your corpse defeated in a pvp duel … anyway) has been around for some time. No. Scratch that. Ruby has been around for many years. RoR is new, and seems pretty cool. Although in my ferreting around the net, I’ve found people on both sides of the "It’s cool" point.

What I liked about it (what I saw from the vid) was the ease of use. Getting a blog running in next to no time. Pretty awesome.

I’m still musing over Deviki, our very own wiki. I’m going to investigate RoR, try and get it running with the apache server on my laptop. Not sure if the place that hosts this site would allow their server (WEBrick i think it’s called) to run. Don’t even know if I can alter the apache file … but we’ll see. Anything is possible

Mark Deuce

Spending an entire Saturday (and most of Friday night) working on my Inventory System has caused me to think more deeply about creating a new, second edition. And that leads me to something more profound.

You cannot truly design, develop and code a system without an understanding of the processes. Or at least I can’t. Because even now that i do understand better the, for example, Accounting process needed, I’m not creating from scratch, but patching. Adding a field to fix the problem, rather than designing the Journal all over again with my new-found understanding.

So where does that lead me?

1. Have a better methodology for changing/upgrading existing code. Plan, baby, plan. Get it on paper, thoughts, brainstorm. Make sure you cover eventualities, and in thinking through the ones you know, most probably others will come to light, giving you further depth in your understanding.

2. Keep a track of these immediate ideas for Version 2. Because one day I do want to do it.

Yeah, developing software is an awesome experience. And it keeps getting better. But I want to continue to improve my own methods along the way, getting better all the time.

The Jigsaw Puzzle

What is an appropriate analogy for what we do? In a broad sense. Do we put together the pieces in a jigsaw puzzle? Or are we patching over old clothes with new bits of material? Or is it the case of smithy-ing up the latest plate mail armor? That last one was a little over the top.

But anyway. As fun as thinking about an analogy for the work that we do … I’m finding more and more that the planning and foresight will be far more beneficial. How to describe what you are doing will come out, if you know exactly what it is you are doing.

When telling the boss … if we know what goals we are currently achieving, and where we are going, it is much easier to be confident in relaying your progress.

At least, that’s the theory. I’m sure there are all sorts of divergent truths about how to approach project management.

But in the end, managing the project is a good idea. Every week, at least, pulling the head out of the code/whatever and taking stock. Where am I? What goals am I aiming for this week?

And it’s not just a simple "this goal" then "this goal". Taking the time to look at how the small ones interact and are enveloped by the larger goals is very important. I might be talking crazy … but with my current project I’m desperately trying to keep track of it. Becuase it’s big. And the other end is scary. So breaking it down is a good thing. Keeping track of the end is good. Simple goals, weaving together. Having a time frame. Using the blessed gantt chart/todo list.

[end rant]