Monthly Archives: February 2003

Broadcom pushes out firmware upgrade for 802.11g draft chipset

Broadcom pushes out firmware upgrade for 802.11g draft chipset: Various companies pushed ot firmware updates today using Broadcom's latest upgrade: Linksys (WAP54G), Belkin, and Apple (AirPort Extreme Base Station). Broadcom has also achieved 802.11b Wi-Fi certification with this release, which is another step in interoperability.  [80211b News]

Nigel Ballard

Frequent correspondent Nigel Ballard reports some remarkable results with the new firmware installed. I set up a bridged wireless Ethernet link through three solid walls (150 feet) using a pair of the Buffalo WBR-G54 radio's. I'm passing a Mitel VoIP phone, a 300K video stream, a 75Mb backup file transfer and randomly checking three Email accounts all across the air interface. I get an impressive 8.5 [Mbps] steady throughput even when talking on the phone and polling my Email. And that is in the close proximity to a 100Mw Cisco AP and a 30Mw Orinoco AP both of which are serving wireless clients.  [80211b News]

Time Warner Cable co-markets broadband wireless

Time Warner Cable co-markets broadband wireless: SkyRiver Communications dropped me a line today to let me know that they had worked out what I think is a unique arrangement. Time Warner Cable will market SkyRiver's broadband wireless services in the San Diego County area market (300 square miles) that they serve alongside their cable and T-1 offerings. The quote from a Time Warner executive noted that especially for business services, this bypasses permits, backhoes, and other issues in bringing out service quickly. The press release says that customers could be up and running within three business days, one of wireless broadband's key advantages over even comparable wired high-speed service. (Lack of buried/pole infrastructure is another.)  [80211b News]

The Corporate Weblog Manifesto.

Thinking of doing a weblog about your product or your company? Here's my ideas of things to consider before you start.

1) Tell the truth. The whole truth. Nothing but the truth. If your competitor has a product that's better than yours, link to it. You might as well. We'll find it anyway.

2) Post fast on good news or bad. Someone say something bad about your product? Link to it — before the second or third site does — and answer its claims as best you can. Same if something good comes out about you. It's all about building long-term trust. The trick to building trust is to show up! If people are saying things about your product and you don't answer them, that distrust builds. Plus, if people are saying good things about your product, why not help Google find those pages as well?

3) Use a human voice. Don't get corporate lawyers and PR professionals to cleanse your speech. We can tell, believe me. Plus, you'll be too slow. If you're the last one to post, the joke is on you!

4) Make sure you support the latest software/web/human standards. If you don't know what the W3C is, find out. If you don't know what RSS feeds are, find out. If you don't know what weblogs.com is, find out. If you don't know how Google works, find out.

5) Have a thick skin. Even if you have Bill Gates' favorite product

The Corporate Weblog Manifesto.

Thinking of doing a weblog about your product or your company? Here's my ideas of things to consider before you start.

1) Tell the truth. The whole truth. Nothing but the truth. If your competitor has a product that's better than yours, link to it. You might as well. We'll find it anyway.

2) Post fast on good news or bad. Someone say something bad about your product? Link to it — before the second or third site does — and answer its claims as best you can. Same if something good comes out about you. It's all about building long-term trust. The trick to building trust is to show up! If people are saying things about your product and you don't answer them, that distrust builds. Plus, if people are saying good things about your product, why not help Google find those pages as well?

3) Use a human voice. Don't get corporate lawyers and PR professionals to cleanse your speech. We can tell, believe me. Plus, you'll be too slow. If you're the last one to post, the joke is on you!

4) Make sure you support the latest software/web/human standards. If you don't know what the W3C is, find out. If you don't know what RSS feeds are, find out. If you don't know what weblogs.com is, find out. If you don't know how Google works, find out.

5) Have a thick skin. Even if you have Bill Gates' favorite product people will say bad things about it. That's part of the process. Don't try to write a corporate weblog unless you can answer all questions — good and bad — professionally, quickly, and nicely.

6) Don't ignore Slashdot.

7) Talk to the grassroots first. Why? Because the main-stream press is cruising weblogs looking for stories and looking for people to use in quotes. If a mainstream reporter can't find anyone who knows anything about a story, he/she will write a story that looks like a press release instead of something trustworthy. People trust stories that have quotes from many sources. They don't trust press releases.

8) If you screw up, acknowledge it. Fast. And give us a plan for how you'll unscrew things. Then deliver on your promises.

9) Underpromise and over deliver. If you're going to ship on March 1, say you won't ship until March 15. Folks will start to trust you if you behave this way. Look at Disneyland. When you're standing in line you trust their signs. Why? Because the line always goes faster than its says it will (their signs are engineered to say that a line will take about 15% longer than it really will).

10) If Doc Searls says it or writes it, believe it. Live it. Enough said.

11) Know the information gatekeepers. If you don't realize that Sue Mosher reaches more Outlook users than nearly everyone else, you shouldn't be on the PR team for Outlook. If you don't know all of her phone numbers and IM addresses, you should be fired. If you can't call on the gatekeepers during a crisis, you shouldn't try to keep a corporate weblog (oh, and they better know how to get ahold of you since they know when you're under attack before you do — for instance, why hasn't anyone from the Hotmail team called me yet to tell me what's going on with Hotmail and why it's unreachable as I write this?).

12) Never change the URL of your weblog. I've done it once and I lost much of my readership and it took several months to build up the same reader patterns and trust.

13) If your life is in turmoil and/or you're unhappy, don't write. When I was going through my divorce, it affected my writing in subtle ways. Lately I've been feeling a lot better, and I notice my writing and readership quality has been going up too.

14) If you don't have the answers, say so. Not having the answers is human. But, get them and exceed expectations. If you say you'll know by tomorrow afternoon, make sure you know in the morning.

15) Never lie. You'll get caught and you'll lose credibility that you'll never get back.

16) Never hide information. Just like the space shuttle engineers, your information will get out and then you'll lose credibility.

17) If you have information that might get you in a lawsuit, see a lawyer before posting, but do it fast. Speed is key here. If it takes you two weeks to answer what's going on in the marketplace because you're scared of what your legal hit will be, then you're screwed anyway. Your competitors will figure it out and outmaneuver you.

18) Link to your competitors and say nice things about them. Remember, you're part of an industry and if the entire industry gets bigger, you'll probably win more than your fair share of business and you'll get bigger too. Be better than your competitors — people remember that. I remember sending lots of customers over to the camera shop that competed with me and many of those folks came back to me and said “I'd rather buy it from you, can you get me that?” Remember how Bill Gates got DOS? He sent IBM to get it from DRI Research. They weren't all that helpful, so IBM said “hey, why don't you get us an OS?”

19) BOGU. This means “Bend Over and Grease Up.” I believe the term originated at Microsoft. It means that when a big fish comes over (like IBM, or Bill Gates) you do whatever you have to do to keep him happy. Personally, I believe in BOGU'ing for EVERYONE, not just the big fish. You never know when the janitor will go to school, get an MBA, and start a company. I've seen it happen. Translation for weblog world: treat Gnome-Girl as good as you'd treat Dave Winer or Glenn Reynolds. You never know who'll get promoted. I've learned this lesson the hard way over the years.

20) Be the authority on your product/company. You should know more about your product than anyone else alive, if you're writing a weblog about it. If there's someone alive who knows more, you damn well better have links to them (and you should send some goodies to them to thank them for being such great advocates).

Any others? Disagree with any of these? Sorry my comments are down. Now Hotmail is down too. Grr. Where's the “Hotmail weblog” where I can read about what's going on at Hotmail? So, write about this and link to it from your weblog. I watch my referer links like a hawk. Oh, is that #21? Yes it is. Know who is talking about you.  [The Scobleizer Weblog]

Librarians Towards the Top of the Information Technology Food Chain!

Librarians Towards the Top of the Information Technology Food Chain!.

Blog Publishers Stealing Web Limelight

“Dave Winer, a pioneering Silicon Valley-based software programmer who is widely credited with spearheading the self-publishing movement, sees blogging following a well-worn path into the mainstream.

'At first the geeks go for a new information technology. It is required for that to happen. Then you have the lawyers and the librarians. Following very closely after that comes education and business,' he said.” [Reuters, via Scripting News]

Heh, heh. Except that if you're talking about an information technology hierarchy, I'm pretty sure librarians come before lawyers!

I think I'm going to highlight this article at our Tech Summit on blogging tomorrow!  [The Shifted Librarian]

Aggregating Your Life into One Page

Aggregating Your Life into One Page.

Will Richardson is starting to “get” it:

More RSS Thinking

“I think I'm starting to understand why Jenny and so many others are really hot on RSS and its potential. The more I mull over the scenarios of how it might work in the classroom, the more interested I get.

Aside from the rather mundane (at this point) concept of having kids subscribe to different feeds for information gathering and research purposes, the whole idea of using RSS for basically schoolwide communication is really wild. I know that I'm assuming a lot here, like teachers and administrators and parents will a) be open to the technology and b) care enough to use it.”

Now take another giant leap for mankind and imagine a news aggregator that has your local newspaper's headlines, news from your municipality, programs you've noted interest in from the park district, announcements from both your kid's school and teacher, status reports from your kids' sports teams, a notice of the “special of the day” from the local coffee shop you love, and on and on and on.

Yes, it's an information explosion contained all on one page and you don't have to do the work! That's why I think RSS (or something very much like it) will be very big. On cell phones, PDAs, tablets, and laptops, it makes great sense for portability. Of course, we'll need better aggregators and they'll have to support services like authentication, prioritization, multimedia, and things we haven't even thought of yet. The key will be to create an aggregator that looks and acts like a web page. You won't call it an aggregator. Instead it will be sold as “the daily news you want” or something like that. It will have a catchy name that my neighbors would understand and actually try. It won't be a “technology” – it will just be useful.

And wouldn't it be great if it was brought to you by your local public library!  [The Shifted Librarian]

Preparing for Computer Disasters

The Chronicle of Higher Education: Preparing for Computer Disasters. Most colleges have some sort of plan to protect their computer information, although few have faced the kind of disaster that would demonstrate whether those plans actually worked. Experts say staging a mock computer disaster can highlight a preparedness plan's shortcomings, but such tests happen only rarely. [Tomalak's Realm]

How do you know who you know?

How do you know who you know?. Knowledge Management, or KM as it is often called, seeks to address the problem of managing knowledge in an organization.  There is a lot of knowledge inside the heads and documents of people that work in an organizations. The question is how to tap into that knowledge.

Similarly, there is a lot of information about people in corporations too, like who people know and how they know them (and remember sometimes it's not what you know but who you know).  Obviously companies need to know what they know and who they know.  And that's where Client Relationship Management software (CRM) comes in.  Rick Klau knows a lot about CRM because he works for a company that sells CRM software to attorneys.  Rick has a great post called Six Degrees of … Warren Buffett? It's a good read if you care about “people knowledge.”  [Ernie the Attorney]