Saturday, December 10, 2011

15 Fluid Apps You Can Build for Your Business

Steven Walling has some really cool recommendations for people who want more out of their desktops. Especially, if most of the activities, work or research actually starts and end in web browsers.

What's really striking is simplicity of the software he writes about, Fluid Apps - all you really need to do is to know your URL, pick a name for your app, a location on your machine, and an icon. That's all it takes.

For more of his insights, check out 15 Fluid Apps You Can Build for Your Business on ReadWrite Enterprise blog.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

XSDObjectGen - XSD to class - Sample Code Generator

Vinbhat posted a cool step-by-step list of instructions or dealing with XSD and classes using C# Visual Studio solution. HE listed all his hints in his WordPress blog "Exporting Data: Creating XML Files using C#".

Recently, I noticed that for something a bit more flexible than xsd.exe mentioned in Vinbhat's Step 5, you can always use XSDObjectGen from Microsoft:

I've used it many time to ome to a conclusion that it's super helpful if your XSD contains complex type that are defined by other XSD files. XSD.exe would choke on that - XSDObjectGen will interactively address that setup with you and automatically detect all complex types (related XSD') like that.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mapping DataSet to XML and backwards

In case you were wondering how to get the best out of simplest XSD applications, Xun Ding has some hints for you on I just stumbled this article some time ago and it hit me how much easier it is to follow than anything else that comes up on top of Google search results on XSD (XML Schema definitions). to Check it out:

Mapping DataSet to XML and backwards

Friday, August 05, 2011

L+E+A+D - a definition of what it means to be a lead

L = Listen to your project team and stakeholders

E = Encourage the heart of the team members (motivate them through action and empowerment. Create the WOW environment)

A = Act (demonstrate your abilities, inspire the team, walk the talk, set an example)

D = Deliver (provide what you said you would provide and follow through on promises. Don't make promises you can't keep and make sure you meet your commitments)

Monday, April 25, 2011

7 Key Points to Consider When Dealing With Negative Posts on Facebook

This is how Intel handles negative posts on Facebook. 

Key points:
  1. Realize that attacks can come from anywhere.
  2. Plan for the worst. The key to responding effectively to negative publicity is having a response plan in place internally and a comments policy clearly posted to your Facebook page.
  3. Watch for warning signs. Do use social media monitoring tools to help keep an eye on your brand's social presence.
  4. Have a fire drill. Try setting up a dummy page on your internal network and practice responding to difficult questions and controversial posts.
  5. Know when to escalate.
  6. Your fans are your best defense. True fans can provide you with the most convincing, authentic response to an attack by arguing on your behalf.
  7. Take it seriously. Respond to legitimate concerns as much as you can.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Are Livescribe smartpens workplace-ready?

Livescribe smartpens have been around since 2007. Only recently do they start to pick up in popularity. They seem to be more reliable and more flexible. Aside from a rich feature set that is customizable with additional Apps available for purchase, Anoto Group AB, the produce of Livescribe pens, pleased all the hardcore geeks and provided an SDK

The products get Green Product of the Year awards, make all levels of education (from K-12 to graduate level work) easier and they also manage to connect disabled veterans to the world and back into the society. 

That's powerful stuff, but do they fit in a professional workplace? If I'm already at my workstation I can record an audio of a  training session, while taking screenshots and annotating them. Even though that example does not seem to be the most efficient, it appears to beat having an additional electronic device in my hand and attempting to write information down, to be able to tap certain words later and hear what was said during that time. 

Perhaps there are some rare cases in which a smartpen may turn out to be far more effective and indispensable than that, but so far, despite my love to technology, I am having difficulty finding the perfect use for a new Livescribe in a workplace, especially if you use Evernote to track your notes. I am looking forward to be converted.

Monday, April 11, 2011

4 ways Microsoft OneOne mobile app can increase your productivity

Rather skeptical at first, I followed a link displayed in my LinkedIn connection's updates to find out about a new mobile app from Microsoft. This time, it's an app for a competitor's platform and it works like a charm on any iPhone device. Free installation of Micorosft OneNote is quick and creates a familiar looking icon on your screen that speaks "if you and/or your organization find MS Office indispensable, I've got just the right piece of functionality you were missing all along, that will allow you to extend your productivity to your iPhone." It is a rather lengthy speech that the icon has for an iPhone user, but with the use of that app, saving that note (or others) for later use, organizing, sharing, editing, tagging and adding things to your to-do list becomes a flick of your finger.

4 new ways Microsoft OneOne mobile app can increase your productivity starts in the palm of your hand.

1. Quick access to writing and/or retrieving organized information
Do you ever catch yourself listening to a webinar where the host or quest speakers ask that you keep your questions until the end of an hour long session? During that time you find a way to check-out speaker's twitter feeds and google some background info, but by the time the end of the webinar comes, your question is gone. Perhaps you can no longer recollect it, or it blended with the info you just heard or read while multitasking. Using OneNote mobile app, you can tap the Quick Note button, type your thought and that's it. While your mind is relaxing or getting ready to absorb another piece of info, OneNote is synchronizing your creativity or brainstorming to the cloud . Lost Internet connectivity? OneNote will sync your stuff as soon as you come back online.

2. Ease of usage
After you launch, the following is available to you within one or two taps:
  • Writing a lightening-quick note
  • Get out your inner paparazzi by annotating the picture you just took
  • Pulling up the most recent note

3. Availability from various locations and platforms
Results of your impromptu creativity or organized note taking is immediately available in your Windows Live space. There, regardless whether you use Internet Explorer or not, Microsoft Office Web Apps allow you to further enhance, share and organize your content. Among countless options, you can mark things as ideas, books to read, questions or items to discuss with you manager, etc. Whatever you or other contributors save in your note, OneNote on your Apple smartphone will know about immediately.
4. Integration for tools and logins that you already use
If you are one of the early adopters of Microsoft's .NET framework, you may recollect the .NET Passport concept, one one point embraced by as s secure login option. Years later, that same login will get you access to free Office Web Apps and allow you to edit and manage your content in the could. But the world of OneNote does not end in introductory version of a note taking iPhone app and a hosted solution for extended functionality. For hardcore users of MS Office and addicts of web integration, with one click from the list of your documents in your SkyDrive, you can launch the OneNote program to further enhance your work and save it directly back to your Windows Live space.
Benefits don't end at those 4, and will not end any time soon. Even though, the benefits can be considered significant, the first release of OneNote mobile app appears to be only a quick intro to what's really coming. While Windows 7 still grows in popularity and number of supporters, Windows 8 is already said to exceed some of the end users' expectations by have built-in Windows Live Mesh and SkyDrive Wave integration. Whether you're online. offline or on your phone, Microsoft tends to provide a more interconnected, more interrelated, more streamlined and more intuitive platform for any of its customers.

Monday, March 14, 2011

7 2 1 rule

Including Social Media in your web presence strategy is a common practice these days. Even email marketers include cute buttons that allow a reader to easily Like you on Facebook, Follow you on Twitter or Disqus your message online. But once you eventually convince someone to actually follow or like you via their Web 2.0 profile, how do you keep that user's attention to convey your message or business mission statement, or whatever else your Social Media inner child desires to share. Besides that, how would you continue that newly established relationship, keep that new friend from Facebook engaged?
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) experts keep pounding into us that more, new and targeted "content, content, content" is the driving force for online engagement. SEO gurus point out tactical technicalities that increase your chances of making your web presence more attractive via search engines. Other experts may pull an answer to that concern in their own direction as well.
I recently participated in a webinar where yet another expert, mentioned that particular topic, but his feedback was something new. As refreshing as it was, it was rather simple - for an EXPERT talking to a large group of webinar participants - he said that in order to keep your followers attention, interest and engagement, you have to be interesting.
"Easy for interesting people to say" one might think.
That Social Media and Open Enterprise expect, Paul Gillin continued to add that when he meant what this 7-2-1 rule, where according to his company's research and observations, the most successful Twitter profiles are the ones that employ that rule. Per each 10 posts, 7 are totally not related to you or your business - they may in fact actually mention interesting competitors. The next 2 tweets should get closer to you or your line of business, listing events or web references mentioning you indirectly. The last 1 tweet should be your text about you - because your followers should believe that you believe in yourself and/or your business. If that rule works for Twitter, other Social Media platforms may be equally successful if the same 7-2-1 rule is followed.