Why I use OfficeLive, Spaces and so on…

05 Sep

Okay… let’s just be straight up.  I pegged MySpace as being a massive social experience well before anyone even knew what the hell it was.  The same goes for frakbook, NING, Pipl and a dozen others.  They’re social networking sites – and the Internet needed them badly.

So the reason why… I’ve let by other blog sites, and by myspace and my other six or seven social networking sites fall into disrepair (or better yet deleted them) is because I don’t use them.  MySpace – I get between 30 and 35 requests for friends on every … umm… 10 days.  Most of these people I have no clue who they are.  They seem nice enough, and I’m not talking about the spambot babes that are using the site to sell porn or lord knows what else.  But the fact is is MySpace pages look like a 10 year old crack addict with ADD designed them.

Why they aren’t banned for inducing retinal damage I have no idea – but I have yet to see one that doesn’t scream loudly at me.  I don’t like screaming.  I don’t like screaming at other people.  My Live Spaces page here – works more than well enough for me, and I’m not likely to induce brain spasms in anyone visiting.

OfficeLive – many have hammered me on because I do have a very skilled background in Web Design and Development and frankly – the OfficeLive site sucks.  I will address that when I get time, but it’s not all that horrible, I can access it via the web to make changes, and it has features 90% of you have no clue exist.

image For one thing – I do a lot of my project management via Sharepoint, and a part of my OfficeLive business account, allows me a very rich hosted sharepoint environment to handle projects and team work.  Mind you – I have not built any teams yet, but I’m actually considering it for a couple projects now that I’ve left Microsoft and I have time for them.

Here’s my actual menu for just my Business Applications on OfficeLive.  I’ve got Contact Management, Time Management, Project Management, Document Management – Company Admin as well as specialized workspaces for teams and projects I’m working on.  So … if the website sucks, that’s my fault for not having the time to do a proper site there.  The rest of it … is stuff I use and is worth the embarrassment of using their web tool.  Even that’s not so shabby as I just pointed out by adding shopping cart capabilities to it.

For those wondering what the "Special Projects" are on the menu … BSOD – is evolving very rapidly.  Currently about 50% of the population out there – either has or will experience a career altering experience.  Layoffs, outsourcing, shifting business needs causing re-orgs – eventually that career you thought was a solid thing – is gone.  And you’re left having to pick up the pieces of your life.  The real Blue Screen of Doom in the IT industry isn’t a computer crash, it’s a career crash – and as someone who’s made a good life over coming more than one career crash, I figured it was time to tell people how they can survive and thrive as well. 

It covers not just getting a job in this industry after a lay off, but dealing with the emotional and psychological trauma of a sudden career change.  How to recognize a career impacting event before they happen – and how to mitigate them or avoid them completely.  The book is meant to be a primer on career survival not just for the IT industry but for any industry and teaches people the survival skills necessary to not just move their lives forward but to move them into a better place.

Spec Monkey is something I’ve decided to code up a productized version of to help anyone who has a project and needs a good repository and documentation system for it.  I’ll probably do most of the design and development work myself – then call in a team after the v1 prototype is completed to do the heavy lifting of making sure all the code is solid and performance minded.   I figure after almost a decade in the trenches with IBM, SUN and Microsoft – I’ve got a clue or two about what kind of things you need on templates and what kind of docs you’ll need for most projects. 

I should stress – this is NOT a Project Planner, or glorified spreadsheet or MS Project file.  This is a document repository, templates for the most common management needs, and even samples to get people started on a number of projects.  It’s meant for smaller Mom’nPop shop houses to get you started but many of the templates are based on what I’ve learned from large projects and corporate environments so they should scale well.

The basic version of course will be around $15-$25, and I’ll make an industrial strength version later on for hard cores under the name of "SilverBack" – that will probably set you back about $150 or more when I get it done.  [I’ll put up some demos and screen shots soon so you have a clue what you’re going to be in for soon enough. Until then – consider me a teasing bastard and you can guess.]

Anyway – my reasoning for using Microsoft Products is that I’m biased to them.  I like them.  I always have.  I did before I worked there.  I did while I worked there.  I still do.  Sue me for it.  There’s a reason why Ice Cream does not just come in Vanilla – everyone’s allowed a choice and my choice, my preference – is toward MS product.

I will not be bullied bemused bemoaned besmerched or harrassed into some trendy nonsense because it’s the flavor of the year. 

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Posted by on September 5, 2007 in Uncategorized


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