Why are mobile networks dropping like flies?

Last week, Orange France’s mobile network tanked, knocking out the mobile phones of millions of subscribers. This week the same thing happened to O2 in the U.K. U.S. carriers like Verizon and T-Mobile aren’t immune either. Global networks have developed a big signaling problem.

6 Ways to Stop the Social Media Madness

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling the strain of the onslaught of information brought about by social media tools. Even though I’m sure I qualify as an information junkie, I feel that I’ve surpassed the limits of the amount of information I can consume.

Managing My Time and Avoiding Side Project Overload

Photo by Joel Washing

Photo by Joel Washing

A few weeks ago, I blogged about how I was experiencing side project overload, and based on the number of comments, I am not the only one.

In that post, I said that “I’m starting to experience serious side project bloat resulting in personal overload. I’ve let my side projects take over to the point that I’m having a hard time making room for my paying client work.” I also offered a few suggestions for managing it: the “one thing” policy, combining activities, and finding co-leads. There are also some really great suggestions from other people in the comments.

The tips in my previous post work well for me, but I found that they weren’t quite enough. I needed more structure. I thought that you deserved a follow up post with more information about other changes I have been making to more effectively manage my time. Read More about Managing My Time and Avoiding Side Project Overload

Side Project Overload

Photo by Josh Bancroft

Photo by Josh Bancroft

People tease me that my hobby is starting user groups. I also organize big events for geeks in my spare time just for fun. I’m one of those people who notices the gaps and jumps in to fill them. When I wish Portland had an event, user group, or other gathering that doesn’t currently exist, I feel compelled to start it. I also enjoy meeting with other people to talk about common interests, learn new things, or help others who need a little guidance (the way others have helped me over the years). All of these activities are amazing and fun, but they are side projects that take up valuable time.

While I enjoy all of these activities, I’m starting to experience serious side project bloat resulting in personal overload. I’ve let my side projects take over to the point that I’m having a hard time making room for my paying client work. Part of my reason for starting my own consulting business was to give me more personal flexibility to manage my work and my side projects rather than having my hours managed by an 8 to 5 work day schedule. I have many other web worker friends who have made similar choices, and most of us seem to struggle with balancing our time between paying work and the side projects that are our passions.

There are a few ways to create a better balance between work and side projects. Read More about Side Project Overload

My Life is a Blur of Social Media and Web 2.0 Tools

On the homepage for Facebook, a login form is ...Image via Wikipedia

How many social networks and Web 2.0 tools are enough? I clearly don’t know when enough is enough. What if the one I don’t join is the one that will truly change my life/work/future?

1. Checked Twitter. This is like my first cup of coffee, standing by the watercooler, with my Twitterfriends.

2. Went to Upcoming. I was curious what kinds of conferences my friends had listed so I could consider attending a few this year.  Ended up adding a dozen new friends to my account.

3. Looked at Facebook. I wanted to see who had RSVP’d to my Second Life event and a real world event I’m promoting. I also used Evite for the real world event because the potential attendees aren’t all on Facebook.

Read More about My Life is a Blur of Social Media and Web 2.0 Tools

Hey, who unplugged AT&T’s data network, what’s the impact to the iPhone?

Apple_iphone_adsFull disclosure: this is not a knock against the iPhone. Yes, it is an amazing device, so don’t roast me without reading to the end. 😉

Having said that: I was wondering how useful the iPhone is when you don’t have WiFi or EDGE and was going to write a post on it over the weekend. Sure you can view or listen to your stored media, take notes, edit contacts, etc….but since the iPhone platform is relegated to Safari-based apps for third-parties, what happens when you don’t have connectivity? I decided against writing the post because I felt that the situation of zero connectivity was very rare, say on an airplane or something. Today’s events changed my mind and cause me to ask the question again. And not just for the iPhone, I’m really talking about any Internet-based platform. In case you missed it, AT&T appears to have experienced a nationwide EDGE outage today.

Read More about Hey, who unplugged AT&T’s data network, what’s the impact to the iPhone?

TiVo & The Pop-Up Ads, Why?

In the early days of digital video recorders when folks like Michael Lewis would write tomes in praise of TiVo and its ability to skip ads. We seem to have come a full circle – now TiVo is experimenting with pop-up advertisements. Funny – how life turns out! The way I see it, TiVo is saying, well my ads are better than network ads. Perhaps – but to me, if you are charging $12.95 a month for the TiVo service, I feel, ads are intrusion into my time and space. I did not sign-up for that, and hence don’t want it.

Musing about this, I wondered if TiVo will be able to serve ads on the Comcast network? If no, then isn’t that service a better option for consumers. No device to buy, and no ads and a price point which eventually might be lower than what TiVo charges. I had suggested a premium strategy for TiVo. That idea won’t fly. This experiment runs the risk of antagonizing the TiVoted. Engadget says, they are still testing the ads, and it will be sometime before all users experience the misery. “One slightly mitigating factor: apparently you’re allowed to banish the ad by pressing the “Clear” button on your remote,” Engadget says.

PVRBlog is none too happy either and they write, “The way the ads appear now, it almost looks like your TiVo has been hacked by an outsider. TiVo’s UI and software engineers do some beautiful work, agonizing and testing each and every option, and customers are used to the friendly, eye-catching software, but this looks like something they were forbidden from working on.” There is more fear and loathing in TiVoLand. I think this might give alternatives, particularly Microsoft Media Center to gain traction with more independent minded folks. TiVo has to make decision, and soon: it has to either be an ad-delivery mechanism, or a service that makes television’s passivity more enjoyable. It cannot do both.