Business Update #3

I thought I would give you a quick update on where things are going with my new venture.

Set up

I have a company and name. Inspecht.

I have engaged a graphic designer to create a logo. I got some initial concepts last night, current favourites are:

Logo Concept 1 Logo Concept 2

Web site is coming, the content has been drafted and once we get the logos and stuff done I will let you know where to find all the goodness. Still working on a tag line, not sure I like the “Connecting Your People”, thoughts?

Business focus

The business will have three main areas of focus. Pillar one will be HR Technology, pillar two Online Recruitment and pillar three Enterprise 2.0. My primary activities across all three areas will be around strategy development, feasibility studies, program definition, project management and change management. I will also be looking to run workshops across all pillars and activities. Finally there might be some software sales as well.

Progress to Date

Very slow. I have had lots of initial meetings as part of my market research to sort out what I will be doing. So far no actual work, but then I have not really tried to get work. This will now change as I have an entity to work through.

I ran an unconference session at PubCamp this week which has generated some good discussions, hopefully some work might fall out of it. I have also got a speaking gig lined up in August for AHRI, and couple of possible writing items, more details to come.

I have also been preparing a series of documents to help with my customer engagements. These are templates, check lists and general business artefacts to help increase my productivity.

Next Steps

Finalise the logo, and web presence. This will allow me to begin branding the business and actively pursuing customers. Advertising is also on the cards. I also need to finalise my documents so when I do begin working I can add value to my clients immediately.

Further updates later.

Worlds Greatest Shave

Every year in Australia there is a fundraising event called the World’s Greatest Shave, which is designed to raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation. Where people shave their head, beard, legs, wax off hair or just colour their hair all in the name of fund raising, read more about it.

This year Richard Giles is participating, I encourage you all to get behind him. If you don’t know Rich here is a quick run down:-

Oh & if he reaches $1,000 he will wax his chest otherwise he will just shave his head.

If you are in Australia I encourage you to sponsor him, even if it is only $5.

UPDATE: If you are on Facebook join the group.

UPDATE 2: Rumour has it that he has past $1,000 mark but keep sponsoring him. The more the better.

Concerned about layoffs?

With the markets still a bit rocky more and more people are concerned about layoffs, and quite rightly so. A month ago I posted about Robert Scoble’s 17 Tips for Job Seekers, today I have some more tips for you.

HR World has 16 tips on how to make the best of a bad thing:-

1. Keep your emotions in check.
2. Listen carefully as severance benefits are explained.
3. Ask about references.
4. Make sure that you collect all of your personal things.
5. Go home and grieve for a few days.
6. Don’t blame yourself.
7. Commit to the change.
8. Make concrete plans.
9. Apply for government unemployment benefits.
10. Keep to a schedule. Get up at the same time as you did when you had a job.
11. Take advantage of outplacement services, if they are offered.
12. Get out of the house.
13. Polish up your résumé.
14. Take stock of your contacts.
15. Update or create your Facebook or LinkedIn profile.
16. Revise your household budget.

Twitter – Something is technically wrong.

Rant ahead, leave if offended.

First let me say I ❤ Twitter, and would pay for the service assuming below is fixed.

Twitter must be the most unreliable web service ever, there I said it! I help organise the Melbourne Twitter meet ups so normally I am very biased but reliability is something Twitter does not have.

Last week we had a schedule maintenance, that was moved without telling their users. Then after the real maintenance the stability was worse than after SXSW in 2007! Not as bad as the meltdown during Steve Job’s address earlier this month, but not a lot could be. 🙂

5 days ago there was a call out from Shel Israel for the guys at Twitter to get their shit together, Biz even replied saying they were working to fix things. It’s not the first time someone has asked for a little stability. Today we again had scheduled maintenance, 7pm – 9pm PST (I’m fairly sure but with the site down and no blog post about the outage I can’t be 100% sure). Twitter went down on schedule but seem to not come back. At about 10pm PST a little note was posted on the Twitter web page:-

“Update: We’re just warming up around here. You may experience some slowness. Thanks for your patience!”

As of 12:30am PST the service is still unreliable. The blog is down, Mobile web interface is down, IM updates intermittent, and general performance is terrible.

On top of this for the last few days in Australia SMS update have been dead, a fairly common occurrence.

Guys you hired some hot shot operations dude, posted you could handle the Super Bowl (the link doesn’t work at the moment cause the blog is still down), but still nothing seems to change. Please sort your operations out, if you worked as part of an internal IT department some of you would be without a job now.

I also know the service is free, but if it can’t cope free go for advertising to tied you over until the real business model appears.

Update: Well a new day has dawned and Twitter is still down (in 10 mins this will have been for 15 hours), but this time the blog is up and there is a small explanation.

End Rant!

Quiting your job?

Here is a bit of humour.

When most people quit they hand in a resignation letter and tend to speak with their boss. Try this for an approach, link.

Maybe not :-),

It is not real, but it is real funny.

If you did get a resignation letter like this you would certainly wonder about the satisfaction of your workforce. Which sets the stage for tomorrow’s post on employee satisfaction.

Useless facts about Twitter

I was reading Twitter Facts during lunch and thought, “how many of us are in Australia?” so I spent a few minutes to find out. I used 2 different tools, first TwitDir and then Twitter’s in built search.

Just to note both search tools have limits. TwitDir only searches public timelines, while both search Usernames, Locations and Biographical information as such they can generate weird results.

From TwitDir:-

  • Sydney – 1,002
  • Melbourne – 840
  • Brisbane – 282
  • Perth – 246
  • Adelaide – 136
  • Canberra – 88
  • Darwin – 67
  • Total – 2,661 they have 2,228 Twits who are listed in Australia, probably the location does not include Australia

From Twitter directly:-

  • Sydney – 1,353
  • Melbourne – 1,136
  • Brisbane – 407
  • Perth – 346
  • Adelaide -183
  • Canberra – 134
  • Darwin – 49
  • Total – 3,608 they have 3,017 Twits who are listed in Australia again, probably the location does not include Australia

Free the internet

For the last few years I have wanted to setup a free community access point, but not been able to find the right way to do it. Earlier this week I read about Lachlan Hardy using Meraki Mini’s to do just that in Sydney and then his bold idea to do a bulk order for Sydneysiders. He has answered many questions on his blog, so check it out.

Basically you plug them in, quick config and then they operate as a mesh WiFi network allow both public and private access to the network. You get to limit overall bandwidth allocated to free users, ban users that abuse the system, but you cannot a download limit by users.

But the benefits are huge.

But consider this, the true benefits of a mesh network don’t lie in making a sexy little hardware system for your personal use. The benefits come when you convince your neighbours to do it too. And then you and they convince their neighbours. And before you know it, you have free wifi network access at that cafe on the corner or that park around the block with the cool bench. That’s just the start of the vision Mark Pesce was talking about at Web Directions. That’s just the start of everything that’s coming

Convince your friends. Convince your families. Buy them for friends’ birthdays. Talk to the folks in the local cafes, restaurants and community stores. Give one to your grandma. Tell the user groups you belong to

Check out their web site for more details.

I kind of missed his order but still want to do the same thing. So if you are in Melbourne and want one, drop me a line by 25 Oct and I will add you to my order. Each mini costs $US49, and if I get an order for 10+ we should be able to get the shipping down to a reasonable level, say $US12-15 per device vs $US30.

MTUB #3

Last night was the 3rd MTUB (Melbourne Twitter Underground Brigade) meetup, sponsored by Adobe (and someone else but I can’t remember) who bought us all a few drinks and pizza. I think fun was had by all, highlights.

  • There was an iPhone in the wild, anyone who touched it had complete iPhone lust
  • Lots of photos were taken, more should be posted
  • Prizes were won for the best use of AIR in a Tweet and getting Mark to keep the drinks flowing
  • Lucas had a very slick application that projected all the @MTUB tweets on the big screen
  • There was lots of tech talk, lots of Twitter talk and lots of general talk
  • How interesting it is catching up with your online social network offline and how the relationships you already have continue to develop
  • As the night wore on the Horses Bazaar had a belly dancer

A great night and looking forward to next month.

Are laser printers dangerous?

It seems so.

A team of researchers in Brisbane have found that some laser printers emit small particles into the air.

Potential effects range from respiratory irritation to effects on the cardiovascular system and cancer, Professor Lidia Morawska from the Queensland University of Technology says.

Professor Morawska, who is the director of the International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health, says when inhaled, the ultra-fine particles can travel to the deepest parts of the respiratory tract and then enter the bloodstream.

Strangely enough the team was not testing for laser printer emissions.

Professor Morawska says the findings were made by chance while her team was investigating the efficiency of ventilation in protecting office workers from outdoor pollution.

The report will be released later in the week in the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science & Technology and will list the 62 printers by make and model.  The list seems to include popular printer manufacturers, Hewlett Packard & Toshiba.