Thursday, December 31, 2009

Some pics from Havana

originally uploaded by Guy and Leann.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

fuelling-your-connections-with-oxygen - From Ryan over at Lost in LOC


"it never ceases to amaze me how much our team can accomplish in as little as 3 days of development time. Here’s the fifty thousand foot view.

* 4 improvements to how we authenticate and manage sessions with our social partners
* Bunch of preliminary branding work. Pretty pictures! Human readable copy! Personality provided by cheeze wiz!
* 13 bug fixes
* 8 bagels eaten
* Several dozen carafes of coffee confidently consumed

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

VendAsta video by Turn Here

TurnHere leverages an 8,000-strong filmmaker network to create videos for small businesses... this is the result of a recent visit:


Friday, November 27, 2009

VendAsta's new site

a few notes (thanks Dave Mosher):

- we used webapp only, and the django template engine

- the site uses an HTML5 doctype (but not any of the HTML5 markup... yet :)
- all the CSS was generated using Compass and SASS
- the team page popup for each person has their mashedin widgets (if created) inline
- mobile version using mobify

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

In praise of chunky buttons. « StepRep Blog – Online Reputation Management

In praise of chunky buttons. « StepRep Blog – Online Reputation Management

Economist Debates: Cloud Computing: Statements

Economist Debates: Cloud Computing: Statements: "There is little debate about whether the cloud is a great technology evolution. The benefits of increased productivity, cost savings and improved efficiency, plus the ability to support and empower a broader range of users via the cloud are clear."

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Compelling Cases for Clouds

from gigaom

Compelling Cases for Clouds

Collaboration, Community, and Commerce: Web-based networks and commerce platforms offer people the chance to share, conduct business and collaborate within a trusted third-party-provided environment. The cloud, therefore, allows communities and social networks to foster ongoing relationships around shared values, goals and interests.


CapEx and Cash: Cloud services may be more cost-effective because consumers and even large enterprises may not have sufficient economies or statistics of scale compared to large service providers. But even if cloud services aren’t comparatively cheaper, they can help reduce capital expenditures. And while using cash for capital expenditures by itself isn’t bad, it’s a poor choice if the firm then doesn’t have sufficient cash on hand for daily operations, or if purchased assets are either insufficient to handle demand or underutilized — which is often the case.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Official Google Blog: Managing your reputation through search results

Official Google Blog: Managing your reputation through search results

...try to reduce its visibility in the search results by proactively publishing useful, positive information about yourself or your business. If you can get stuff that you want people to see to outperform the stuff you don't want them to see, you'll be able to reduce the amount of harm that that negative or embarrassing content can do to your reputation.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009


this was an interesting podcast...

Talking with Kingsley Idehen about mastering your own search index « Jon Udell:

"Every business, and increasingly every person, presents some kind of home page to the world. On those pages you will find, implied but not clearly stated, one or both of the following kinds of assertions:

1. Things I offer.

2. Things I seek.

A plumber, for example, may offer hydronic heating services, and may seek an assistant with certain qualifications. By encoding these kinds of assertions as subject-verb-object triples we could, in theory, build a semantic web that matches seekers and finders more efficiently than the current searchable web can. But that first step was always doozy. Writing the assertions required an XML syntax which has never become a web mainstay.

There are other ways to write them, however. Using an approach called RDFa, you can embed them directly into human-readable web pages. This isn’t a new idea. A decade ago, in my book Practical Internet Groupware, I showed how CSS class attributes could do double duty within a web page, governing style while also conveying meaning. In 2003 I was still experimenting with the idea, which I then called microcontent. Nowadays the term is microformats.

Although we’ve heard plenty about this idea over the years, it has yet to bear fruit."

Friday, September 11, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

a StepRep review from Carol Hillson's / Impact By Design blog

more good press in a roundup of tools for Social Media Marketing (SMM):

impact by design: "I LOVE this tool! What I love about it it's free, easy to use and very robust - you can REALLY manage your reputation, not just monitor it. I also love how I found it – I didn't! It found me. I tweeted about some of the other reputation management tools I had looked at, and StepRep tweeted me and invited me to check them out. Now that's SMM at its best! I investigated and I'm really happy I did. It's a GREAT tool. Go and see for yourself!"

Monday, August 24, 2009

Canpages Bets On Social Recommendations, Buys GigPark

Canpages continues its acquisitions...

Canpages Bets On Social Recommendations, Buys GigPark

Jacob Nielsen in 1999: "Reputation Managers are Happening"

An interesting look back to some predictions and pontification about the nature of the customer's experience on the future internet...

Reputation replaces image as the way to build a company, product, or brand position. This is partly because you can't establish an empty, slogan-based brand through mass marketing when there's no mass media. Also, reputation becomes more salient in the virtual world where it can be stored and aggregated.
In the virtual world, you win by being good: Automation reduces the benefits of scale, the Internet equalizes distribution, and reputation follows from quality rather than incessantly repeated slogans.
Reputation Managers are Happening (Alertbox Sept. 1999)

and this summary and predictions from 2004 on the Future of Reputation on the web:

I see reputation managers as core to the success of the Web. As we get more sites, more content, and more services online, users need a way to learn what is credible and useful. Quality assessments must become an explicit component of most Web user interfaces. It is not sufficient to list millions of items for sale and leave it to the user to determine what they need. Everybody is not equal.
Undoing the Industrial Revolution (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

StepRep mentioned in: 6 steps to controlling brand buzz on review sites -

6 steps to controlling brand buzz on review sites -

Another newer tool for monitoring and combating negative online buzz is called StepRep, notes Brandon Fishman, president of interactive marketing agency Internet Marketing Inc. An online reputation management tool, StepRep is designed not only to monitor your results but also to enable you to combat criticism from one central location. StepRep also monitors social platforms like Twitter and Facebook for negative chatter. After all, while many companies are turning to social networks to promote their products and services, this strategy opens them up to a lot of potential criticism.

"Oftentimes, by the time you become aware of negative press, the damage has already been done," Fishman says. "The longer you allow any negative press to anchor itself into a search result for your brand name, the more difficult it will be to move down the road. StepRep allows 100 percent real-time monitoring so you can quickly react and respond to any negative buzz associating your business."

If John Wanamaker were alive today… « StepRep Blog – Online Reputation Management

If John Wanamaker were alive today… « StepRep Blog – Online Reputation Management

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

VendAsta's AsyncTools gets props on the Google App Engine Blog

"but the ability to execute multiple queries in parallel can substantially reduce the render time for a page where you need to execute multiple independent queries."

Query the App Engine datastore in parallel with asynctools

Written by a group of engineers at Vendasta, asynctools is a rather nifty toolkit that allows you to execute datastore queries in parallel in the Python runtime. The interface is slightly more involved than using standard queries, but the ability to execute multiple queries in parallel can substantially reduce the render time for a page where you need to execute multiple independent queries.

Jason Collins has written a detailed article about how and why they wrote asynctools, which can be found here.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Managing Your Small Business’s Online Reputation -

But managing your online reputation requires a whole new skill set, including monitoring the online conversation and engaging with customers and the tech-savvy to promote yourself in the best channels. These skills are becoming essential for mainstream businesses.

Managing Your Small Business’s Online Reputation -

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Huffington Post mentioned StepRep in this article on identity theft and online reputation

StepRep is an online reputation manager that does a better job than Google Alerts does of fetching your name on the web.

from Guesses vs. Data as Basis for Design Recommendations (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox)

even a little data goes a long way:

Guesses vs. Data as Basis for Design Recommendations (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox): "Data Beats Guesses"

Guesses vs. Data as Basis for Design Recommendations

Even the tiniest amount of empirical facts (say, observing 2 users) vastly improves the probability of making correct UI design decisions.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

From the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco last month

another great set of animations from Micheal...

What have you done to make your house a home? « MyFrontSteps Blog

By Michael A. Charles

Brendan, Allan, and Jeff were down at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco last month, and they wandered around with Allan’s new videocamera asking people, “What have you done to make your house a home?” They brought me back the footage and said, “Here, make some promotional videos.” But, being a glutton for work, I thought instead I would make some promotional cartoons.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

» How to prevent social media identity theft - Blogger News Network

Our StepRep product was mentioned in this article:
» How to prevent social media identity theft - Blogger News Network

"StepRep is an online reputation manager that does a better job than Google Alerts does of fetching your name on the web."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Is there a social network for you?

Dustin Luther writes about matching your personality to your choice of social network...

Real Estate Blog - Is there a social network for you?
"there's a social network for everyone, but every social network is not right for you"

Friday, April 17, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Telco 2.0: QQ: Quite Quality

Telco 2.0 is my favorite business strategy site and I'm not even a Telco guy...

Telco 2.0: QQ: Quite Quality

intergenerational price discrimination

magic glasses...

Jon Udell talks about the concept of contextualized browsing and how it might enable reputation awareness in the real world.

A conversation with Phil Windley about contextualized browsing « Jon Udell

We don’t yet have magic glasses that overlay web prices on shelf items, or web reputations on store signage, but someday we will.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

BarCamp / MobileTechForSocialChangeHalifax

BarCamp / MobileTechForSocialChangeHalifax

Dale Zak is organizing a BarCamp in Halifax. He's working on changing the world by devoting his time and effort to things like this and: Ushahidi Crowdsourced crisis alert system via mobile phone
Extraordinaries On-demand volunteerism via mobile phone

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Learning from failure is overrated - (37signals)

Learning from failure is overrated - (37signals)

put most of your energy into studying your successes. What have you done right? What worked? Why did it work? How you can repeat it?

Post mortems should be about improvement of the good stuff -
We just finished a post mortem on a Sprint - this post speaks to what I like about the this when it goes well. We celebrate our successes and improve what we've done well. Although we discuss the bad stuff, we realize the purpose of the meeting is to come out with positive improvements every time around, iteration after iteration.

Coding Horror: Paying Down Your Technical Debt

Coding Horror: Paying Down Your Technical Debt

pay now - or pay more later... it's your team's choice, for me the real question is why it's typical to choose to go slower later, rather than faster all the time.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

Ginger's Blog: CSSSCampSaskatoon

I reviewed my StepRep alert that arrived my mail this morning and noticed that Ginger logged notes on the CSSS Bar Camp on Friday and was kind enough to mention me. Thanks.

Ginger's Blog: CSSSCampSaskatoon

Thursday, February 5, 2009

StepRep Google Alerts Trackur BackType and Twitter Search

Joel Burslem over at Inman News mentions StepRep:

5 ways to monitor your online reputation

The explosion of social media use has meant that online reputation management is becoming increasingly important for companies of all sizes -- and in certain cases, even important for individual real estate professionals.

The Annual Computer Science Career Conference at U of S

VendAsta will be there - we present at 10:20

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Your Reputation

Online Reputation Management from VendAsta's MyFrontSteps team was just released as a Beta offering. Try it out, let me know what you think. This is the first in a series of releases as we roll out our products. I'm really excited about what everyone's acheived so far and I'm looking forward to more. Reputation is important on the net and StepRep will help you monitor, manage and leverage what's being said about you out there.