A few days off

Between finishing up a time-sensitive customer project and taking a few days off around the long weekend, I’ll be pretty much incommunicado until the end of next week. Having said that, I’m sure that I’ll find something that I absolutely have to post later today, but don’t count on anything regular until September 12th.

Non-BPM interests

If you’ve ever checked out my Blogger profile from the sidebar of this blog, you may have noticed that not only was I born in the Year of the Rat, but I write another blog for my wine-tasting club. Because of that one, I’ve been invited to contribute to jZepp, a global group blog project that is building an international community of bloggers with a focus on food, drink, art, and culture.


Blogroll, revisited

I was cruising blogs today and noticed a few people using Bloglines for their blogroll, so decided to do the same as “Blogroll” in the sidebar (the “Other Links” section following that is for non-blog links, created using Blogrolling). I like using Bloglines for linking to blogs because it keeps up to date with what I’m actually reading on blogs, and it uses the folders within Bloglines to create subheadings on the list. Right now, I have exposed my folders on BPM-EA-BI and Other IT, which are the only ones that are remotely related to what I blog about.

Minimalist view in IE

Just noticed that this blog (and my wine blog) are not visible in Internet Explorer: just an empty page. Fine in Firefox, so it took me a while to notice that something is wrong in IE. Both blogs are published via FTP, and a test blog that I did on blogspot works fine, so I suspect that it’s something in the publishing. Any ideas on how to repair this are welcome!

Update: I stripped out all the formatting to an external CSS file a few days ago, which appears to be causing the problem. When I re-included the contents of the CSS file in my blogger template, all is well again. Not the expected behaviour.

A nod to BPM and EA

When I started this blog a couple of months ago, I didn’t give a lot of thought to naming it, and decided just to be descriptive: hence “Sandy’s Biz Blog”. Can you tell that I’m an engineer and not a marketer?

My inner marketing voice spoke up this week — part of the overactive synapse response to the stimulating conference environment — and I had an overwhelming urge to rebrand. Since I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about how BPM intertwines with EA, I’m giving a nod to Zachman with the new name, Column 2. (For those of you who aren’t EA aficionados, column 2 in the Zachman framework is where the process models live; although BPM is bigger than just column 2, I thought that it was a cool name.)

If you subscribe to this site, you can change to the new FeedBurner feed location here, although I’ll keep the old one active too.

Insufficient platform testing, my bad

When I posted about software testing, I never imagined that I would be so blatantly in violation of good testing principles: I added Google ads that were slightly too wide for my right sidebar, and on Internet Explorer, they made the entire sidebar shift to the bottom of the page after all the content. On Firefox, which I use, it looks fine. My only excuse is that it’s been so long since I gave up coding for pure analysis and design that I’ve become lazy about cross-platform testing, which is a pretty poor excuse.

Note to self: always test template changes on both Firefox and IE.

My formerly bandwidth-challenged friends now have wireless broadband in the house, so I’m online in London and loving it. More tomorrow after BPM 2005 day 1.

Biz blogging

These past few weeks have seen an incredible focus on corporate blogging in the mainstream press, culminating in the May 2nd cover story of BusinessWeek, “Blogs will change your business”. (Given the topic is in part about the immediacy of press via blogging, and is coordinated with their (faux?) blog, the irony of a weekly magazine publishing their May 2nd edition more than a week before that date is not lost on me.) The print-based press is jostling for position in a world where blogs provide news and analysis ahead of them, and many are struggling with subscription models for news. Hugh MacLeod’s recent post about Les Blogs conference this week in Paris was spot on:

There a was session there where journalists were asking a lot of questions. I came away thinking, “Dinosaurs don’t like meteors”.

Although the dinosaur/meteor analogy may prove to be overly dramatic — TV was supposed to kill print media, remember? — plenty of others are also tolling the death knell for print.

More interesting blog fodder, however, is about blogging as a corporate marketing tool, especially for small businesses: we can make a serious marketing impact by blogging about our unique abilities, that is, the work that we love to do and that we do best. I quote an earlier gaping void post:

As a marketing tool, my gut instinct tells me that with blogs, the more expensive, molecular, “niche” and/or “bespoke” your product is, the better.

Although Hugh runs a Savile Row bespoke tailoring firm and I do strategic IT planning and architecture, his comment rings true for me: I deal with technologies and concepts (BPM, EA, BI/BAM) that are still considered niche in many of the large players in my target market (financial services); everything that I do for a customer is bespoke, because I fill in the gaps between the technology and their specific business. And in order to maintain visibility as an expert and an evangelist while keeping committments to my paid customers, I need to do this on my own publication schedule. What better place to do that than a blog?

Consider this my calling card.