What Spaghetti and Marshmallows Can Teach Us About Teamwork and Development

April 23rd, 2010 by Daniel DiRico

One of the great things about the continued growth of the internet and the social connections it creates, is the often overlooked fact that all of this technology actually is making us smarter as a society. Yes, this occurred to me today as I was watching this TED video about marshmallows and teamwork.

Since the introduction of the internet, we have been learning and sharing information at an incredible, exponential pace. As a society as a whole, we are sharing what works and what doesn’t work at ever increasing speeds, perfecting ourselves as a giant collective in ways that never before were possible prior the internet.

This video is about how repeated iterations can lead to a more perfected result. With each iteration, the solution becomes better, smarter, and faster. The project team learns from each failure at faster and faster rates until they reach the successful goal.

But what if we apply this thought process to an entire society instead of just a small project team? Is technology allowing us to iterate ourselves at faster and faster rates towards greater success? I think so.

The internet as we know it today has really only existed for about 15 years. Imagine the possibilities it will bring for society during the next 15 years.

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Revenge of the Designer – Why the Success of Your Tech Now Depends on Great Design

March 27th, 2010 by Daniel DiRico

Design and technology have always had an interesting relationship. If you look at design trends and the impact of design on the products that we use every day, there is an interesting cycle that seems to repeat itself.

Throughout history, there are bursts of incredible achievements in aesthetics, design and usability that seem to rise out of nowhere. And then, without warning these accomplished designs seem to slowly vanish once again.

And the return to mediocrity begins anew.

Case in point, the American automobile of the 1950’s. Few will argue that this was the pinnacle of design in automotive technology, in both form and function for that time. An achievement only to be followed by the smaller, squarish box-shaped cars of the 70’s and 80’s.

Or perhaps you consider architectural achievements as a form of design and technology and you can’t help but wonder why some of the best architecture around the world comes and goes in waves, as if it were an ocean tide.
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The Looming Battle for the One Password to Rule Them All

January 3rd, 2010 by Daniel DiRico

When it comes to modern day web use, you may have noticed a rising trend during the past few years. You have a plethora of passwords to remember.

The root causes of this trend are simple enough to understand thanks to the proliferation of SaaS and cloud computing, but the quest to find a solution to password management and single sign-on has ignited one of the biggest battles for the web since the first days of the browser wars.

What is so important about password management on the web and why should anyone care?

This battle is about much more than passwords. It is about identity. As the web continues to become more and more social, your digital identity becomes more and more important for you to recognize. And it also becomes incredibly more valuable to businesses that are constantly vying for your data.

“My data” you ask?

Yes, your digital self is nothing more than data and it is chock full of information that businesses crave for for, collect, and archive as if the world may be ending tomorrow. Things like who your Facebook and MySpace friends are, your online shopping habits, your Twitter followers and tweets, your web browsing trends, your public conversations online, your profile information, the list goes on.

In fact, the growing trend of startups lately
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The Five Core Values of Social Media Technology for Business

December 30th, 2009 by Daniel DiRico

There has been a lot of discussion lately about the measurement of social media and its return on investment (ROI). The expectation for 2010 is that we’ll see corporations large and small begin to clamp down on any social media marketing (SMM) spending that does not contribute to profits.

The big problem of course is that no one can really measure the ROI for SMM effectively. Yet deep down, everyone knows that social media is a vital technology that every business must somehow now leverage in order to stay competitive.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at what I consider to be the five core values of social media technology and in the process, hopefully provide some new perspective on the ROI question du jour.

Social media at its foundation is simply a new means of communication via technology that offers us conversational capabilities. Social media is an evolution in conversation technology that started with its ancestors; the telegraph, the telephone, email, and instant messaging. The key word being conversation, which is why I didn’t include TV and radio in that list. Sure, your TV is a communication device, but
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Why Podcasting is About to Become Broadcasting

December 11th, 2009 by Daniel DiRico

AppleLogoWell everyone likes to speculate about the next big move by Apple. And lately the word on the street is not about the rumored “tablet” that everyone has been talking about for over a year now. No, this speculation is not about a device, but instead about digital media distribution.

You could be forgiven just five years ago for saying “I don’t care what Apple is doing” and call it a day, but if your business has anything to do with digital media, such indifference to Apple’s moves could cost you dearly. It could cost you in terms of missed opportunities or worse, an utterly destroyed business model. And so, this is why Apple receives such enormous press over things that they haven’t even done yet. No one wants to be caught off guard.

The latest rumors out there point to some kind of potential streaming media service provided by Apple, mainly sparked by
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New Facebook Privacy Settings Begin to Roll Out

December 10th, 2009 by Daniel DiRico

facebook-small-logo-thumb-360x360-75537-thumb-300x300-78195For those of us on Facebook, you are probably aware of the new privacy settings that were developed. It seems to be rolling out this week and I happened to see the new settings alert upon login this afternoon. See screenshots at the end.

One thing seems certain with this move by Facebook — as real-time search becomes more relevant, Facebook wants you and your profile to become more public.
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How To Speed Up Your Microsoft Web Development Projects and Maintain Sanity

December 9th, 2009 by Daniel DiRico

microsoft-building-logoToday I spent most of the day over at the Microsoft campus here in Cambridge, MA attending a joint presentation from NaviSite and a few members of the Microsoft WebSiteSpark team. About 75 people registered for the event, but the brutally cold, wind-driven rain that rolled into the Boston area today reduced that attendance down to a mere 18 or so of us. But the show must go on, and it didn’t disappoint.

The primary goal was to introduce us to NaviSite, a major player in the managed hosting arena which happens to have a large, local presence here in Massachusetts. Typically known as a blue chip, large enterprise hosting solution, NaviSite is expanding their market share into the small and medium sized (SMB) business segment. They have some tough competition to face with incumbents like Rackspace and others, but if you are looking into managed hosting for your SMB, I recommend giving their site a visit to see what they have to offer.

The bulk of the day however, was spent on the Microsoft Web platform technologies, the WebSiteSpark program details, and
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