links for 02 March 2006

  • ok, just to show that I’m not altogether anti-Telstra, here’s a good thing they’re doing: nowwearetalking is Telstra’s corporate blog and is designed to provide telecoms shareholders and other interested parties with information about the digital revolution (often times in response to something scathing that the press may have written recently). Still, all cynicism aside, its a good showing so far.
  • ‘entirely customisable, entirely personal… bloggers, generate a word cloud from your blog – and put it on a T-shirt. Eh. I love it. I want one. If only I blogged about things with sexier tags! :)
  • Wearing earbuds or headphones telegraphs the message, `Unless it’s urgent, please do not disturb,’ … Rings true to me (although, I’d never quite thought about it that way until I moved over to the designers pod… but that’s another post entirely!
  • FlickrNation have their eyes on some guy on eBay who is willing to be your Flickr Fan… if you’re the highest bidder. Offer includes favouriting your photos, commenting, writing testimonials,… all the good stuff to get your ego going in FlickrLand
  • i’d forgotten all about these ingenious little datacast devices (I was reminded today via Tanya Rabourn). I really want one of those orbs… just not sure what data I’d want to hook it up to!
  • are you suffering from Blogging Depression? I’m not, but you can never be too careful. Take a look at this lovely pamphlet. Pass it on to someone you think might be suffering….

honestly Telstra! (BigBlog *almost* launches)

Big Blog - coming soon

Can someone explain to me why Australia’s biggest Telco, and one of Australia’s largest companies, thinks that its appropriate to launch their brand new blogging service…. when the service is not yet available?

Why didn’t they at least bother designing this page? Maybe telling me *when* it would be launched. Maybe getting my email address and sending me a little note when its up?

Perhaps they could have cleaned out all the dodgy test content before sending the site public?

And I certainly hope someone is going to take a good hard look at that ‘BigBlog Community page’. An alphabetical index does not a ‘Community’ make….

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getting real.. with clients? (can agile methodologies work in agencyland?

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everyone I know who loves agile-type methodologies has three things in common:

  • they work in a small team. Like, less than 10 people. Usually less than 5.
  • they don’t have to do monthly profit reports to management
  • they don’t have (external) clients.

That kind of environment makes it really easy to love a methodology where you don’t have to accurately define the scope of a project (what the client is going to ‘get’ at the end), and where iteration and collaboration is a way of life.

Consequently, over the last 12 months or so I find myself getting into lots of heated discussions with people over the value of functional specifications. The cool kids say that func. specs. are a waste of time, that they are creativity killers, and that there is no place for them in application design and development today.

I love the sound of that. Hell. I’d love to ditch functional specs if I thought it would give a good outcome. I don’t like writing them. Does anyone like writing them?!

But, can my clients cope without documentation? Without bits of paper that they rarely read but that allows them to feel comfortable throughout the development process – makes them feel that there is a process, there is a scope, and that we have it all under control. Tells them what they’re going to get for their money.

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links for 01 March 2006