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Archive for April, 2009

Whither Twitter?

Honestly, I don’t have a lot of faith in the future of Twitter. While I understand the capability for real-time microblogs, I see it as an interesting capability of a more extensive social networking site.

I am staying with Twitter to observe possible changes and how users are leveraging the tool. Right now, it appears to have a few key areas of focus:


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Posted by Carey Miller - April 29, 2009 at 1:42 am

Categories: Technology   Tags: , , ,

Eric Margolis – President’s way Bush league

I read this in the Toronto Sun this morning. Eric Margolis has an interesting and sometime controversial view of international issues. I find this column interesting and an excellent discusion about the US use of torture. The link to the original column is right here. However, given the malleable state of the Internet, I copied it below for posterity.


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Posted by Carey Miller - April 26, 2009 at 9:03 am

Categories: Politics   Tags: , , , ,

Proof of God or Just Funny?

I am attaching some pics of my snowy vehicle. Consider it my daily donation to the humour stockpile of the universe.


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Posted by Carey Miller - April 6, 2009 at 9:23 am

Categories: Humour   Tags: , , , ,

CNN Obama coverage interrupted by police killings

Saturday mornng and I wanted to check the news. It seems that CNN had to interrupt its wall to wall Obama coverage to report on some killing.

CNN – Public relations for insane murderers.

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Posted by Carey Miller - April 4, 2009 at 10:10 am

Categories: Media, Television   Tags: ,

Some thoughts driven by – IT Project Failures – Massive and Spectacular

I spent a long time in the project delivery game prior to formally moving to the business development side. I cannot remember the number of intelligent, dilligent driven people dedicated to successfully deliver value to their businesses. Many of these projects have been successful. But being in the business, I have had significant exposure to project which, on the surface, should have been effectively delivered but have failed. Some thoughts came to mind when reading about the massive IT failure of UK prison IT in Michael Krigsman’s blog.

As I read stories of failures, there are many which shout to me, “The Project Manager should be fired!!” Having been a PM, I am very sympathetic to the circumstances which can place the fault for a failed project on a PM. However, that does not eliminate the very real situations where much fault does lie with the PM.

At this point in my first draft, I started on about 2 pages of discussion around project management, differentiation between technology PM and others and more interesting discussion. Then I reread it and discovered that I missed my own point, which was:

More and more PM are not strong leaders. They are bookish, shuddering types who do not drive a project but minute it. These paper PMP’s are so dedicated to process uber alles that they cannot use it effectively to lead.

These pm’s are more like what I used to know as project coordinators. They build out plans based on input from others. They dutifully fillout their charts and reports. They take notes and minutes at meetings and publish them to stakeholders. They are ideal PM’s where everything is done and there is nothing new – where there are no surprises.

Unfortunately, these are not the PM’s who build team who aggressively acheive the new and formerly impossible. They are not the leaders who could successfully deploy a new system to the UK prison system. They are the note-takers who collect the CYA information needed for when the project goes to court.

The place for timid PM’s is not at the leading edge. I sometimes wonder whether a PM with time to get and keep their PMP is one I want on my projects.

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Posted by Carey Miller - April 2, 2009 at 12:34 pm

Categories: Business, Project Management, Technology   Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

CNN – A Joke or What Americans Deserve?

It was to be a long day, with meetings in the morning and a company event in the evening. As I often do, I turned on CNN for background information while I brush my teeth and shower.

I learned a few things. Barack Obama was in London for the G20 meetings. He met with Prime Minister Brown. He was planning to meet with the Soviet Prime Minister. He and Brown had done a press conference. Michelle Obama was there. Carla Bruni Sarkozy decided not to come to London because she knew she would compare badly to Mrs. Obama. And, of course, there were protesters near the Royal Bank of Scotland.

The protester story was made more interesting by the tone of voice of the CNN anchors. The unspoken desire for a bloody riot was audible. They wanted blood. The lack of it made the story less interesting.

I knew all of this because it was repeated at least 4 times. Likely it was repeated more, but I turned to the Canadian stations (CBC and City-TV) and the BBC station to check what was occurring locally, globally and in the US. Not surprisingly, there were many stories occurring around the world. For the non-US stations, Obama in London was a short story, especially as the G20 summit has not yet started. During these repetitions, multiple talking heads found their way to the screen to spout meaningless opinion on the same topic.

I came back home at about 1:30 the next night. That made it almost 18 hours since I had turned off CNN. I could not resist. I turned on the tube to hear Anderson Cooper retelling the exact information that had been news 18 hours ago. I would not have written anything about this, as all Obama all the time seems to have become the CNN format. But then I heard what brought me to write this. Cooper had the temerity to use the word historic in relation to this news day.

Historic? An American president in London? What could possibly be historic?

So as I write this, I listen to Cooper and other journalists(?) and talking heads spouting opinion about the economy, the dinner by Jamie Oliver and the meeting with the queen.

I know that this is what CNN does. The have made the rational decision that this is what will drive the most viewers and revenue. It is not dissimilar to other US cable news stations in content or structure. It is more of an issue when I am in the United States for business. When I am in any other country, I can access non-US news to learn what is happening in the world, including the US.

Is this what American citizens deserve, shallow prattling and opinion being shown as news? Or is it a joke, with the watchers patiently awaiting a punchline?

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Posted by Carey Miller - April 2, 2009 at 1:36 am

Categories: Media, Politics, Television   Tags: , , , ,