Man, what a busy weekend when you need to be operating in US time zones and you live in New Zealand! Product launch ended up working out at about 3am NZ time on Saturday morning... needless to say my weekend was non-existent but I have time-shifted it to the start of this week.
I was busy working in with a joint venture between to companies here in New Zealand that managed to pull together an amazing bundle of the web's premium online guitar and singing lessons.
My role was to provide IT support, payment system integration and fulfillment services while working in with all the bundle partners to make sure we could deliver their products. If you want to check out the websites there are links below and product banners on my blog to click through to them.
Pretty much this bundle deal is an asspiring singer/songwriters dream set of products to help them on their way up and adds to the ever popular "bundle offering" that seem to be happening more and more at the moment as a way to offer excellent value to customers and get product creators working together.
I am pleased to announce that a major web project I have been working on over the past few months for the New Zealand Young Professionals Network (NZYP) has launched.
In reality it has been almost a year in the making if we factor in the initial consulting and business analysis the took place pre-project when Canterbury Young Professionals (CYP) approached me with their idea to revamp their website. Even though there is no formal NZYP organisation, the idea quickly turned into a joint venture between Auckland, Dunedin and Canterbury Young Professional Organisations (YPO's) as a collaborative project dubbed “NZYP” with the groups working together toward a common set of goals.
I got an interesting email through from Rackspace Cloud last week... (Rackspace Cloud being a cloud based hosting, virtual server and storage/CDN available from Rackspace hosting.) The are starting an initiative called "OpenStack" which is essentially the open source software they are using to power their cloud hosting platform. Check out the video below for a good overview.
The company I work for has been with Rackspace Cloud for several years now, seeing as our core business is in delivering and supporting our products and services to our customers, we made the clear cut distinction that we were NOT in the server administration game. We made a major push at the start of this year to move our entire codebase, websites, and web services we had been running on a dedicated server over to the Cloud architecture.
We haven't looked back since as it has added almost unlimited scalability to our web applications, lower cost per GB for delivery to our customers as well as transforming what was a reasonably high fixed cost expense every year (for dedicated server racks) into a variable cost (we now only pay for the bandwidth we actually use to deliver our services!).
All in all if your a company that is in the business of delivering a product online to your customers, quickly and cost effectively heading towards the Cloud might be the move for you.
I am very excited in thinking about the future of Cloud based computing and services for all businesses but where I believe it will make the most difference is in those small to medium size enterprises (SME's) who need email, communication tools and automated business processes (Sales Dashboards, business intelligence statistics). This means your average business can now communicate much more effectively for a fraction of the cost (if not free with tools such as Google Apps Standard), hopefully those days of the clunky old server sitting in the back of the office are numbered!
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With the Wellington round of the ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) on the table "in secret" this week, InternetNZ hosted the PublicACTA conference at the Wellington Town Hall Civic Suites, Sat 10th April 2010.
I managed to make it along to the keynotes on Saturday morning and also followed it on the live stream throughout the day.
The goal was to pull together a declaration to be presented to the negotiators at ACTA and call for more transparency and public consultation.
The so called "anti-counterfeiting" trade agreement really takes more action on digital copyrights, trademarks and patent infringement than dealing with the sort of counterfeiting that we normally associate with the word, that is "he problem of large-scale commercial infringement, for profit, that is direct and intentional" (PublicACTA Wellington Declaration, 2010).
Instead it seeks enforce criminal liability, statutory damages and possible Internet connection termination for BOTH commercial and non-commercial "infringements" utilising intermediaries such as ISP's, public Internet access points, workplaces, website hosting to do the dirty work.
I could go on about the concerns of this agreement but really it is un-required and will not offer benefits to any parties that it seeks to protect (See Kimberlee Weatheral's and Micheal Giest's keynotes from Public ACTA available from the PublicACTA website for more information).
The key issues, concerns and then subsequently suggestions from the 120 people that attended the conference (as well as many hundreds more following along at home on the live video stream and twitter hash tag #PublicACTA) have been complied and crafted into a concise declaration to what we as Internet professionals, consumers, producers, freaks and geeks would like to see taken on board within the Wellington negotiation round of ACTA.
The declaration and petition can be accessed here, please take the time to read through and sign the petition if you are in favour of fair democratic process and your rights as consumers of digital content.
Let's start a movement.. like this guy...
PublicACTA copyright InternetNZ and is used under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand Licence.
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Just a quick update, lecture for my uni paper have finished up for the year... I'm currently on some study leave to prep for the exam... wish me luck.
So whats next for the blog? Well I have planned a series of posts with some great info on how to become more independent from your computer and make use of some of the great cloud computing tools available out there.
Also before I forget a big shout out to Simon Waterhouse a great photographer and designer here in Christchurch for his help on the photos and design of my personal development plan(PDP) assessment. Be sure to check out his great photography here www.simonwaterhouse.com
Another shout out to the great guys at Silverstripe CMS... i used this to power my PDP website... once I had the design I was able to integrate and drop in the content in just under 4 hours work! A killer speedy content management system for anyone looking to jazz up their website.
My final big thank you goes out to Juliette Powell, Author of "33 Million People in the Room" who sent me a signed copy of her book... made my day! A great read if you are interested in social media, co-creation, and where things are headed online. I was lucky enough to meet her at a conference this year and really enjoy her contributions online through twitter and facebook.
On the leadership tip, I will leave you with some words of wisdom from the women herself, Juliette Powell, enjoy....
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Love of learning
You love learning new things, whether in a class or on your own. You have always loved school, reading, and museums-anywhere and everywhere there is an opportunity to learn.
Your Second Character Strength
Caution, prudence, and discretion
You are a careful person, and your choices are consistently prudent ones. You do not say or do things that you might later regret.
Your Third Character Strength
Curiosity and interest in the world
You are curious about everything. You are always asking questions, and you find all subjects and topics fascinating. You like exploration and discovery.
Your Fourth Character Strength
Judgment, critical thinking, and open-mindedness
Thinking things through and examining them from all sides are important aspects of who you are. You do not jump to conclusions, and you rely only on solid evidence to make your decisions. You are able to change your mind.
Your Fifth Character Strength
Citizenship, teamwork, and loyalty
You excel as a member of a group. You are a loyal and dedicated teammate, you always do your share, and you work hard for the success of your group.
My signature strenghts from these 5 are:
Love of learning
Curiousity and interest in the world
Teamwork, citizenship and loyalty
These 3 give me the most joy, excitment and I would pursue them in everything I do.
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