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Print on demand

Are you considering to ‘print something on demand’? Maybe T-shirt? or Mug? Or do you think your art is worth more? Here are some links to sides which offer ‘print on demand’ of diverse products that you may consider useful too:

Mugs, Accessories, Clothing, Gifts, and many more …

Fabric, wallpaper, gift wraps and more …

Paintings & photographs, but also postcards, books and others

Do you know some more to suggest?

Good and more profound review of some of these pages can be found here: http://www.artpromotivate.com/2012/01/top-print-on-demand-websites-list-2012.html

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Solving world problems via games

Believe it or not, there are people in the world who never played online computer games.

And there are people who spent on such games more than 10,000 hours before reaching age of 21 …

I didn’t have very positive image of computer games in general, including online games, but this presentation opened my eyes about so many opportunities there are about how  to use experience from virtual world for solving the real world problems … just watch.

10 steps to curated news RSS feed with no costs

Almost three years ago, I have sit with Pete Shelton, colleague from IFPRI, to set up RSS news feeds filtered for specific topics. We have used Google News and Google Reader. Unfortunately since then Google little bit complicated the process of making RSS feeds based on tags, but it still possible, which I have recently verified. Somebody may find it useful so here is how I did it:

1. First you create Google News search for the key word(s) of your interest: 

 

2. Then take the RSS of the page that was generated: 

 

3. You will get a RSS feed page (XML) – copy the URL and paste it to your Google reader (it can possibly work also with other readers, but I have the pathway fine-tuned for Google reader only): 

 

4. In your Google reader, click on subscribe and place the URL of the RSS feed and click Add: 

 

5. Now the fun part starts: you have now your RSS feed in the Google RSS reader. But you want to select just some news for the filtered RSS feed (e.g. to insert to your website). Here Google messed up because it disabled the straightforward filtering process by public tags. but it is still possible

Assign the specific tag e.g. ‘website’ (or whatever you want to call it, but remember it is case sensitive!)  to everything that you want to appear in your filtered RSS feed: 

 

6. Your tag will be private, and Google won’t allow you to make it public directly. Even the feed is private. However, there is a way to make the tag and its feed public.

Install this script – Make a tag public – it can be in Chrome or Firefox – follow the instructions on the site. In case of Chrome you may need to install first Tampermonkey as Chrome doesn’t allow scripts other than Google’s own.

Then refresh or go to Google Reader and you shall see new [PUBLIC] button on side of ‘SUBSCRIBE: 

 

7. Click PUBLIC and select your filtered items tag from the list [in this case it is ‘website‘]. Click OK, and your filtered items will become public

 

8. In reader, click on settings and ‘Reader settings’: 

 

9. Click on tab ‘Folders & tags’ where you can see that your tag ‘website’ is now public:  

 

10. Click on ‘view public page’ and you get the view of the feed in Google style. 

Click on atom feed and you will get the XML that can be embedded into your blog or website: 

Indeed much more can be done with RSS feeds in Yahoo pipes – (re)ordering; further filtering; merging or splitting  of feeds, but that’s for another post 😉

Quo vadis Yammer?

Yesterday (Apr 25) I had an opportunity to participate in Yammer on tour event in San Francisco. It was really an eye opener for me. Currently Yammer has over 5million users and it’s growing in speed of approx 1/4 of a million/month.  If I got it right, it seems that through online social networks we are now witnessing several  paradigm shifts (which are reflected in some upcoming Yammer’s features:

  • The rise of ‘consumerization‘ of enterprise  software = enduser decides
    • due to the fact that today a common employee (enduser) can pull the technology/software that suits him (from the cloud) without waiting on what the management decides and company implement is the utmost usability check – will they adopt or not?
    • Yammer’s CEO presented scheme summarizing, that while in 1990s most companies had their stuff and applications ‘on premises’; in 2000s ‘on clouds’, what leads nowadays is what he called ‘Fremium’ –   limitless number of choices that we all have (Indeed resulting in fragmentation of content/knowledge)
  • Yammer is presented as ‘The new Intranet‘ –  transforming intranet to ESN (enterpse social network)
    • on cloud (instant, no upgrades, low costs)
    • social (people centric – by people for people)
    • mobile (fully compatible with mobile devices, pads etc)
    • viral = voluntarily adopted
    • Social network is about SPEED = sharing now, not tomorrow
  • Yammer acquired One Drum – platform that carries a Microsoft Office app that allows users to edit Excel, Word and PowerPoint documents with colleagues in real time, the feature that is expected to be added to Yammer in Summer 2012. Another new feature that will come in few months is Sync – access to Yammer files from desktop through a shared folder – drag and drop synchronization with the Yammer cloud and coworker desktop
  • Yammer’s Universal Search really works – universal search feature is being released in these days –  which will through individualized search algoritm provide better match for our searches
  • PREMIUM groups – yammer-active teams can upgrade without waiting until (if) the whole company decides to upgrade. Premium features include more space for sharing files, possibility to moderate content and membership, mark files and pages as ‘official’ (e.g. final versions), enable external file sharing, etc.
  • Yammer feeds can be embedded practically anywhere (but I understand that content will be visible only to those who have login credentials for given Yammer group/feed)
  • Yammer guys also see as one of the keys to their success Mobile Apps so they continue to work on apps for all Iphone, Android, Windos Phone and BlackBerry.
  • Philosophy of Yammer is not to rip & replace existing enterprise systems (which costed companies tenths of thousands of dollars), but instead integrating & migrate to yammer (with those most common platforms – e.g. Sharepoint or Microsoft Dynamics) and customizing (see all yammer apps at https://www.yammer.com/yotsf/apps)

 Changing from Intranet to ESN (enterprise social network) indeed is a paradigm shift, which requires thorough preparation. Four keys were mentioned as necesary for social success:

  1. PLAN – roll out and sustain, define where you go, even if the way how to get there changes while ‘on the road’
  2. TEAM – compose team with complementary skills
  3. Create AWARENESS
  4. Governance

As an example was discussed Yammer’s adoption in Deloitte:

  • Deloitte has roughly 190,000 employees in 50 countries
  • One team made experiment to replace email by yammer (nobody from the team wanted to return to use email after one week)
  • Nowadays Deloitte’s Yammer has 50,000 registered users with in average 8,000 msgs/week (seems like 80:20 ration is true here as well)
  • Used AFA concept: Aim – Fire – Adjust

and few learnt lessons/tips:

    • Communicate early & often
    • Adoption needs a lot of attention – it doesn’t happen on its won
    • Expect skepticism
    • There is no wrong way to use Yammer
    • Keep rules to minimum
    • Nurse group of champions (early adopters?)
  •  Three mentioned strategies to speed up adoption:
    • ‘Make them do it’  –  involve managers/directors
    • ‘Make it fun’ – contests
    • ‘Remove other legs’ (cutting other comm channels or letting them naturally die)

Relationship is Conversation‘. If you are not having a conversation, you are missing an ocean of opportunity.

Some interesting resources:

* did you check recently Yammer feature list? No? do so – ever growing list of functions applications and tools at https://www.yammer.com/product/feature-list/

* Aragon Research: Special Report – The social enterprise

Will social media kill off the intranet in years to come? 

* Yammer blogpost about the event itself and the links to PPT  and other resources –http://blog.yammer.com/blog/2012/04/thanks-for-rocking-out-for-yammer-on-tour-san-francisco.html.

Where are photos from my Flickr used?

Are you curious about who, where and how uses pictures from your Flickr? yes, me too 😉

Indeed one simple option is to Google ‘Flickr’ and your Flickr ‘user name’. Dig little bit deeper (not just first 10 results) and you may discover surprises.

Other option is to go your Flickr account stats => Referrers and follow incoming links. Usually most referrers comes from Flickr itself, Google, Bing and Yahoo search (and Google, Bing and Yahoo pictures), but bellow are usually few links going to specific referral sites. The sad thing is that you can only see referrers  for one particular day (use arrows on sides of the date to check other dates) and that you can only go about 40 days back.

It seems that at this moment Flickr doesn’t offer more aggregated or older statistics for referrers.

do you know more? please suggest.

Customization of WordPress for kind of intranet

I have got a task from our board – they need a site where to share some documents that are definitely not public and with possibility to comment on the documents. The site shall be private and preferably sitting on our own server due to confidentiality and security of content. Some people board members shall have access just for viewing the docs, some members will need to have an option of downloading and modifying the documents.

I was thinking first of some existing options that we have:

  • Joomla CMS (Content Management System), but I am not a techie guy and would need help with this. Furthermore it is a rather robust system for relatively small site and task
  • Confluence (wiki) – would be my preferred solution, but … for experience with colleagues in my institution it seems to be not so user friendly – most people feel lost and didn’t really start to use it … I guess the same could happen to the board site
  • Google sites / Google docs – quick and easy, but very little customization flexibility and I know that there is a kind of worry among colleagues, about where all that information is sitting and who has access … it was clear no also
  • Dropbox – could be an option for document sharing, but same as in case of Google sites – again – where all that information is sitting and who has access? again no …

Finally, I came to option of WordPress.  I am WordPress (WP) user for years, but somehow I didn’t realize how much the use and the community of  WP users and developers grew over the last few years! Did you know that WP is now a leading Content Management System?

WordPress version  3.1.3. was installed on our server as we need some more customization than what is available in wordpress.com.        I have selected elegant and clean theme ‘Titan‘ (version 1.2.5.) by http://thethemefoundry.com . There is also professional/full version of this theme available for some costs – I may consider to buy it later.

To make the space private, I have implemented plugin called ‘Private Only‘ by http://pixert.com . Other alternative might be e.g. Angsuman’s Authenticated WordPress Plugin (but I have not tried this one).  Installing and activating is easy just following standard WP instructions. One little surprise that came was that  there are actually two plugins – ‘Private Only’ and ‘Private Only – Dissable feed’. Plugin works smoothly, but bit later I have realized when loging in sometimes I happen to enter the blog space (front-end) and sometimes the dashboard (back-end) – I am not sure how to configure where to enter after logging in….

I found helpful post about how to configure WP somehow into form of document repository.  First it is important to set up the system of pages and subpages (child pages) for which later on it is necessary to create new page templates. It was bit tricky, as I have absolutely ZERO php programing knowledge, but searching around I found a lot of pages with examples of php coding for what I needed:

One important discovery – while I can upload docx (MS Office 2007 docs) to WordPress, and create the links, documents didn’t work/download to computer. With MS Office 2003 it is smooth.

And while working on this I have discovered several useful plugins:

Now lets see whether the blue print of product will catch attention of its targeted users – board members ;o).

Music connecting the world

Today my friend Nancy White shared in her Facebook the link to bellow inserted video. I couldn’t resist and have to share this master piece of art (music composition and voices) and technology (created virtually from individually recorded perfomances). If this is possible now, imagine what more can be done … our communication and joint creativity is connected accross space and time.

The blog post author, wrote:

If you’re looking for inspiration for your collaborative audio projects, check out the video below of a choral piece constructed from 250 individual performances. For this unique project, each person seen in the clip submitted a video of themselves voicing a part of the composition “Lux Aurumque,” composed by Eric Whitacre. The individual videos were then edited together and the stunning result was uploaded to YouTube. 

And then there is this smashing site PLAYING FOR CHANGE – connecting the world through music Project that started 4 years ago and goes since then presenting musicians from different continents, cultures, streets, religions, but having all the gift of music. See their first video with which the project started:

It’s thousand times better than ‘XXX got talent’ ;o)))