MikeBD Musings of a 24/6 techie (Software Architect / Technical Manager) family guy struggling to find meaning, balance and strong design / implementation supporting excellent user experiences.

2Sep/102

Website Redesign – FINALLY…

I have put this off far too long and, of course, with every passing year my previous website design grew increasingly unsatisfactory. The old site used Protopage to wrap a blogger blog that was started before it was purchased by Google. I think Protopage is a very cool "start page" service, but I would prefer it for private use and not public publishing.

For one thing, the old approach offered very little Search Engine Optimization capability.

I have many posts in mind but had put off updating the old site for these reasons. I hope to catch up shortly and share lots...

Please let me know if you have any feedback on the new site or experience any problems viewing it.

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24Jun/070

The Network Effect – Part 2

Reference: The Network Effect - Part 1 (2007-02-19)

What a difference 4 months makes. My LinkedIn statistics have improved by 123 direct, over 26,000 2nd degree and 750,000+ 3rd degree connections:

Continue reading...

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19Jun/070

I’m not having enough fun

By now everyone has probably Googled themselves at least once. I'm pleased that the top 3 results when searching for my name are related to me, one is my resume and another is my LinkedIn profile. Not bad since I've essentially done no specific search engine optimization (although LinkedIn does I'm sure).

However, how many of you have searched for your profiles on ZoomInfo? Zoom info currently boasts profiles on 36,479,288 People and 3,474,916 Companies. If you use LinkedIn, ClaimID and other sites to maintain a public profile then ZoomInfo is one more to consider.

In my case, there are 2 other Michael Ben-Davids (and neither is the other IT guy in Toronto by the same name, A.K.A. Moran - who once got me in trouble when his resume came through on my boss's FAX machine). One is a semi-pro soccer coach and the other is a professional dance partner. Seems I lost the interesting career lottery to these folks.

Ah well. There's always a chance life will get interesting, without making a tragic news leading story. Hey - if I've learned anything from all those genie in a bottle, 3 wishes, bedtime stories it's to be very careful what you ask for and include lots of qualifying statements.

Here's hoping you have an interesting day - if not career :)

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19Feb/070

The Network Effect

See also, follow-up: The Network Effect - Part 2 (2007-06-24)

Originally posted 2007-02-19:

I have many hobby interests which have occupied my free time in the past. If you asked me what I would like to spend my free time doing (outside of work, family and spiritual pursuits) I would say squash / racquetball, hockey, electronics circuit building, working on my stamp collection, coding for fun, coding for profit, reading, gaming...

However, to describe what I have actually spent free time doing recently, I would say that Social Networking - especially on LinkedIn has dominated my spare moments. In 5-10 minutes a day and the odd day of 30 or so I have grown my direct connections to 369 and that quickly multiplies to over 50,000 2nd degree and over 2,000,000 3rd degree connections.


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9Nov/060

Help Mike Stop Rhyming

Once in a while I get started rhyming and have trouble stopping. Witness the following essay on exceptional experiences:

It has been said that in many categories, brand loyalty is near negligible these days. Often times, purchasing decisions can be made by consulting online or hard copy customer and editorial reviews and shopping around for the best prices. I have done this myself many times. However, there is one brand in particular that I now have very strong loyalty to because they rescued me from a horrible user experience.

Once upon a time in a cheerful land before the ultimate rein of Schwartz and Reisman, lived a wonderful site known as Chapters.ca. It had books and so much more but mostly a very functional store. With checkout options galore, but not so much as to implore, a need for manual interaction to complete the transaction. It was speedy as can be and always led me to believe that my order would arrive exactly as it was described. Trust, you see, is a key to usability.

But darkness descended on the land when one day tragically began with a rude shock awaiting me when the site unexpectedly had a new name and colour scheme. What once I knew and loved before alas it was to be no more. Chapters.ca had been usurped by Indigo. The experience I had enjoyed was ruined when I was annoyed to find errors and timeouts interrupting my checkouts.

When once I was described as sane, exasperation overcame my calm serenity and threatened to bring me to my knees. At last it occurred to me the notion of a property named for so many tropical trees. Amazon.ca had sprouted in the land and it was then that I began what is a likely guaranty of faithful brand loyalty. It works and does as I expect, leaving me sans any regret for the time and money I invest into their flourishing forest.

Continue reading...

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