Cogblog

The Official Blog of Cogmap, the Org Chart Wiki

 

Archive for April, 2008

 

Baltimore OpenCoffee May 5th!

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

The next OpenCoffee approaches rapidly after a fun kick-off two weeks ago.

Cosi
6181 Old Dobbin Lane Suite 200
Columbia, MD 21045

Phone: 410-953-6311

(The Cosi opens at 9am, so don’t come early)

Cosi was selected because it has free wireless, so bring your laptop and be ready to demo your stuff!

Drinks are plentiful, food not so much. Maybe eat before you come.

Please circulate to the appropriate audience. The goal is to keep it smaller rather than bigger, so forward with consideration. Shoot me back an email if I should add you to an email reminder list. Also, given that we are just getting started, a quick email to tell me if inviting you hit the right audience would be inordinately valuable.

Our initial invite list is hopefully a nice combination of coders, business people, and investors, so theoretically we should have a diverse and interesting audience.

Thank you, we look forward to seeing you!

Baltimore OpenCoffee – April 21st

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

This is an email we circulated recently that I wanted to share on the blog:

Are you familiar with OpenCoffee? OpenCoffee is an activity that connects entrepreneurs, angels, and other Web 2.0 people in an informal setting.

We are starting up just such an event. It will be held every other week at 9:00 am starting April 21st at the Cosi in beautiful Columbia, MD:

Cosi
6181 Old Dobbin Lane Suite 200
Columbia, MD 21045

Phone: 410-953-6311

(The Cosi opens at 9am, so don’t come early)

Cosi was selected because it has free wireless, so bring your laptop and be ready to demo your stuff!

Please circulate to the appropriate audience. The goal is to keep it smaller rather than bigger, so forward with consideration. Shoot me back an email if I should add you to an email reminder list. Also, given that we are just getting started, a quick email to tell me if inviting you hit the right audience would be inordinately valuable.

Our initial invite list is hopefully a nice combination of coders, business people, and investors, so theoretically we should have a diverse and interesting audience.

Thank you, we look forward to seeing you!

A Summary of the Book “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

A Summary of the Book “Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done” By Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

Self-Help Books are too Long

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

Some days, when I am reading a self-help book, I sometimes wonder if the most helpful thing I could do is stop reading. Business books are too long, yet people buy them and authors make a lot of money from writing business and productivity books. My experience has been that virtually all of these books should be much shorter. The average 200 page business book would probably be just as good at 20 pages and the only reason it isn’t is that that isn’t a viable model for publishers. Some books are actually much shorter, such as many of Seth Godin and Tom Peter’s books. I have found that many of these could be shorter still. In fact, I would posit that they could easily be summarized in a lengthy blog post of five or six pages.

Certainly this is painting in broad strokes, but I think even many naysayers would agree that with that amount of space, one could easily convey the key idea – maybe 90% of the value – of the book. If I gave you 90% of an idea in 3,000 words, then told you that the last 10% of the idea required you to read another 150,000 words, I suspect that the absolute value of the idea would need to be astronomical to justify grasping each nuance of the concept. This value-to-length concept can be rendered as a graph:

That picture didn’t add a lot of value, but it was fun!

So, I have no power to start Internet memes, but if I did, here is one I would start: Post on your blog your blog-post summary of a book that should have simply been a blog post. Then people will be able to read your blog post and save both their time and their $24.95.

Then Trackback or post a link in the comments here to your blog book (I would call it “blook”, but I think that is already taken) and this can begin to serve as a library for people. If we get enough, then I will further organize the Library of Cogress (note Cogmap pun! Not a typo!).

I will now post a follow-up with my first review.

Minor metadata bug for last 20 hours

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

For the last 20 hours, there was a database configuration error that caused the loss of historical metadata created during that period.  Any historical versions of charts created in the last 20 hours have the same metadata as the most recent version.  There were database problems every time metadata associated with charts was archived.  This means that while there was probably never a serious data loss (the most recent information for every chart was always displayed and updated), when looked at historically, new “archived charts” created in the last 20 hours may have incorrect metadata (it is the same as the most recent version).

This bug was introduced during database configuration changes made as production systems were prepped for future Cogmap releases.

We apologize for any key data loss, although we hope, given the obscure nature of this bug, that this did not inhibit any day-to-day cogmappery.

Introducing List Builder!

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

The newest feature for Cogmap is here: The List Builder

This is tool for sales, business development, and recruiting teams using Cogmap.  It allows you to search across the people in Cogmap looking at specific fields.  You can easily get a list of CIO’s in the Cogmap database.

The system recognizes private maps that you have access to and searches across those as well, ensuring that you can leverage both public data and your private org chart stores.

Yahoo Search Marketing won’t let Cogmap bid on “Yahoo org chart”

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

So yesterday, as part of work for something else, I signed up for Yahoo Search, to supplement my Google spend.   Cogmap’s approach to buying keywords is indicative of the tiny niche we play in: We buy thousands of keywords that all look like “<Fortune 1000 company> org chart”, “<Fortune 1000 company> organization chart”, etc.  These terms are cheap, my clickthrough rates are near 10%, and my results are high quality.  This is a win for everyone.

First, Yahoo wouldn’t let me enter more than 50 keywords in my first campaign.  Whatever.

Second, and most dumbly, I got a message when I logged in the next day that Yahoo would not allow me to bid on the terms “yahoo org chart” or “yahoo organization chart”.

That makes me laugh…