79th Annual Academy Awards

It’s time for my only annual awards show. The Oscars. The Big One. The only thing I’m willing to stay up for until it’s over. Been this way since … well, heck, since I was an early teen, I think.
Aside from CTV’s crappy initial signal, this was worth watching. While I miss Billy Crystal as host, Ellen DeGeneres wasn’t too shabby. Some of the jokes were a little forced, but then that’s her style and she makes it work.
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Pictures return to Sowrey.Org

It’s been a long time since a photograph has been seen here. It’s not for a lack of wanting.
As of right now, I’ve got 3,606 pictures in my library, covering a huge range of subjects and topics. (988 of those are for Critical Mass alone…)
When you have that many pictures, you need to manage them carefully, or they’ll end up managing you. So I’ve been wrestling with a variety of tools to get the right balance between easy-to-use (I don’t want to spend hours doing this) and being well-developed and flexible.
Believe me, it’s harder than you think. Especially when you don’t want the stereotypical “gallery”.
They’re not completely reinserted yet, and most of the comments are missing. Give me enough time, I’ll get it all back.

iTunes experience is better than Windows Media

I have two iPods. One I purchased (a Nano) and one I received as a gift (see [[The day after the CMMYs]]). The music on my iPods comes from a rather large (700+) CD collection and iTunes. I do not download (anymore).
I find that the experience using Apple’s music solution is outstanding. Plug iPod into computer, it automatically synchronizes with iTunes. You can set up playlists easily. Buying music is a breeze. And it’s all easy to manage.
Given that Apple clearly figured out the process, you’d think Microsoft wouldn’t have so much trouble ripping it off. Yet Alex seems just about ready to pitch the computer out the window due to the ultra-crappy experience. Allow me to illustrate.
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Gala Banquet at Summit 2007

After the last batch of sessions this afternoon, we broke up for about two hours to wait for the gala event. Apparently, this is the big event of the Summit conference. Bad things tend to happen. (Jim, think of any given night of the San Jose SES. Along those lines. Just a bit tamer.)
That said, I’ve spent most of my time talking business. Mostly with the CHUM guys. Damn, they’re a wealth of information and experience. Also nostalgia. Being from Southern Ontario, they’re really donating a lot of background to my perceived history … and squashing a few preconceptions in the process. But I can live with that.
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Complementing and Enhancing Search Engine Optmization (SEO) Using RedDot CMS at Summit 2007

Presented by Shannon Ryan of Non-Linear Creations. We know a lot about SEO, so we’re gonna be picky.
A couple of slides on Non-Linear’s business models. But emphasis on Digital Marketing with emphasis on Email Marketing and SEM. Done 40 RedDot implementations.
“You’ll never outsmart Google.” I like this quote.
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Solve the Challenges of Social Computing with RedDot at Summit 2007

Just spent an hour talking with the presenter (Darren Guarnaccia) about RedDot software and partnership avenues. Anyhoo, on with the good stuff…
“This stuff is a little bit forward thinking.” It’s where they think we’ll be in the next year. The idea is to think ahead to when the CIO/CEO/CXO asks: “What are we doing about this?”
Quick discussion: “social computing” mean to refer to bi-directional communication.
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Content Object Modelling at Summit 2007

Seth Miller of Miller Systems. A highly recommended presentation. Young guy. Definitely a tinkerer gone pro.
Miller Systems is a UX-centric web dev firm. Been around 12 years. RedDot partner since 2002. Several implementations. Have also used Ektron and Percussion. Prefers RedDot.
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Case Study: Optimizing Content Management at the National Aquarium of Baltimore at Summit 2007

All content managed through RedDot, no external components. 10% of entire revenue stream done through RedDot (including onlike ticket sales).
http://www.aqua.org/
Went through a similar development process to what we did. But had to map old site to new site templates.
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Broadband Video News Powered by RedDot at Summit 2007

Talked to these guys last night. Heavy duty RedDot users. Don’t use the built-in publishing system — wrote an entire export using RQL. Publishes are down to 1 minute, and they’ve got at least 100 times the content (and pages) that we do. Automatic publishes (with cache clearing) to Akamai. Drag-and-drop components in SmartEdit — no Open Page red dots.
I got high hopes for this session…
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Another Day at Summit 2007

There was a “commonwealth” dinner last night. Originally meant to be just we Canucks (there’s quite a few of us), the Australian contingent was invited to come along as well. Apparently, Australia is becoming a booming market as well.
I had the pleasure of meeting Andre and Johnathan from ChumCity, who don’t use use RedDot — they’ve modded like nothing we could even imagine. Over the last two years, they’ve hacked the bejeezus out of their 6.5 installation. Full AJAX interface (they have no Open Page red dots) with drag-and-drop components for content.
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RedDot CMS and Live Server Upgrade to Streamline Info Architecture at Summit 2007

Mostly regarding the work done for the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Purple Monkey (agency doing presentation) seems to run similar to the way CM works with respect to helping clients figure out what they need.
Wanted single authoring environment, multiple authorization levels, pages could belong to multiple groups, and a search engine.
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Leveraging RedDot CMS to create UNICEF websites around the world at Summit 2007

A little late in starting. Presenter reminds me of Rosemary, for some reason.
Organizational structure (IT team separate from content entry) similar to how we want to work. RedDot responsible for publishing the sites.
RedDot chosen to allow for easy internal customization of interfaces. Fits internal plans of decentralization while allowing a centralized technical system.
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RedDot Keynote at Summit 2007

Okay, hard for me to avoid it now. We use RedDot. There, I’ve said it. Now let’s move on.
Met Detlef Kamps (RedDot President) last night. Nice guy. German, and speaks English very well. Looking forward to my breakfast meeting with him on Wednesday. Looked more comfortable last night. Must be the suit.
Going around the room, pointing out key RedDot people. Met most of them already. Handy to put faces to names.
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Keynote at Summit 2007

I have no idea who the guy is on the stage. He came out after a Harold Faltermeyer-esque opening movie (complete with Windows system click sound at the end) and started talking. No introduction whatsoever.
John Shackleton has now taken the stage. Older guy. I’m vaguely curious to know how long this guy has been with OpenText. Claims OpenText is now the largest independent ECM vendor.
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Air Canada Sucks

Yes, I know I’ve ranted about Air Canada and their lousy service few times before (see [[Christmas in Oakville, New Years Eve in Calgary]], [[Christmas with my Family in Oakville, Cathy Gets Engaged]], [[Canadian airlines need some common sense]], among several), but just when you’d think they’d start to act better, they slap you in the face again.
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