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October 2005

October 28, 2005
Shoot The Messenger, Not The Medium

Black lists and white lists . . . what does it all mean? To many of us it all looks like spam. I once asked an associate of mine on the sales side of the house what makes for legitimate advertising. His response, while understandable, was a bit disturbing. His philosophy was any ads that are paid for are legitimate. It took me a while, and I didn't like myself better as a result, but I started to see his point.

As a culture, we've accepted without necessarily appreciating the notion of advertising as the means of paying the freight for all the various forms of passive media that we digest. We might be put off by the sheer volume, poor quality or content that offends, but we accept it in order to partake of the content that we purchase.

When it comes to interactive media, however, we draw a line. We don't like the marketers interacting directly with us, uninvited. We don't like it on our phone systems, we don't like it on our messaging systems, and we don't like our Web sessions interrupted by pop-up ads. It's more intrusive and makes us feel helpless, because we've lost the control that we can normally exert as subscribers to content.

. . . Full Story: "Shoot The Messenger, Not The Medium"

Posted by Mitch Irsfeld at 05:58 PM | Permalink | Comments

October 26, 2005
Collaboration Brings New Life To Web Searches

As the trend continues to extend collaboration capabilities into all facets of our computing and communications experience, why not include our most often used Web tools, the search engines?

Why not, indeed, say bevy of new search players that are starting to put meat on the bones of the "Web 2.0" movement to make the Internet a more collaborative environment. While Web applications in general have become more collaborative, search engines have been slow to follow suit.

. . . Full Story: "Collaboration Brings New Life To Web Searches"

Posted by Mitch Irsfeld at 06:28 PM | Permalink | Comments

October 25, 2005
An E-mail Archiving System And A Floor Wax!

That old Saturday Night Live skit about the dessert topping/floor wax was made for people like me. Ever since I was kid, I was a sucker for tips and tricks on how to multitask the things you already own, making them perform tasks you could never dream of on your own. My friends might have considered me too loosely wired when I roasted an ear of corn on my car engine's exhaust manifold while driving down the highway, or when I poached a trout using the rinse and wash cycles while running a load in the dishwasher. But I still get a kick out of those kinds of ideas.

So when C2C published a white paper on using an e-mail archiving system to help with an Exchange server migration, I was interested.

. . . Full Story: "An E-mail Archiving System And A Floor Wax!"

Posted by Mitch Irsfeld at 05:14 PM | Permalink | Comments

October 24, 2005
As Teens Abandon IM, What's Left?

Forrester recently issued a report confirming what many of us have suspected for some time: Instant messaging isn't the cool thing that it used to be and there is no loyalty among users.

The last statement is rather obvious because loyalty has never been a major part of the strategy. You can't have closed networks and expect users to play on your turf exclusively. Imagine where the mobile handset market would be if you could only talk to in-network users. Microsoft and Yahoo have decided that the benefits of a controlled community of users tied to their own portals don't outweigh the market penetration they might achieve with a more open approach. Good for them. Forrester also expects AOL to follow on their heels. Why, because as Forrester's survey pointed out, there is little correlation between IM preference and portal preference.

But the bigger problem for IM is that it is heavily dependent on the under-25 market. IM penetration among adults 25 and older has been declining steadily since 2003 according to Forrester. And the researcher found that the older those teens and young adults get, the more IM clients they are likely to use. No surprise there. As their world expands, so does their circle of contacts.

. . . Full Story: "As Teens Abandon IM, What's Left?"

Posted by Mitch Irsfeld at 02:07 PM | Permalink | Comments

October 20, 2005
Are You Going To Answer That?

A reader responding to my most recent blog about a user survey and the future of e-mail brought up an interesting point about the nature of always-on communication technology. He said his life pattern had changed once he started using his Blackberry device, and that he felt somehow more compelled to read e-mail on his Blackberry the moment it is received, akin to the urgency of answering a mobile phone. He ended with a lament that he and his associates spend more time looking at the device and less time in direct personal interaction. Even "Good Morning" greetings around the office are handled via IM.

It's a common lament about technology in general and, of course, we always have a choice to respond immediately or not to any communication. But some media are just more compelling. Back in the good ol' days before answering machines, most people felt fairly compelled to answer the ring of a telephone, and auditory signals are still very compelling (although the "You've Got Mail" thing grew tiresome pretty fast). If you didn't answer the ring, you didn't know who was calling. There was always a little mystery. Today, in our always-on, constantly connected world, that feeling of being compelled seems to be largely a function of a) the newness of the medium and b) the level of exclusivity you can exert on the environment (which is partially a function of price). Something always comes along soon that is more compelling and sooner or later it's cheap and pervasive enough that the entire planet can find you. And that makes the existing message medium less compelling. Cases in point:

. . . Full Story: "Are You Going To Answer That?"

Posted by Mitch Irsfeld at 05:11 PM | Permalink | Comments

October 19, 2005
Playing It Safe Doesn't Always Work, But It's A Good Start

Does sender certification work as a method of ensuring the legitimacy of e-mail senders? According to Habeas Inc., provider of the popular Habeas Safelist database of certified senders, it does.

claims that it is now receiving more than 20 million requests per day from messaging systems worldwide. That represents a ten-fold increase in traffic in the last six months.

. . . Full Story: "Playing It Safe Doesn't Always Work, But It's A Good Start"

Posted by Mitch Irsfeld at 02:59 PM | Permalink | Comments

October 19, 2005
E-mail: Is It In You

I've become as dependent on my e-mail as the next person, but for me it's still an office and an occasional home activity. I consider traveling on business or pleasure an extension of my professional and personal lives so I'll include laptops in my mix of e-mail devices. I rarely, and I do mean rarely, use the Internet capabilities of my GSM network provider. I find it intrusive, but then I will also turn off my phone when I'm out camping, fishing, and mountain biking, checking once in a while for messages.

. . . Full Story: "E-mail: Is It In You"

Posted by Mitch Irsfeld at 11:11 AM | Permalink | Comments

October 12, 2005
You Can Believe The IM Numbers . . . And Then Some

We've seen some heady projections recently for instant messaging growth, a fact that leaves some scratching their heads, but not me. Sure, it's a technology that IT managers love to hate. Sure, it's a market already consolidating behind some big players. Sure, there are standards issues that would appear to be slowing its adoption, at least in the enterprise arena. But hey, it's a hot, real-time communications technology that promises to keep offering ever-better
functionality, and we humanoids love our communication technology. History has shown we never seem to get enough. Small, incremental improvements? Gotta have 'em. IT won't support it? No problem.

When it comes to communication technology, the leading edge is a momentary status that is by no means a predicament, and the bleeding edge means the technology got inside your organization without invitation. What else is new?

. . . Full Story: "You Can Believe The IM Numbers . . . And Then Some"

Posted by Mitch Irsfeld at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments

October 04, 2005
Will Hurricanes Bolster Conferencing?

Now there's an odd question, but at least one conferencing vendor is using the deadly Katrina/Rita combo to promote its services and give back a bit to the relief effort.

As fuel prices rose but didn't recede with the floodwaters, the cost of travel, even local travel, can make managers think twice about scheduling in-person meetings. So Web and video conferencing may soon gain more allure. Even those who've tried it and found it too unwieldy for most of their meetings may be ready to take another look when they review their most recent expense reports.

Realizing this potential, has made a special offer to its financial advisor customers, a three-month program where advisors can try LiveOffice's IMConferencing service for $150. Called the program, the campaign is limited to the first 1,000 advisors who sign up. LiveOffice is also offering complimentary copies of its Collaboration 101 guide for financial advisors.

. . . Full Story: "Will Hurricanes Bolster Conferencing?"

Posted by Mitch Irsfeld at 04:15 PM | Permalink | Comments


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