PageRank within the Enterprise

Tim Bray’s latest On Search essay alludes to the effectiveness of Google’s PageRank within the Enterprise:

“…even if it turns out that popularity [PageRank] is the key thing for Internet search, the Internet is a very special place, and itÂ’s quite unlikely that popularity is the killer metadatum for the whole universe of search applications.”

However, I suspect that part of what’s in works with Google’s acquisition and integration of Blogger is to augment PageRank in the enterprise. Yet, utilizing blogs internally to enhance the PageRank-ing of documents and resources indexed with the Google Search Appliance will require some ramp-up time to become useful.

This is of course on top of the initial hurdle of actually instituting a knowledge worker process of blogging and linking to internal documents and URIs.

An uphill battle for sure, but I think corporate blogging could provide the metadata that Tim is describing in his essay, which is certainly worth reading.

End of a great Tour de France

Well, as I’m sure most know, Lance made it to number five.

Congratulations on joining the Five-Timers-Club

Congratulations also to the awesome Postal Team!

Speaking of Lance, here’s a great quote from the recent Washington Post article by Sally Jenkins who co-author of the Lance Armstrong book, “It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life

“Lance serves no purpose if people think that he survived cancer or wins races solely through some specialness, some rare gift. The most useful purpose he can serve is to tell people it’s an absolutely universal human experience to be tired and ill. So “hero” is simply not a word that he’s very interested in.”(via Frank Steel’s TdF Blog)

I’ll add that this was certainly exemplified by, as Frank Steel puts it, Tyler “Freaking” Hamilton as well, who amazingly finished second in Saturday’s treacherous Time Trial, which moved him to fourth over all.

Freaking Amazing!

Although, I must admit, I was on pins-and-needles last Saturday watching the Time Trial. As much as I wanted to see Lance pull-it-out, I felt awful watching Ulrich slide of a turn into the hay bails near the 10k mark. I didn’t want to see him go down nor Lance win based on a fall.

I realize that’s part of the game and adds to the continuing drama, but it’s just sad to watch.

BTW, if you’re looking for a good summary of the 2003 Tour de France, check out Samuel Abt’s tour wrap-up in the NY Times. (FRR)

Focus on the Process not the Feature

I alluded to this the other day, but the following from Jupiter Research sums up MSFTÂ’s marketing positioning strategy for the new Office System, which will also include Longhorn and I suspect enterprise search.

Basically, they are not selling features or services, but “solutions” to very specific business processes.

“Microsoft is putting less emphasis on individual applications and product features and more emphasis on what people can do with Office System. The strategy also synchs with other products, such as development of Windows Longhorn. Earlier, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates discussed “scenarios” the company is using to develop Longhorn. One scenario might be a teenager interested in listening to music. Microsoft has taken a similar approach to Office System, looking at information scenarios Office users confront daily.”

“The distinction between features and scenarios seems subtle, but is actually more complex. The scenario focus means that Microsoft is shifting away from adding new features simply for the sake of adding new features to looking more seriously at how people use or would want to use the products.”

Study shows blogs are under-represented in Google

Interesting study released by Microdoc News debunking (mathematically) that blogs are clogging Google

[Estimations show] “there are about 150 million webpages that belong to blogs. Out of 3.8 billion webpages 150 million is about 3.9% of all pages in Google and blogs appear in the top ten results only 2.1% of the time. It seems to me that blogs are being under-represented and not over represented in Google.

Link to Microdoc News via Anil Dash

Armstrong Now Leads By 1’07”

Kudos to all the riders in “Le Tour” this year!!

I was on the edge of my seat, even while reading the live updates online of today’s stage 15.

All I can say is WOW! I can’t wait to watch the replay tonight!

“At the end of the 15th stage, Armstrong has increased his lead over Ullrich. The American is now 1’07” ahead of the German in the generall classification. Vinokourov began the day within 18″ of the overall lead, he finished it with a deficit of 2’45”.

The final individual time-trial is going to be exciting as well.

Over one minute is a lot of time for any rider to make up against Lance in a time-trial, but then again, Jan Ullrich is not just any rider!

I’m still on the edge of my seat!

Wow, what a Tour!

BTW, Tyler Hamilton also finished up with the lead group today in 7th place, which puts him in 7th overall as well. Amazing!

Ullrich is lurking

At least Armstrong still retains the overall lead with 34 seconds over Ullrich, but …

“Ullrich … powered across the 29 miles of rolling vineyards in 58 minutes, 32 seconds to take the Tour’s 12th stage. He was the only rider of 167 to finish in less than an hour.”(via ESPN)

And…

“Immediately after crossing the finish line in fifth place, American Tyler Hamilton — competing with a broken collarbone — stumbled off his bike, lurched forward and vomited.”

But, Tyler is still amazing in that he is fourth overall, 2:59 behind the Lance!

It goes without saying, but the Pyrénées are going to be tough!

Wow! What a race!

Enterprise User Experience

Building on the ubiquity of Office in the enterprise, I think Microsoft
is promoting a very compelling trend
and something to seriously consider in
regard to delivering an enterprise user experience that feels
seamless or natural.

 

Essentially, it’s
an obvious goal: Give users an interface that they already know and use daily.

 

Specifically the key to
providing this enterprise utopia is with Microsoft’s soon-to-be released "Office
2003 System". IMHO and if all goes well, Microsoft will finally deliver a
malleable front-end framework that lets developers tap into the specific work-flow
processes that people accomplish everyday in each of the main Office
applications (Word, Excel, Outlook and perhaps PowerPoint and Access)

 

Long block-quote from
an article on CNET: Microsoft
buddies up with new Office

 

"…
back-end software makers want to buddy up to Microsoft. Partnering with the
software giant means they get to tap into those proprietary add-ons, which
means they can offer Office applications as a way to view and manipulate
back-end data. Given that no enterprise software maker can offer a user
interface as familiar as Microsoft Word
, that’s a compelling advantage.

 

"It’s
a very usable user interface, and people spend a lot of time there," said
Susan Funke, an analyst for research firm IDC. "I think that’s a big part
of why–if you look at somebody like a J.D. Edwards–(enterprise software
companies are) definitely looking at Office 2003 in their strategy."

 

By giving workers a familiar interface, Office 2003 can
help remove a roadblock that has helped prevent wider adoption of CRM software

and other enterprise
technology, Microsoft’s Leach said. "One of the biggest challenges with
these back-end systems is the tremendous ramp-up people have to go through, to
get proficient at using it," he said.

 

Microsoft’s integration of XML offers even more benefits
for companies involved in the nascent Web services field, as it allows them to
insert those services into Office applications. Microsoft gets to promote new
whiz-bang services that make Office more useful, and service providers can
offer their wares in the environment where office workers spend most of their
day.

 

Factiva signed a partnership agreement with Microsoft last
year to enable its research and information services to be folded into Office
2003 applications. Customers could click on a company name in a Word
document, for instance, and quickly get basic corporate data from Factiva
sources
.

 

"It slows people down if they have to open a browser
and start a search engine or launch some new application to get a piece of
information,"
Leach said. "If I can do that from within Word, I’m much more likely to
build that into my day-to-day routine. That’s a tremendous business advantage
for companies offering these kinds of services."

Also, this goes without saying, but I think this applies to Open Source solutions that are looking for better enterprise penetration. Personally I feel they would find a better footing with Office integration points that facilitate a specific pain, work-flow, or need within a business.

Unsung Hero of the Tour

Catherine sent me the following quote from Tyler Hamilton’s latest journal entry about his current status at the Tour:

“The pain in my collarbone is now being matched by pain in my spine. I started feeling a jabbing pain in my back and rib cage a couple of days ago. We just figured it was a bruise making its way to the surface and that it would get better each day. But the problem is it’s been getting worse.”

I do hope Tyler can continue in the Tour this year.

And then there’s the following quote about Lance jumping back onto the road after his Mountain Biking excursion, which was triggered to avoid the awful crash by Joseba Beloki

“I instinctively threw out my arm to try and give him a push to help get him up to speed, but then I realized I had reached out with my right arm, which is the side with my collarbone fractures. At the last second, I pulled my hand away. I don’t think I would have been much help to him anyway. He seemed to have the situation under control. Although his heart rate must have been over 200 at the time.”

IMHO, Tyler Hamilton is the unsung hero of the Tour this year. He should be getting more press for his acheivements!

Yes, indeed go Lance! But I find myself amazing that not only is Tyler still in the Tour, he’s actually still riding with the leaders. Tyler, being one of them; in 5th place overall!

Go Tyler!

Neighborhood Area Networking

I just read the following via Wi-Fi Networking News:

Speakeasy’s NetShare service … allows a DSL or T-1 customer to share their connection with anyone they like and have Speakeasy bill their sharers directly, while rebating 50 percent of those fees against their direct customers’ bill.”

Awesome!

Heh, and I was just debating the validity of Neighborhood Wi-Fi with Ed. So naturally I found the timeliness of this to be a bit ironic, but interesting nonetheless.

SharePoint 2.0 and Search.Microsoft.com

Over the weekend Microsoft released a new site-wide search engine for Microsoft.com that utilizes the soon-to-be-released SharePoint 2.0 and Windows 2003 Server. (Thanks for the link Martin)

In what I think is a related note, for search results.

Although I can’t seem to find the interface to this yet, but you can customize the query by changing the “search keyword” value after the “q=” in the above link. (via Anil Dash)

Open Source Exchange and SharePoint portal server

Yesterday the OpenGroupware.org (OGo) site was Slashdot-ed, so I couldn’t really get a look at the docs, but OGo announced the release of an open source groupware, which according to the OGo FAQ “is something between a mixture of Exchange and SharePoint portal server.”

John sent me a good InfoWorld article as well.

My initial reaction is, “Wow!”

Although, I think it’s lofty and a brash move to make statements like the following during your initial release:

“Just to be perfectly clear, this is a [Microsoft] Exchange replacement.”

Yet I do think, given all the open source groupware that already exists, there is indeed a “missing-link” in the messaging area — specifically an open source Exchange option is something that I think will only help the market.

So far from the OGo FAQ, I really like the fact that WebDAV is one of the primary interfaces to the message store; in addition to XML-RPC.

Overall, I think to really support the Exchange/SharePoint replacement claim, a Windows OS distribution will be vital to the success of the project. Although, being that OGo is a server product, it’s not surprising that OGo is initially available in *nix flavors (mainly Debian at this point it seems) — especially in terms of Total Cost of Ownership and given the fact that Open Office and Mozilla can cover the Windows client needs.

I would certainly like to give OGo a test run and based on the FAQ, they recommend my new favorite Bootable Linux CD, Knoppix, as “the simplest way to get something up quickly.”

I may give that a go.

Mud

Great quote by Don Park:

Using open source tools and libraries is like playing with mud.

But I’ll add; as a kid, I always enjoyed playing in the mud :-)