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The Facebook Era

The Facebok Era

Many of us are aware of the social network phenomenon, but for a long time, I don't really get it. A website for for people to add "friends", posting updates and pictures? Is it a hype or is it a real game changer? In her book, Clara Shih expounds how social network transform the way people interact with each other, how it can promote sales and marketing, facilitate innovation and help people to keep in touch. It is a book that really helps me to "get" the social network phenomenon and why it really matters.

2011.01.30 [] - comments

 

Teachers to Grade Parents

Elementary school teachers to grade parents on the "quality" of their school involvement - their response to requests for school meetings or communication, their children's completion of homework and preparation for tests, their children's absentee and tardy rates and their children's "physical preparation for school," including a good night's sleep and appropriate meals. This will result in the parent rating's — satisfactory, needs improvement, or unsatisfactory as proposed in Florida lawmaker Kelli Stargel's education bill.

What an innovative thinking from Florida (the idea of grading, not the legal part). Parent participation is a large component of the children's education. For too long it is left up to whatever the parent are incline to provide, with little feedback or accountability. This is a great idea for the parents to get in the grading game along with their child. They should really use this feedback to drive their own growth and improvement!

Incidentally when I was touring the Glen Park Elementary school yesterday, the principal proudly show off their parent's star board, which is a form of parent grading system. Each count of parent activity earn them a star sticker, shown on the board in front of the classroom (aggregated to the class, not to individual parent). The class got a reward when the parents have earned enough stars. The students are reportedly quite excited about this star system.

2011.01.26 [] - comments

 

Best Commute on The Planet

Dr. Kevin Stone, 55, commutes from his Marin county home to his clinic in San Francisco. Here is what he does. on Mondays, he leaves his weekend home at Stinson Beach, bike over the hill to Sausalito, where he cranks up his boats waiting at the dock. From there, he boats across the busy shipping lanes to the marina in San Francisco. There he gets off the boat and walk over to the clinic he practices. It is two hours end to end. "Best commute on the planet", he says.

Boat commute

I did two hour commute to work at one time. Unfortunately I wasn't enjoying it as much as he does. Now my commute is a 15 minutes bike ride. Not the best commute on the planet but quite an improvement from before :-)

2011.01.16 comments

 

Facebook Engineering Management

Facebook

I've just tust read this piece or articles describing the experience and practices used in Facebook Engineering Management. They all sounds quite insightful. I think his advices are quite applicable for a lot of innovative startup companies.

After reading all his pieces, I like to call out one more point. It is something he has not mentioned in his posts at all, commoditized, low-cost outsourced technical resources. It is all about attracting and keeping the best talent and make them work most effectively. There is just no place for outsourcing.

Of course this applies to top tier startup company like Facebook. It is possibly different for matured products, large companies or IT back office.

2011.01.09 comments

 

Auto Correct Fun

Auto Correct Joke

Super funny site - Damn You Auto Correct!. Must see :D Lot of unintended jokes caused by iPhone's auto correct function. That's why I turned the damn feature off on my phone. It corrects my typos sometimes, but other times it is replacing perfectly good words with its own. It is nice when it correct mistakes. But it is infuriating when it repeatedly mess up my writing!!!

That's why I'm cynical to technology like Swype Keyboard. It is supposed to be great new technology that replace typing by magically recognizing fast finger movement. The videos shows that even imprecise, approximate movement will turned into good word. To me it looks like the same auto correct behind the scene. Their demo video shows you the successful cases so that it can wow you. But the real test is the negative cases. Even if it is correct most of the time, those cases when it mess up will screw you.

So no thanks, I want my physical keyboard. And sadly I haven't have a good one since the first generation Sidekick.

2011.01.08 [] - comments

 

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