At BlogPhiladelphia in July, we had a great discussion on Blogging And Business in general. At BlogOrlando this Friday, my session will focus on a smaller slice of that — Using Blogs For Product Development. I’d like us to think about and share ways product teams can use blogs throughout the lifecycle of product management. We’ll go beyond the theoretical and really focus on specific, practical tactics.
Whether you’re on a product team, lead a product team, or work with wily product folks in general, I’d like you to come away with some new ideas for how blogging about your product and process can flow logically from what happens in your everyday working life. I’ve listed some discussion starters and links below. if you have additional ideas for what you’d like us to cover, or would just like to introduce yourself, please come on by and leave a comment.
- Recent user-driven changes at Palm and Apple
- Lessons from Joshua and crew’s excellent Del.icio.us product blog
- How Agile development methods can lead to easier, better product blogging
- Using blogs, your own and others, throughout the product lifecycle
- Blogging through big product changes
- Making usability interesting
Looking forward to it!
Or “Why Johnny Can’t Public Health.”
I credit Swivel.com with helping me discover a personal interest — potentially enlightening data points just lying around on the internet waiting to be shared.
I came across this data sheet on 2006 Merit Badges a while ago while researching some specific numbers on the membership of the Boy Scouts organization. They have it sorted alphabetically and that makes it hard to see the winners and losers, so I whipped up a simple chart on Swivel and here’s what it revealed — For what it’s worth, the bottom 10 Merit Badges of 2006 were:
- Journalism (1,272 badges)
- Surveying (1,201)
- Entrepreneurship (1,161)
- Public Health (1,123)
- Stamp Collecting (1,112)
- Plant Science (753)
- American Business (717)
- Fly Fishing (701)
- Bugling (627)
- American Labor (582)
Clearly, there are areas here that the youth of America could use some work on. The UAW and IBEW can’t be pleased to have whatever “American Labor” is ranked dead last. Robust Entrepreneurship, Journalism, Bugling, and American Business are all critical to the ongoing strength of the blogosphere, so those are troubling figures as well.
To be fair, these beauties have to compete with badges that are required for the Eagle Scout designation. Nine of the top ten are Eagle requirements(marked in the chart with single or double asterisks), but that only makes #8, Leatherwork(54,654), stick out like a sore thumb. What’s going on there?
Here’s the complete data table, along with the cumulative totals for each since 1911, if you want to cross this data with anything else.
And they can slow you down more than they should. Time’s a wasting, and I need a new online home pronto so I’m launching this before it’s fully cooked. The comment and individual entry page styles are a bit of a mess, there are a few important features missing, and I feel like the front door needs a small infusion of warmth. But I’m close enough that continuing working offline is slowing me down from the main purpose for building this thing — to have a place to write things. So here we go.
A few notes on the design for those of you who care about the guts — I’m using The Sandbox as the codebase and styling from there. My goal is to have a cohesive design across this blog and all of the other content that ends up on Extraface.com. I’m starting to like how it’s turning out and once it’s at a more stable point in its development I’ll offer the Extraface theme for download.
At this point, I’d be remiss if I didn’t recognize the work of my lead designers, Toofis and Max.
I’ve been working with Toofis(right, with stuffed chipmunk) for four years now, but Max(left) is fairly new to the team. We welcome your comments and suggestions.