Posted by admin on Jun 8, 2011 in General
Periodic Table of the Elements - HTML5 Elements that is...
So, today I started looking at HTML5. Late, yes, yes I know, very very late. However…it hasn’t been finalized yet, so I am not that late. Anywho, in looking up information about this latest iteration of HTML specifications, I came across an excellent site that had this absolutely nifty lil Periodic Table of the Elements. You can view the interactive table at http://joshduck.com/periodic-table.html. Josh, you did a beautiful thing! This thing is truly wonderful.
Moving on. So tonight I have a conversation with my partner in crime about this, and of course I send him the link to the table and we chat on gmail IM while reviewing these things. There are several WTF moments. Breaking old habits is hard, and remembering the over-sized wall poster of the HTML elements of days gone by, reduced to this lovely lil table, well….it has its comical moments.
There was the biggest WTF over the <rp> tag, described as “Contains semantically meaningless markup for browsers that don’t understand ruby annotations.” Huh? Ok, maybe because it was 1am…can we use that as an excuse to really see no purpose for this? After continued perusal, he…the ever present comic relief throws out…
I Am <legend>
Seriously, I think I cracked up loud enough to wake up a block. Granted, we are a couple of geeks, and that was a totally epic geek moment, but yeah, funny!
But in all seriousness, from what I have read so far about HTML5, I am very excited about implementing it. The structure is excellent, and I do believe it will greatly help in defining the overwhelming amount of information that is presented on the web. I can definitely see real potential here, and am glad for the changes. And yes, I am very happy to see a neat lil table in use versus the huge wall poster
Posted by admin on May 27, 2011 in General
Ok, so I confess. I – I – I am a gamer. Not hardcore like some people, but I do enjoy some downtime with an imersive video game. I don’t play console games, but online MMOs. I started out in this genre a couple of years ago, and started with perhaps the most well known, World of Warcraft. And I was hooked. What a wonderful diversion these games are….much better than watching TV, in my opinion. The downside is however, that between my work and my play, I am almost never off the computer, and that has its consequences also.
Moving on. Earlier this year, I migrated from WoW to a brand new MMO, Rift. While being similar in concept and gameplay to WoW, Rift is in many ways worlds apart. The game is slick, beautiful, realistic and utterly engaging. Just a glance at the image above, shows how graphically beautiful this game is.
So what does gaming have to do with business?
Well, quite a few things in fact. First of all, lest we forget, the game itself IS a business. They are built by corporate game developers and have a large customer base to take care of. And, who knows how many of those stuffy white collar workers, are in fact, gamers. So here is the thing that connects the endeavor of creating a “game” played by consumers, to an application that is built and geared towards other businesses. Satisfaction. Pure and simple. Satisfaction.
In order for a game to be successful, it has to have a bunch of the same ideas that apply to a business application. Is it visually appealing? Is it easy to use? Does it have a clear workflow/gameplay? Is the support customer oriented? Are there frequent updates and enhancements? All of these things apply across the board. But, in my experience in dealing with games vs. dealing with business providers, are very different.
Gaming companies tend to have a very informal relationship with their players. There is an open dialogue on issues, bugs, and suggestions. Oftentimes issues are met with humor when they are resolved, where the reading of a “fix list” can cause you to giggle. Hot fixes or patches are done on a regular basis. Typically weekly, but in the case of Rift, as it is a new game, they are done spontaneously and as needed.
Business developers tend to have a very formal relationship with the customers. While there can be an open dialogue on issues and bugs, more often the business developer tends to minimize or hide these little failures, rather than openly acknowledge and deal with them. They are swept under the rug until the next big release. And releases. Again, typically items are stockpiled for a major version release, unless that is, it is a bug that is critically affecting the application.
Why is there this huge difference?
I hate to think that all business people, those that are our customers, are stuffy, prim and proper, and completely lacking in humanity or a sense of humor. Do they really thrive on the formal and corporate level of communication? Or would they also like to be dealt with on a friendly, informal and fun basis? I am not dismissing professionalism here. There is no way that companies like Blizzard and Trion can survive and thrive without professionalism. But since when did being a professional mean that you were this emotionless automaton?
Yes, another mutiny. Since we began this endeavor, we have been very clear on the fact that we do not want to fall into the corporate trap that is so prevalent in today’s business world. We have done our best to live up to our ideals, to be honest and forthright, to show our flaws as well as our good points. To treat everyone with respect, integrity and even friendship. Perhaps more businesses should take a look at the way the more artistic and consumer oriented businesses are run. Maybe their customers should be treated more as a community than as a business. Just because it is business, by no means does it have to be dull, tedious and boring. Have a lil fun folks!
Posted by admin on May 25, 2011 in CrowsNest
, Design & Development
Now that our entire focus is set on CrowsNest, we are coming along quite nicely. When we left off, we were incredibly close to the app being complete, or rather, complete for a first release. We have spent the last couple of months getting the final touches in place, and fixing a few bugs that cropped up in the interim. Unfortunately one of the items was a pretty major one, and has taken a ton of time to implement throughout the entire system.
Over the past few months, the following updates have been made to CrowsNest:
- Fine tuning the answer portion, allowing for any number of answers up to 5
- Consistency in how answers are numbered/lettered
- Internal customer separation fixes
- Improved Time Zone functionality
- Multiple Category creation based on comma delimited entry
- Media attached to questions, now includes audio option
- Fixed a bug where “I don’t understand this question” data was not being recorded
- Improved filtering options
- Fine tuned how the scheduling operates, now has a strict time vs. only by date
- Made the Country field a drop down to force consistency
- Fixed a bug where all 5 answers were numbered, even if there were fewer than 5 specified
One of the enhancements that we want to get online as quickly as possible, and prior to public release, is the built-in Help Desk. We view this as a critical feature for both ourselves and the customer. Currently, dealing with support issues via email has been adequate, but for tracking purposes it is a nightmare. This way, every issue or piece of feedback is tracked and stored in the system itself, allowing for better communication and ensuring that items do not slip through the cracks.
Another feature we want to get started on as soon as possible, is the update of the interface. We will be modifying the visual aspects of the system to more fully utilize jquery and ajax functionality. This will definitely enhance the customer experience, as well as make using the system a bit easier and nicer to display.
We are also fine tuning our pricing structure, and will post more on that in the near future.
Posted by admin on May 25, 2011 in CrowsNest
Well, after some time of MutinyWare being on the back burner, we are back and raring to go.
After some time off, mostly spent on other work-related activities, we are back into gear, and more excited and determined than ever. MutinyWare has been a dream for us for so long, and it is wonderful to be sailing the open seas once again. We are more focused, and have a clearer path ahead than when we left off.
As “inventors”….I like to consider what we do as a form of invention…we fell into the pit of “OMG, there is so much we can do!”. Turning off those little voices in one’s head that are clamoring with new ideas and attention is difficult to say the least. We all suffer from that problem, and while it can be a good thing, it can also be a huge deterrent in actually getting something completed.
So, here we are, focused solely on CrowsNest, and doing very well. It is very good to be sailing under the MutinyWare flag once again!
Posted by admin on Oct 22, 2009 in General
I follow Liz Ryan through an email list and LinkedIn Group. Ask Liz Ryan is the think tank, consultancy and online community home of workplace expert Liz Ryan, the voice of the new-millennium workplace. On a regular basis, I am amazed and gratified at her articles, advice and commentary on the workplace situation and job-hunting woes.
Below is a very good article she has recently published.
Why Talented People Don’t Get Hired
Posted by Liz Ryan • October 21st, 2009
Employers call me and wail, “So many job candidates, and no one to fill my job.” They say that the recent economic woes haven’t made it much easier for them to hire talent. “We get flooded with applications,” they tell me, “and most of them are dreck.”
Your applications are dreck? That’s a shock. Gee, all you’re doing is asking every single person who would throw his hat in the ring for a job in your company to:
- Waste 45 minutes filling out a cumbersome, 1999-vintage online application form;
- Recall and convey every hiring date (year AND month) and departure date (ditto) for every job a job-seeker has ever held; AND remember every salary and every supervisor’s name;
- Agree to an upfront background check, credit check, and reference check before the applicant has received so much as the courtesy of a return email message; and
- Send all this personal information into the void, on the off chance that the employer might stoop to respond with a phone call, an email message or an off-handed auto-responder that says “Don’t call us; we’ll call you – or else we won’t.”
Job application processes are insulting. And employers wonder why they can’t fill jobs?
What self-respecting person is willing to put up with this demeaning routine? If employers can’t show more respect to the talented people applying for work in their companies, why would any job seeker with other options sign up for this galley-slave treatment?
Read the full story here >>>
Posted by admin on Oct 1, 2009 in Design & Development
, Mutiny Designs
We received this testimonial from Joe Venuto:
Mobile Consulting, Inc. and MIGEW.com
“Mobile Consulting needed to reinvent our website and Michigan’s Global Entrepreneurship Week needed to develop one. Merlee and Chris of MutinyWare exceeded my expectations with their work on MobileConsultingInc.com and MIGEW.com. Both sites secured everything we were looking for. Working with their team was a pleasure. They are professional, knowledgeable, efficient, informative, creative, and completed the projects ahead of schedule. I look forward to developing my professional portfolios with MutinyWare. Thanks Merlee and Chris!”
Mobile Consulting Inc.
Michigan Global Entrepreneurship Week
Posted by mbos on Sep 29, 2009 in Design & Development
, Mutiny Designs
Michigan Global Entrepreneurship Week
We just completed the site design and development for the Michigan Global Entrepreneurship Week initiative.
We met Joe, the owner and founder, at an Ann Arbor Spark meeting. We had worked on his company website for Mobile Consulting, Inc, and he asked us to setup a site for MIGEW as well.
Joe had already had a design layout for migew.com, and we discussed how best to set up a website on short notice. After some consideration and discussion, we recommended that the site for migew.com be a WordPress blog. This would enable the site to be setup quickly, would allow for quick and easy updates, and also automatically incorporate a content management system. By customizing a WordPress template to match the originally desired design, we got the look that Joe was hoping for. Also, by utilizing some WordPress plugins, we were able to gain the functionality that he was looking for as well.
Please feel free to check out MIGEW.com and see how you can participate! Also take a peek at our design services and portfolio at Mutiny Designs.
Posted by mbos on Sep 23, 2009 in Design & Development
, Mutiny Designs
Mobile Consulting Inc.
We just completed the site design and development for Mobile Consulting Inc. Mobile Consulting is a company that provides a service to help you lower your cell phone costs. By negotiating ethically with your current carrier, Mobile Consulting can lower your monthly cell phone bill, as well as save you money on device and plan upgrades. Mobile Consulting offers a 100% money back guarantee with their services
We met Joe, the owner and founder, at an Ann Arbor Spark meeting. We got to talking, and matched up our needs, resulting in MutinyWare being selected to complete the design and development of the website.
When coming up with the design for mobileconsultinginc.com, we wanted the site to be bright, bold, friendly and welcoming. By utilizing fresh, bold colors and graphics, we have achieved this goal. We also customized their blog to match the site, and reworked their logo slightly to co-ordinate as well.
Please feel free to check out Mobile Consulting and their services. You can save money on your cell phone bill as well! Also, don’t forget to visit Mutiny Designs to see some of our work, and what we could possibly do to boost your online presence.
Posted by mbos on Aug 5, 2009 in CrowsNest
Sir Chrisalot and the Reports Dragon
This is the story of the brave knight Sir Chrisalot who vanquished the foul and vile dragon called Reports from the land of Mutiny!
The Queen of the land, the fairest of them all, our beloved Queen Merleesa summoned our hero to her palace. Upon arrival, the court marveled at the astutefulness, intelligence, and utter heroism of our knight Chrisalot. The Queen, upon beholding our hero knight, lost all sense of mind and could not think of what to say – and promptly ordered his head chopped off.
Fortuitous for all, she soon regained her composure and remembered why she had summoned the knight and saved us from a rather short and abrupt ending.
She then spoke… “Sir Chrisalot wilt thou heretofore vanquish the evil and foul dragon Reports from our beloved land of Mutiny?”
Our hero Sir Chrisalot did thus kneel and swear to his Queen that he would utterly vanquish and dispose of the dragon Reports. Oh what a joyous day it was when our hero did thus defeat the vile dragon and bring peace, harmony and prosperity to the land.
Posted by mbos on Aug 2, 2009 in Design & Development
Relaxing Summer - someday!
Decisions, decisions. Trying to manage and formulate the best strategy for domains, names, sites and so forth for multiple products can be a challenging one.
We have decided to use sub-domains of the mutinyware.com primary domain to setup our products’ website and application on. After some debate and research, we came to this conclusion for a couple of reasons. One is integration. We plan on having all of our apps be capable of complete integration with the others, and can easily foresee a future where clients may be subscribing to more than one app. Having all of these under a single domain makes this a little less painful. The second consideration was branding and SEO. By keeping all of our products under the MutinyWare umbrella, we are better able to consolidate branding efforts, as well as SEO.
Previously, we had setup individual product domains, such as mw-crowsnest.com and mw-quartermaster.com. We have now transitioned these to crowsnest.mutinyware.com and quartermaster.mutinyware.com. Hopefully this will make things easier both for us in administration and branding, and also for our customers. This should make our SEO efforts and rankings more relevant to all, instead of to a single product.
If anyone has any feedback on this conclusion, please don’t hesitate to let us know.
PS – what do the feet have to do with this post? Nothing really, I just like the feeling and the photo