August, 2008

  • DaveDev

    A sign of today's ever changing Enterprise Developer - the Podcasting Kit for Microsoft SharePoint



    There is some exciting things going on with our Enterprise customers today.  It started as a small trickle - Instant Messaging and portal collaboration.  Peoples eyes began to open and the whole "Web 2.0 in the Enterprise" buzz began.  Then came SharePoint and the ability to easily add things like Presence Awareness (why send that e-mail when you can see they are online for an IM right in your Outlook Message), Wikis, Blogs, and a the ability to easily add Rich Internet Experience to your companies Web Infrastructure. 

    Around this time I started giving a talk about how User Experience can be a huge costs savings for the Enterprise.  People's attitudes were changing - they got great web experiences at home but when they came to work everything looked like it was still 1994.  No longer did it make sense from a usability standpoint to have applications that were hard to use but great experiences created loyalty (both customers and my employees), saved on training costs, and reduced help desk tickets to the call center by large numbers.

    That's where Silverlight came in.  It was now possible to create those compelling experiences using existing skillsets.  The largest cost in Web Applications today began to go away.  People with design skills and people with developer skills were no longer working with separate tools and technologies.  There even rose a new kind of developer, the Devigner or XAML Architect, who became the "Interactive Designer" of the developer world.  This has been a common site in the video games industry for many years, but with new tools (Expression Studio) and technologies (XAML, .NET 3.5, Silverlight) these type of roles are now possible.  These architects unite the world of design with the world of developers and bring it all together into an amazing experience for both a companies employees as well as its customers who rely on their web applications. 




    Which brings me to the Podcasting Kit for SharePoint.  You would not see something like this just a few years ago.  The Enterprise Developer has changed, user expectations have changed, and Social Media is now here in the Enterprise.  With the ability to easily stream HD video into a browser with Silverlight (and protect those videos with DRM)  it is not uncommon to see internal "YouTube" types of sites where employees can share information and research. 

    Information gotten through New Media is here now and the way employees both interact and consume information has changed with it.  Don't think it is here yet in the Enterprise.  With 40% of the 18-24 year olds polled (those entering your enterprise now as new employees) stating they would quit their job if Facebook or YouTube were blocked the change has never been more apparent.

    Think about that for a second.  Why not have an internal podcast? Either from a company's marketing department (maybe they ask the top executives questions each week) or virally through the employees themselves (a day in the life on one of their software projects) these types of videos have tremendous value and hit home with people.  They reach people in ways that no typical tried and true enterprise methods can (meetings, surveys, meetings, surveys, and more meetings).

    This kit will get you up and running in no time to create your own Podcast and best of all it is free.  What is in included?  In the teams' own words:

    What Can You Do With Podcasting Kit for SharePoint (PKS)?:
    • Listen and watch audio/video podcasts, anywhere on your PC or mobile device (Zune, SmartPhone, or any podcasting device)
    • Share content by producing your own audio/video podcasts and publish them on PKS on your own.
    • Connect and engage with podcasters via your integrated instant messaging program
    • Find the most relevant content using the five star rating system, tag cloud, search engine and provide your feedback via comments.
    • Get automatic podcast updates by subscribing to RSS feeds fully compatible with Zune and other podcasting devices
      • Simple RSS feed based on a defined podcast series
      • Simple RSS feed based on a person
      • Dynamic RSS feed based on search results (will be implemented later in 2009)
    • Play podcasts in real-time using Microsoft® Silverlight™ and progressive playback
    • Retrieve instant ROI and metrics with the ability to track the number of podcasts downloaded and/or viewed, instant feedback via rating system and comments, and subscribers via the RSS feed
    • Access the richness of SharePoint to extend the solution: workflows, community sub-sites, access rights, editorial and more
    • Customize your own PKS User Experience

    Download it today for free off Codeplex.


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  • DaveDev

    Windows Vista - does PERCEPTION become REALITY?


    Marketing 101 - if you can influence people's perception of something enough, it will become the reality of the situation for them regardless of the truth.

    Enter the Mojave Experiment.


    What happens when you take 140 people, 22 hidden cameras and show them a demo of a new Operating System from Microsoft called "Mojave".  Oh, and there is a catch too.  Mojave is actually Windows Vista. 


    Mojave Cameras

    The site is built using Silverlight and allows you to "fly through" the video clips with your mouse wheel.  Hard to describe but a stunning visual when you actually see it.

    Check out the site here.


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  • DaveDev

    Register to vote on your XBOX 360? Democratic National Convention in HD on your computer? How about on Microsoft Surface?


    Check out this ABC News video on how the Democratic National Convention is using Silverlight to enable viewing on the web.  Similar to what you saw with the NBC Olympic coverage.

    There is also as a Microsoft Surface application at the convention to explore the history of the convention.

    Microsoft Surface - DemConvention

    You can view lots of video clips in HD from the Convention on the Silverlight enabled site here.

    Democratic National Convention in HD on your PC

    Not registered to vote yet for this years presidential election?  How about doing it through your XBOX 360...


    Xbox 360 Vote Registration


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  • DaveDev

    What type of music do you like? The music genome project already knows! Feed your soul.


    New music... I've been needing some for a while now.  I am tired of rehashing the same stuff over and over while traveling.  But how can I find music from bands I've never heard of without first being told of those bands?

    Enter the Music genome Project. The project, started 8 years ago, analyzes music that you are currently listening to and then picks recommendations based on that.  So far it has been spot on!


    Music Genome Project


    Sites like utilizes these algorithms to give you a "one stop shop" of music you can listen to for free.  Think of it as a radio station that plays songs you really enjoy nonstop.  Not only that Pandora also has a free client that runs on mobile smartphones.


    Pandora Interface


    In fact it knew more about my musical tastes than I did.  It would seem this is the kind of music I really enjoy listening to:

    Music I Like 2

    Music I really like


    I have discovered so many bands I have never heard of before too... 

    Finding a new band!


    The net effect?  I just dropped about $75 on iTunes and Zune Marketplace in new music!  And I am loving every minute of it. 

    Unfortunately, not all people are getting this.  The dinosaurs of old are still roaming through the jungle.  Can they be stopped?



    There is hope.  Sometimes you can teach an old dog new tricks.  As NBC recently found out with the 2008 Olympics the Internet and all its New Media actually drives growth towards Old Media.  Make an interactive site that gets people interest?  Watch how your TV Ratings go up!  Make a service that exposes people to new music?  Watch how your record sales go up.  Will the RIAA learn these lessons too?

    Music is food for the soul.  Some of the best ideas I have ever come up with happened while I sat in my basement, alone, a glass of wine and music I could FEEL. 

    Feed yourself before it goes away.


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