What’s up

Another code revision going in this morning for a top secret project.

From my latest LinkedIn update:

Rolling latest beta code for a new “collaboration gateway” into production. One site serving up a triple threat of internally hosted Google-powered search, a global people finder featuring user-contributed content to help employees find the domain expertise they need to get the job done, and secure instant messaging (this last isn’t generally available yet).

This blog is mostly driven by my need to write down new things I discover so those notes will be near at hand for the next time whatever it is I did before needs to be repeated.

As a result I don’t write much about what I’m actually up to at any given time.

The last few months I’ve been engaged in a new project to deploy enhanced collaboration technologies for my company.

I’ve never been a big fan of social media. For me Facebook, Twitter along with Facebook and Twitter clones (e.g. Google+) should be left to the teenagers (“young at heart”
?) they were designed for.

But there is value in technology that can help us connect with others who have similar interests, and more importantly, relevant skills, in the daily grind to get done what needs to be done at work and home.

E-mail is still the 900-pound gorilla of Internet apps for business. But search and instant messaging are very close behind e-mail as the tech that really empower us to transact business across the globe at the speed of light. Directories, whether powered by traditional relational databases or advanced LDAP directory services, are the foundation for organizing much of the information, particularly information about people, that those other systems employ.

There’s an image appearing in the Wikipedia article on Organizing that I think makes that last point in a graphical way. It’s not a picture usually associated with directories, but that when I think about it really is apt:

300px-Metal_movable_type

Movable type isn’t something one sees much anymore. For those of us who at one time or another had the good fortune to learn the art of organizing cases of type and manual typsetting, it can be a powerful metaphor of how information can be arranged in a multitude of ways to great effect.

Back in 1977 or 1978 I had the privilege of working in an old print shop on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, helping to maintain the platen presses and Linotype machines that powered that business, which in turn supplied the hundreds of ethnic restaurants and other businesses in its neighborhood with menus, sales forms, business cards and other printed stationary items. We even printed a few membership directories for local organizations.

So there’s a continuity at least in my own career path, from organizing type to organizing directory entries.

Or something like that.

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About phil

My name is Phil Lembo. In my day job I’m an enterprise IT architect for a leading distribution and services company. The rest of my time I try to maintain a semi-normal family life in the suburbs of Raleigh, NC. E-mail me at philipATlembobrothersDOTcom. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own and not those of my employers, past, present or future (except where I quote others, who will need to accept responsibility for their own rants).