The Matrix

Today’s the day for talking about things in two dimensions, it seems.

A co-worker and I were discussing a work situation (not here, fortunately) where things are getting heated and personal. I made the statement “this is what happens when really smart people jump in” and he corrected me: “this is what happens when really political people jump in.” We agreed there are two dimensions to organizational trouble. For illustrative purposes, I threw together a matrix, and put some rather arbitrary labels on the quadrants:

Trouble Matrix

Later, I was in a discussion about how many of the people who provide huge amounts of value to the company go relatively unnoticed. They key is that perceived value to the company is a product of both your contribution and your visibility. So a work value matrix might look like:

Work Value Matrix

So I figured that was that, but then had a third discussion about how SDS can best provide value (we’re doing some planning at the moment). We have lots of systems in place that crunch data and provide a quantitative view, and we have business-savvy analysts to provide a qualitative view, but there’s always room for improvement both ways – and one view holds that combining the two allows you to add qualitative business rules to your analytics to build a self-running, decision-making optimization engine. That’s either web analytics nirvana or shades of a self-aware “HAL 9000”-like infrastructure, depending on how you look at it:

Analytic Value Matrix

Suddenly I’m thinking we need a matrix-building web site to crank these out. 🙂

The Matrix

Sponsored Links

I was reading SEOChat’s How Your Search Data Can Make You Look Like a Star (as opposed to, say, a parallelogram) when I noticed something interesting. There are a number of links that have heavy underlining — heavier lines than for your average link. Hovering over the link with the mouse causes a “sponsor” pop-up to show, like a tooltip:


This is like an interstitial, but it’s not intrusive. Fortunately there’s a “what’s this?” link within the pop-up box, and that takes you to an explanation: this is Vibrant Media’s IntelliTXT technology, which uses some JavaScript and CSS to provide the effect.

I don’t have time to dig into the technology that underlies this, nor what the analytics and privacy issues are, but it looks consumer-friendly, and provides ample opportunity for advertisers. Talk about in-product placement.

Sponsored Links

The Misconception That Will Hopefully Die

Perhaps the best part about the Accrue acquisition is that I’ll stop reading comments like

Datanautics relies on packet sniffing

As seen at Marketing Vox.

For the record, Accrue supported web server log files, NSAPI and ISAPI web server plug-ins, connectors to various ecommerce and application servers (e.g. Websphere, Broadvision, ATG), ODBC/SQL integration, various flat files, page tagging, etc. Oh, and network collection.

The Misconception That Will Hopefully Die

The Technology that Wouldn’t Die Part 2

Eric is right that I didn’t shed any tears over the Accrue tech acquisition by I/PRO.

I had a nice chat with Allan Kaplan, CEO of I/PRO, the day before the press release went out. They simply held up on the press release so they could contact all the G2 customers beforehand, but I got the sense that since Guy Creese had outed them they decided to make it official. Allan claims he’s not a technologist but it’s clear he did his homework before picking up the technology.

I suspect most of I/PRO’s interest is around InfoCharger, the engine that powered G2. This is absolutely the right thing, since the G2 product itself hasn’t had a lot of investment since late 2001 or so. (That’s not to take away from the engineers that worked on it since, but the team was pared back to a skeleton crew that couldn’t really provide the innovation to keep up with the rest of the market.) But InfoCharger, the distributed, CORBA-based data engine, is still an amazing piece of work, and I know I/PRO (and perhaps Cydelity) will be using it to power their product offerings.

For what it’s worth, I appreciated Guy’s observation:

Back when NetGenesis was growing its business by marketing, Accrue was growing its revenue by doing heavy technological lifting.

Even up until the Datanautics thing happened, Accrue G2 was winning technology bake-offs. But no CFOs would pay for enterprise-class licensed software to a company that looked like it would go out of business. And thus it did.

There are a lot of lessons here. Maybe someday I’ll write some, but I’ve moved on and it’s not like I have some desire to purge some horrible memory.

Meanwhile, InfoCharger lives on in two companies now.

The Technology that Wouldn’t Die Part 2

Apple Browser in Nokia Series 60 phones

Hmm … Apple and Nokia inked a deal to put the open source-based Safari web browser into Nokia Series 60 phones.

I wonder if this was initiated by Nokia (in which case I’d say they just wanted an alternative to Opera) or by Apple (in which case something a lot more interesting is happening)?

Given Apple’s recent decision to switch to Intel x86 chips for its Macintosh line, seems like things aren’t steady-as-she-goes in Cupertino.

Update: OK it’s not Safari, it’s WebCore and JavaScriptCore. This may have been one of the factors behind forking KHTML and KJS (from the KDE project).

Apple Browser in Nokia Series 60 phones


Another cool little service: TagCloud. It uses the Yahoo! content analysis engine to search your RSS feed, analyze the content, then uses Javascript and CSS to produce a little cloud of clickable tags that you can embed on your blog (or wherever). I tried it on my RSS feed, but there’s not enough content here for it be useful (e.g. many terms it displayed only show up in the feed one time). FYI, here it is: