Thursday, 25 November 2010

Preview tabs in Google Chrome

After much head scratching I finally worked it out!


I recently had my laptop rebuilt by our Internal IT team at work, obviously they don't add such non-standard things as Chrome and Tweetdeck, so these were first to be added by me ;)


On my previous build I had the preview tab (Windows 7 "peek" thingy) working in Chrome, but couldn't remeber how I did it, well, after much searching I found it here: http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Chrome/thread?tid=607ed61598ba1510&hl=en


Basically, add the following to the application shortcut:


--enable-aero-peek-tabs


This sorting things out and normality was restored...

 

Google Chrome "peek"

 

This post is as much for my own future reference as it is to help others!!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Protecting your Blog content

After a couple of recent incidents where renowned/respected bloggers that I know have had content ripped off I thought I’d share my thoughts on what we (as bloggers) can do / should do about it…

 

The incidents I am referring to happened to Chris O’Brien (@ChrisO_Brien) and Dave Coleman (@davecoleman146).

 

So… What protection do we have?

 

… thinking about it, that’s probably a bigger question than the one I’m going to answer, so let me re-phrase: what does Matt Groves do to protect himself?

 

self-protection - Image from Microsoft Clipart

Obviously, I can answer that question, whereas the broader one is a bit too much for me to handle today!

 

Before I get into the main body of my inane ramblings this post I want to say something about voice.

Everyone speaks with their own voice. Everyone writes with their own style – especially in blogs where you’re not shackled by corporate conventions/standards and can truly write in your own way.

Therefore, it stands to reason that anyone looking at the blog full of plagiarised content will “feel” that something isn’t quite right, the language structure and prose will change from one post to the next, to say nothing of personality coming through…

I tend to write blog posts in quite a conversational style, which is (obviously) in stark contrast to the authoring I do in my day job, therefore it will be easier to tell if a blog post was written by me than it would to tell if, say, a proposal was my handiwork (although that ought to be easy enough – they’re freaking awesome!!!!)

 

^^^^^^^^^^ Look: personality, voice, that’s me speaking!! ^^^^^^^^^^^^^

 

You can tell it’s me because it’s wanky and arrogant my voice…

 

So, onto the main body

 

 

 

Firstly, licensing

I use a Creative Commons Licence on my Blog and on my Picasa web albums, you can read more about Creative Commons here: http://creativecommons.org/about/licenses/

I personally use a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 UK: England & Wales Licence (see: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/uk/), which basically means that:

 

- I must be given credit (attribution) for my works. So you can use what I've published, as long as I am given credit (I like to get link love!)

 

- You cannot use my works commercially

 

- You cannot alter or transform my works

 

All of the above CAN be done if a waiver is obtained (i.e. permission sought). I’ve had 2 requests of this nature, and I’ve granted the rights requested on both occasions. Why wouldn’t I?

 

After signing up for a CC Licence, make sure it’s visible. Mine is at the bottom of the page template in Blogger (like a master Page in .net)

 

CC Lic at the bottom of Matt's Blog

 

Note: attribution to the people who created the theme I use ;)

 

Aside: this made me notice that the date was still 2009, so I’ve updated that with a bit of js that automatically updates the year!!

 

 

 

Secondly, CYA with a disclaimer

 

Mine is here: http://www.mattgrovesblog.com/p/disclaimer.html

This is expertly crafted random text thrown together by me, in no way does this constitute a legal statement written by a qualified IP lawyer!!!!

 

Lawyer - image from Microsoft clipart

 

The relevant bits:

 

“Given that it is a personal blog, the content is mine (and licenced under the Creative Commons Licence), and does not represent the views, opinions or positions of my employer (past, future or present) or any other organisation/body to which I may (or, indeed may not) be associated.”

 

This protects all parties from anything I say impacting my employer or other body/organisation. It re-iterates the licence point made above.

 

“I am a human being, albeit an amateur and constantly learning and evolving. I am therefore prone to error. Some of the content here relates to technology. Technology is always changing. Any information (technical or otherwise) I convey through this or any other channel is consumed entirely at your own risk.”

 

Use at your own risk. If i was to write a post that said to solution to SharePoint error 0x800xxx was to jump out of the window of the tallest building you can find (I know it feels like that sometimes!!) then I’ve covered myself with a “use at your own risk” statement.

 

“Some people comment on my posts, they are (as you are) free to say whatever you like in comments, I do not moderate comments or take any responsibility for them as I didn’t write them!”

 

So, if you (unlikely, as I'm sure you’re a sane and rational person) or anyone on the internet (there are a few now, so I’m told) comments and they say something offensive (etc) then I’m taking no responsibility for it!

 

 

 

Thirdly, analytics…

 

I use Google Analytics, it works for me (although in some respects lacks things I’d like) but it is available to anyone and is at my favourite price ;)

 

Screenshot of the Google Analytics for this Blog

 

Tracking usage is a good way of spotting abnormal behaviour, and is, I understand, how Dave spotted what was going on with his content.

 

It’s something I’d recommend you do anyway, stats will help you understand your audience better (although nowhere near as well as direct interaction!), and as you get really good analytics for free I see no reason not to do so…

 

 

 

Fourthly, do something about it

 

If you find that someone has ripped off your content, explain to them what they’ve done and ask them to correct it (e.g. by removing their post or by giving proper attribution).

Some people will do it out of ignorance and educating them in a polite and non-confrontational manner is (in my opinion) the proper first step. this could an email, a tweet, a comment on the post, whatever you feel is the most appropriate communication medium.

 

If they fail to take corrective action, that’s when you should (in my opinion) name and shame, use the social platforms to their full effect ;)

 

Dave’s solution was quite innovative, he replaced the images with the one below, nicely done mate!!

 

sharepointedutech[1]

 

Dave has also blogged about this, here: http://www.sharepointedutech.com/2010/11/17/what-do-you-do-about-stolen-blog-posts/

 

It seems that Ant Clay (@soulsailor),  Paul Grimley (@paulgrimley), Mark Miller (@eusp) and I agree on this – not much of a surprise there then!!!

Mark’s post on the topic sums things up quite nicely: http://www.endusersharepoint.com/2009/06/07/the-ethics-of-reposting-articles-sharing-vs-plagiarism/

 

And if you still get no joy, then as Ant Clay put it (in Dave’s post) “go legal on their ass

I am assuming he means ‘seek legal advice’, and nothing like Ving Rhames (as Marsellus Wallace) said in Pulp Fiction about ‘getting medieval’ – violence isn’t normally in Ant’s character ;)

 

And, of course, if you’ve got as far as 'name’n’shame and they then correct things, I strongly suggest a retraction/correction of your public statements (as Nick did in the Lightening Tools example below).

 

 

 

Lastly, something that was brought my attention today by @paulgrimley and @jimhirshfield – automatically adding attribution when content is copied from your blog/website.

 

Get it here: http://www.tynt.com/

 

Screenshot of the tynt wizard from http://www.tynt.com/

 

What tynt does is use some js to grab the copy event and insert additional text into the copied text, so when someone copies and pastes into a blog post/email/etc it includes the attribution and they have consciously remove it (which would therefore breach your CC Licence!).

 

I implemented this today on this very blog – try it now, copy this post and paste it into Word/Notepad/whatever, I quite like it ;)

 

Sooooooooooooo much better than what many people did years ago in using js to block right-click which was (is!) really annoying where you were wanting to “open link in new tab” as I often do…

 

Obviously having other websites reference and link you is good for SEO, except in an example (earlier this year) for Nick, Brett and the guys at Lightening Tools where a an Agency hired by another Gold Partner were using underhand tactics to increase search engine ranking – read more here: http://www.lightningtools.com/blog/archive/2010/08/23/content-and-code-ndash-a-bunch-of-nice-chaps.aspx (and Nick is right, they are nice chaps down there!).

This tale goes to show the risks of hiring external agencies to increase your traffic, whereas what I’m talking about here is the use of linking to promote page ranks in a legitimate and above-board manner. And to give link-love and proper attribution!!

 

 

In summary

 

Most of your readers won’t steal/plagiarise your content, but like so many things in life, it’s the few that you need to worry about, not the majority.

Apply a Creative Commons licence to your blog/website/photographs/content.

Have a disclaimer.

Monitor usage with analytics tools.

Check out the Tynt tool.

 

And, if it happens to you, do something about it!

 

But be calm and reasonable – don’t fly off the handle…

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Nice Cloud overview from Brian Prince

Just happened across this, a worthwhile use of 9 minutes…

 

Joey Snow (MS It Pro Evangelist) talks to Brian Prince about the “Cloud”

 

Obviously MS centric, but a decent overview ;)

 

 

It seems I’m not the only one who cannot talk for more than 3 minutes without having to use a whiteboard ;)

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Sponsor MO-bi Wan Kenobi – he’s your only hope

I am participating in Movember (the month formerly known as November), which is a moustache growing charity event held during November each year that raises funds and awareness for men's health.

 

Mo1

 

Keep up to date with how daft I look: http://uk.movember.com/mospace/1028990/

Sponsor me: http://uk.movember.com/donate/your-details/member_id/1028990/

 

I am amber of the 21apps team and started the SharePoint Movember network

 

A few samples of my silly face fuzz:

 

960746[1] 867748[1] 784782[1]

Day 10

Sponsor MO-bi Wan Kenobi – he’s your only hope

Day 8

Looking a bit scary early in the morning ;)
Day 5

<big brother voice = on> Day 5 on Matt's upper lip, the challenge of shaving chin is proving difficult for Matt, he's cut his chin again and it won't stop bleedin'

 

You can also follow my progress mo-gress by connecting with me on:

 

twitter | Facebook | LinkedIN

 

Finally, a plea:

 

It would be great if all the mo-bro's attending SUGUK on Dec 2nd could hold off shaving until Dec 3rd, would love to get a photo of all of us enjoying a SharePoint sporting some bad-ass mo's (which they will be come next month!!)