Two weeks to ALD10!

From the Ada Lovelace Day blog…

There are just two weeks to go until Ada Lovelace Day 2010, and we still have a fair few bloggers, Twitterers, podcasters, web comic artists, and videocasters to recruit. We have 1114 pledgers and need 1958 more people to sign up. That’s a challenge with only 14 days to go, but if everyone recruits just two more people, we’ll still make it!

There’s loads of stuff going on around Ada Lovelace Day this year. We have events in London and worldwide (Copenhagen, Dresden and Montreal, with the promise of others to come). The London Potluck Unconference, to be held at the Centre for Creative Collaboration in Kings Cross, 6.00pm onwards, still has some places left, so please nab yours now, whilst you can.

We have T-shirts on their way – we’re just polishing off the design and hope to get them up and ready for you to buy very soon. We also now have an Offers page which currently carries a 10% discount from the lovely people at AdaFruit Industries. Again, we hope to have more there for you soon!

If you’d like to get involved, then our main need at the moment is promotion. We need to get more people signed up, and here’s how you can help:

  • Send a Tweet, update your Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn status
  • Write a blog post about Ada Lovelace Day
  • Email your friends and/or relevant mailing lists
  • Post an item on LinkedIn or Facebook Groups
  • Encourage other people to do something to promote Ada Lovelace Day!

There’s more info on how to help, including a Tweet you can just cut and paste, on the blog!

We do have more goodies in the pipeline, so stay tuned for more news!

links for 2010-03-10

  • Kevin: This is a great summary of Google's economist-in-chief, Hal Varian's presentation on newspapers. There is so much good stuff packed in this presentation. I'll just highlight this one quote in terms of new devices for news consumption. Varian says: "The iPad, Kindle and other tablets introduce a “completely different ergonomics for accessing the news…so what I believe they’ll see is a merger of the TV, magazine, radio, and newspaper experience. You’ll have a device which will access all of the different medias. Give you a deeper — potentially deeper involvement with the news…So I would like to see this — this area develop and we’re doing what we can to help that happen"
  • Kevin: Some great thoughts from Martin Langeveld on what the iPad means for publishers. He identifies lots of opportunitis, but he also identifies this threat that should make the blood run cold of any existing newspaper publisher. He believes that the iPad and mobile devices in general threatens pre-print inserts – these are ads from big retailers that are packaged separately and then blown into newspapers. Langeveld says that this is the last bastion of monopolistic pricing power for publishers. Knock this out from newsapapers, and the business has very few places to hide.
  • Kevin: Outsell in the US expects digital ad spending to eclipse print for the first time. The problem for publishers is that the digital budget is spread across a much wider range of players.
  • Kevin: Damon Kiesow writes at Poynter Institute: "The New York Times is planning to offer its Book Review as a separate digital e-reader product, disaggregated from the rest of the Times content on the mobile devices, according to James Dunn, director of marketing for The New York Times." He made the comments at an afternoon session at the Digital Publishing Alliance and E-Reader Symposium at the University of Missouri's Reynolds Journalism Institute.
  • Kevin: From the Columbia Journalism Review, Terry McDermot looks at Fox News. "The perceived problem is not that Fox’s straight news is relatively bias-free and its opinion programming overwhelmingly conservative. The problem is that the news portion is very small and the opinion portion very large. It would indeed be like a traditional newspaper opinion-news division if the ratios were reversed."
  • Kevin: Laura Oliver reports: "Multimedia aggregator Daylife will now sell images from pro-am journalism site Demotix."
  • Kevin: A blockbuster collection of global social media statistics from February 2010 sourced from Hitwise, Nielsen, Comscore, Forrester, Royal Pingdom. Facebook is by far and away the most popular social networking site. Social networks and forums rank second in terms of UK internet visits, trailing only visits to search engines. That statistic is interesting in and of itself. At 121.6%, visits to search engines in the UK is almost twice that of visits to news and media sites. Another gem in this list of statistics: "Facebook and Twitter also both boasted a triple-digit growth in 2009 with social networking now accounting for 11% of all time spent online."

Asshole driven development

Scott Berkun has a great post entitled Asshole Driven Development, which expounds upon various software project management styles, including Cognitive Dissonance Development, Cover Your Ass Engineering and my favourite, Development By Denial. The eponymous management style is described as:

Asshole Driven development (ADD) – Any team where the biggest jerk makes all the big decisions is asshole driven development. All wisdom, logic or process goes out the window when Mr. Asshole is in the room, doing whatever idiotic, selfish thing he thinks is best. There may rules and processes, but Mr. A breaks them and people follow anyway.

Sound familiar? There are another couple of hundred management anti-patterns listed in the comments, from which I rather like Idiot MBA-Driven Development.

These aren’t just specific to software development, though, but are general management anti-patterns. I recognise both Asshole Driven Management and Idiot MBA-Driven Management, for example, from personal experience. Not to mention a wonderful case of Management by Denial that was so point-blank it was almost convincing, but when someone says, “Oh, no, we don’t have that problem here. We only hire smart people.” you just know there’s going to be trouble.