Lessons Learned

5 Lessons Learned

In my previous post I tried to provided an explanation for my involuntary online hiatus. But what did I learn from entering and escaping a black hole?

A. I made mistakes
B. See A

funny-pictures-cat-learns-through-osmosis1

1. You can never prepare early enough for changes in personnel and/or workload.

If you are responsible for recruiting your own staff, get involved with appropriate universities and other places of education to keep ahead of the curve. Get good recruiters working for you – for free (that’s another post, though).

Engage and be present in the relevant professional communities.

You can never start to soon to look for your next rock star employee(s). Think of it as a mandatory continuous process. Commit to the appropriate time for getting involved and engaging.

2. Let your surroundings know you are experiencing an exceptional situation and how and when they can expect a response. It’s OK. It happens.

Post a disclaimer on your blog as soon as possible.

Add an auto responder on your mail, private and/or professional.

Call people personally to let them know in advance.

3. Do not let your personal life suffer unreasonably and over time.

This is hard. You’ve probably been there too. Be very conscientious of your personal life in times of professional duress. You are going to need that personal time with yourself and your loved ones more than ever. You will be stronger from it. Take two or three steps back and plan accordingly. Share with your close ones; chances are they can help you.

4. Don’t even try to catch up on every single piled up correspondence.

Write an honest apology response explaining the situation, making sure that the senders know that they will have to get back to you yet again if they still have open issues in need of your attention.

5. Fess up when you fuck up.

Admit to your mistakes personally, identify possible improvements and move on. This is not the time to be pointing fingers at others or to be playing the blame game. This is the time to be on the offense, taking responsibility.

Just one more thing.

6. DON’T TAKE IT TOO PERSONALLY.

If you are like me, you might find this very hard too, but hey! It’s real life – not Hollywood fiction. Shit happens. You make mistakes too. It’s just business. Cheer up – you’re going to die anyway! :D

I probably failed on several accounts the last three months. Hindsight has 20/20 LOLCAT vision, but I hope I’m now stronger and more prepared to meet the challenges of tomorrow by the experience.

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Lessons Learned, Little Known Fact, News

The Times They Are A-Changin’ – Repentance and Apologies

It’s no secret that I’ve been out of the online and offline loop for over three months.

I’ll eventually tell you why, but the theories and rumors surrounding the absence are probably more interesting and entertaining than the actual truth.

No, I was not hired for the Obama Campaign. I did not help establish the future political platform 2.0 to turn America around. Barack should still feel free to call, though.

No, I did not lose it all in the great Crunch. Credit Crunch or Tech Crunch 50, I never get invited. I don’t discriminate.

No, Pownce did not hire me. That fail train already left for euthanasia station without me.

The actual factual truth is that I was busy keeping a company afloat, thinking forward and expanding at a time where time and resources were getting record scarce, saving and securing workplaces and business for the future.

It paid off, though. We’re solid. Golden. Sorted. Awsun, akshully.

However, I’ll drink that glass of champagne with you later.

It’s hard to be enthusiastic left with a head stuck through several brick walls, wondering what the hell life is all about, desperately in need of a timeout.

I do honestly and sincerely apologize to anyone who tried to mail or call me in the last months. I feel like human manure. I’m finally getting around to you. I am so sorry that I did not tend to you earlier.

I am getting back to you. You mean a lot to me. No, seriously. You do. Hold on to that little speck of trust that you may still have in me.

If anything, I’m proof positive that information do indeed flow back out of black holes.

Update: I’ve posted some of the lessons I learned from the experience.

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News, Social

Get up, stand up! Let’s hear it for Tibet and you.

Yellow is not only the colour of easter; it’s the polar opposite of cowardice. Zefrank just started something called ColorWars 2008 on twitter (I loved his shows, by the way) – now, let’s all play.

yellow still means right

Do you know Tibet? You should. Get involved and support the freedom of speech and expression of Tibetans as well as every other human being. Wear yellow on your on your avatars, wear a yellow t-shirt in front of your local Chinese embassy. Wave a yellow flag, shout your lungs out for basic human freedoms in the US and world wide! Join Team Yellow on twitter – We are all humans and we all have a right to be heard.

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Plone, Weird

Yet Another Plone Spotting Competition

Today I was inspired by a comment left by Alexander on my last post about Plone icons in Media Wiki.

I had totally forgot that also other elements of the original Plone icon set have spread like wildfire all over them there internets. For instance this ‘Print’ icon:

Plone_Print_Icon

Chances are that you have already seen this icon somewhere on the web or in an application. I can remember even spotting it in the classic slsk (Soulseek) p2p client.

‘So, what’s the competition?’ I hear you murmur. Well, send me all your weirdest spottings of the Plone Print (printer) icon in the wild by Saturday the 22nd of March, and I’ll draw a winner that will receive an American Apparel T-shirt (in the size of their choosing) with signed version of the original Printer artwork on it.

Happy hunting!

BTW, if you’re interested in computer icons – check out some interesting books on the subject.

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Little Known Fact, Plone, Weird

IM IN UR WIKIPEDIAZ ™

If you happen to visit Wikipedia or Wikileaks from time to time, chances are you’ve seen this faceless person sitting on top of the page staring down at you:

wikipedia_grab

However, chances are that you’ve probably never really asked yourself where it comes from. Then again, who in their right mind would? ;)

Closeup:

plone_user_icon_blowup

Funny thing is, this icon – among others on Wikipedia, is actually from the original icon set of the Plone CMS.

Media Wiki later as a true testament to the amazing work of the Plone CSS developer community, shall we say blatantly stole ‘borrowed’ the whole Plone CSS – complete with the icons. Then Wikipedia and Wikileaks made use of Media Wiki and the rest is – as they say – history. So now you know.

Funny thing for me is, that I am the one who actually created the Plone icon set and as an afterthought after I had finished completing the whole UX design concept. Because there were no open source icons that didn’t suck ass at the time I actually had to make some icons too.

Please leave a comment if you have seen other Plone icons in the wild.

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