Posts Tagged 'E-Mail'

How often do you take a break?

As well as being someone I’m fortunate enough to consider a friend, Andy Parkes is also one of my favourite bloggers. He writes a great mixture of technical articles and small business thoughts. If you’re not subscribing to his blog then I’d encourage you to do so.

Last week, Andy wrote a fantastic blog post about something that I know had been on his mind for a while. In the post, entitled “When did you last have a real break?” Andy spoke very personally about feeling burnt out, un-creative and in a rut and how taking a proper break away from his business had subsequently helped him re-charge his batteries and come back rejuvenated.

Relax“Take a break” seems such obvious advice when given, but in my experience is often the advice most ignored. It seems the majority of us feel that if we just push to get that to-do list completed then we’ll feel better and be able to relax. But somehow when we follow that path it doesn’t quite work out that way and by working harder, pushing ourselves a little more – we end up no further forward than when we began.

I’m a big advocate of taking a break. For me it’s not just long weekends and holidays, but taking time out during a day – ten minutes reading a chapter of a book, or half an hour eating lunch away from your desk – this isn’t time lost, but time well spent as you return to your work responsibilities with a clearer sense of direction and more energy. It’s the old phrase about working smarter, not harder.

I coach my MSP clients, especially the smaller clients, to put systems and processes in place that enable them to delegate or outsource work and therefore take a break. Avoiding doing so means that you’re running an unsustainable business. In reality it’s a simple choice of planning now to enable yourself to take a break soon, or ignoring the inevitable and waiting for your business to crumble around you as you’re forced to step away from it – through burn-out, through illness, through family emergency, or through some other circumstance out of your control.

But I’ll confess that typically, when I take a long weekend or a holiday, my definition of “taking a break” has always been that I’ll do some e-mail triage in the morning, and maybe again in the late afternoon. I’m never truly away from work – just doing much less of it than normal.

So last week I tried an experiment and took a proper break. I made a statement by setting my out of office message using my own brand of humour to inform people I wouldn’t be responding to e-mail (Susanne wrote an blog post about my own out of office message and made some interesting observations on OOO messages in general) and then I spent time relaxing with friends. No e-mail at all.

In fact, apart from firing my laptop up to find a last minute hotel room on the South Coast, I didn’t use my computer at all.

Do you know what? Upon returning to the office, my business is still here, nobody has complained about my absence, I’ve not missed any opportunities (quite the opposite in fact) and the world is still turning. Amazing huh?

As somebody who follows the “Inbox Zero” philosophy, it’s also made me question some of my beliefs about how e-mail should fit into my life.

In our modern lives we are used to being always “on”. Always being accessible electronically. But I’m coming round to the notion that this is actually a subconscious choice we make rather than an unavoidable fact of modern life.

By forcing ourselves to turn “off” regularly we gain a lot of perspective that helps us be more productive and to make more of a difference on a day-to-day basis.

I believe that taking a break, and often, is an important a skill as anything else we can learn to do.

 

Richard Tubb is an IT Business Consultant who works with ambitious IT companies who want to grow their businesses in a scalable and sustainable way. He is also a Microsoft UK Small Business Specialist Partner Area Lead (PAL) and the elected chair of the CompTIA UK Channel Community. You can e-mail him at richard@tubblog.co.uk or connect with him via Twitter and LinkedIn.

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My Mobile Phone Experiment, Part One – Thoughts on the iPhone

Regular readers of this blog will know I’ve been a long-standing fan of the Windows Mobile Smartphone. I’ve always owned Windows Mobile devices, including my last phone – a HTC HD2. Unfortunately, with that device dying a death and Microsoft slowly killing off support for Windows Mobile, it’s now time for me to upgrade. But to which device? Android, iPhone or Windows Phone?

A few weeks ago I started an experiment. Grabbing a SIM Only Deal from mobile carrier, Three – I would, in turn, use an iPhone, an Android device and a Windows Phone device for a few weeks at a time each, and use them in anger as my sole device for day-to-day activities, both business and leisure.

You can read my original blog post on the “experiment” here (go on, have a read – I’ll wait here for you).

For clarification – and to head off the hundreds of e-mails I’ll get about using an iPhone 4 instead of an iPhone 3GS, and a HTC HD7 instead of a HTC Pro, and any one of a million Android devices instead of the one I choose… the idea of the experiment is to get a feel for how each of the mobile Operating Systems looks and feels in day-to-day use. It’s not a handset –vs- handset comparison, more an OS –vs- OS round-up.

With that in mind, for the past three weeks I’ve been using an iPhone 3GS. How did I find it?

***

iPhone 3GSOne of my main justifications for resisting the iPhone for so long is the “Apple Tax”. In terms of comparison with other Smartphones – you pay a lot for both the handset and network carrier tariff to own a new iPhone.

My way of avoiding the “Apple Tax” for this experiment was to procure an old iPhone 3GS. Yes, I know the iPhone 4 is faster, slimmer, sexier – but remember that I’m testing the O/S, not the handset.

Setup

Setting up the iPhone was simplicity itself. I was connected, making and receiving phone calls and text messages, hooked up to Wi-Fi, sending and receiving e-mail and installing Apps really quickly.

My only niggle here is the fact I could only do this once I’d hooked the iPhone up to my PC through the frustrating iTunes software. But for simply installing the ‘phone and syncing the odd update and Podcast, iTunes did it’s job.

I like the fact you can start the device without having a SIM card present (I’m still using the iPhone without a SIM as a glorified iPod Touch at the moment) but hot-insert a SIM and you’re on-line. I’d have preferred a more convenient mechanism for getting to the SIM holder than having to carry paperclips around with me to pull the SIM slot out with, but this is a niggle.

In-Car Use

The ability to hot swap SIM’s was very useful to me during the experiment when I needed to return to my HTC HD2 briefly for certain things – such as using a Sat Nav. I tried using Google Maps on the iPhone as a Sat Nav, but I found the 3GS screen too small to use in-car and so I yielded to temptation and used my HTC HD2 with Alk Co-Pilot for journeys, before swapping back to the iPhone when I had reached my destination.

In-Car use with the iPhone was also frustrating due to the fact the iPhone has no quick access to a Bluetooth Switch. If I wanted to use my In-Car Bluetooth Hands free kit with the iPhone, I needed to go into Settings > General > Bluetooth to do so. It was frustrating and could have been made easier by having an app that allows one touch on/off of Bluetooth – but apparently Apple forbid this in their Terms of Service, so no 3rd Party app is available to do this. So I was constantly forgetting to turn Bluetooth off and so it was draining my battery life.

Battery Life

Talking of Battery life. The plus side of the iPhone is that because it’s so versatile, with so many cool apps and features – I was using it a lot more than any Smartphone before it. In fact, I was using it a worrying amount. iPhone addiction? The downside is, as a result of this constant usage and without regularly hooking the iPhone up to an external power source, the battery depleted before a full days use.

Being the party animal that I am, from a full charge at 4pm, and with a night out on the town including taking photos of friends, checking in to Facebook places, updating Twitter, taking and receiving the odd phone call and sending the odd SMS – by 2am the iPhone had run out of juice. And it’s not like you can pop in a spare battery as the battery compartment is sealed.

I know there are ways around this, and I’ll give a nod to the iPhone 4’s increased battery life – so this goes down as handset failure rather than an O/S failure.

Apps

iPhone AppsTalking of cool apps – the iPhone has them. In spades. This is where I fell in love with the iPhone and started to find myself overlooking all of its niggling shortcomings. The ability to carry around all my passwords securely, check train times, search for flight prices, scan barcodes, do price comparisons, read the latest news, buy stuff on eBay, read Kindle e-books, sync files, make Skype calls and play cool casual games (I’m virtually addicted to Words with Friends now) all made the iPhone much more than a mobile phone. As I said, I felt almost addicted – trying out new ideas (I’m now using FourSquare and other Geo-Location apps, for instance) due to the vast amount of free and cheap (79p) apps on offer, and then using them a lot.

I appreciate this will come as no surprise to anyone who’s used an iPhone, but I can tell you know that having come from the Windows Mobile platform where there are virtually no cool apps – this is a revelation.

(I can also give you a peek into the future of this experiment and tell you that a few days into using a Windows Phone, and I’m pining for my old apps which simply aren’t available on that platform)

E-Mail and Productivity

Using e-mail on the iPhone was enjoyable. E-Mails loaded quickly and were easy to read. I use Microsoft Exchange for business e-mails, and GoogleMail for personal e-mails. Both were very easy to setup, and I like the iPhones support for GoogleMail features – such as allowing me to Archive off old e-mails easily.

The ability to see both e-mail accounts in a single unified mailbox was a nice touch too. It made scanning e-mails simple.

Replying to e-mails (and SMS, for that matter) was easy, the iPhone on-screen keyboard simple to use and very good at correcting mistakes and predicting words.

I did miss the ability to “Send As” an e-mail address from the iPhone. I have a number of personal e-mail addresses in Googlemail, but the iPhone didn’t allow me to choose which mail to send messages from. I found workarounds for this, but they were clumsy and kludgey.

imageI also found the iPhone Calendar fairly slow and unintuitive, and the lack of support for Exchange Tasks and Notes was frustrating. Again, 3rd party apps exist to bridge the gap – but it’s really surprising that this isn’t natively supported by now. When out on the road, I found the iPhone an incredibly good device for consuming information – but for creating it? Not so much. I found myself e-mailing myself ideas, notes and appointments rather than using the familiar Tasks and Calendar – and then when I got back to my Desk I was putting them into Outlook “properly”.

I also found the iPhone Contacts navigation slow and clunky. With over 2,000 contacts in my Outlook address book, what I really wanted to do was tap the screen and start typing a name to be found – but the “All Contacts” screen didn’t have a dedicated search option unless I’m being dumb and overlooking something obvious – EDIT: Thanks Hilary and Bryony for pointing out that there is a search feature in Contacts, top right hand corner of the screen!  I’d still like to start typing a name and for it to appear, as this would feel more intuitive, but at least I’m able to search now!

Call Quality

Then there’s using the iPhone as an erm… phone! Compared to other handsets I’ve used, I found call quality a little poor at times and the ‘phone getting hot against my ear during long calls.

Conclusion

At this stage you may get the impression that I didn’t like the iPhone. I’ve acknowledged that it has many shortcomings, and doesn’t seem to be “Best of Breed” in any particularly category other than it’s 3rd party app support.

But the reality is – I loved using the iPhone. It is simplicity itself to start using and I like the way that it “just works”. It does have lots of niggles, and due to Apple’s locked down attitude – you can find it hard to work around those niggles. But you know what? None of those things are show-stoppers. I found nothing wrong with the iPhone (perhaps other than Battery life) that would stop me using it as my main phone on a day-to-day basis.

My thinking is that owning an iPhone is like falling in love. In most new relationships you start off deeply in love, often overlooking your new beau’s shortcomings because you like so much else about them. But then, over time – you get used to those new features, they become expected – and then you start to get irritated about the shortcomings.

Ok – so I’m not going to be writing for Mills and Boon anytime soon, but my gut feeling is that I’ll be this same way with the iPhone – overlooking its shortcomings for now, but as time grows on finding they become more than an irritation.

For now though, I’m in love. And I can secretly tell you that a few days in to using the second phone in my experiment, a HTC Pro handset running Windows Phone 7, all I can think about is the iPhone…

Thoughts on Windows Phone coming in a couple of weeks. Smile

 

Richard Tubb is an IT Business Consultant who works with ambitious IT companies who want to grow their businesses in a scalable and sustainable way. He is also a Microsoft UK Small Business Specialist Partner Area Lead (PAL) and the elected chair of the CompTIA UK Channel Community. You can e-mail him at richard@tubblog.co.uk or connect with him via Twitter and LinkedIn.

Marketing without Permission – Lessons Ecademy need to learn

Ecademy e-mail to Richard TubbI received an odd e-mail yesterday. It was an message inviting me to connect on Business e-Networking site, Ecademy, and it was sent from… me!

Now I’ve had an Ecademy account for a number of years after being invited to join by a colleague, but never really used the site. For those not familiar with it, think of Ecademy as similar in nature to the much more popular business networking site LinkedIn.

Frankly, I could count on one hand the number of people who I know and do business with who do use Ecademy. The only other connection requests I’ve ever had on the site weren’t in any way relevant to me or my business – they simply felt like automated messages from people “friend collecting” – thus I rarely visited the site.

But this e-mail disturbed me. It clearly stated it came from “Richard Tubb” (me!) although I’d given no such permission for such an e-mail to be sent out. If I’d mistakenly received this e-mail, how many more people in my network had also received such a message? A message that most would consider to be Spam.

Twitter feed of Ecademy complaintsIt appears I wasn’t the only person who felt Ecademy had over-stepped their mark by sending unsolicited emails to their network . After posting a message to Twitter expressing surprise at the e-mail I received, I got responses back from others, and a quick Twitter search for “Ecademy Spam” shows that Ecademy have annoyed quite a few people.

 

Twitter messages to EcademySo I, and a lot of other folk are already feeling very angry towards Ecademy. The folks at Ecademy have a Twitter account though, so they’re aware of the fact their brand is being hammered publically by all the @ecademy messages, and have an opportunity to try and work with people to apologise and explain what had happened.

Ecademy on TwitterWrong. Not only has the @ecademy Twitter account not been updated since July 2010, even at the time it was actively being used the people at Ecademy don’t seem to have grasped that Twitter is a channel for two-way conversations – listening and responding – not just for pumping out marketing messages.

Lesson number one – nothing winds people up more than not being acknowledged. If you provide a channel to contact you, such as Twitter, then maintain it and respond in a timely fashion to the messages you receive. If you’re not going to maintain that channel, better to close it down altogether than to give people the impression they can use it to contact you when the reality is a response will never come.

I closed my Ecademy account down (you can find out how to close your Ecademy account here) and I’d like to apologise to anyone who received a spam invite from Ecademy that carried my name. The damage is, of course, done – for both my own personal brand, and Ecademy.

Lesson number two – as my friend Jeremy Epstein says, “Revelance is credibilty, and Brand is all about credibility”.

What is Ecademy’s brand credibility like right now? Ecademy ignored the primary rule of successful Internet marketing, only send anticipated, personalised and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.

Ignore this rule, and chances are that you’ll do damage to your reputation.

It’s a lesson Ecademy badly need to learn, and something anybody involved in Internet marketing would be wise to remember to make sure they don’t make the same mistake Ecademy made.

 

Richard Tubb is an Independent Consultant who works with IT companies to help them feel in control and grow their businesses. He is also a Microsoft UK Small Business Specialist Partner Area Lead (PAL). You can e-mail him at richard@tubblog.co.uk or connect with him via Twitter and LinkedIn.

An Open Letter to the Windows Live Spaces Team

Dear Windows Live Spaces Team,

Back in August 2005, I decided to start writing blog posts. When looking for a blog platform at that time, I investigated Live Journal, but decided upon using Windows Live Spaces (or MSN Spaces as it was called back then) as it was very easy to setup a blog, and Spaces seemed to have plenty of features.

Since that time, I estimate I’ve written over 500 blog posts, and have built up a modest but loyal following of readers and contributors – many of whom leave comments – of which I am always flattered to have received. Those readers don’t need to take the time to give me feedback, and so I appreciate them doing so.

Like all modern communication platforms, I’ve been inconvenienced by spam – comments with links to spurious sites with products that no sane individual is interested in buying.

On the whole though, this spam has been manageable, a few comments here and there, easily removed to avoid inconveniencing or inadvertently insulting visitors to my blog.

However, over the past few months I’ve seen a horrible trend where my blog (and others hosted on Live Spaces) have been targeted by wholesale comment spam from a specific company – Batteryfast.

We’re not talking just a few spam comments either, over the past few months I’ve had to clear up one or more spam comments from this same company to almost every blog post I’ve ever written – so we’re talking thousands of spam comments, taking a very long time to clean up. My heart now sinks when I realise my blog has been attacked in this way – it’s a massive inconvenience.

Members of the Windows Live Spaces Team – surely, on a platform as mature of Live Spaces, you could find a way to block such obvious spam from such persistent offenders?

To users of Windows Live Spaces, in your “Blog Options” settings, you give a single setting to control Blog comments. Allow or Don’t Allow.

I can therefore turn blog comments off, but then I lose the whole two way communication channel with my readers.

Surely there is a method to only allow comments from Live ID’s, or to check for such obvious spam from such persistent nuisances?

Even your “Report abuse” button takes you to a complicated form – why not make it easy for your loyal end-users to report a frustrating situation, not make it more frustrating for them with dozens of questions?

Searching the Help function on Live Spaces for advice on fighting spam is no better – a search for “spam” yields zero results.

As for www.batteryfast. (com) (uk) (au) – investigation shows that Batteryfast has web-sites in the UK and Australia, but is (no surprises here) ran by a Chinese company – Shenjun of Guangdong, and run through a German registrar – Key-Systems.net

I’m sure this will fall on deaf ears, but to the people at Batteryfast and Key-Systems.net – whilst you are clearly fraudulent losers for having to *repeatedly* turn to spam for business, have you ever considered just what low-life’s you appear to be by spamming a genuinely personal blog article such as this one?

Getting back to Windows Live Spaces Team. Colleagues and peers keep telling me to dump the Live Spaces platform and head across to WordPress or another blogging platform. This is increasingly looking like the best option for me, but before I make that decision, I wanted to give you the chance to respond, as I’ve been a Live Spaces user for over 5 years, love to the Live Tool Suite as a whole, and as the owner of a business that is a committed Microsoft partner, would love to continue to be a raving fan in this way rather than migrating to another platform from a competing company.

Windows Live Spaces Team – can’t we please do something about the comments spam? Please?

 

Richard Tubb is an IT Business Consultant who works with ambitious IT companies who want to grow their businesses in a scalable and sustainable way. He is also a Microsoft UK Small Business Specialist Partner Area Lead (PAL) and the elected chair of the CompTIA UK Channel Community. You can e-mail him at richard@tubblog.co.uk or connect with him via Twitter and LinkedIn.

Sending Large Attachments via Email

You want to send a large file to a colleague or an external source – so how do you do this at the moment?

Do you fire up Microsoft Outlook (or your choice of e-mail client), hit “New Message”, type in the recipients name, attach that 2mb Excel file and then click Send?

Works right? Well – most of the time anyway… And anyway, it wasn’t an important file so it doesn’t really matter if it arrives eh?

Hold on? It *was* important?! The intended Recipient has been in touch and asked you when that file you were supposed to be sending is going to arrive! You get in touch with your IT Department or E-Mail provider and say “I sent this file, but it’s never arrived – where is it?”

They say “We don’t know” – and they’d be right – here’s why.

E-Mail was built way back in the mists of time with the intention of sending messages comprising entirely of text. This was before Excel files, pictures of Britney Spears or funny videos of pet Cats falling off chairs.

“But I have sent attachments before and they’ve arrived!” you add.

So they did. What happens when you attach a Word file, an Excel spreadsheet or any type of attachment to an e-mail is this. Your e-mail software converts it to plain text (Read more about MIME for the geeky explanation) and when your intended recipient receives that e-mail, his or her software converts that text back into the the attachment you sent. They open it. All is well. Most of the time, anyway.

Why shouldn’t that attachment get through ok? For starters, if you send the wrong type of file via e-mail it will get blocked by the recipients ISP, e-mail provider, or even company e-mail server as a potential virus. What’s the wrong type of file? Well that depends from system to system – some systems block JPG images, others even block Excel spreadsheets – it’s pretty much pot luck, you can’t tell until you’ve tried sending that file.

So let’s presume the type of attachment you want to send is allowed. You send the e-mail, but it arrives hours and hours later. Why? Well, if it’s a large file it may have been intentionally delayed. You see, not every e-mail recipient has an expensive speedy Internet connection ready to download tons of information. Some systems are slow, and the system administrators therefore have to make a choice between allowing your large attachment through via e-mail and delaying dozens or even hundreds of other e-mails, or allowing that majority of tiny e-mails to arrive quickly and postpone gathering your e-mail until overnight when things are a lot quieter.

Other ISP’s or e-mail providers simply block large attachments altogether. Depending on your provider, you may find the largest attachment you can send it 2mb, 3mb, 5mb or 10mb. They do this for the exact same reason we’ve just discussed – they want to allow that other 95% of e-mail traffic to arrive quickly and unimpeded by your mammoth e-mail.

Finally, you’ve chosen the right type of attachment, your ISP allows it, it’s not been blocked by any Virus or Spam filters and it therefore arrives – but your intended recipient tries to open it and Windows tells them the file is corrupted, Outlook steps in and says “That attachment might be dangerous, I’m not letting you open it”, or worse, your recipient tries to read his e-mails but everything has mysteriously ground to a halt on “Send/Receive”. They can’t click anything – Outlook has crashed! That huge video of the new-born Ducklings riding on a Skateboard you’ve sent them means they can’t use their e-mail at all. Thanks a lot buddy!

Recipient complains to you that your file is bad/corrupted/too big, you complain to your IT department, they hold their head in their hands and weep.

If you’ve not already got the gist of what I’m driving at here – it’s this…

Sending large attachments via e-mail is a bad idea.

So what are the alternatives? Well you could burn that file to CD or DVD, pop it in the post and hope the Royal Mail delivers it. But they may be on strike, or worse, they may not be on strike and still not bother to deliver your package until 2099 as it’s 1 penny short on the postage stamps you’ve attached.

Fear not – there are electronic alternatives that make sending a large attachment to a recipient painless and easy. What’s more, they’re free!

The first option is my preferred option. It’s a web-site called YouSendIt. Go visit it now! It’s free to use for basic services, although a paid-for version offers some features you might find useful. You fill out the form like a normal e-mail, add your attachment as normal, and then click send (as normal). Your intended recipient receives an e-mail, as normal, except it contains a link to download the attachment you’ve sent instead of the actual attachment. Your recipient clicks said link, they download the file – voila! No fuss, no muss. Because the e-mail you’ve sent is plain text, it arrives instantly and because the recipient is downloading the file from the Internet directly as opposed to the file being transferred through a dozen different systems before it hits their e-mail server – they aren’t impeded by as many potential filters blocking the attachment or speed of download.

If you use Microsoft Outlook you can even install a handy free plug-in from YouSendIt that means you simply write your e-mail as normal, attach the file as normal, and click send as normal. YouSendIt then strips the attachment out, uploads it as you would via the web-site, and the intended recipient receives the original e-mail with the link to download the attachment – and all of this is done for you automatically without any change in your normal procedures!

There are other options for sending large files to someone, but none as simple as YouSendIt. If you’re really interested, go and take a look for more information on FTP (File Transfer Protocol), File Splitters (such as GSplit) or even Windows Live Meshwhich I’ve talked about before. All are free. I’d still pick YouSendIt over these options every time though.

Finally, a couple of other tips for sending attachments via e-mail.

If you’re sending the attachment to an internal colleague – why bother attaching the file at all? Simply send an e-mail containing a link to the location of the file on the shared network drive. If you’re both working on the same file then it means one less revision of that file floating around too!

If you’re sending a picture to someone via e-mail – why bother? Upload it to any of the photo sharing sites such as Flickr or PhotoBucket – and then send them a link to it’s new home on the web!

Same goes for videos. Don’t ever EVER send a video as an attachment! Upload them to YouTube and send the link via e-mail.

Finally, if you positively have to send a picture via e-mail – make sure you’ve resized it first. Go download Microsoft Image Resizer, install it, right click on the picture and click “Resize”. Your 2mb picture of Jess the Cat wrestling with a ball of wool will suddenly be reduced to a few KB, without any noticeable loss of quality. In fact, go download this free software now and use it to resize all those images stored on your Hard Drive or Shared Network Drive – I guarantee you’ll save around 75% of your disk space instantly. Neat huh?

So hopefully the above will help change your mind the next time you go to send that huge file via e-mail! If you decide to send me a large file via e-mail, expect me to reply with a link to this blog post!

Feel free to get in touch if you have any queries, or leave a comment – I’ll happily help you argue your case with any IT Department who disagrees with the above. 🙂

 

Richard Tubb is an Independent Consultant who works with IT companies to enable them to feel more in control and to grow their business. He is also a Microsoft UK Small Business Specialist Partner Area Lead (PAL) and the chair of the CompTIA UK Channel Community. You can e-mail him at richard@tubblog.co.uk or connect with him via Twitter and LinkedIn.

Have you been Pinged lately?

When using Technology and IT equipment you’re faced with all sorts of acronyms, phrases and jargon. I learnt a long time ago that when discussing technology, if somebody uses a phrase I’m not familiar with then I don’t pretend to understand what they are talking about… I ask them!

Once such instance occurred recently, when fellow SBSC member and all round good-guy Tim Long said he’d “ping” somebody on my behalf. I’d had other people use the phrase in conversation with me, but I’d never bothered to ask what it meant!

I’m familiar with “pinging” network devices, but how do you ping a person? Is this some sort of new technology I’m not aware with? Is the person Tim was “pinging” on my behalf some sort of “Borg” like creature with an inbuilt network connection?!

So I asked Tim what it all meant and the answer came back “It’s just a term I use that means “to contact someone with the intent of soliciting an immediate response or to ascertain their presence”. No special meaning that I’m aware of, but it is kind of like an ICMP echo request for people ;-)”

And so, Dear Reader, I’m guessing you now have one of two reactions:-

1. Richard’s such an idiot. Who didn’t know that was what pinging somebody meant?

2. Phew. Now that Richard’s explained what pinging someone is, I won’t need to pretend to know any-more!

Oh, and a third reaction

3. Now that I know what pinging someone is, I’m going to throw the phrase into conversation, and when someone asks me what it means, I can explain it and prove I’m technologically superior to them!

So without knowing it, this week I’ve been pinged, binged and poked. It’s been an odd week. 😉

 

Richard Tubb is an IT Business Consultant who works with ambitious IT companies who want to grow their businesses in a scalable and sustainable way.  You can ping him an e-mail at richard@tubblog.co.uk or connect with him via Twitter and LinkedIn.


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