Social media is becoming very important to businesses

One of the things I’m noticing more and more these days is the reliance of businesses not only on Facebook, but on other social media networks as well. In fact, most companies are now relying on more than one social network at once.This allows for the companies to increase the reach of their communications beyond just the more traditional paper, phone, radio, and TV. And just like using more than one traditional media format allows for a broader reach, using more than one social network allows for a broader reach.

In having this broader reach businesses open themselves up to damage on a larger level as well. Unlike traditional media, social media allows for communication to a much larger audience at a much more rapid pace. A misstep in the social media world can be fatal to a company’s reputation.

Despite that, many companies now have employees who are engaged in social media for the purposes of the company. As often as employees have to run these social media posts by the company, many companies allow or even encourage employees to engage in social networks as agents of the company without supervision. These latter companies are often unaware of the one truth of the internet : once it’s out there, it’s there to stay. For these companies it is often a rude awakening that the less than perfect pot by an employee is now out there forever for anyone to find.

As a result many of those employers are getting smarter and asking for employees to at least run posts about the company by the company first. Other companies are going further – demanding employees turn over their social network passwords. Once again they are missing the central lesson – once the employee posts it, it’s out there. Smarter companies are asking for the employees to avoid posting about the company except through the moderated channels.

And then there are the companies that really just don’t get it. As this article shows,
http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/12/30/south-carolina-company-sues-former-employee-over-twitter-followers/, some companies assume that the social network accounts of employees and former employees are company assets. What they really need to learn is not just the “it’s out there forever” lesson, but that employees using their personal social network accounts own those in much the same way as the employee owns his car or her house. If these companies don’t want those contact lists and follower lists to walk out the door, then they need to step up and perform the work as a corporate function rather than trying to appropriate property of employees.

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Having to move to a new laptop for work

And it is a real pain.

But at the same time I’m enjoying it because I can actually slim down the amount of crap I have installed.

I’m moving to a Lenovo W520 as this is the standard model for people in my position. My older laptop was a Dell E6410.

There are several things I like about the new laptop. The screen is brighter than the Dell and is quite a bit crisper. The keyboard is a little larger than what I’m used to with the Dell as well. It even has a key I have sorely missed on the Dell – the context menu key. It also runs cooler than the Dell.

That said, there are things I’m not liking. The touch pad is absolute rubbish, with the scroll functionality of it being tricky at best and a complete fail at worst, sometimes not even engaging the way it should. The pointer stick is a pain – it actually sticks up a little above the surrounding keys so it is entirely too easy to bump. I not only turned off the pointer stick, I removed the eraser so I wouldn’t keep dragging my fingers across it. The unit comes with a lot of Lenovo software installed to help you out. Unfortunately, it’s too helpful. I don’t want a special tray icon for my battery – give me the standard one. It gets really confusing when the Windows one says there’s 2 and half hours remaining and the Lenovo says there’s 1 hour 57.

All that I can deal with – Every laptop has pluses and minuses. Like I said – the Dell ran hot and it lacked the context menu key.But the one HUGE complaint I have is the power brick. It is literally a brick – it’s as big and heavy as the standard red brick used to build homes. I’m amazed at this as it is akin to stepping back to the mid 90’s. It leaves me wondering exactly what is so special that requires the AC brick to be so big and heavy. Maybe I’ll find out one day…

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Just stumbled across something useful

WUInstall. The free version can be found at http://wuinstall.com/index.php/en/free.

I just tried this out on a couple of machines to see how it worked out. The WSUS patches were downloaded quickly and were installed without issue. Especially nice was it not rebooting the systems once the patches were done even though the patches required reboots for them to finish installing.

I do have one gripe about the free version – I would like to see the "show_progress" switch be functional if no other reason than to be able to confirm that a patch is progressing and not just stuck forever.

All in all, for a quick and dirty install patch automater I’m not going to complain too much. It sure beats clicking the windows update client, clicking custom, etc, etc, etc…

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And I just learned something new

At my workplace the same thing was done as was at many other companies when AD was first introduced years ago – the internal AD domain was named the same as an external domain. Normally this isn’t a problem but it is when internal users want to go to the external website that uses that domain name.

Normal browser operation is to prepend a ‘www’ to the domain name when the domain itself doesn’t respond. In the case of the internal AD domain that will happen with DCs running IIS – they will respond with the default web page.

At that point there are essentially three options (in increasing implementation pain):
1. Create a ‘www’ record internally and educate the users that they will need to use that.
2. Add a redirect to the default web site on every DC running IIS. This could break something else.
3. Build a new forest that doesn’t use a real-world domain name like ‘company.inside’. This is not a weekend project.

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Trying something new

Since I have both WordPress and Tumblr blogs it is going to be a little difficult keeping them in sync. As such I’m going to try something I haven’t tried before – posting by email. This is a test of that to see how it works.

I’ve also spent some time seeing if there was a way to do the same for Google+ but unfortunately I don’t see how to do it directly. The only information I have come across basically says that I would need to post the message as an SMS from the phone registered to my Google Voice account. This is something I don’t really think is optimal – I have enough trouble typing an SMS with my big fingers so I can’t see me having much success like that.

Been down for the holidays …

But now everything is ramping back up for the new year.

Like most people I’m made my resolutions. And like most resolutions I’m sure they will not be met but I’m going to try.

One of those is to keep this site up to date a little bit better. I’ve been really kind of lax with all of the projects going on at work and all, but hopefully I can spend a little more time on this.

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