Monthly Archives: May 2011

Gist decides to cease Google Apps support on Jun 1

Gist, now a product of Research In Motion, has announced that beginning June 1 it will pull domain wide Google Apps Marketplace support for their Google Gadget.  They will still support single user installations with Gmail it seems according to the first part of this notice:

We’re writing to let you know that we will discontinue Gist for Google Apps on June 1, 2011. We’re sorry to inconvenience you in this way, but want you to know that you can still use Gist via our web app or through one of our other plugins (http://gist.com/corp/plug-ins) In fact, you can continue to use Gist with Gmail (http://gist.com/gmail).

What this means is that individual users may still install Gist to their single Gmail account, and it seems into Google Apps domains, if allowed.  I was an avid user of Gist inside of my Gmail and Google Apps accounts, until I came across Rapportive (another post is needed there).  The reason given in the email is better and continued support for Gist users.

I think much of this has to do with the purchase of Gist by Research In Motion (RIM/BlackBerry) back in December 2010.  RIM needs to strategically place and utilize the talent they bought with Gist.  I first liked the product when it was only web based and I did a screencast of the functionality and improvement it made to my contact management back in TheSocialNetworker Episode 6.

So where does this leave administrators of Google Apps domains that have deployed this?  You must follow this technote they issued to uninstall it from everyone and then allow individual users to reinstall.

As a business decision, I personally would not have chosen to remove this capability.  I think selling this limited usage into business from the Google Apps Marketplace makes perfect sense in moving them into a paid CRM solution.

BlackBerry/RIM has been on an interesting buying spree recently with Gist and Tungle, with either yet to make a true integrated appearance in any form.

If Research In Motion wants to capitalize on their recent Playbook launch, this would be the time to see native apps for both Tungle and Gist to appear on the devices and make a true business tablet platform.

Book Review: Smart Policies for Workplace Technologies

I anticipated getting my hands on the book Smart Policies for Workplace Technologies as every company now faces having inadequate guidelines and policies  surrounding new technologies being brought into the workplace.

Throughout the book, examples of case studies (with links) are given and then a sample portion of a policy that could have addressed the issue.
Then all of the policies are included on a CD inside the back cover in .rtf format to be used with any word processing format.
While I did find a few technical errors in the book (references to the way a technology functioned or a mention something didn’t exist that does), the real content is in the legal and policy documentation instead of the technical examples.

After I got past the first chapter, which seemed to repeat itself over and over in different wording, the reading took off.  The chapters broke down major areas of technology:
  • Computers and software
  • Email
  • General Internet use
  • Instant Messaging (IM)
  • Blogs and personal postings on Internet
  • Company sponsored social media
  • Cell phones
  • Portable computing devices (both company and personal)
  • Cameras and camera phones
Each chapter concludes with a “Putting it all together” section and sometimes longer samples.
The entire book does reiterate the fact that an Acknowledgement letter should be signed by employees as you implement these policies.  They include a sample letter for you as well on the CD.
The author of the book is NOLO, the first time I had seen mention.  They supply legal books, software and forms in an attempt to make it accessible for everyone.  They also have updates and a bunch of free content on their website.

I recommend this book for the samples and examples for any size company to implement their technology policies.

Disclosure: The link to Smart Policies for Workplace Technologies is an Amazon affiliate link.

New Tools Let You Block Your Kids From Texting While Driving

Parents are always nervous about their kids being distracted while driving.  Carrying those trusty mobile devices are a key to constant communication with your child as well as your child with their friends.  So how do you balance both?  An enhancement coming from many of the cellular carriers will make an attempt to offer some peace of mind that kids will not be texting while driving.

The Family Locator service many of the carriers offer allows the parent to know where the phone is (and hopefully with the child) via a web interface or mobile application.  This gives some mental ease to parents being able to get a visual clue of the child’s location.  New enhancements will allow the parent to block the ability to text while the phone is in motion.  The plus side is it will remove the ability while they drive, but also restrict it while they ride with you.

Some other abilities coming include:

  • being able to see/approve photos before they leave the phone
  • see contents of text messages
  • stop certain web searches
  • block the downloading of applications or some applications

There is a fine balance between the trust factor and the exposure technology brings through these devices.  With the carriers offering more granular controls, parents can offer a better experience while receiving a level of comfort.  But, this will not come without an additional monthly cost.