Make Meetings Matter

Whenever you pull together a team for a meeting, the cost of that meeting can be substantial. Eight people in a conference room for an hour is a whole day worth of potentially lost productivity. You need to take steps to ensure that the investment made is worth it.

Vita Rara Changes Its Name To Enable Labs

Vita Rara, my current employer, and the creators of MORI, has changed its name to Enable Labs. The new name reflects the company's focus on enabling the success of our clients.

As Enable Labs, we have renewed our focus on consulting for a broad base of potential customers.

While member management remains a central focus of Enable Labs's work, we also have clients for other types of software including: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

As Enable Labs grows, we expect to bring a broader range of tools and skill sets into play as we continue to serve fraternal communities for years to come.

Enable Labs specializes in Ruby on Rails development.

Friends on FriendFeed

As the social networking march goes on, so goes the need to expand to new sites with more profiles. This week is Friend Feed. Friend Feed is kind of like Twitter or in that you can post content that is for Friend Feed only. However, you can take it a step further and incorporate your content from as many as 50 other sites.

Here are some links to some friends who have profiles set up on Friend Feed:

Mark Menard, John Fitzpatrick, VitaRara, and Quadran

Vita Rara (VitaRara) is my employer. Mark Menard is the owner. Quadran is VitaRara's ERP system for importers and distributors of bulk commodities.

Our first client for Quadran is a company called Stein Fibers. Before working at VitaRara, Mark Menard and John Fitzpatrick worked together at a company called 5Points. In 1999, Stein Fibers contracted with 5points to write an ERP system to replace their patchwork of various tools. In June 2007, Stein Fibers asked VitaRara to replace the system written by 5points. That new system is called Quadran.

Over the next few years, we expect to deliver Quadran to several new clients. The application is geared toward organizations that handle commoditized products in bulk quantities, particularly ones who import the materials from overseas.

Want more information? Here's some links to the people and organizations discussed in this article:

Mark Menard, John Fitzpatrick, VitaRara, and MORI

Vita Rara (VitaRara) is my employer. Mark Menard is the owner. MORI, which is short for Masonic Online Registry Interface, is the nearly singularly focused obsession of the past five years of my professional life.

Mark Menard is a mason. After starting VitaRara in 2004, he hired me to work on a web-based membership tracking system that both lodge secretaries and Grand Lodge users could use together to manage a given state's Masonic membership. In January of 2005, we delivered MORI to the Grand Lodge of New York. Since that time, John Fitzpatrick (that's me) and Mark Menard have delivered MORI to five other Masonic organizations: The Order of the Eastern Star in New York, the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin, the Grand Lodge of North Carolina, the Grand Lodge of Ohio and the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

More state bodies and other related bodies will be setup in MORI in the future, though I cannot say which ones yet. Several states have expressed strong interest, but this is a time of year when decisions of this nature are hard to come to.

Want more information? Here's some links to the people and organizations discussed in this article:

Same-Sex Marriage Block On Way To California Ballot

The victory of Gay-Rights advocates in the California Supreme Court decision might be short lived. A ballot measure to amend that California State Constitution has gathered over 1 million signatures and will surely be on the November ballot.

How Far Should Water Recycling Go?

In much of the western U.S., water demand vastly outstrips supply. Some municipalities are moving toward a greater use of recycled waste water as a means to stretch supply. It sounds good in theory, but how far should it go?

Understanding The Writers Strike

Unless you live under a rock, you already know that the Writers Guild of America is on strike -- a move aimed at crippling the Motion Picture and Television industries. Since many major news outlets are controlled by the same organizations the writers are striking against, it is not surprising that people are not hearing the pittance for which the writers are asking. What follows is a selection of videos to explain the issue.

No Interest Health Care Loans

A marketing scheme that seems to have done well for cars has made its way into the health care industry.

Edwards' Mixed Manufacturing Message

While speaking to a labor union on Tuesday, presidential candidate John Edwards gave a mixed message regarding the direction he'd like to see manufacturing take in the U.S.

Google To Add Overlay Ads To YouTube Videos

Last year, when Google bought YouTube, people wondered how they could monetize the virtually ad free site. Now the answer has arrived.

Illegal Immigration Myths And Facts

As the Department of Homeland Security prepares its "no match" assault on American businesses that employ illegal immigrants, it's time to examine common misconceptions about the role illegal immigrants play in American business.

Republican War On California?

As the Department of Homeland Security prepares for an assault on businesses that hire illegal immigrants, Californians in particular can look forward to economic and social devastation.

Run On Banks Begins

In response to reports of a shaky future for Countrywide Financial, people with money deposited there are crowding into the bank to withdraw their funds.

Pentagon Sells Aircraft Parts Only Iran Could Use

This past February, despite orders to the contrary, the Pentagon sold over 1,400 F-14 parts at public sale as part of their surplus program. The only military in the world to use those planes is Iran.

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