Managing Multiple Projects

Waterfall Model
Image via Wikipedia

I’ve discussed project management recently with a number of people who work in more “traditional” software development issues, where projects tend to be large and involve many people working on a project for long periods of time. They often give me odd looks when I tell them that typically my company has around 20 projects on the go at any point in time, with an average length of well under a month.

Bear in mind that these are actual projects, not “operational” things like supporting existing software or running an SEO campaign.

I’d be interested in discussing how to manage this sort of situation with other people – what to do when all of the traditional project management tools go right out the window; how to avoid stressing out staff by making them switch back and forth between many different tasks etc. What kinds of tools do you use to track large numbers of very short projects (I don’t have hours usually to set up a file in MS Project or other similar tools – I write quick checklists on a notepad and then wander from desk to desk)? Is anyone using agile techniques (especially controversial things like two people per screen)?

Alexa Rating

We’ve finally broken through the one million ranking for Alexa. For those not familiar with it, provides rankings which sites have the highest traffic – the lower the number, the better. It isn’t necessarily accurate, but it is nice to watch as the site’s traffic slowly climbs.

New Website Pages

We’ve added a number of new pages to the website over the past few days, and we will probably be tweaking things further as we have time. I’ve been working on the process as a low priority level with Martin (one of my staff who happens to have a marketing background and excellent writing skills) for a few weeks now. As usual, comments are welcome.


WeFollow: A User Powered Twitter Directory
Image by shinyai via Flickr

While I’m on the topic of helpful websites, here’s another simple but useful one: Wefollow.

Its a user-edit Twitter directory, that Nathan pointed out to me a few days ago.

I picked up a few followers just by signing up.

I find it remarkable how many followers some of the top users of Twitter have accumulated. Yes, some of them are leveraging off of some form of celebrity status (real-world or online). Its quite amazing how large the reach of some dedicated tweeters is though. It takes a lot of hard work to scale up a following like that, regardless of where it is.

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Website Grader

Image representing HubSpot as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, I suggest taking a look at, a tool provided by web marketing gurus HubSpot.

Their website grading tool provides a host of useful information that can help you fine-tune your site.

I’ve been playing around with their tools for the past few months, and they’ve been extraordinarily useful in terms of tweaking things to make them more search engine friendly. Also useful is their Twitter profile grader.

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My first experiences with BuddyPress (open source social platform)

Nathan Bomshteyn discusses his experiences installing and configuring BuddyPress, a social media platform that installs on top of WordPress MU.

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SEO and the Art of the Happy Accident

A better subtitle for this blog could be: “Throw a bunch of spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks”

I keep an eye on the Google Analytics reports for this site. The past couple of months, there were an unusually large number of hits from people searching for info on Twitter. I just tried a couple of searches on and this morning, and for “twitter purpose” (and a variety of other combinations), we’re showing up near the top of the first page. In the past, we’ve also had searches for people looking for info on, DandyId and other specific topics that I’ve written about here.

I think the general principal, one that has relevance for SEO (search engine optimization), is that it’s just about impossible to determine in advance what the zeitgeist of the moment is going to be. As a result, place content on your site that covers a wide range of related topics, and there’s a good chance that something that you write will be relevant to somebody, somewhere, at some point in time.

This is otherwise known as the spaghetti principal – when you don’t know what precisely will work, try a bunch of different things, and record your results. This isn’t a new idea by any means. Bloggers, internet marketers and SEOs use this tactic all the time, in a variety of different ways.

Not One Of My Better Moments

I did something completely idiotic this afternoon.

While assisting one of my staff with a problematic installation of some open source software on a server, I decided to clean up certain files that we no longer needed with “rm -r *”.

Only to discover that I was in the wrong directory.

It didn’t help that we had been working directly on that computer for several days.

I was saved from losing a week’s work only by the fact that the backup from the morning was good (you never know with backups). We still lost a few hours of work, but that’s much better than it could have been.

Moral of the story: a) backup even more regularly than you think necessary, b) keep a local copy of your working files, c) don’t use “rm -r *” unless you’ve double checked what it will do.

What Does It Take To Build A Community?

We’re currently building a number of community based “social media” website. Obviously I’m interested generally in what makes a good online community, but this time there’s a practical aspect to this – I want my customer’s sites to succeed!

Let’s throw this open for comments.

What do you think are the critical factors involved? Is it specific functionality? Great moderators? The initial “link bait” content that gets people there in the first place? One or two really sociable users?

Website Update

I finally found the time to update the appearance of this site. I originally planned out what I wanted several months back, and then never got around to it somehow.

In case you are wondering, the template started out in life as the free WordPress “inove” template, and then diverged.

As usual comments (and of course criticisms) are welcome.