It’s been just over three weeks since we launched the new Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+. Although the product is branded Raspberry Pi 3B+ and not Raspberry Pi 4, a serious amount of engineering was involved in creating it. The wireless networking, USB/Ethernet hub, on-board power supplies, and BCM2837 chip were all upgraded: together these represent almost all the circuitry on the board! Today, I’d like to tell you about the work that has gone into creating a custom power supply chip for our newest computer.
The new Raspberry Pi 3B+, sporting a new, custom power supply chip (bottom left-hand corner)
The Raspberry Pi 3B+ has been well received, and we’ve enjoyed hearing feedback from the community as well as reading the various reviews and articles highlighting the solid improvements in wireless networking, Ethernet, CPU, and thermal performance of the new board. Gareth Halfacree’s post here has some particularly nice graphs showing the increased performance as well as how the Pi 3B+ keeps cool under load due to the new CPU package that incorporates a metal heat spreader. The Raspberry Pi production lines at the Sony UK Technology Centre are running at full speed, and it seems most people who want to get hold of the new board are able to find one in stock.
One of the most critical but often under-appreciated elements of any electronic product, particularly one such as Raspberry Pi with lots of complex on-board silicon (processor, networking, high-speed memory), is the power supply. In fact, the Raspberry Pi 3B+ has no fewer than six different voltage rails: two at 3.3V — one special ‘quiet’ one for audio, and one for everything else; 1.8V; 1.2V for the LPDDR2 memory; and 1.2V nominal for the CPU core. Note that the CPU voltage is actually raised and lowered on the fly as the speed of the CPU is increased and decreased depending on how hard the it is working. The sixth rail is 5V, which is the master supply that all the others are created from, and the output voltage for the four downstream USB ports; this is what the mains power adaptor is supplying through the micro USB power connector.
There are two common classes of power supply circuits: linear regulators and switching regulators. Linear regulators work by creating a lower, regulated voltage from a higher one. In simple terms, they monitor the output voltage against an internally generated reference and continually change their own resistance to keep the output voltage constant. Switching regulators work in a different way: they ‘pump’ energy by first storing the energy coming from the source supply in a reactive component (usually an inductor, sometimes a capacitor) and then releasing it to the regulated output supply. The switches in switching regulators effect this energy transfer by first connecting the inductor (or capacitor) to store the source energy, and then switching the circuit so the energy is released to its destination.
Linear regulators produce smoother, less noisy output voltages, but they can only convert to a lower voltage, and have to dissipate energy to do so. The higher the output current and the voltage difference across them is, the more energy is lost as heat. On the other hand, switching supplies can, depending on their design, convert any voltage to any other voltage and can be much more efficient (efficiencies of 90% and above are not uncommon). However, they are more complex and generate noisier output voltages.
Designers use both types of regulators depending on the needs of the downstream circuit: for low-voltage drops, low current, or low noise, linear regulators are usually the right choice, while switching regulators are used for higher power or when efficiency of conversion is required. One of the simplest switch-mode power supply circuits is the buck converter, used to create a lower voltage from a higher one, and this is what we use on the Pi.
The BCM2835 processor chip (found on the original Raspberry Pi Model B and B+, as well as on the Zero products) has on-chip power supplies: one switch-mode regulator for the core voltage, as well as a linear one for the LPDDR2 memory supply. This meant that in addition to 5V, we only had to provide 3.3V and 1.8V on the board, which was relatively simple to do using cheap, off-the-shelf parts.
The Pi Zero sports a BCM2835 processor, which only needs two external switchers (the components clustered behind the camera port)
When we moved to the BCM2836 for Raspberry Pi Model 2 (and subsequently to the BCM2837A1 and B0 for Raspberry Pi 3B and 3B+), the core supply and the on-chip LPDDR2 memory supply were not up to the job of supplying the extra processor cores and larger memory, so we removed them. (We also used the recovered chip area to help fit in the new quad-core ARM processors.) The upshot of this was that we had to supply these power rails externally for the Raspberry Pi 2 and models thereafter. Moreover, we also had to provide circuitry to sequence them correctly in order to control exactly when they power up compared to the other supplies on the board.
Raspberry Pi boards take in 5V from the micro USB socket and have to generate the other required supplies from this. When 5V is first connected, each of these other supplies must ‘start up’, meaning go from ‘off’, or 0V, to their correct voltage in some short period of time. The order of the supplies starting up is often important: commonly, there are structures inside a chip that form diodes between supply rails, and bringing supplies up in the wrong order can sometimes ‘turn on’ these diodes, causing them to conduct, with undesirable consequences. Silicon chips come with a data sheet specifying what supplies (voltages and currents) are needed and whether they need to be low-noise, in what order they must power up (and in some cases down), and sometimes even the rate at which the voltages must power up and down.
A Pi 2. Power supply components are clustered in the bottom left-hand corner next to the micro USB port, middle (above the LPDDR2 chip, which is on the bottom of the PCB) and above the A/V jack.
In designing the power chain for the Pi 2 and 3, the sequencing was fairly straightforward: power rails power up in order of voltage (5V, 3.3V, 1.8V, 1.2V). However, the supplies were all generated with individual, discrete devices. Therefore, I spent quite a lot of time designing circuitry to control the sequencing — even with some design tricks to reduce component count, quite a few sequencing components are required. More complex systems generally use a Power Management Integrated Circuit (PMIC) with multiple supplies on a single chip, and many different PMIC variants are made by various manufacturers. Since Raspberry Pi 2 days, I was looking for a suitable PMIC to simplify the Pi design, but invariably (and somewhat counter-intuitively) these were always too expensive compared to my discrete solution, usually because they came with more features than needed.
It was way back in May 2015 when I first chatted to Peter Coyle of Exar (Exar were bought by MaxLinear in 2017) about power supply products for Raspberry Pi. We didn’t find a product match then, but in June 2016 Peter, along with Tuomas Hollman and Trevor Latham, visited to pitch the possibility of building a custom power management solution for us.
I was initially sceptical that it could be made cheap enough. However, our discussion indicated that if we could tailor the solution to just what we needed, it could be cost-effective. Over the coming weeks and months, we honed a specification we agreed on from the initial sketches we’d made, and Exar thought they could build it for us at the target price.
The chip we designed would contain all the key supplies required for the Pi on one small device in a cheap QFN package, and it would also perform the required sequencing and voltage monitoring. Moreover, the chip would be flexible to allow adjustment of supply voltages from their default values via I2C; the largest supply would be capable of being adjusted quickly to perform the dynamic core voltage changes needed in order to reduce voltage to the processor when it is idling (to save power), and to boost voltage to the processor when running at maximum speed (1.4 GHz). The supplies on the chip would all be generously specified and could deliver significantly more power than those used on the Raspberry Pi 3. All in all, the chip would contain four switch-mode converters and one low-current linear regulator, this last one being low-noise for the audio circuitry.
The project was a great success: MaxLinear delivered working samples of first silicon at the end of May 2017 (almost exactly a year after we had kicked off the project), and followed through with production quantities in December 2017 in time for the Raspberry Pi 3B+ production ramp.
Front row: Roger with the very first Pi 3B+ prototypes and James with a MXL7704 development board hacked to power a Pi 3. Back row left to right: Will Torgerson, Trevor Latham, Peter Coyle, Tuomas Hollman.
The MXL7704 device has been key to reducing Pi board complexity and therefore overall bill of materials cost. Furthermore, by being able to deliver more power when needed, it has also been essential to increasing the speed of the (newly packaged) BCM2837B0 processor on the 3B+ to 1.4GHz. The result is improvements to both the continuous output current to the CPU (from 3A to 4A) and to the transient performance (i.e. the chip has helped to reduce the ‘transient response’, which is the change in supply voltage due to a sudden current spike that occurs when the processor suddenly demands a large current in a few nanoseconds, as modern CPUs tend to do).
With the MXL7704, the power supply circuitry on the 3B+ is now a lot simpler than the Pi 3B design. This new supply also provides the LPDDR2 memory voltage directly from a switching regulator rather than using linear regulators like the Pi 3, thereby improving energy efficiency. This helps to somewhat offset the extra power that the faster Ethernet, wireless networking, and processor consume. A pleasing side effect of using the new chip is the symmetric board layout of the regulators — it’s easy to see the four switch-mode supplies, given away by four similar-looking blobs (three grey and one brownish), which are the inductors.
The Pi 3B+ PMIC MXL7704 — pleasingly symmetric
It takes a lot of effort to design a new chip from scratch and get it all the way through to production — we are very grateful to the team at MaxLinear for their hard work, dedication, and enthusiasm. We’re also proud to have created something that will not only power Raspberry Pis, but will also be useful for other product designs: it turns out when you have a low-cost and flexible device, it can be used for many things — something we’re fairly familiar with here at Raspberry Pi! For the curious, the product page (including the data sheet) for the MXL7704 chip is here. Particular thanks go to Peter Coyle, Tuomas Hollman, and Trevor Latham, and also to Jon Cronk, who has been our contact in the US and has had to get up early to attend all our conference calls!
The MXL7704 design team celebrating on Pi Day — it takes a lot of people to design a chip!
I hope you liked reading about some of the effort that has gone into creating the new Pi. It’s nice to finally have a chance to tell people about some of the (increasingly complex) technical work that makes building a $35 computer possible — we’re very pleased with the Raspberry Pi 3B+, and we hope you enjoy using it as much as we’ve enjoyed creating it!
1) Since the bots are so many, they don't have to have a request throttle as high as a single bot, and are therefore not as easy to recognize as bots.
2) All you see is IP addresses (and s depending on how you filter bot traffic). Any IP address could be a DDoS bot and any IP address could be a legitimate visitor. Some IP addresses will have both a DDoS bot and a legitimate visitor. What do you do?
Let's say your site can handle 1000 req/s and a visitor never makes more than 10 req/s. One bot at 100 req/s is easy to block, ten bots at 100 req/s are easy to block. But 200 bots at 5 req/s are difficult to block, because they are behaving properly.
200 bots at 100 req/s are difficult to block too, because they can't even make more than 5 req/s, making it appear that they behave properly. This situation is far worse than 200 bots at really 5 req/s, because a visitor is now 10 among 10010 requests trying to squeeze into the connection rather than the more manageable 10 among 1010 that are successfully reaching the server.
1000 bots at 100 req/s would make it improbable for each real visitor to connect to the site at all. And an attack of this magnitude is going to cause trouble along elsewhere as well.
If your site blocks IP addresses (or even specific browsers on the IPs) if they misbehave, someone might decide to abuse your defense to cause a DoS attack on the client side.
Example: Mallory creates a webpage that has a hundred "images" with and all of those images are some "sensitive" URLs on your site. When a visitor visits Mallory's page, they will send 100 abusive requests to your server and will therefore become blocked.
So getting a more aggressive defense against (D)DoS attacks will also cause another vulnerability.
A "smart" defense such as CAPTCHAs (to give the visitors a chance to prove that they are also visitors and not just malicious bots) will also have the side effect of actually requiring resources of the server.
Uploading images when the connection is clogged up doesn't sound like a very good idea. Neither does remembering a huge number of sessions for the CAPTCHAs, CAPTCHAs that won't be answered, partially because the images couldn't get sent, partially because the majority of visitors are non-human.
And on a (highly or uncached) dynamic site, you'd be fighting fire with gasoline.
answered Oct 22 '16 at 16:29
57466 silver badges1414 bronze badges
Email stores are often the worst offenders - but contain much of the most valuable . Thinking like a chess master enables you to make a first tactical move, but do so a starter donation for a project I could chose, rather than sending trinkets. .. tunable throttling to combat DDoS attacks; better resource management for.
March 17, 2019
Episode 318, "Circle gets the square"
Discord: http://discord.worldofwarcast.com Twitch: http://twitch.tv/starmiketv Mount Up Add-on: https://wow.curseforge.com/projects/mount-up Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/starmike Ren Raiding with Leashes (8/11) - gotten the two from Terrace of Endless Spring and the five from Heart of Fear, and one from Moshugan Vaults (Comet). Missing three from Moshugan Vaults (Stoneclaw, Wayward Spirit and Baoh-Xi). Bit of a pickle with Blade Lord Tal’yak. Kul Tiran druid - not playing the race game Druid healing is not for me Bought the transmog mount (but not giving up on making money) Can’t continue War Campaign … yet Magni … Magni … Magni... Mike I guested on FrazlCast with Ali! Ulduar Timewalking ArkInventory issues i379 This Week in WoW Un’Goro Madness - today through Tuesday Tuesday: Battleground Bonus Event Wednesday: Trial of Style 3 (20-24) Four new ensembles to purchase at 60 Trial of Style tokens, all based on Cataclysm End Time dungeon sets News Naked & Afraid 2 closed Three new 120 finishers: Kara (Blood Elf Ret Paladin) 3 days 15 hours 14 minutes; SniperFrog (Dark Iron Dwarf Marksman Hunter), 3 days 5 hours, 16 minutes, and Sevy (Gnome Fire Mage) 2 days 18 hours 21 minutes. Following Honorable Mentions for getting 90 or above: Ali, Hidebound, and Alberthe Awards: Fastest Finisher: Sevy, Gnome Fire Mage, Regular Division, 2 days 18 hours 21 minutes Fastest Finisher, Warmode Edition: Thecowking, Void Elf Brewmaster Monk, 2 days 23 hours 17 minutes Most Persistent - Skwahog, Void Elf Affliction Warlock, 6 days 14 hours 28 minutes Most Gold: Kara, Blood Elf Retribution Paladin - 55,291 Naked & Afraid 3 - All Druids All Day edition, open Fully Strapped edition - 28 participants so far -- 11 Zandalari, 11 Kul Tiran, 2 Highmountain, 2 Troll, 1 Tauren, 1 Worgen Truly Naked edition - 10 participants so far - 5 Kul Tirans, 2 Worgen, 1 Zandalari, 1 Tauren, I signed up but undecided Current Leaders: (Levels and times current as of 9 AM) Fully Strapped: Thecowking (Zandalari feral) level 80 with 17 hours 45 minutes Truly Naked: Morgahnn (Zandalari feral) level 52 with 15 hours 58 minutes Issue with Discord overlay - Blue post acknowledging there is a problem with game display issues and crashes for users of Discord overlay 8.1.5 news
All items are obtained from the new Challenges, using the new Barter UI in House Cannith.
Added in Update 12 Patch 1:
Items are available in versions of level 4, 8, 12, 16, 20. Level 8+ items feature 3 tiers. Level 20 Tier 2 and 3 items are usually considered Epic items, as they require completions of Epic versions of the challenges to acquire. Level 20 Tier1 items can be made outside of Epics. See Cannith Challenge reward items for details.
These items are very rare (~2-4% droprate) drops gained by killing monsters which drop supply chests (if you're lucky you'll get both a challenge item and the chest). They can also all be purchased on the DDO Store.
Sextortion, silicone face masks, and a DDoS doofus. June 27th, steal millions. And does your cloud photo storage service have a dirty little secret ?.
May 9, 2011 · Blog1672 · Posted by Greg Lloyd
There's been a lot of Web and Twitter discussion about the value of activity streams to promote broad awareness versus the potential problem of showing too much information and having important signals get lost in the flow. I believe that the best solution is to allow people to selectively zoom into activity streams, status and discussions - clipped by space, project, person or milestone - to focus on any particular activity in context. To focus more precisely, click a watch button to get notification when anything is added, changed, or discussed in a context you want to monitor carefully.
Traction TeamPage Release 5.2 adds mini-dashboards to make it simple to see status, activity, tasks, discussions and related articles or documents focused on a particular project or milestone, complete with sparkline diagrams to see at a glace what's happening over time. Each project, space, and person has an activity stream, making it simple to focus on what you care about - and shift your focus easily.
See Action Tracking with Tasks, Milestones, and Projects videos
You can also zoom out a broader view of all spaces you have permission to read, or people you choose to follow. This makes it easy to dip into the flow and read, search, or navigate by person, tag, task or discussion thread.
You can flip to your own profile to review and use the stream of your own activities, tasks, and calendar across all spaces and projects you have permission to see.
Flip to the profile of any other team member by clicking their name to review their activities, tasks, and calendar, limited to just what you have permission to read.
You can flag a post, project, tag, or space and receive an automatic notification (by email or Jabber) when a comment is added, edit is made, a specific tag is added (e.g.urgent) or other actions happen in the context of activities you want to watch closely. If you receive a notification by email, you can reply to that email and your comment is automatically added to the right discussion.
Because Traction TeamPage spaces carry access permissions, internal teams, customers, suppliers and other external stakeholders can freely tag, task, link and discuss anything they discover - even make more private comments on more public content.
Activity streams, search results, comments, email digests, notifications, and even tag clouds are automatically clipped to keep private activities private, but make everything you're allowed to see visible in context.
When you see something that looks important you can tag, task or comment on the relevant item to raise its visibility as an opportunity, an answer to an important question, or an issue to be addressed.
A TeamPage project creates a shared context where work actually gets done - with specific deliverables; as an open ended activity with a stream of actions and milestones; or as customer or client case to be tracked and guided to a desirable outcome. In each case, TeamPage's integrated action tracking makes it easy to recognize, track and handle exceptions or opportunities in the natural flow of work.
A TeamPage customer quoted in the Feb 2011 Deloitte Social Software for Business Performance study said:
"With Traction Software I can post meeting notes and assign action items to individuals. Then, they can go into the tool and write comments to update the group on the status of their action items as well as post deliverables. It greatly increases transparency and streamlines communications."
June 16, 2013 · Blog2095 · Posted by Greg Lloyd
In his Jun 2, 2013 blog post, Chess Media analyst and author Jacob Morgan asks: How Open is Too Open? He asks "Would you be comfortable working in an all glass building where people can see everything you do and every move you make?" Jacob outlines the benefits of transparency: "Keep everyone on the same page; Build trust and fostering better relationships; Allow employees (and customers) to contribute ideas and value when they see the opportunity to do so." Jacob recognizes that a balance needs to be struck, but not being transparent enough may do more harm than good. He ask: "How open is too open?" I agree with the benefits Jacob outlines, and believe the answer to Jacob's question depends on the answer to a critical question: "Transparency for what purpose?" I'll start the ball rolling in with this post, including some real-life customer examples.
For example, if you work for a consulting (or law) firm, your clients have a strong, natural expectation that their work with the firm will be kept private from other clients, even if client work is more broadly shared internally among members of the firm. Some work within the firm may be more closely held for good reason - ranging from employee health records to Board meeting minutes. I believe it's a mistake to limit collaboration to work that must be visible by all members of the firm. I also believe it's extremely valuable to work with external clients, suppliers, and partners as well internal teams, within and across necessary and natural boundaries. The question I'd like to discuss is: "How do you balance transparency, boundaries, and the need to work across boundaries?"
Jacob recognizes that a balance needs to be struck, and uses an analogy that compares a glass building vesus "a regular building that just doesn't have locked doors."
"I do believe that organizations need to be much more open and transparent but there’s a balance that needs to be struck here. There’s a big difference between showing everything to everyone vs making things open to people should they want to see it. To use an analogy it’s the difference between constructing a glass building vs constructing a regular building that just doesn’t have locked doors." - How Open is Too Open?
I'd say "very few locked doors, where needed to get work done, particularly with external stakeholders."
In an early Three Places for People blog post, I use a similar analogy:
"Great architects of physical places know that people bring expectations and norms about the kind of behavior that's appropriate and enjoyable to any physical space. Architects are skillful in designing spaces to match their clients desires and expectations by providing cues that are easy to perceive and appropriate for the intended purpose, but a lot of the norms of the same physical space become clear only from social context.
If you walk into a conference room with a group of people you don't know talking quietly around a table - and someone closes the door behind you - you'll likely speak and act differently than if you walk into the same room with people you know laughing, eating and drinking. If you walk into a theater you'll probably seat yourself quietly in the audience rather than striding onto the stage (see the Re-Placing Space reference).
What fascinates me about social software is how we're learning to create places with perceived affordances - features and user models - that seem natural for different purposes and intentions. I use Facebook, Traction Software's TeamPage server, and Twitter as three separate places: my neighborhood, my workplace, and the public commons I like to use." - Three Places for People
One Traction TeamPage customer matches the consulting firm / client example precisely. The firm is near the top of the list of 100 global firms in their market. They use separate TeamPage spaces for each client, but allow members of the consulting firm to work across all client spaces. Members of the firm use TeamPage's project, task, milestone or client space dashboards to focus, and can also step back to a bird's eye view across all activity that they are permitted to see, organized by Space or by Person (with activity stream, project, task and milestone tabs on each individual's Profile). See Action Tracking, Project and Case Management in TeamPage
Another Traction TeamPage customer provides services to customers worldwide, with over 5,000 employees operating in over 150 locations and 75 countries. The firm uses TeamPage to get new clients onboard; author and share client and location specific procedures; track and communicate status including response to weather conditions and other forces that require changes to planned procedures. Shared access to procedures, notifications, and changes build strong business relationships that are a competitive advantage for the firm. Tens of thousands of complicated procedures need to be constantly changed and reviewed in near real time by both the firm and clients. The shared procedures are the core operating plan for the firm and the basis for everything the client values and pays for. TeamPage dashboards, notification, action tracking and search provide simple, reliable and secure access for each client, while allowing members of the firm to maintain global awareness, diving into any project, task, or space to quickly resolve an issue or come up to speed, see Deep Search.
In summary, I believe there's no reason to settle for a collaboration and action tracking solution that only handles internal collaboration, or assumes that everything happens in a building with glass walls and no doors. Real business value and sustainable competitive advantage often depends on working easily within and across boundaries that need to be in place to do business.
The Work Graph Model: TeamPage style - Working with internal and external teams
Borders, Spaces, and Places - Walks through specific examples of boundaries and boundary crossing activity
Explaining Twitter - One of Three Places for People - About the social architecture of three places: 1) a public commons (like Twitter); 2) a place for friends and family (like Facebook); 3) a place where you work (for me, Traction Software's TeamPage server).
Intertwingled Work - Working across siloed systems and boundaries set up to meet business purposes - like the consulting firm client example.
A Circle is not a Space - How Google+ circles make it possible to share individual conversations with a list of circles each individual controls (later extended to groups) versus sharing work within one or more spaces. Some distinctions are important to understand when you want to handle collaboration for a business or other purpose over an extended period of time.
December 30, 2008 · Blog926 · Posted by Jordan Frank
Michael Fitzgerald's MIT Tech Review column Are Social Networks Sinking? summarizes the inevitable deflation (though not all-out devastation) of the Web 2.0 Social Networking market (not to be mixed with the Enterprise 2.0 market - which is growing more steadily in-the-wake-of, rather than in-step-with, the Web 2.0 market) bubble.
A recent article by Jessica Vasscellaros, OMG, We're Not BFF's Anymore?, in the WSJ, talks about reactions to being "unfriended." But in the context of Fitzgeralds column, a greater fear than losing relationships willy nilly via the click of an "unfriend" button is the possibility that your whole entire social network goes poof overnight.
While bringing to our attention to greater than 10% staff reductions at Hi5 (the third largest social network) and LinkedIn, Fitzgerald's more stinging reminder of danger to come details the shut-down of Pownce, a once-popular micro-blogging service and Values of n services Stikkit and I Want Sandy.
With the fall of these services, entire social networks and information collections fall into a big black hole - leaving no trail of the internet dark matter which includes lost social network content and broken links galore. And for netizens, countless time is lost along with a chunk of their online persona.
When my 2.5 year old son hit "Replay" about 128 times in two weeks on the "Little Red Caboose" video (video formerly found here) hosted at Brightcove, I could easily predict the demise of their video hosting service. How could they possibly make money? As of this month, their site reports "Sorry, Brightcove.TV is Off the Air" with a euphemistic eulogistic subtext "We have shut down the Brightcove video showcase so we can focus all of our energy on the Brightcove platform."
While the profit issues for Brightcove were clear (nothing on that caboose page was making them any money - certainly not from my son's pocket), the issues are, perhaps murkier at other sites that are more popular and appear to be stable.
Google may not have promised that Lively, where you can create an avatar and chat with friends in virtual worlds you design, would stay alive forever, but when Google offers a service, netizens tend to trust it stick around in some form. Google announced that Lively will shut down December 31st, 2008.
While Facebook and Myspace seem trustworthy, and will likely withstand the test of time, their scale may just magnify the pain that comes with offering a service for free - then trying to figure out how to make a revenue model work. Bryant Urstadt's feature story, Social Networking Is Not a Business*, in the MIT Tech Review's July/August 2008 edition says "Facebook is likely to lose $150 million this year." With 33.9 Million unique users in January 2008 (as reported by the article), its not an issue of scale that could be in their way.
So what's the problem? Urstadt's article gives us a clue: ads were selling for as little as $0.13 CPM. Also reported, MySpace dropped their minimum from a CPM of $3.25 to $2 and they missed revenue targets by $100M. By comparison, other sites the article references earn CPM of $7 (for Mashable) to $70 (for the Tech Review). That article was written in the summer. The world looks different today. Inasmuch as the promise of context relevant advertising makes sense, it doesn't earn as much as targeting based on search results (when users are actively looking for something) or based on destination sites like the Tech Review with "Clearly defined audiences of executives and technologies who purchase corporate products and services."
Twitter, the most popular micro-blogging service so far, has shunted the ad model. Rather, they've shunted any revenue model since they were founded in July 2007 and grown incredibly large. That's about to change as says their CEO in a speech this month that only gave a clue about the timing (Q1 2009) but not the model for generating revenue.
The problem with turning on a new revenue model is that you just as quickly turn off your users.
Urstadt's article outlines the failure of Facebook's Beacon program in November 2007. User's got upset when, for example, they went to "the Blockbuster site and rented a movie, (and) that information was automatically sent to everyone in her Facebook network." While building relationships with their friends, User's also build a relationship with a service.
But when that relationship is changed, be it by a broadcast to a Facebook network or an ad in a Twitter streams, trust is broken and the relationship is damaged. So, it's just as hard to make revenue on a free service as it is "easy" to build up the user base. Aidan Henry at ReadWriteWeb offers his two cents on the Ultimate Twitter Revenue Model. The every-20th-tweet-is-an-ad-model is an obvious move that would surely generate revenue, but could disaffect users, especially when sponsored tweets start showing up as SMS messages.
Get between users and ways to spend money.
So many sites rely entirely on advertising dollars alone, when other great options exist. The ad approach is passive and is victim to resources that are ultimitely finite: available advertising dollars and user's online time. As the web and social networking are still young, number of users and the time they spend on the net is quickly increasing and ad spending has kept apace. However, forecasts for ad spending in 2009 are (per two accounts at Gawker) somewhere between much less growth for internet ads and modest decline for all other categories and a 40% death spiral. The latter scenario could quickly shut the doors on any service whose primary costs are based server infrastructure and bandwidth that can't be cut (without destructive effects on the social network) as easily as office buildings and jobs.
A quick look at what I consider to be two of the earliest and most successful social networks provides some good perspective on revenue generating options.Monster.com generated a billion dollars in revenue and $96 Million in Net Income in the 9 months ending September 2008. And in the same period, EBay generated $6.5 billion dollars in revenue and $1.4 billion in Net Income. In many ways these services resemble social networks. They have user profiles, some form of match making, following or notification, rating, and so on.
The difference between these services and "modern" social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook is that they are oriented entirely around a set of goals (hiring and selling, respectively) that are worth tangible dollars that their users spend to utilize the site or conduct commerce on it. So, eBay gets between the buyer and their need to spend money with a seller who has good ratings. And Monster gets between employers (who are hiring and thus have money in hand) and a pool of potential personnel.
Over at Facebook, networks are organized around organic friendships, affinities, ethnicities, religions, clubs and school classes. Users wouldn't have flocked to Facebook if it hadn't been free (especially since the initial users were College students). But they do have dollars to spend - the questions is on what type of transaction that's relevant in this type of network?
Marry something like E-Vite with something like Google Checkout - to allow groups to charge for and manage dues, event registrations, and scholarship fundraising. There are all kinds of ways that the sorts of groups that congregate on Facebook would seek to exchange dollars. Adding a cash register to Facebook would make their ad model look like a distracting mistake in the road to much greater things.
On a similar basis, If I were at Twitter I may take a play out of Amazon's book and offer 1-tweet-checkout to buy goods and services that could be posted on paid-for corporate (or club) twitter sites. Twitter also has avenues to pursue in revenue share deals with cell phone operators and could (carefully) pursue an advertising model.
Soon, hopefully tomorrow, I will contrast this with the implications for Enterprise 2.0 Social Networking, where the value equation is about value capture from collaborative activities than about eyeballs and ad dollars.
August 29, 2007 · Blog476 · Posted by Jordan Frank
Michael Sampson's Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams Report post talks anecdotally about how "Wikis Reduce Email."
That's been my own experience as well. As I look at our own Traction corpus of over 130,000 pages, comments and attachments (add edits and label/tag changes and the number potential notifications is much higher), I shudder at the possibility of all these items come across my desk via e-mail.
From a more empirical perspective, we participated in DOD CIO sponsored program to determine the benefits of and model for using enterprise blog and wiki technology for program teams. The benefits outlined include a 50% reduction in time spent on electronic communication and a 75% reduction in status reporting process. That's data you can bank on!
November 24, 2008 · Blog904 · Posted by Jordan Frank
There seem to be conflicting views on what kinds of IT applications and vendors will get hit the hardest in an economic downturn. Will it be point applications like Wikis and Blogs, or Enterprise 2.0 Suites? Or will it be big ticket collaboration platforms from vendors like Microsoft, OpenText and Documentum?
Bill Ives wrote an excellent review of Oliver Young's October 9, 2008 Forrester report titled Vendors: Prepare For Falling Prices For Enterprise Web 2.0 Collaboration And Productivity Apps. He summarizes Young's prediction of overall falling prices, forced in large part by a combination of "competition, commoditization, bundling and subsumption."
Young "predicts that the price of point applications like blogs and wikis will fall the most" - as opposed to social networking and mashup applications. That Social Networking price points will remain the most robust follows Young's April 2008 report titled Global Enterprise Web 2.0 Market Forecast: 2007 to 2013. The report anticipates that Social Networking will take the biggest slice of $4.6 Billion in overall Enterprise 2.0 spending by 2013.
Young's long term prediction is at odds with CMS Watch's Tony Byrne in regards to the short-run winners. October 15, Byrne wrote Jive's layoffs don't portend doom and gloom for social computing. Byrne says he is "hearing a lot of the chatter among social software cognoscenti about how the looming recession will impact the social computing industry." Specifically, he argues that point solution suppliers (e.g those that focus on blogs and wikis) are in a better position to withstand the economic riptide:
"I'll argue that the comprehensive suite vendors -- not just Jive, but also IBM and Oracle, each with pricey collections of social tools -- may get dinged a bit more than the point solutions suppliers focusing on the basics, like blogs and wikis."
So who's right?
I agree with Young's October predictions that bundling will be the rule. But I will extend his reasoning to suggest that Enterprise 2.0 components (blogs, wikis, rss, social networking, tagging and so on) will mesh so tightly that you won't know where blog leaves off and wiki or social network starts. Accordingly, I believe that the issue of whether one type of tool fairs better or worse, or earns more or less of the overall $4.6B pie by 2013, is moot.
You can easily see the difference between blog and wiki point applications in the SAAS offerings for the consumer Web 2.0: Blogger and Typepad are clearly blog tools while Wikipedia is clearly a wiki. But leading products in the Enterprise 2.0 space have focused on bringing together a set of components that work together easily while responding to business focused use cases as well as basic needs like security, ease of deployment, LDAP / Active Directory account integration and similar factors. Increasingly, these products relieve enterprises from having to deploy one of everything. They offer "Web 2.0" in a box, while supporting the same open standards that make Web 2.0 such a hit.
Traction TeamPage was built from day one as a unified platform for workspaces, blogs, wikis, discussion, and tagging. Social networking is and was always part and parcel of collaborative editing, interleaved commentary, and user profiles. Other products in the space got a start in one segment and are trying hard to migrate to other categories. Jive started with Forums while Atlassian and SocialText started with Wikis. All three vendors have added some form of blog capability as a checklist item.
I agree with Byrne that Enterprises will shy away from pricey do-everything collaboration and ECM platforms.
When you consider the cost of Sharepoint at $854 per user for 1,000 users vs. $75 per user for 1,000 users running TeamPage with the FAST Module (or $60 per user without it), it's clear that, in this economic climate, enterprises big and small will think twice about a bulky platform like SharePoint that, in Mike Gotta's words is "cleary challenged in its implementation of blogs and wikis" or in Shawn Shell's words (via Toby Ward's Intranet Blog notes) "does a lot of things but it does very few things very well."
In a tough economic climate which coincides with broad acceptance of emerging "2.0" technology, it's clear that this is the time when companies will choose to Do Something Differently - Spend less for better results.
In consideration of Wikis as a focus for Enterprise spending, Rob Koplowitiz, in his April 2008 Forrester Report titled "Social Computing Changes The Enterprise Collaboration Landscape" seems to agree with Byrne. In his report, he explains the problem with traditional collaborative platforms and how Wikis win:
"Alternatives for collaborating on these types of activities have generally been email or more traditional collaborative workspaces. While it has been the most heavily used application, email lacks context and can’t serve as a single source of current information, resulting in frustrated users. Collaborative workspaces solve these issues, but are often seen by people as complicated to set up and use. Wikis offer a compelling middle ground that combines ease of use with context around the process and project."
Koplowitz also provides good data to back up his assertion. 49% of respondents indicated that implementing a collaboration strategy is a priority or critical priority for 2008 and, in particular, 24% were Web 2.0 focused. He also explains that 64% are planning or have already started to invest in Wikis.
What is it about wikis and blogs? Wikis and blogs are work-focused. They are where people spend time authoring, the place where human capital can be built - and leveraged. Reading between the lines, I think that is Byrne's key point - that enterprises will invest in these applications to save money while providing productivity focused technology.
As Koplowitz says, "Wikis are the swiss army knives of collaboration." As we say, its blog and wiki focused Enterprise 2.0 platforms like Traction TeamPage that put hypertext to work. TeamPage is the platform for the principal authoring knives (blogs, wikis, and even micro-messaging) as well as the other capabilities - which may include social networking, social tagging, discussion, rss and search.
Given this line of reasoning, I'll conclude that authoring is at the heart of collaborative work and blog and wiki oriented Enterprise 2.0 suites stand the strongest chance (vs. ECM backed Collaboration frameworks and single category E2.0 tools) of doing well in good economic times, or bad.
January 29, 2008 · Blog551 · Posted by Jordan Frank
Nick Fera asks who is better for "Wicked" problem solving, Groups or Individuals? after reading a December 5, 2007 article in ScienceDaily about a Sandia National Laboratories study.
The study's definition of a wicked problem:
those problems that by their very definition are so tangled that there is no agreement about their definitions, much less their solutions.
Their conclusion: Individuals!
That the quality of ideas from the people responding as individuals was significantly better across all three quality ratings.
The researchers comment that an added benefit from an organizational perspective is that individuals working alone use less time and resources to solve a problem than a group.
Is this the only answer? As I outline in When (and How) to Ask a Crowd it depends on the kind of problem you are trying to solve. When there is no definite answer and, so, you can't summarize opinion, then, as the Wisdom of Crowds book tells us, its better to ask an expert. Its also useful to consider what kind of group to assemble and what pitfalls to avoid. A study I discuss on Diverse Teams published in MIT Sloan Management Review outlines the problems diverse teams face and ways to overcome them.
Could Technology Help? As Nick argues, Yes. The researchers offer their caveat:
It still seems reasonable that there may be modes of [as yet, untested] web-based interactions and strategies that would allow the larger group to have superior performance... better software, including threaded discussions with moderators to focus the work and prediction markets to evaluate quality, will become tools that large organizations will use to solve wicked problems.
What role for software? Whether you organize as individuals or groups, information plays a crucial role in making judgements or simply brainstorming. The ability to monitor information over time and search it on demand is sure to assist any problem solving process which may rely on information and judgemental expertise (vs. pure mathematical expertise, for example), whether or not the problem du jour is solved by an individual or a team.
In this context, the role for software goes well beyond the facilities of discussion groups - moderated or not - as a means to support a team as they try to conquer a problem. This is where Wicked problems benefit from Wiki and blog based collaboration over time. The active collaboration in one or a series of workspaces educates and informs people such that they can gain and organize expertise over time, and access information resources for decision support when required. Furthermore, the threaded discussion can then happen in context of and build upon a larger information resource.
Widgets are used to create unique views of information inside your Traction server or to reference content from other servers.
A few widgets (For in-line YouTube, QuickTime, or PDF display, for example) are provided in Traction and accessible by clicking the Gear icon in the publishing form. However, widgets can be written for Traction in a few minutes. You can use pattern or keyword match widgets to create mashups that insert links to or pull content from external sites. You can package your new widget as a plug-in and then easily install and configure it on your Traction server, or share with others.
To add a widget to an article or comment, you just click the Widget icon. This will raise the widget selector.
After selecting a given widget such as, in this case, the Google Map widget, a form pops up allowing you to pass parameters to the widget. Here is a partial screen shot of the form for the Google Map widget:
When you hit OK, a Widget icon will appear in the publishing form and its output will appear in the page you publish.
In developing a widget mashup, you might include or simply reference another site. Two characteristic examples include:
The weather widget is an example case where a variable is passed to another system, and that system passes back the html that is requested.
With a UPS Widget, you can make Traction recognize text in this pattern 1Z410E7W0262156622 and the text will be automatically rendered as a link to its UPS Tracking page.
In the enterprise context, a widget like this might automatically link to a Customer record in your ERP or pull in a monthly sales report from your CRM. Traction makes it easy to link to and discuss the content in those resources.
You may also want to simply invent a new way to view your Traction server's contents, and then allow the widget to be planted into any article.
In this example, a widget titled references calls for a list of articles with the relationship reference type is worked on by:
The resulting article includes the list with the title that was passed to the widget:
Another nice example is a widget that can graphically show progress against a milestone.
In this case, our progressbar widget shows how many articles for our 3.7 release are marked Done (in dark grey) or are marked with the To Do label and are marked as Not Prioritized, Priority 4, Priority 3, Priority 2 and Priority 1. The separate bars break it down by developer:
At the time this screen capture was taken, there were 7 articles marked To Do, Priority 1 and Release 3.7.
You can click any part of the bars to view the list of articles falling into any of the sections on the progress bars.
January 25, 2017 · Blog3206 · Posted by Pierre Bienvenüe
The new impi! Standard Meeting Plug-in for TeamPage enables easier, faster and more accurate minute taking for recurring meetings which agenda is standardized. It augments the impi! solution: Goal Alignment - Mini Business Units Deployment. To learn more about this plug-in and impi's Business Management System solutions built using TeamPage, please contact Traction Software.
In a Lean enterprise, the unit of continuous improvement is the task or action. It needs to be explicit and time bound. Members make themselves accountable by first agreeing on the tasks and then taking responsibility to carry them out. The best forum to review progress is the mini-business unit (MBU) meeting where accountability is achieved with transparency and simplicity. This is one of the reason why visual management is much prevalent in Companies seeking excellent processes and people. At operational level, a wall is well suited to communicate priority tasks and decisions. Together with Key Performance indicators and other succinct and essential information, the priority tasks are recorded on a board. The traditional supervisor black book is now replaced with an information medium available to all. The interval between two meetings is short (from a shift to a week) and the priority tasks are straight forward. The meeting is recurring and its agenda is standardized: there isn't a need for minute taking.
However, for MBUs where the nature of the standard meetings is more systemic or strategic, tasks become more complex and numerous. Decisions need to be recorded too. Even general information and detailed minutes can be needed. This is typical with cross-functional operational meetings, management reviews, monthly executive or sales meetings, multisite meetings where new information and intelligence are shared. An electronic solution is required. Here, the wall, board and pens are replaced with the screen, projector and computer; this is still visual management.
The Standard Meeting Plug-in leverages the capability of TeamPage for task management and contextualizing information. Our development drive has been to offer a solution that would be intuitive, easy to use and offering simple and deep ways of finding historical tasks, decisions, and minutes. Additionally the ability to see at one glance all historical decisions associated to a particular meeting profile, provides a coach insight into the chairperson management style.
We researched examples of minute taking templates (some of them very complex in the Quality Assurance domain) and observed for two years the habits at CounterPoint Trading our industrial partner with whom we experiment all impi! solutions. We came to the conclusion that the five following areas were sufficient to document a standard meeting:
The resulting solution allows the team to capture on the go tasks and decisions associated to the meeting profile. Past open tasks are always on the radar screen, thus reinforcing accountability. Information retrieval is immediate in the context of the meeting. The plug-in is a productivity tool and a time saver. Example of usage of the standard meeting plugin would be for management and senior management meetings, project reviews, management reviews, compliance/governance meetings, multisite meetings, etc.
Here are the first impressions on using the plug-in from the original users at CounterPoint Trading:
A standard meeting is defined by its 4Ps. impi! users define the detailed meeting profiles in their Knowledge Central space alternatively the 4Ps will be defined in the meeting profile article created in the relevant space.
A standard meetings section is configured In MBU spaces (e.g. BU3 operational) or special purpose spaces (e.g. Environmental Management).
By adding a meeting profile in the meeting section, we create a container where all the meeting minutes will be collected in sequence for that particular profile
We can navigate from to the previous and next meeting directly from the current minutes. Also, a new meeting minutes can be created In the Meeting profile itself or alternatively from the latest meeting minutes.
Open tasks from past meetings are shown in the current meeting minutes
Here is a more detailed tutorial on how to use the Standard Meeting plug-in:
Introducing impi! - Pierre Bienvenüe - founder of impi Business Improvement Solutions Pty
Jun 2016 | ISO 9001:2015 Requirements Met By impi! Solutions - Meeting ISO 9001:2015 requirements using the impi! model
impi! What's in the name? What's in the logo?- Discipline and creativity
Dec 2016 | Business Process Improvement with impi!, Plug-in extensions, TeamPage improvements
June 18, 2012 · Blog1907 · Posted by Greg Lloyd
If you're attending E20 Boston 2012, please drop by Traction Software's booth 418 to say hi and learn what Traction TeamPage can do. If you're interested in social task management, integrating systems of record and systems of engagement - or just using social software in the context of work, talk the folk at Traction Software who know how to help you succeed.That's where we started and that's our enduring goal.
TeamPage in the Cloud Jordan and I can answer questions about TeamPage's new Cloud options, starting at less than $2.50 per user per month for 25 user accounts - or see for yourself.
You can see TeamPage improvements introduced over the past year, including:
New streamlined Proteus interface makes summary awareness, status, task tracking, and coordinated activity fast and easy.
Unified search in the header makes looking up people, spaces, tasks or projects quick and easy. You see suggested matches based on name, email address and other content as you type, with a Show All choice if you want to browse more. Unified search also matches names and descriptions of all preferences and setup controls and takes you to the right spot in all setup and administration views.
Autosave and "finish later" saves your work in progress if you want to take a break - or if you accidentally click away from or close a browser window!
iPad and mobile access Monitor the pulse of your organization, stay informed, and work securely from the beach or mountains with your iPad, iPhone, or Android tablet. "I'd rather be sailing" isn't an mutually exclusive choice any more - ask Chris!
If you're early in line Tuesday or Wednesday, you can also pick up free, signed, pre-release copy of Jacob Morgan's excellent new book The Collaborative Organization.
If you're too late to pick up a free copy, you can still pick up a bookmark as a reminder of what Enterprise 2.0 is about - at least for me:
See Enterprise 2.0 Schism
The Future of Work Platforms: Like Jazz
Extending the fabric of work, or How to Be Emergent
20 June 2005 | Supernova | Why Can't a Business Work More Like the Web?
Traction Roots - Doug Engelbart
February 24, 2009 · Blog969 · Posted by Jordan Frank
In tough economic times organizations are faced with hard budgeting choices as they weigh the cost and benefit of investing in durable goods, people, marketing and software. Here are some reasons why software should be at the top of the list:
While computers, cars, and manufacturing equipment ultimately age and depreciate to $0 (or worse, if you have to dispose of them), software is generally likely to appreciate over time through a series of upgrades and patches. Beyond the simple benefit of not falling into disrepair, software value increases as data is added and information externalities develop.
Taking Traction TeamPage as an example:
So, if you are trying to figure out how to put together your 2009 budgets, consider software. And if a track record of technology leadership is any indicator, get Traction.
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