Google Launches new trend tool

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Google has launched a new tool from Google Labs. The tool is Google trends and I cna see it may come in very handing for investigating trends on the Internet. I’m pretty sure the statistics where taken from Google’s database which should give a good representation of the types of searches people are doing throughout the net since Google pretty much owns the search engine market.

I’ve been playing with this for a while and I thought I would find out how popular the term DNN was for searching for DotNetNuke related information. People tend to search more for DotNetNuke than they do for DNN, but the terms are fairly consistent.And you can see from the graph how one relates to the other as they both have the same peaks and valleys

Comparing the searches for DNN and DotNetNuke may suggest that the open source application may be losing some it its steam. The graph goes back until 2004 and you can even see when the term DNN was coined for referring to DotNetNuke. The search terms have receive an ever growing percentage of searches with a huge spike in 2005 around the time DNN 2.0 came on the scene. This would lend credibility that the skinning features introduced in this version improved DotNetNuke’s market position.

The application is still growing in searches, but it has tapered off since around the end of the third quarter in 2005 and it is showing a steady search percentage for the terms but it is not growing as it once was.

I also ran comparisons between DotNetNuke and Community Server and DNN does still seem to be outpacing Community Server in the amount of people searching for information. This is not really a good test since Community Server only has search terms going back to the first part of 2005 and it is considerably less than DNN was at that time. If we had the data for when DNN was first launched, I would not be surprised if we had similar results for DotNetNuke as what CS is showing now.

Anyway this is a pretty cool little app and I’m sure many people will find all sorts of uses for it. you can view searches by regions and my personal favorite you can link news stories to searches. I was comparing as many things as I could so I decided to look for the term avian bird flu. Google’s trending application showed me the trend of searches for Bird flu, but it also showed me related news stories on the subject. You can see a definite correlation between when a news story on this subject breaks and the amount of searches on the subject. Many times there was a spike when a news story breaks just to see the searches tailor off in the days after the story.You can find the application at http://www.google.com/trends

Microsoft Releases source code for Asp.Net 2.0 providers

Scott Guthrie has posted the Microsoft has released the Asp.Net 2.0 providers as source code. These include the Membership, Role Management, Site Navigation, Session State, Profile, Web Events, and Web Part Personalization providers. There has also been quite a few pages of documentation that have been developed and I look forward to reading through the documentation and finally understanding how these providers function. You can read about the release of this source code over at Scott’s blog.

The source is released under a permissive license that allows you to modify the source and release it with your applications. I’m wondering what implications this will have for applications such as CS or DotNetNuke which both use the membership providers that was back ported for Asp.Net 1.1. This could provide some advantages with both these applications as the provider can now modified to meet their individual needs and should allow both these projects to deliver a more robust membership provider that benefits the customers of these applications.

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Core Competencies in Open Source Projects

I recently decided to go to grad school and obtain my masters in MIS with an emphasis in security. Securing systems has always been a passion of mine and there was probably even a time when I wanted to see if I could break them. It just seems like some fun knowledge to have and with the current climate in the Information technology industry security training will be a skill to have and will make me more marketable.

Well I just completed my first series of classes and it was very stressful since I took two classes and they where pushed into an eight week time frame. Couple this with the fact that I still go to work every day it makes for some very full weeks, when both professors expected me to read 5 or 6 chapters every week and write at least one paper. Well I made it through and even managed to pull two A’s out of the classes. One of the classes turned out to be very interesting even though I did not see eye to eye with the professor, he did disseminate some very useful information. This class was Strategic Management of Technology and the majority of the course dealt with determining the core competencies of an organization and encouraging innovation around those core competencies. For clarity a core competency is defined as:

  • Something that provides access to a wide variety of markets.
  • Something that provides a perceived value to the customers of a product
  • It must be difficult for competitors to imitate.

Now all through the class the professor kept telling us to define what our core competencies where to build up those competencies. I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately and he is absolutely correct, I need to build up my competencies and use those competencies to compete in my everyday life. That’s is one reason I decided to start working on this blog and capture my thoughts on a daily basis. Hopefully it will help me to define where I want to go next. I’ve definitely determined it is not to continue to work a 9-5 job every day as I have done through out my entire career.

Well enough of me, I started looking at the various projects available in Asp.Net and I am have been trying to determine the competencies for the various open source projects. I first thought of the Rainbow project. I would think their core competencies is in their localization of their framework as it is probably one of the most complete implementations of localization of any of the open source or shared source projects available in the .Net community ( at least of the ones I’ve seen). Now Rainbow is not one of the most popular projects by a long ways so either their core competency is not really a great competency as it does not provide them with a broad range of markets, but it is a needed feature and they have done it very well, but maybe that is not the most important feature to the developers in the Asp.Net community.

Now thinking of DotNetNuke, I can think of several competencies. The first one that comes to mind is the multiple portal feature where you can have hundreds of web sites on a single installation of DNN this is definitely the killer feature that allowed DNN to gain its foothold in the community and has also allowed it to become the most popular asp.net project by a long shot. But I don’t really think this could be described as a core competency for DNN, but it probably was one at one time. DNN’s true core competency is in the community around the project. The community is what gives DNN its position and without the strength of the community, I would think DNN would have faltered long ago and would now be only a memory or have numerous forks all working towards different goals. Its getting late so I will need to finish these thoughts later, but I just find it interesting that a competency of a open source project probably has less to do with the cool code it contains than it does with the people who support it. I would say this it probably true of any successful open source endeavor. The community is what creates value in open source an not really the code. So for all the people who says if a web application is not built utilizing LAMP, then its not true open source maybe they should think again and consider open source is about a lot more than the platform that runs or creates the application. I personally think its more about the community and sharing and not just whether it runs as platform independent.