February 23, 2010

Oracle Support Blog back online, kinda.

Filed under: oracle, rant — rmoff @ 19:02

After it was ripped down last week, Chris Warticki’s blog is back online, albeit with the last posting redirecting visitors to a new location on Oracle Communities.

Maybe I’m getting too old for this s##t, but I’m yet to really get a handle on how Oracle want to interact with real people on the ground. Oracle Communities is a fairly new site that I’ve not explored so much because of no OBIEE area. My Oracle Support has feedback and comment sections, but in general usability stinks. A support blog is torn down and then reappears. Oracle Forums are popular as ever but the software blows and some forums (eg OBIEE) are withering under a very high noise to quality-content ratio. Oh, and Oracle Mix (“Bringing Oracle Customers, Employees, and Developers together”) too, which looked quite neat but I have no idea how that’s supposed to fit it the picture.

Thriving online communities are worth many times over the sum of the parts, but I have a “real” job to do as well as trying to keep up with the numerous sites (and these are just the official Oracle ones) and establishing a presence on each. There’s no point a person having to ask a question in multiple locations just to make sure everyone who can answer it will see it. And unless you have lots of experts in one place you can end up with one professed expert doling out answers with no-one to challenge them.

As an example of a thriving online community (and this is a prime example for any Web2.0-social-medja-bullsh##ter to take heed of) I would offer up : Oracle-L. A mailing list based on email. Not very cutting edge huh? But it’s followed by a huge number of real experts, and it’s moderated enough that there’s no rubbish on it. Who cares if it’s not written in flash, HTML5, or doesn’t have a twitter feed? The content is superb, and the delivery mechanism suffices. Job done. Sure, it would be nice to have recognition points, user profiles, blah blah blah. But build on the thing that matters – people who know their stuff, and content. Oh, and delivery mechanism. I want RSS (or email, I suppose), I don’t want to have to visit five different sites to find out what’s new.

Maybe it’s too many chefs spoiling the broth at Oracle (i.e. everyone knows there should be one site, but so long as it’s their site). But seriously guys, it shouldn’t be too hard to have a single hub of interaction. Should it?

February 15, 2010

Oracle Support blog no more

Filed under: obiee — rmoff @ 12:46

A sad little passing last week, of the Oracle Support Blog and related tweets by Chris Warticki.

Last week Chris posted this comment on twitter

“So, what to do if you’re the “online customer presence” and your own leadership wants to censor your posts and comments?”

followed by this terse blog posting:

Support Blog: No longer available

By chris.warticki on February 12, 2010 4:08 PM
Please use My Oracle Support Communities instead

Subsequently he’s twittered the comment : “I’m not allowed to represent Oracle Support through social media. Please escalate SR.”

From the looks of it the blog’s been terminated with extreme prejudice, with all of its old postings no longer accessible (“Access Denied”). This is a real shame as there was some excellent information on how to use the support process efficiently, and some interesting discussion around it too.

Chris took an awful lot of flack last year when the new flash-based My Oracle Support was launched. He did his best to soothe tempers, and from what I saw – as a grunt on the ground just using the product – was the only real person from Oracle actually communicating with the Community. Everything else that Oracle put out was empty-worded platitudes and patronisations that did nothing to address people’s real anger and frustration at what was clearly a Challenged implementation.

I remember at the time being impressed that someone from within the organisation was prepared to put their head above the parapet and actually try to work with people experiencing problems. The rest of the communications that I saw from Oracle appeared equivalent to a five-year old putting their fingers in their ears and shouting “na na na na i can’t hear you there’s no problem na na na na'”… 😦

He posted last week If MOS is down, then what?, and maybe this was the final straw. How can an Oracle blogger post something that acknowledges that My Oracle Support is fallible? That a system that people pay a lot of money to use is not only dog-slow because of an awful flash-interface, but that it’s actually UNAVAILABLE?
In addition, his blog’s comments section gave a platform to a lot of people raising grievances about Oracle’s support platform, and maybe that disturbed the corporate PR monster too. No adverse comments equals no problem, right ? ….

So the blog’s gone (it still exists in the ghostly whispers of the Google Cache, for how long I don’t know), and with that the Corporate dignity of Oracle is restored, maybe to the relief of their PR dept but to the loss of those of us reliant on actually using and implementing the products they sell and need support for. Even if MOS were perfect (ho ho ho), then having an insider communicating with us plebs on things like escalation processes is invaluable, and a great way of enhancing people’s perceptions of the company and support it offers. As it is, MOS is far from perfect, and there’s a lot of unhappy folk out there.

Update 23 Feb 2010: Oracle Support Blog back online, kinda.

February 10, 2010

Exadata V2 POC numbers

Filed under: obiee — rmoff @ 14:12

I stumbled across this blog posting recently, and am reposting the link here as I’ve seen no mention of it elsewhere. This surprised me as with Exadata (and most new technologies) any snippet of news or tech insight gets blogged and tweeted multiple times over.

Any insight into Exadata is interesting as unlike all the other Oracle software which can be downloaded and poked & prodded, this is a physical box so we rely on blog postings and marketing (with a BS filter) to understand more about it.

I’d have liked to see greater explanation of the Querying performance, as there’s no non-exadata number to compare with which makes it less useful

Anyway, the article is here:
Oracle Exadata V2 POC results

Update 24 Feb 2010: The blog’s been taken down, perhaps because these numbers shouldn’t have been published. There’s still a copy in Google Cache

February 8, 2010

Illustrating data

Filed under: bi, visualisation — rmoff @ 12:51

In the following list, which two mind-mapping programs are rated best?























Now look at the actual numbers, and answer again

Different answer?

I can’t be the only one in this frantic world whose eyes are drawn to the pictures instead of words and leap to conclusions.
It’s only because I use FreeMind and was surprised it scored so low …. and then realised it hadn’t.
Looks like the HTML rendering isn’t the same here (FF3.6) as when the web page author wrote it.

This is a good example of how pictures can be so much more powerful than numbers alone, so long as you’re drawing the viewers eyes to the correct numbers!

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