Value Add

Recently, I’ve been trying to blog more recently, and also segregate my posts into two blogs – work and personal. I have been trying to do work related posts on my NUS blog, and keep this page for my personal posts. However, things did not go so well.

First of all, I tried to access the NUS blog from my mobile phone. More and more people now consume content through their mobile devices, so a blog that has a mobile theme definitely ranks quite high on my list. In short, NUS blog didn’t had a mobile theme, so it looks shitty in smartphones (To see the difference, you can try visiting blogs vs the NUS one).

Seeing that, I emailed the sysadmin to see whether he can put in the appropriate plugins for mobile theme. This was not just for selfish gain – I believe that we as IT professionals need to help each other keep ahead, so as to provide the best damn services to our customers (i.e. the school).

The response was disappointing – because our wordpress theme was a customized installation (outsourced to vendor), the vendor cannot do a mobile theme. Maybe next version, they say.

Fine, I can try to do without.

The next issue came when I was trying to share some source code onto the blog for NUS new openid implementation. Again, has came up with an elegant solution that was not available in our blog. Again, I emailed the sysadmin to help install that.

This time, the response was more hopeful. The vendor will try to put it in, hopefully before the start of the new AY. Translated – it SHOULD be ready in two months time. Two months, to install a plugin. Maybe.

Given the speed of the internet, sometimes customers can have overwhelming expectations. However, that is not the main point of my gripe.

The main point is, what is the value-add of this NUS blog? One of my colleagues has argued this point strongly before. IF we ever want to do something in house, the solution we implement MUST add value. For example, we used to run a few services – mail, unix, ldap, etc, because no one else can. We have obsoleted things that we no longer thinks is useful, like dial-up, since everyone now has broadband everywhere. We have also killed NUSForge and SoCForge, which were ridiculous since they offer no real advantage over the public SourceForge.

Back to the topic, how is this NUS Blog useful? The only thing I can see is that we get run it on our domain. Wow. But to pay more and get less features, is it really worth it?

Seriously contemplating to abandon that PoS for this.


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