Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Online Document Control

Here's a new online application that holds promise for those looking for a simple and free document control system.

Share Your Documents. Anywhere, Anytime. makes it easy for you to share documents and ideas with friends and colleagues.

You can use to create or upload notes or documents. When you're ready, you can use to invite friends or colleagues to provide feedback. When colleagues have reviewed your document, you'll receive an alert. If they forget to review the document, we'll bug them in email so you don't have to.

Looks pretty cool, albeit basic. But, hey, it's free. For more info, check out

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Blog New World

It’s been more than a year since I started this blog. Pretty impressive for a guy who didn’t even know what a blog was until a few months before. Thanks to Dennis Arter for introducing me to the “blogosphere” (i.e., what geeks call the world of blogs).

Blogs are a great way to create dialogue and share information. Their interactive nature adds depth to the topic being covered. The best blogs provide open access and discussion about a particular subject.

In the quality world, there are several blogs worth visiting:
  • The Audit This blog by Dennis Arter, known in certain circles as “The Audit Guy,” discusses a wide range of issues, from quality auditing to technology. Dennis is a quality expert and technology guru, a nice combination.
  • PDCA This blog by Paul Palmes discusses auditing issues and includes podcast (a downloadable audio file) interviews with quality professionals.
  • The Quality This blog features discussion on a wide range of quality issues and is hosted by Darryl VanDorp.
  • . This blog features discussion on Sarbanes-Oxley (SOx) and is moderated by John Walz. Although not technically a quality issue, SOx is certainly important to quality professionals. The American Society for Quality hosts this site.

ASQ has a blog section on its Web site ( Unfortunately, it has only four blogs listed at present, including John Walz’s SOx blog. However, there is a link to suggest blog topics and potential moderators. This seems like a logical place for ASQ sections and divisions to post their blogs. I don’t know if the reason they aren’t listed here is because none of the sections or divisions have blogs, or if I just can’t find them on ASQ’s rather labyrinthine site.

There are a couple of other nonquality blogs that I visit frequently and I highly recommend:

  • This blog’s description says it all: “Computers make us more productive. Yeah, right. Lifehacker recommends the software downloads and Web sites that actually save time. Don’t live to geek; geek to live.”
  • 43 This blog is about personal productivity, life hacks and simple ways to make your life a little better. It features a lot of good information about David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” methodology.

I’m sure there are some great blogs out there that I haven’t mentioned; please post your favorites here.

User input makes blogs even more interesting. Most blogs allow visitors to post comments, and most bloggers appreciate visitor input. One caveat, however: Be polite and have something useful to say. Some people think blogs are an open invitation to personally attack others. What would your mother say?

If you think the blogosphere is pretty cool and might want to start one of your own, you’re in luck. Setting up a blog is simple and free. A number of services, including Blogger ( and Word Press (, provide free online software and hosting for blogs. I use Blogger, which happens to be owned by Google. Blogger includes a variety of templates to vary the look of your blog. In addition to text postings, you can add links to other blogs and Web sites, images, and audio or video clips. I set up my blog and began posting in less than 10 minutes. If you do set up your own quality blog, let me know about it. I’d like to feature some quality blogs on mine and provide links to them. Adding links to your blog is a great way to drive traffic (i.e., users) to your site.

If you’re uncomfortable with newfangled terms like blog, blogosphere, Web log, podcast and such, relax. They’re entering the mainstream. Toss them around at your next company meeting or with your kids. Your co-workers will think you’re hip; your kids probably won’t. Still confused? Look in Wikipedia (, the free online user-compiled encyclopedia. (Another nod to Dennis Arter for enlightening me about this useful tool.)