The Diswo Blog is the official blog of the Diswo project. We're all about working together to create great things.

Diswo is a project based collaborative web application that allows creative and entrepreneurial minds to work together!

View the Diswo Web App at Diswo.com and sign up for beta access today!

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New Functionality - Delete Status Updates, Comment on Project Boards

We’ve just rolled out a couple new features and enhancements to the Diswo app. You can now delete your status updates. We also rolled out our comment system to project board updates. These are definitely a couple of minor, but really useful, features that will improve the Diswo UX. Enjoy.

~Team Diswo

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New Functionality - Email Notifications

We’ve just put some functionality onto out live system. It consists mainly of email notification functionality. So now when someone writes on your wall or comments on your status update you will receive an email. Equally when someone sends you a project invite or a friend invite you will also receive an email notification.

~Team Diswo

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New Functionality - Project Tasks

We’ve just launched some new functionality into the Diswo beta. This functionality covers the ability to assign project team members tasks to ensure the project stays on track.

Your feedback on this is greatly appreciated as always.

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UK Start-up Scene: Risk Aversion

As many of you know, Diswo is UK based and we’ve always had an interest in the UK startup scene because of this. Over the last year or so there has been a huge amount of discussion around the web about how the technology scene in Europe, and the UK in particular, is evolving. 

It seems that for anywhere to be as remotely successful as Silicon Valley a particular culture has to be developed. A culture driven by risk takers. Some may argue that the City of London has too many risk takers in the form of the bankers but risking your own money and time is different to that of risking others.

Just look at the environment on the West coast of the US. There is initially the entrepreneur and co-founders who may have sacrificed money or time (most probably both to a degree) in order to spend time developing their idea. Initial employees will have given up secure jobs to come work for a fragile start-up with a cloudy future. After a period of time the co-founders then may look for more capital which will involve some kind of investor, either an Angel or a VC firm. And with any kind of investment there is always some level of risk.

So is risk the backbone of the start-up economy?

Do we have this kind of culture here in the UK? 

Definitely not yet. It was only 20 years ago that people were still in jobs for life here. Sure, 20 years is a long time but we’ve still got a long way before everyone will feel confident to put their trust and money into 3 young guns in Shoreditch.

Of course there is much more to the ecosystem than those that I’ve mentioned. But risk taking is something we’ve become pretty lax with over the last century in the UK. Where are the explorers of old that used to brave the seven seas and the ice caps of the north. Is their blood still running in the veins of the few dreamers in East London? I hope so.

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How to Manage Delays

Delays in projects are inevitable. There is always something unforeseen which enters the fray and puts pressure on deadlines. Once the first delay has occurred it often back ups and causes problems for other team members resulting in a domino effect.

Thankfully there are ways and means to reduce the impact of negative events.

Prevention

Prevention is the best form of cure. If a project team is able to see a possible delay coming then planning for it will no doubt minimise the effect. 

An effective document for managing potential project risks is a risk register. A risk register lists all potential risks to the project. It should also contain:

  • The potential impact of the risk
  • The likelihood that the risk will occur
  • The planned response if the risk does occur
  • The steps which should be taken to mitigate the risk

The benefit of using the risk register is three-fold:

  1. It allows the project team to consider all the potential risks
  2. It causes the project team to think about the actions they would take if the risk occurs
  3. It makes the project team plan what actions they will take to mitigate the risk

Cure

Not all cows on the train track can be seen from a long distance. Imagine if your lead programmer unexpectedly falls ill or if there is a fire in your office. Whilst a risk register should account for these there are often times where the risk was just to obscure to seriously consider. There are also times where the significance of a risk was underestimated.

Unfortunately the only real way to cure a delay is put the extra hours in to make up for the lost time. Fire fighting is something that far too many project managers get used to but really in-depth planning can mitigate any issues and smooth out any delays.

~Team Diswo

Link

5 Reasons Why Virtual Teams Fail

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Release 1 Goes Live!

We are pleased to say that last night out newly designed and developed version of Diswo went live for all our private beta testers. 

Release 1 not only provides a more aesthetic Diswo application it also delivers a much more performable app.

As we’ve said before in previous blog posts, the new design is focussed more tightly around a user’s projects and the community. We’ve already received some very positive comments from the Diswo community which is great news and a very nice reward for the team’s hard work. 

However, as we all know there is no rest for the wicked! Release 1 is just the beginning and we’ll be both improving the current functionality and pushing out new functionality on a regular basis.

If you want to get involved and help out with testing the app then please register at http://www.diswo.com. We are always looking for more testers!

~Team Diswo

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Progress Update 02/04/2011

Another progress update about Diswo and news about a slight shift in direction.

The beta has been open a month now and we’ve gathered some great information and data on how our users are using the software. Not only that but the users have alerted us to a number of different bugs that we will be fixing in due course.

Now, the shift in direction… To date we have been hacking away in PHP without much structure (naughty Team Diswo). This has caused us a number of issues in the back end and the user experience has suffered as a result. We’ve made the decision to start a fresh. We will be continuing to use PHP and MySQL but we will be developing using the CodeIgniter framework. By using this framework we hope to make Diswo more secure and more performable whilst improving the development time for future functionality. Alongside this we will also be rolling out a new user interface which will be more focussed around user’s projects and the Diswo community.

When will you be able to see these changes in action? 

The first release will go into beta Tuesday 19th April 2011.

~Team Diswo

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