‘Free’ digital bulletin board

Last year I was trying to figure out how to build and display a ‘digital bulletin board’ on Main Street USA. The idea being that it would be remotely updated with text, video, graphics, AND would pull from RSS feeds, or just show scheduled content, and be easily updatable. The idea was to mount a flat-panel monitor or TV against a large window where there’s lots of foot traffic to catch the eye of visitors and residents when they were in town. It took a while, but I …

The Resurgence of Email

With the recent example of Amazon’s AWS service arbitrarily killing a business’s website by revoking the company’s hosting contract, the question must be asked – If a service provider can suddenly decide to not provide you service, how can you continue to reach your audience? The short answer is one of the foundational elements of the internet – the original POP… Post Office Protocol. Email. POP servers have (and are) a staple of the internet. They deliver (most) user verification and forgot password emails. They notify people of …

You Can’t Use PayPal Anymore, or, How to Kill a Small Business

In late 2015, I launched MouseMingle.com – the dating site for Disney fans. A few weeks ago, PayPal banned MouseMingle from processing payments with no notice – effectively killing my small business. Why did PayPal choose to kill my small business? Your guess is as good as mine. Why would I say that? Because the official message on my PayPal dashboard says that I’m “in violation of┬áPayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy.” The problem is, PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy says nothing about wholesome websites helping people connect and (hopefully) fall …

Disney+ : Lessons in Agile

Having worked on hundreds of websites since the early 1990s, I’m confident in saying that I understand what works and what doesn’t. And, having worked in waterfall and agile software environments, and as a project manager / program manager, I know what the business teams wants vs. what the development teams can deliver (usually based on the timeline that the business owners want.) With the recent launch of Disney’s streaming video service, Disney+, it’s easy to see that Disney is trying to follow some agile methodologies. One of …

Quora: “Does any one at Disney still think in terms of ‘What would Walt Disney do?'”

The “anyone” part of the question is a bit ambiguous, as there are those who actually work in the Parks, and those who ‘build’ the Parks. Also, the word “do” can mean something different depending on who you ask. Having worked at Disneyland in Attractions (Autopia, and lots of guest control,) as well as in Guest Relations, and finally as a locomotive engineer, I had the opportunity to help and talk to guests face-to-face on a daily basis, in different capacities. I also learned a lot about other …

Quora: “What was it like to work with Walt Disney?”

During the 50th anniversary celebrations, I attended a cast-member only panel which featured several original Imagineers telling stories and answering questions. This question – “What was it like to work with Walt Disney?” – was asked and answered. My favorite answer was this (I’m sorry that I don’t recall which imagineer gave the response): ‘We learned that you never told Walt “no”, you always said “yes, if”. When Pirates of the Caribbean was first built, it was a walk-thru attraction. Much of the concrete walkways had been poured. …

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