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Welcome to the 'Plogging' World

Hemos posted more than 9 years ago | from the living-in-a-material-world dept.

Businesses 185

Roland Piquepaille writes "No, it's not a typo. A plog is short for 'project log' like a blog is short for 'web log.' And plogs start to be used as tools to manage projects, especially in the IT world, as discovered Michael Schrage of the MIT. He reports his findings in an article published by CIO Magazine, "The Virtues of Chitchat." Schrage found that if plogs are not really commonplace, they're not exactly rare. And they are even used to manage large IT projects, such as ERP rollouts. I totally agree with him that a plog is of great value to integrate people in a team or to keep track of the advancement of a project. And you, what's your view? If you're a project manager, do you use a plog for better control? And if not today, will you use one in the future? This overview contains selected excerpts from Schage's article which will help you to answer the above questions."

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185 comments

Embarassing (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9174546)

term.

Plogging for defense and security (4, Informative)

tcd004 (134130) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174547)

See this interesting short piece in FP [foreignpolicy.com] about how military contractors, the Office of Naval Research and Law enforcement agencies are testing plogs on their projects and networks.

Tcd004

Re:Plogging for defense and security (4, Insightful)

nocomment (239368) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174683)

Funny thing is that most people firewall the original "plog" [pcwebopedia.com] from years ago. Just turn on finger, make a .plan and bingo, instant plog. Of course my .plan always consisted of an ascii middle finger so when someone fingered me, I fingered them back. So maybe this new way is better after all?

Basecamp for Plogging (5, Informative)

gokubi (413425) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174555)

I recently started using Basecamp [basecamphq.com] from 37Signals for tracking projects. It's basically a "plogging" system with to-do lists, milestones, file uploading, and one of the most intuitive interfaces I've ever used on the web. I've been tracking internal projects in the way described in the article--I think it's great.

It also makes it really easy to make client-extranet plogs where clients can comment on your entries. Really slick.

Re:Basecamp for Plogging (4, Interesting)

nounderscores (246517) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174662)

hmm have to check that out.
my uni uses tutos [tutos.org].

and the software engineering documentation subject has "Document the building of your very own team management software" as their semester project [mu.oz.au]

actually, in order to manage all the docs our team used a combination of roundup, mailman and B2 blog to make our own rapidly developed team work space...
it was kinda ironic - using a collaborative online project management system to design a collaborative online project management system

in the end, though, the strain of having 7 people work on 1 document through a webbased interface got too much so we ended up using CVS on the school unix servers

File storage security (1)

persaud (304710) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174793)

Where are files stored in this system? The description says that only links are on the extranet, but it also talks about file uploading. How are project documents shared with people outside the corporate firewall?

Neat (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9174565)

I can't wait to blog in my moblog about plogging. Oh, and kill myself.

Do we need more types? (5, Insightful)

Bobdoer (727516) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174573)

We already have blogs, flogs, photologs, moblogs and now these plogs? Someone needs to stop making new terms up and just call them all logs.

Re:Do we need more types? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9174623)

We already have blogs, flogs, photologs, moblogs and now these plogs?

You forget the caca-log, or "clog" [ratemypoo.com]...

Re:Do we need more types? (3, Interesting)

ericspinder (146776) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174697)

In response to an internal tech newsletter about "what you wanted to see", I anwsered with an idea about an "internal forum" with postings about every project, it's general status, design and questions (and hopefully answers) on technology. Apparently only the name stuck, our "Forum" is an web page form to ask questions, which are to be answered by (appenently) the newsletter staff. In fact, I am only quessing about my idea being turned into an email page becuase I never heard a word back on my suggestion, not even a "hey, thanks" to indicate that it was even read; I suppose other people may have suggested such a "forum" (or even just the general idea).

I glad the idea has a specific name, now that there is a buzz word attached to the idea maybe someone who matters will pick up on it and champion the idea, it would be useful, no matter what it's called.

Re:Do we need more types? (4, Funny)

sootman (158191) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174772)

"We already have blogs, flogs, photologs, moblogs and now these plogs? Someone needs to stop making new terms up and just call them all logs."

There are too many words in English, period. From now on, let's just call all things "things."

Oh, wait, what's the point of language again?

Re:Do we need more types? (5, Interesting)

generic-man (33649) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174820)

"Blogs," "moblogs," and "plogs" are not words. They are ill-conceived marketing creations, no better than "information superhighway" and "top-speed technology." They exist to perpetuate the myth that personal publishing is going to reinvent the web as a means of communication.

Weblogs are personal web pages or journals. Plogs are project logs. Photologs are photo journals. Sure, the terms are longer, but they actually sound reasonable compared to "blog."

Re:Do we need more types? (4, Insightful)

Angostura (703910) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174921)

Next week, why the neologism 'Web' should be replaced with 'Internet-based hypertext-linked document system'.

Re:Do we need more types? (1)

Plutor (2994) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174963)

> "Blogs," "moblogs," and "plogs" are not words. They are ill-conceived marketing creations, no better than "information superhighway" and "top-speed technology." They exist to perpetuate the myth that personal publishing is going to reinvent the web as a means of communication.

This is ridiculous. Just because they are trendy and some blowhards make some outlandish claims about them, doesn't mean that they aren't concepts or words. In fact, the use of the words "weblog" and "blog" in the popular press has increased dramatically [overstated.net] in the past four years. Standing in the way of contractions just makes you look like a liguistic luddite.

Re:Do we need more types? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9174995)

The press uses the words "weblog" and "blog," so that means that they're real words. If you don't believe this, you're a Luddite.


Once again, the so-called "blogosphere" suckles at the teat of the Old Media they pretend to dethrone. Excuse me while I append "-blog" to all my web searches.

Ah, like the old .project file (5, Interesting)

Mick Ohrberg (744441) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174578)

Brings back memories, when we would check out each others' .project files... Hopefully this tool will be a little easier to manage.

Nostalgia... (3, Interesting)

igrp (732252) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174932)

We used to use .project files to keep track of schedule changes, progress and project-related problems we had run into, too. It actually worked very well in small to medium-sized development groups.

We would timestamp our .project files and each of us would have their login script finger the other group members, compare the timestamp to the one stored in a flat database (ASCII file) and then, if there were any changes, display the output of the finger command.

Simple, yet effective (plus, it was geeky enough to make sure that nobody outside of R&D or Coding ever bothered to check the status of projects).

These days, unfortunately, hardly anyone seems to be running fingerd and it's virtually always firewalled off to the outside world.

one word (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9174585)

pwiki.
They make for excellent documentation both for old and for new developers/users

Re:one word (2, Insightful)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174888)

I think this would be an excellent idea. I'm new to my current organization, and have no way to find out information except for the rather time-consuming process of calling/emailing/asking people. And when I do find something out, I have no way to record it except memory or, if I'm lucky, an email exchange.

Setting up an organization-wide wikipedia for all issues from how the lunchroom works to how to contact payroll to the business logic for a certain process would provide an invaluable resource. And since it's editable by everyone, you don't have to worry about getting it up to MIS to change the Intranet. And authentication could be handled by the current login/password system...

I like it. Thanks for making me look good at the meeting with the new CIO.

Re:one word (4, Informative)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174984)

I'm using TikiWiki [tikiwiki.org] for projects, it provides me wiki pages, individual blogs for separate projects (and with wiki syntax), basic java drawing program for adding diagrams and collaborate on them, forums, comments and some granularity on permissions (i.e to limit what people can do on one project or another). The tool have a lot of more ways to collaborate, but with those functions are enough for most normal uses.

Following this naming scheme (5, Funny)

pavon (30274) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174590)

Richard Stallman's page would be a Freedom Log, one of many in the new flogging scene.

Cue the Comic Book Guy (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9174596)

Worst. Fake word. Evar.

Re:Cue the Comic Book Guy (-1, Redundant)

SushiFugu (593444) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174639)

I agree. They aren't even keeping with the Blog-esque naming scheme of using the last letter (weBlog). It should be Tlog.

interesting... (2, Interesting)

kistral (757265) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174603)

I'm not sure that this site [plogs.net] is working under the same definition of "plog", but then again, I had never heard of a "project log" before this article.

Re:interesting... (1)

crschmidt (659859) | more than 9 years ago | (#9175046)

Speaking as ex-development manager for the site, we were working under the defintion "People Log" - an alternative to LiveJournal, at the time. More oriented toward hardcore bloggers - Trackback, and other things, included, Plogs.net has always offered a cheap alternative for those people who want a large scale product but don't want to set it up themselves.

Star Trek (5, Funny)

danormsby (529805) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174604)

Why are there all these abbreviations anyway?

Never heard James T. Kirk put an entry in the clog.

Re:Star Trek (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9174752)

Never heard James T. Kirk put an entry in the clog.

That's because they didn't include the sequences filmed after James T. Kirk ate refried Romulan beans. His clog entries can be found here [tinyurl.com].

We all knew it would come to this... (5, Funny)

jiffah (685832) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174605)

O.K. it's time to shut off the internet. Thanks for your participation everybody.

tlog? (5, Interesting)

lacrymology.com (583077) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174611)

If a web log is a blog, then shouldn't project log be a tlog?

-m

Re:tlog? (1)

mrmez (585359) | more than 9 years ago | (#9175198)

you stole my Score:5 Interersting!!!!! doggonit! However, my comment was going to be: If "plog is short for 'project log' like a blog is short for 'web log.'" then shouldn't it be called a "tlog?" I think that if the term must exist then "plog" is preferable, but the original post's comment would only be correct for the term "tlog."

like its new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9174618)


also known as a Diary !
also known as human literay static

Tlog? (0, Redundant)

Mwongozi (176765) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174627)

Shoudn't a project log be called a "tlog"?

Web log
Project log.

Re:Tlog? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9174755)

of course!
actually Plog means "craP log"

Not fair!! - CSM alert! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9175114)

He posts (at most) one minute later than some other guy with the same idea, and some CSM (Crack Smoking Moderators) jumps on him like he was 10 minutes late. Chances are this guy was in the "first jump" of posters who saw the story because of his subscription. Slashdot shouldn't be only a race, but based on the quality of the posts. This post much clearly identified the idea by cleaver formating. Perhaps "losing the race" (really coming in a close second) should disqualify him for any points, but it should affect him negitively.

Duh! (5, Insightful)

imidazole2 (776413) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174633)

People have been project blogging for a while. So someone comes up with the term PLOG and gets on slashdot? sigh.

Duh!-Mozilla Development. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9174790)

The Mozilla team [PDF] [async.com.br] has been using open forums before a lot of people did.

Workplace Wikis are useful (5, Interesting)

mikemacd (84328) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174646)

I've found that WIKIs [wikipedia.org] can be useful as a collaboration tool in the workplace.

It can be a free form tool to coordinate various teams and projects. Its important to bear in mind though that even the best tool is no replacement for good management.

The WIKI I'm currently using is TWIKI [twiki.org] which is GPL'd.

Re:Workplace Wikis are useful (2, Interesting)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 9 years ago | (#9175061)

It can be a free form tool to coordinate various teams and projects. Its important to bear in mind though that even the best tool is no replacement for good management.
IMHO, a free-form logging tool or discussion board serves two valuable purposes:

1) On a free-form weblog or discussion board, it is much easier to be honest about problems. Compare that to formalised documents such as progress reports, where most people tend to play down issues because they think they can fix them themselves before the next report is due, or because they don't want to make their boss (or themselves) look bad on a formal and perpetually archived document. Good management requires good and timely information... our company has an unmoderated board with lots of flames, gripes and complaints, and if I were the CEO, I'd take a peek at that board every now and then.

2) Formalised document hierarchies can sometimes be rather a discouragement to recording the odd thought, idea or issue. Should this be a memo, briefing note, how-to, FYI bulletin, technical subsystem spec or should it go on the ARID log? Where do I file it? Does it need to be reviewed? Sometimes, not having a lot of structure can be good, and weblogs can provide such an environment.

Plog, Blog,... (4, Funny)

thenextpresident (559469) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174647)

all make me think of Barf's (John Candy) line in Spaceballs:

"I'm a mog. Half-man, half-dog. I'm my own best friend."

jabber (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9174655)

Where I work (major corp), engineers just spend all day logged into chatrooms via jabber to keep in touch and discuss things.

Welcome to the "Clogging" world. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9174657)


No, it's not a typo. A clog is short for 'colon log' like a blog is short for 'web log.' And as plogs start to be used as tools to clog toilets, we will need a trained army of monkeys to reach in there and undo the damage. That, or bran.

The choice is yours, America. It's either high-fiber breakfasts or an army of poop-monkeys.

Me? I like monkeys.

None of which changes the fact that "plogging" is officially where this stupid trend should die.

Discussion groups (5, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174666)

For small projects, a "Wiki" system is nice because it is informal. It is kind of like a bunch of named note-pads where anyone (given access) can edit content. It has simplified editing conventions to avoid having to type HTML. For example, a bullet point can be created (upon rendering) simply by including an asterisk at the begginning of a paragraph. (Different wikis have different conventions.)

But for larger groups a more formal "discussion group" may be more appropriate to keep track of who wrote what. These are generally hierarchical, AKA "threaded". The problem many of them have is that it is difficult to reference stuff outside of the hierarchy. They should use some kind of message numbering system so that one can easily make cross-branch references by typing in message numbers.

However, many managers are not used to such systems and are sometimes intimidated by them. Some tend to be "verbal-oriented".

plan (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9174669)

Remember the days when blogging was called a .plan file?

Quit quoting from other blogs (1, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174671)

Too many Slashdot stories are coming from other blogs. Quote from original content, please.

Re:Quit quoting from other blogs (1)

theguru (70699) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174920)

Since when has Slashdot ever had "original content"? Oh, you want more John Katz?

Slashdot is just a place to consolidate links to articles posted elsewhere on the web. As more and more *logs are appearing on the net, it only stands to reason that more and more Slashdot stories will be links to a log. I prefer them to the daily NYT article links.

My experiments in my team with a blog. (4, Interesting)

thehive (698558) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174696)

A few months back i setup a blog to help out our team to help manage the knowledge we acquire throughtout the projects duration. My managers fourtunately approved it. Though it was well recieved throught the team, very few knew what a blog actually is and very few have actually used it. It is rather unfortunate that some employees do not do anything other than things which are manadatory. I'm sure people would have used it much more if it was made mandatory to record all their experiences but we know that it's not possible. An oft quoted excuse is time. Blogging does take time and i totally agree with that but what is not being considered is the time that would be saved by someone else who would come across the same problems after a month or two.

XP (3, Informative)

MikeHunt69 (695265) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174701)

I've worked with Thoughtworks [thoughtworks.com] on a few projects and they looove XP [extremeprogramming.org]. They also love the idea of refactoring and used to keep a project wiki for each project - similar to what is being described here, except without the historical info.
Martin Fowler, owner of Thoughtworks and XP evangelist, keeps a Bliki [martinfowler.com] (his name for a cross between a Blog & a Wiki)

Re:XP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9175217)

So a bliki is a... web wiki? You mean, as opposed to all of those paper wikis? Since blog stands for web log, shouldn't a wiki log be ilog? iLog, kinda catchy... think I'll trademark it. Hell, maybe I could just patent the method of conjoining two words to form a catchy marketing phrase.

piquepaille (1, Flamebait)

SkunkPussy (85271) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174703)

Whats the point of linking to another blog? you still have to click on all the links in that blog to get to the article. Does Roland pay slashdot for the traffic slashdot sends his way? I guess this would explain why theres about so many articles which are really summaries of mr piquepailles articles.

also, the other thing that is fishy is that its always mr piquepaille himself who submits the articles, its never an interested websurfer who thought they might be of interest to the slashdot audience...

Re:piquepaille (3, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174798)

I have to say, RP's blog is as uninteresting as it comes, and gets way too much Slashdot time. RP almost reminds me of Jon Katz, without the sometime amusing I'm-not-sure-what-was-in-that-cigarette effect.

MOD PARENT UP, he has a very valid point.

ultimate in Karmawhoring (1)

Scott Richter (776062) | more than 9 years ago | (#9175042)

I have to say, RP's blog is as uninteresting as it comes, and gets way too much Slashdot time. RP almost reminds me of Jon Katz, without the sometime amusing I'm-not-sure-what-was-in-that-cigarette effect.

An interesting and pretty damned apt analogy. I've truly never understood the appeal of weblogging. Most people have absolutely nothing insightful to say, and as oft observed, their weblogs are barely more than poorly concealed plagiarism and linkfarms. I also have no idea what gives people the idea that other people give a shit what they think. Getting a few "+5"'s past the typically braindead /. mods does not qualify. These are the same people who don't check links and end up giving tubgirl a "+5."

I'd put RP in with that unless he actually is doing what g'parent is implying, just submitting his shit to /. so he can profit from his sidebar ads. And yes, they are his ads- other people doing weblogs on the same service (radio.weblogs.com) don't have them.

Talk about the ultimate in karmawhoring.

In theme with other posts... (2, Interesting)

lpangelrob2 (721920) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174724)

We too also use a Wiki to communicate. Unfortunately a quick glance at the "Recent Changes" page shows the last change was made on February 28th despite three large projects between then and now.

About the only thing proven here is that when e-mail is shown to be sufficient, it's sufficient, and developers won't be quick to jump to other technologies, even when they are more useful.

For me... (1)

marika (572224) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174732)

they're all flogs. Sorry, unlike wikis, I dislike blogs. I don't dislike bloggers. Unfortunately there are a lot of annoying blogs out there. As usual, it's the few bad ones that makes it all look bad.

Re:For me... (1)

Xhad (746307) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174905)

As usual, it's the few bad ones that makes it all look bad. As a 'blogger, I don't feel at all uncomfortable saying most blogs are bad.

Anytime you have an art form where creation and distribution are easy but editorial staffs are nonexistent, you're going to end up with a lot of bad art. That's also half the reason why fanfiction is generally awful.

Most weblogs suck. Most websites suck. Most books would suck if you could essentially print and distribute them for free like you can with a website.

Oh, goody... (2, Insightful)

mr_Spook (458791) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174734)

Another buzzword for people to throw about like mad. Just what we need.

Seriously though, my head may be up my ass on this, but could someone tell me just what the difference between all these *logs and the now long-dead .plan files some used to the same purpose? Sure, you don't have to finger for the info as it's all on the web now, but it's the same concept, isn't it?

Re:Oh, goody... (1)

FerretFrottage (714136) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174982)

I was thinking the same thing...these are .plan files for the "masses". That's the why I see blogs in general....just "mass enabled" .plan files. I don't think there is anything wrong with that, easier access to information is a nice thing, but I don't see a difference other than the presentation format.

Yep, it's helpful. (1)

SerialHistorian (565638) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174750)

I manage the creation and customization of project management and other type of web-based software.

One of the core features of every program is the 'logging' function -- every time a change is made to a record - whether it be a product, project, customer, or ticket status, it's logged and/or diff'ed, timestamped, and recorded. Logs are available below the main information area. Email messages that are passed through the system's mail relay are also recorded and timestamped, and a user can provide a comment at any point (i.e. recording the results or minutes of a meeting that was held earlier.) Users also are required to provide information on what was completed whenever they clock time towards a task or item. So basically, it's mandatory blogging ... or plogging, but that's such an unfortunate term...

What will be the next concatenated word to take the blogging world by storm? I know! Blogging about snails, snakes, snow, or snarkiness will be referred to as "snogging"...

Re:Yep, it's helpful. (1)

statusbar (314703) | more than 9 years ago | (#9175072)

Blogging about snails, snakes, snow, or snarkiness will be referred to as "snogging"...

Hey! Sounds like a great idea for my Snail Snog! [statusbar.com]

--jeff++

Careful now, your projects may inspire others too. (2, Insightful)

asbestos_tophat (720099) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174753)

Careful now, your projects may inspire other companies and people to simply take your work for free. There was a cool clock design that the MCu people designed as a learning platform, and some creative individual swiped the industrial design and sold it to Radio-Shack © (cheers mate! May you ROT in cyber hell.) Unless your project is a non-profit public service or GNU licensed project the implied copyrights of today's web is practically non-existent.


My personal choice is to publish hardware designs, but to force visitors of the research projects to write their own code (aka .EDU .) There are always options to recreate the same design in a slightly different way to avoid the copyrights, but we don't work for free. ;-)

Makes sense (1)

jhines (82154) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174769)

A blog is created for or by a person. A plog is for an event or project.

Given that most people have more than one project going at a time, and are interested in multiple projects.

With the spring festivals and such in full swing, I can see where a plog would be terrrific for putting together such a community event.

Poop Log (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9174774)

i call my poop log a plog hence the name plogger.insert_my_domain_that_doesnt_want_to_be_sl ashdotted.org

and yes it is used to keep track of s%!t

I have been building a similar tool set (1)

jrexilius (520067) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174800)

for my corp IT group. Its more wiki-centric but the idea is the same. Its used to help document and communicate.

I released the first hack on freshmeat a while ago and have been using it in its current ugly form and need to keep refining it, but the ideas are there.

live obs (1)

fraccy (780466) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174802)

This reminds me of what we use to call the Live Observations list, which was supposed to have a carefully documented list of software failures or faults along with related actions and change proposals, but tended to turn into a to-do list/comments/information/oh-shit-its-broken-damn- you repository. Based on a beautifully crafted (hmm) excel spreadsheet, theres no doubt this was a PLog in disguise. I think we all agree that such information exchanges have existed since before computers, and the only value added by any of these systems is to overcome physical limitations in terms of access, and to enable better organisation of large amounts of information through automation. So that begs the question, whats the next revolutionary improvement over a whiteboard?

Logs on the JPL Mars Exploration Rovers (3, Interesting)

goatbar (661399) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174813)

Not too surprising. We used this all the time for the MER rovers at JPL. We used aim chat groups with a logging robot (easy enough to write one using say Net::AIM). Lots of design discussions and training sessions were done through IM and then became a part of the project documentation. Then grep and search when you forget something. Just don't say anything too obnoxious while chatting...

Only 6 acronyms/buzzwords?!?! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9174815)

Dear Slashtard,

The ROI of my time doesn't warrant the attention this particular topic requires.

Sincerely,
Your PHB

P.S. - Get back to work!!!

MS Project (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9174825)

The name may be stupid, but if that's the price to pay for not having to use Microsoft Project any more, then I'm all for it!

Just Wondering.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9174898)

Quote: A plog is short for 'project log' like a blog is short for 'web log.'

If "web log" is to "blog", shouldn't this be a "tlog" ? ("project log")

-AC

What do the rest of you use? (2, Interesting)

broothal (186066) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174909)

I've been looking for something like this for a long time. Unfortunately, plogging doesn't satisfy my every need. So - let me ask the project managers of slashdot (I know you're out there) - what do you use as project collaboration/management tool? Someone posted a link to "Basecamp" which seemed ok (unfortunately it require credit information just to try a free demo). Are there other tools like that? How do they measure up?

I've been thinking about wiki, but it's a tad to difficult to be useful - my teams usually consists of developers, DB people, graphic designers, customers etc. They'd never learn the simple wiki markup.

Re:What do the rest of you use? (1)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 9 years ago | (#9175047)

I've got one that I wrote for my job. It's not too complicated - just keeps some "project master" data (title, description, inception and completion dates), categories, keywords, and project history.

I can search by keyword (my term for "miscellaneous short free text field"), category/subcategory, "open" projects and the like.

It's real nice for tracking small projects with small numbers of people working on them - makes for a good "working memory" of what you've done to solve problems in the past. Note sure how well it would scale up.

Best control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9174916)

If you're a project manager, do you use a plog for better control?

I've always found flogging [sexuality.org] to work best for control.

Email analysis might be a better tool (2, Insightful)

GileadGreene (539584) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174925)

Blogs or plogs are all well and good, but the problem is that getting anyone to write any kind of documentation is hard. There will always be design decisions that get made but never recorded. Personally, I think that the method of extracting design rationales from an analysis of a project email archive that was proposed in this [u-tokyo.ac.jp] paper would be more useful than a plog, in that it captures the actual consensus and decision-making process, rather than relying on people to go out of their way to write extra information down after the fact. Admittedly, it misses decisions made in verbal interchanges, but it does catch a lot of stuff that would otherwise be missed (I know that many of the projects I've worked on recently have resolved many design issues via email exchanges).

As an aside: who is Roland Piquepaille, and how does he manage to get an article in /. every other day [slashdot.org]?

Potential problem (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174944)

This sort of thing might invite comments from unqualified people. The classic case is the engineering manager telling a graphic designer how to design a logo. I prefer to read the CVS comments I get in my email from people that are working on the same code as myself. Some people are very good at it, it's very entertaining!

I call dibs on the next one! (1)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174958)

We call it "flog".

Because that's the point where the people who are tired of these silly logs clogging up web searches form up into groups, hunt down the "loggers" and, well, flog them.

These are the things I amuse myself with while falling asleep at night.

and I will say it again (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 9 years ago | (#9174968)

after I heard the term mblog

THIS HAS TO BE STOPPED!!!

is it REALLY that hard to just say Mobile Log, or Web Log that we need to shorten it?

Plogs (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9175056)

I used to keep all my Project Logging in my .plan file, so that when people used the php-based finger on my team member profile, it would list what I was working on. Older updates got appended to a .plan.old file after at the beginning of each month, so that my thoughts/ideas/plans/etc. never got deleted.

I have a ton of neat ideas and thoughts on improving development, but in that same respect, I'm extremely forgetful. If I can keep from re-inventing the wheel, so much the better. Plus, what if I were to die in a horrible shopping cart accident? How would my (now ex-)employer recover from the loss? Well, if they were smart, they would look at my home directory and see my project info in plain sight and pick up the pieces in an instant (which they did when they laid me off in 2001), just as I would if I were to take a vacation for a week and come back to work I had left idling.

I wouldn't try to manage a project without one (2, Insightful)

symbolic (11752) | more than 9 years ago | (#9175079)


There are so many details to track, and so many nuanced changes that can creep into the process. Rather than sit and wonder how in hell things ended up the way they are, and even more importantly, why specific courses of action where chosen over others, a project log is an invaluable tool. This is unfortunately, an area where almost every PIM falters miserably, since they all make the same limited assumptions: every event will have a start/end date, a start/end time, and will involve one or more participants. Project logging requires some very basic information: date, time, summary, category, and a text field that can accommodate a lengthy (up to 32K) description. All fields should be searchable. I will be very happy when I see KOrganizer or any of the other common Linux-based PIMs with this feature.

they are good in theory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9175092)

they are good in theory but people are very resistance to use them.

I am currently working on a project with about 10 other people and implemented a log to centralize all the notes and stuff. The log worked perfectly, the managers loved it, but the workers hated it. I couldn't hardley get anyone to actually use it. The common reaction I got was when should I blog? And another responce was that they didn't want people to know what they were doing.... blogs.. plogs whatever you call them will only be useful if the people actually want to use them... and in my case they didn't. so we no longer have/use it.

Re:they are good in theory... (1)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 9 years ago | (#9175201)

The common reaction I got was when should I blog? And another responce was that they didn't want people to know what they were doing.

Yup.

If people say "there is problem X", it's just something for their managers to start bothering them about. If people keep saying "everything is fine" and work on resolving things without ever letting out that there is a hangup, they get less pressure from above.

Also, people may use this informally and not put the effort into a plog that they would a press release -- but it's easy to snag stuff from a plog.

What a stupid name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9175214)

Blog... what a stupid name. People who apparently have enough time to read the stupid things can't find the time to pronounce or type two words?
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