FriendCSV: Your data doesn’t stay in FaceBook

That didn’t take long. TechCrunch is reporting about a FaceBook application called FriendCSV, which allows dumping selected pieces of data about your contacts to a comma-separated format. TechCrunch has the right angle about this; it’s fundamentally about getting your data back out of FaceBook and not being locked in their trunk.

Some of the folks in the comment thread are getting a little spun up about this. I think they miss the point. As one user says, there is nothing in the data set that cannot be viewed by going to the person’s profile page, and you aren’t pulling any data from anyone who isn’t your friend.

What’s that? or, Car envy

One of my neighbors was selling a Mitsubishi 3000 recently. I thought, “How nice, he’s outgrown fast cars.” Not so fast. Lisa pointed out a new car in his driveway when we were out on a walk, saying, “I think he got a classic Porsche.”

A closer look told me it was no Porsche (though the hatchback/fastback made it look a little like a 911 from the rear), but what it was was a little more obscure. Definitely a British sports car: right-hand drive, and the original British plate was still on the vehicle under its Mass. plate. But what model? Then I saw him start to back it out of the driveway, and it hit me. I told my wife, “I think that’s an Aston Martin—the James Bond car.”

I got a closer look as we went by. Sunroof with a cloth top, the famous winged Aston Martin logo on the back, gunmetal gray paint. I memorized the lines as best I could and went home to look it up. I was unfortunately unable to do the check that day, as that’s when the stomach flu that grounded me for much of the weekend into yesterday kicked in. But I looked it up today, and my neighbor is driving an Aston Martin DB Mark III. It is the James Bond car, but not the one that appears in the film. When Ian Fleming wrote the novel Goldfinger, he had Bond driving a DB Mark III, but this was upgraded to Aston Martin’s latest DB 5 when the film of Goldfinger was made.

As a longtime British car fan (I grew up with my dad’s project car, a 1967 MGB that he rebuilt or fixed from the chassis up, and drove my own 1977 MGB, his second project car, until an unfortunate carburetor fire), I am extremely jealous. Oh, to be in a small, potentially unsafe vehicle again, low to the ground, loud, and responsive…

Service Request takes front stage

Rob England writes in a recent ITSMWatch article about the evolution of the ITIL Request, from not even being mentioned to being a peer with Incidents, and points out that ITIL could go further:

ITIL v4 will, most likely, I predict, finally recognise that the Service Desk deals with generic Requests/Tickets/Issues/Incoming. These Requests have multiple categories. Each category has its own variant of a more general process that applies to all of them, in much the same way as there are several categories of Change which all undergo variants of the general Change process.

Oddly enough, iET ITSM has dealt with incoming issues in this way for years. Each incoming issue (these were actually called inquiries in earlier versions of the software) could be an incident, a request, a question, a complaint, or some other type of action. The logic behind this approach is that the end user’s interaction with the service desk may be fulfilled using one of several processes depending on the type of issue.

The important thing to do is not to oversimplify this concept. There is a big difference between simply flagging an inbound customer issue as a “request” and providing the right data and behavior to correctly automate the request process. The ITSM software must provide support for those processes that goes beyond simple categorization.