Thursday, December 16, 2010

Amazon–FIM Best Practices Volume 1

Apparently one of the Amazon marketplace sellers has decided to list my book on Amazon.

So I am excited that it can now be found on Amazon, but it should be noted that Old Shingled House has marked it up to $49.95 a 99.5% markup. Old Shingled House is buying them through Lulu at the regular rate of $25.00. If you buy it through Amazon or through Lulu, I still get my normal cut, the question is how much you pay. Now lest you think Old Shingled House is being greedy, I did look at what it takes to make the book available on Amazon through the marketplace or by having Lulu place it out there, and there certainly are extra costs. So if you found it through Amazon good. If you found it at Lulu and bought there even better for you.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Buy FIM Vol 1 and Get free ground shipping through Dec 12th

From LULU:

Enter coupon code HOLIDAY305 to receive free ground shipping. Shipping address must be within the United States. The maximum savings for this offer is $45. Sorry, but this offer is only valid in US dollars and cannot be applied to previous orders. You can only use this code once per account, and unfortunately you can't use this coupon in combination with other coupon codes. This great offer expires on December 12, 2010 at 11:59 PM PST, so don't miss out! While very unlikely, we do reserve the right to change or revoke this offer at anytime, and of course we cannot offer this coupon where it is against the law to do so.

Click here to look at the book:

Friday, December 3, 2010

Law of Unintended Consequences

In the process of setting up to teach 50382A - Implementing Forefront Identity Manager 2010 in Phoenix, AZ (Feb 8-11 and May 23 – May 26 – registration info to follow in a subsequent post) and looking at other courses in the Microsoft Courseware library I have noticed an interesting trend – most courses have lots of very bland reviews like this:

“Good Course”

“Good one”

“Good content and best practices”

“nice course”


“Good course”


Why in the world would one class have so many reviews that just say the same thing – which is to say nothing? Why would so many courses have a similar listing of vacuous reviews? Could you imagine if the reviews on or Amazon were all like this?

The Law of Unintended Consequences: Microsoft made a change to their partner program for training centers (Learning Solution Partners). Part of the change involves how they earn enough points to maintain their competency and how they earn enough points to go from Silver to Gold. One of the ways to earn points is to submit reviews on courses. So by reviewing a number of courses people working for Learning Solutions partners can earn points for their employer. Thank goodness there is a limit on how many they can earn this way or I am afraid there would be a never ending feed of inane reviews. This actually is a good idea to encourage people to review courses, however there is not a real quality check, somehow I suspect that the reviewers who provided these vapid comments didn’t read the course, perform the labs, or at the very least they certainly lack imagination, I mean they could have looked at the outline and said oh I like module X on topic Y. At least their “reviews” would appear a bit more convincing.

Having these idiotic reviews is worse than having none at all.

So remember this when setting up your incentive systems, lest the Law of Unintended Consequences reaches out to muddy up your system.