Saturday, May 31, 2008

New Collabortion 2.0 Blog

Well if you're interested in 'collaboration' and 'new collaboration' (aka 'colloboration 2.0'), here's a new ZDNet blog to follow! Thanks innovationcreators for the pointer!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Is Filtering the Next Step for Social Media?

As you know I'm a big fan of the ReadWriteWeb blog. They have a wonderful writers panel and cram out insightful posts regularly.

Not too long ago a post was written about the next step in social media. It is titled:
'Why Filtering is the Next Step for Social Media'. The beginning of the post was hard to follow, to be honest. But I like the line of thought and agree with the last section:
Filters are rapidly becoming a pertinent issue for developers of social media services. As a result, social aggregation platforms are in the perfect position to lead the pack. While this is no easy task and one that cannot be solved in its entirety, it would help resolve another issue social media users are facing: courtesy.

Instead of being able to freely add whatever service you wish, some users like myself are taking into account what others may consider noise on certain services as a courtesy to members. In essence, you are becoming our own filter. You may refrain from important other services for fear of being labeled as "noisy". With better filtering options, users can use these services to their fullest extent without becoming a nuisance to others or missing the benefits of aggregating all of their accounts.

As one commenter (nr. 7) wrote: filtering is not new, it's old. That's true. But now we need more user-friendly and social filtering. And that's pretty new.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Intranet Questions

Column Two has an interesting list of questions about intranet. Not all questions are clear. What does this question mean, for instance? "Working more effectively with business units re content?". Hopefully these questions will be elaborated on more soon (and maybe even answered?). However I think it's pretty good.

This is the list of questions I/we use to talk about our and get information about other's intranet.

  • Global overview of intranet: what does it look like?
  • Vision on the future of the intranet (e.g. personalization, wikify intranet, will intranet become your extranet?)
  • Vision on security: which information is open to all/not open to all?
Goverance and technology
  • Search (which technology, any finetuning?)
  • Relation global and local intranets
  • Performance indicators of the intranet: do you have them/use them?
  • What is the most used content and application?
  • Governance of the intranet (local and global), ownership
  • Platform/Underlying technology, architecture
  • Who’s in the core intranet team? And how many are in that team?
  • Workflow to use the intranet by users/authors/… (who are the authors, training?, readwrite intranet)
  • What does the intranet project look like (implementation, roll out, improvement, change management)
  • Performance (measurement, how do you make sure it performs?)
  • collaboration tooling and experiences
  • how do you maintain user satisfaction? Do you survey users regularly?
What do you think of this list? Are we missing something?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Stop using work email (2)

Back from vacation (that's why blogging has been slow, although I've been using automatic posting - works wonderfully!) and still the first to comment on this interesting post about a.o. Luis' venture to stop using email...
After another week of about 30 mails Luis remarks that lots of these emails are related to scheduling. He writes:
Yes, indeed, I am talking about e-mails that are related to scheduling, setting up and participating in conference events, customer meetings / workshops, specially when it is to show my own experiences on this new reality itself. I am thinking that if I would be able to find a way to reduce those I would be getting my number of incoming e-mails down to 15 to 20 a week. If not less! Yes! As massive as that!!!
This triggered me. This implies (logically) that his list of email per week should also include information about the time he has to spend on an email. If you get 30 mails you can delete after just accepting the meeting request for instance. This is totally different from 30 emails to which you have to reply by typing in several lines of text. Nobody thinks 30 of the first kind are a real problem. It would therefore be insightful if Luis could provide this info in his next overview(s).

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Is Life Speeding Up or Slowing Down?

Will life slow down in the future or will it continue to speed up? Interesting post on the ever-increasing speed of life by Alex Iskold on ReadWriteWeb. It titled:
"Faster - Why Constant Stress is Part of Our Future".

Friday, May 16, 2008


Wow, did you see this? Go the site and type in a query! This is a site to demo MS's Silverlight technology. This is a interesting application for information management and literature research.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Reading Less, Skimming More

Some time ago I pointed to an interesting ReadWriteWeb article about trends in reading. Now there's an even more intriguing piece on reading behavior. We're reading less and skimming more! Again, I'm really curious what its implications are for reading/skimming in the enterprise.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Your Organization: a Museum or a Zoo?

This is just one of those examples why I love blogging and the blogosphere. I've been following Luis Suarez's blog for some time now. And then he points to the Headshift blog on which Oliver Amprimo writes wonderful stuff. Luis pointed to one post in particular I really liked: "The Museum and the Zoo". What an amazing post! You should read it all. But here are some highlights of the parts/statements are liked most and totally agree with. Hopefully this will trigger you to read the entire post.
The consequence [of current business education and specialization] is that people master the "what", sometimes the "how" but hardly the "why". They don't capture the reason why these processes are put in place, how they relate to corporate strategy and how the organisation relates to its environment. The result is straightforward: in organisations, people focus on their own limited sphere of responsibility. (...)

Another consequence is that this favours software over consulting. The reason why managers love products is because they make things simple. Products offer an answer to a very limited problem against some money. A problem that is inline with the limited sphere of responsibility and budget of the manager. (...)

As a result, fleeing complexity is trans-generational. (...)

The trick is that the organisation by definition is organic and complex. It is not a Museum; it is a Zoo. (...)

And currently this is what enterprise social computing consulting offers. It is a rare opportunity window to think and manage complexity. It is at the junction of behaviours (social) and processes (computing). (...)

The current beauty of the enterprise social computing market lies in the fact that there is no product. It is a consulting, not a software market: the value is to build processes from basic tools. (...)

These tools consequently require translation because they are unfinished products for the organisation. They offer room for intelligence and exploration as they need to be contextualised, mixed and tweaked to be organisationally relevant and compliant. (...)

Enterprise 2.0 is not only the mere implementation of social computing behind the firewall (what and how) but more fundamentally the introduction of employee participation on managing the organisation (why). (...)

The consequence is that we move away from the mechanistic and hierarchic models of organisation (systematic management adepts have favoured, mostly by misunderstanding). (...)

What social computing offers is collaboration tools, but also tools to map relations. Social computing contributes in making the web a - if not the - platform. In doing so it has paved the way for social networks. (...)

Enterprise social computing therefore helps organisations recover their real identity and evolve more easily. (...)

A widespread form of management is based on a very simple assumption: "Employees are dummies". This is a very negative conception of mankind. Result is that only happy-fews are invited to think. Management have a tendency to exclude people who are to be affected by decisions. People are not called in to suggest or craft, they are informed - eventually trained - when things are done. (...)

The figure of the Manager needs reinvention, not on paper but in daily life. (...)

Groups need leaders. So what is relevant is to rethink the organisational hierarchy in a way that managers proactively listen their employees, not replacing management by self-governance. Social computing offers the tools for this dialogue. We also have to get rid off the idea that technology changes society. Andrew McAfee seems to support this idea. (...)

[S]ociety changes technology. (...)

It is by favouring personal initiatives and driving them carefully and respectfully, each of us, at our own limited level, that we'll find ways for collective wealth and happiness. (...)
I'm very surprised this blog post didn't get more comments. It reminds me of Etienne Wenger's work on social worlds theory and communities of practice and Seely Brown/Duguid's book, 'The social life of information'. They too, a.o., also stressed 'social', 'complexity', 'living systems'. For some reason we read this and carry on with our lives. I agree that social computing brings back these difficult but intriguing topics into the light. And you can see in practice that IT projects that are run from a zoo-perspective give better results than from a museum one.

Thanks Luis for pointing me/us to this. And thanks Oliver for sharing your thoughts with us!

Monday, May 12, 2008

PR Squared: Social Media Release Template, version 1.5

Pointed to the older version of the Social Media Press Release before. Just recently an update was released. Free for all to download and use.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Google Translate Update

Google Translate Becomes the Best Free Online Translator. Cool and very useful! Man, we did lots of research on automatic translation in the past. Also using parallel texts/web pages. But we never had enough to get it good. Google does, of course.
I also like the social part of Translate: you may suggest a better translation if you like.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Stop using work email

Every now and then I pointed you to Luis Suarez's very interesting experiment to stop using work e-mail. He's in his 12th week now and things are looking good! He and Jon Mell got together to discuss this experiment and its consequences. This resulted in an interesting podcast. You can find it on Luis' or Jon's blog. There's also another podcast series on Luis' experiment here. These podcasts nicely give an overview of the stop-using-email test (if you haven't kept up with it) and ponders on its potential.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The four purposes of an Intranet

James Robertson (Step Two Designs) has an interesting post on "the four purposes of an Intranet" on his Column Two blog. After doing years of research on Intranet he's come up with these four:
  1. Content
  2. Communication
  3. Collaboration
  4. Activity
He discusses each of these in his presentation (with audio). Furthermore he also explains what most Intranets are about and what most Intranet are (wrongly) not focusing enough on.
I think these four purposes are well chosen. However, without wanting to be picky, I think 'content' in itself is not a purpose. Shouldn't it be something like: 'sharing content centrally'? I would call 'Content' an essential building block, but not a goal.
The same goes for 'collaboration'. I wouldn't call this a 'purpose'. For me the purpose of an intranet would be 'to encourage and support collaboration'.
If my slight changes to these purposes are correct, then 'activity' is something inherent to the redefined purposes. Content, communication and collaboration are indeed nothing without activity!