Is This Future Shock?

general wibble from a retired technologist

Archive for the ‘blogging’ Category

Windows Live Writer

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I’ve played with a variety of clients before, and never found myself hugely committed to any of them. Having noticed a tweet by @dahowlett where he suggested it was the best blog editor on the planet, I’ve decided to give this a try.

If you’re interested, it can be found at the Live services site.

From home, I’m never offline, so it’ll be a while before I try that out.

Written by SteveEllwood

February 18th, 2008 at 6:30 pm

Posted in blogging

Lots of Web 2.0 bits

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Since I started using Facebook regularly, the most interesting things I’ve found are:

  • blog posts written by others, that lead me to find out more about what’s happening in the internet area (OK, I’m failing to avoid saying Web 2.0)
  • bits in people status feeds that make me think “I wonder what that is?”

Some of the things I’ve found recently (yes, I know they’re all probably old hat)

Twitter – letting folk know your presence/activity

Jaiku – another presence/group/blogging monitoring thing, with the ability to add “channels”

Spinvox – does voice to text stuff, but lets you update Facebook/twitter/Jaiku by phone, which is fun

Tumblr – which allows you to rapidly add links, quotes, text, photos to a stream – and you can add channels, too. I use it for grabbing links, which I RSS to my blog

Tabblo – a photo/text/story/printing site – lets you *easily* bring photos in from Flickr and fairly easily from Picasa; let’s you produce interesting photo displays that you can print as PDF; locally; for free …

Picknik – which lets you edit *online* phots on your PC, Picasa, Facebook, Flickr. Very nice.

Pandora – recommends – and plays – music for you based on characteristics of music that you’ve indicated you like. Lots of fun, and works differently to last.fm which I also use

I think I’ll probably edit this as I recall/use more bits ‘n bobs.

Written by SteveEllwood

November 27th, 2007 at 10:30 am

Wikis and intranets

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In an ongong bid for speed and agility, my company are changing the way we manage resources on the intranet.

I’m a proselytiser for social networking and wikis (I love my TiddlyWiki, FWIW) so I’m hoping we’ll see significant changes.

Lars Plougmann has written in a couple of places about what you could do if you have no intranet. In If your organisation has no intranet: An opportunity

He suggests some of the disadvantages of an intranet

  • Information changes quicker than the intranet team can update it. No content is static.
  • When the perception is that the information on the intranet is not up to date it stops being the first source for vital business matters
  • The intranet structure typically reflects the shape of the business as of yesteryear
  • The process for updating information on the intranet involves finding out who is responsible for a particular page, then describing a proposed change in an email which gets added to a work queue. Most people only involve themselves once in that process if they don’t see the page updated within a short time
  • Ownership is often skewed: When only a few people can edit stuff on the intranet, an “us” and “them” culture arises. In the worst cases, the intranet becomes the object of blame and ridicule.

and he suggests that a wiki can address many of these shortcomings, with use of tagging, links and *search* – surely a key component of any Knowledge management system.

If you tie authoring in a wiki to ID, then control is easy and if someone screws up… revert the change.

In How to avoid mysterious golfing cart accidents he develops this further and   suggests he has a client who wants to replace their intranet with a wiki. Why?

  • To cut the publishing cycle from days or weeks to minutes or seconds thus ensuring that the content is more relevant
  • To move from content nobody wants to read written in corporate speak to information about what is really going on written in a human voice

He point back to the Cluetrain Manifesto for a lovely quote

“The intranet revolution is bottom-up. There’s no going back. If a company doesn’t recognize this, the top-down intranet it puts in can breed the type of cynicism that results in ugly bathroom graffiti and mysterious golfing cart accidents.”

More wikis; more involvement; more openeness; more benefit – like the Cluetrain says

  • What’s happening to markets is also happening among employees. A metaphysical construct called “The Company” is the only thing standing between the two.
  • Corporations do not speak in the same voice as these new networked conversations. To their intended online audiences, companies sound hollow, flat, literally inhuman. “

Go and re-read (or read if you haven’t) the 95 theses.

Written by SteveEllwood

November 16th, 2007 at 4:28 pm

Posted in blogging,wiki

Tagged with , , ,

The death of Internal Comms?

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In another interesting post, Richard at Inside Out  asks some interesting questions about how the future will change for Internal Comms professionals.

He highlights change into operational networks rather than managed communication hierarchies – in truth these changes are taking effect already, as harassed professionals use a variety of methods to prune their email overload –  some here – some  more  ruthless.

I use filtering in Outlook to move corporate briefings to another folder which I’ll read when I get chance to, in an airport/station, when I’m grabbing a coffee.Some colleagues filter out *anything* that is cc’d to them. Basically, they are making a choice to try and tone down the CYA emails.

How do you make me read your message? Well, in truth, you can’t. You have to make me want to know what’s important, and good internal communicators know this. Make it easy for me to get the message when I want it; make it snappy to read; keep the format consistent. Then I might read it.

Sending a weekly dirge of “What’s happening in MegaCorp, Blue Widgets Division”, will just get your message canned. Sending a series of links *may* be better, as at least you won’t be quite so hated, but probably won’t get your message across better.

As Richard points out, communication is being done through a variety of means: blogs, recommendations,  social networking, like Facebook (where this blog is publicised  and my other ShaiDorsai blog is imported to)

“A world in which the information consumer controls what they consume from a menu of feeds – basing that choice on the reputation of the source, recommendations from colleagues and serendipitous discovery through social networks. Interactions are almost exclusively real-time and informal in nature.”

I reckon he’s right; some communicators are naturally gifted and can manage their messages intuitively, and have the focus and time management to do this themselves.

Many who need to communicate won’t have the ability or the time to manage the new media… and Richard and his ilk can continue to earn their money.

Now, how he communicates this message to the senior executives is crucial… I wait with interest to find his next steps…

Written by SteveEllwood

November 7th, 2007 at 12:59 pm

Posted in blogging

Tagged with ,

Another time, another place?

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Another time, another place – not just a saying, it’s also a film made near my home.
Well, another place to blog anyway.

Why? because it links into Facebook, and this might make it easier than my current way of importing my existing external WP blog into Facebook as notes.

I’m beginning to build connections and understanding through Facebook and getting a glimmer of how it can be useful, as I see connections building between friends and colleagues.

Written by SteveEllwood

November 1st, 2007 at 4:57 pm

Posted in blogging,Facebook