Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
The difficulty with IT projects in general is defining a hard business case (- or maybe the 'hard' stuff is easy and we forget about the 'soft' part, like productivity improvement). My boss says - and I like this approach: "With IT projects it’s about the good idea first, numbers will come later."
I'm curious what you think about this topic. Please drop a comment!
Well, Andrew McAfee is keeping us posted. He (and Bill Ives) have written about it before (and I've pointed to those posts before here and here). Now McAfee serves us with an interesting long post with an interview with 2 Serena people on this topic. Go ahead and read it all. Here are some excerpts.
Reasons to use Facebook as their Intranet:
A third, and what we believe is a radical thought, is that most Intranets are built on a wrong assumption. They’re fundamentally built to make content available to employees and trickle only a tiny bit to customers. We believe that the vast majority of content an organization produces is customer facing, with only a trickle back behind the firewall for truly proprietary materials. This belief achieves two major goals: customers are better served and receive better and more frequentAnswer to the question if Facebook isn't too open (confidential information etc.):
communication in their language, and rather than companies pushing it through email (the "most evil" application of modern times) customers can pull it at any time. (...) We share the common belief that work and home lives are starting to become intertwined.
You’ll notice that we do all of this completely out in the open. Why? Because we believe Serena Software is a living entity, that companies should be personified as much as possible. We want customers, vendors, partners, prospective employees and anyone else who is interested to be able to easily find out more about our company. We want to be approachable. (...) Often we hear, "aren’t you concerned about confidential information being put on Facebook (or the internet in general)?", our response is "if someone wants to release confidential information about your company maliciously they will find a way to releaseDo they have a policy how employees may use Facebook/their Intranet:
While we can certainly see why people might take offense to certain topics and/or opinions we have not changed our communications policy despite our social networking initiatives. At the end of the day, we trust our employees to use common sense. We consistently tell them "be smart, do what you think is right".Should others also use Facebook as their Intranet?
We’ve only seen benefits so far, and feel that our employees are all gaining immeasurably because of it. The first question companies should consider is "what is the corporate culture we are looking to create?" The answer to that question will dictate how you move forward.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
- Keep Yourself Fresh: 48/12 Rule - For each hour, work for 48 minutes followed by a 12 minute break. This really works. The 12-minutes gives you a nice break. The 48-minute push helps you crank through your work. Even if you're on a roll, still take a refresher break. (Especially if your work requires using a computer screen... the 12-minutes is a nice break for your eyes... and in the end reduces overall fatigue).
But how many people actually apply this rule? For instance, if you have a two-hour meeting, you might stop for a short coffee break, but nobody I know stops for a total of around 30 minutes in a 2 hour meeting.
Anyway, maybe we should do this and see if it works. My experience is breaks open up your world, help you solve problems you were locked into and just make work so much more fun.
Friday, July 25, 2008
The article is an update from an article written in 2005, "Blogs Will Change Your Business". This article was corrected and commented on here. Finally the article that was published in the June 2 issue is titled "Beyond Blogs". It's a very nice article giving an overview on what has happened in 2 years with blogs and social media in general. It's a great read for people that don't understand this world or are taking their first steps in this energetic space. It is loaded with interesting facts about e.g. the number of active/non-active bloggers out there. If you haven't read it yet, please do so!
However it does work in this way:
- type in the Google query you want to RSS-ify,
- click 'Feed my search!',
- copy the URL (instead of hitting the 'subscribe' button),
- paste it into your feedreader (in my case Google Reader)
... and you're all set!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
What I really like are the tables on page 38 en 41. The table on page 38 is about "Participation in Online Social Activities Around the World". I was shocked to see the low percentage of people using RSS (8% in US, 3% in UK, 0%!! in Japan, 4% in Germany and 1% in South Korea). We RSS users have a lot of explaning to do!
The table on page 41 is about "Using Social Applications in Different Departments". It gives a nice overview of what social applications you can use in different departments and how.
UPDATE: Just found out this article was also translated into Dutch. It was published in Management Executive, juli/augustus 2008, "De kracht van social networking. Hoe kunnen organisaties de macht van het supersociale web 2.0 benutten?".
So, now we have HR on board, what are we going to do? James Robertson of Column Two has an interesting post on how the Intranet team should spend their time.
The rule of thumb for intranet resources is:
- 30% effort for day-to-day maintenance
- 40% effort for projects and new initiatives
- 30% effort managing relationships with staff and stakeholders
Monday, July 21, 2008
Basically he wants to stop using corporate email (except for confidential matters) and move all communication to social tools. This is a neat experiment.
However I was one of the questioners that wondered how the time he spends/spent on email is compared to social tools. I understand his experiment is not about that, but I'm not asking it to be skeptic. I think it's a relevant question.
Of course shifting communication from email to social tools is cool, better and more productive/efficient (in the long run). But it does have to be in balance (or doesn't it?).
For instance, I can send back an email in a couple of seconds to someone with whom I share a certain context. I can leave out all the details when I reply to him/her. But when I want to answer him/her via my blog I also have to think about all the other people that don't share that context. Because they don't, they'll be frustrated when they read my post. Writing such a post (instead of an email) would take more of my time. Or am I missing something?
Also in this post Luis states that "Content is no longer king". I've read it before, but don't get the point. And I'm not sure it's true either. I'd say content is still key, the media type isn't (anymore).
Monday, July 14, 2008
Thanks Lifehacker for the pointer.
Friday, July 11, 2008
(For Dutch speaking/reading people: this article was also translated and published in Holland Management Review, nummer 117 - 2007. There's no online version, by the way...)
The title of her book is: The Place of Play. On Toys, Technological Innovation and Geographies of Play. Just recently I had time to read a large part of her (lengthy) thesis. I must say this is very interesting! In my simple words it's about how toys (physical and digital) and the place where kids play with them change based on technological and social developments (and vice versa). And what "the increasing technologization and digitalization of both toys and play" has to do with "the vagueness of borders between [toy/game] producers, consumers and players" ("participatory culture"). She uses Lego a.o. as an example of this change.
I browsed around to see if you can order her book somewhere. I don't think it's out yet. But I got the pdf-version from her directly. Maybe something to read this weekend, eh?
Thursday, July 10, 2008
A good I.T. person, though, knows how to interpret "user-speak" and present them with the tools they need even if they didn't know how to ask for them in our language. (...)I agree this change is needed or already in progress. I'm wondering, though, if this change is needed within IT or should someone outside IT, moving between business and IT, have these skills. What do you think?
The I.T. 2.0 guy will need to know not just what software is best for the company, but whether or not it should run behind the firewall, in the cloud, or a combination of both. (...)
The I.T. department, though, will have to adapt their current solutions to fit this new workforce - one that's not always connected to the company network, but surfing unprotected Wi-Fi from their local coffee shop or their own home wireless network. I.T. will need to find ways to push through the security updates and patches their users need, even if they're never remoting in to the company network. I.T. also needs to be more wary of lost and stolen company laptops filled with company data.
I.T. will be dealing with a technologically-smart crowd of young workers who aren't afraid to find their own tools for the job. (...)
I.T. is going to have to know the business - really know the business - and anticipate the needs the company's employees are going to have. Then, the challenge will be to research, locate, and deploy solutions that provide the ease-of-use the employees want, but also the security measures I.T. needs. (...)
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Of course you can't fit everything in a/this framework. But I was wondering: shouldn't 'business' also be added (besides 'home' and 'mobile')? Or should it be 'home/business', assuming that these are blurring?
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
What I was wondering is this: employees can mention their skills; do other employees also get to rate their skills? And what is the incentive to keep your profile up-to-date (- which was a big problem with Yellow Pages)?
Friday, July 4, 2008
- turn off my 'new mail' notifier
- use a different color-code for emails that are cc-ed to me
I'm considering the tips:
- don't open your inbox until 11:00
- do the task you find most difficult and have to do that day first
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Nicolas Carr has written another fascinating article you can chew on. It's titled "Is Google Making Us Stupid?". It relates well to posts about changes in reading behavior that I've been pointing to recently.
The central thought of the article is: "Media are not just passive channels of information. They supply the stuff of thought, but they also shape the process of thought."
This is an interesting statement. However after reading this article I don't understand how this works, although I see it in practice. Does anyone no where I can find more info on this topic? The conclusion of the article seems to be: get used to less-deep-reading and more skimming. But is this really inevitable trend or we will people revolt every now and then? Just like with philosophical trends move between subjectivism and objectivism.
Here are some key citations from the article:
"It is clear that users are not reading online in the traditional sense; indeed there are signs that new forms of "reading" are emerging as users "power browse" horizontally through titles, contents pages and abstracts going for quick wins. It almost seems that they go online to avoid reading in the traditional sense."
"We are not only what we read," says Maryanne Wolf, a developmental psychologist at
"When the Net absorbs a medium, that medium is re-created in the Net's image. It injects the medium's content with hyperlinks, blinking ads, and other digital gewgaws, and it surrounds the content with the content of all the other media it has absorbed."
"The Net's influence doesn't end at the edges of a computer screen, either. As people’s minds become attuned to the crazy quilt of Internet media, traditional media have to adapt to the audience’s new expectations."
"Still, their easy assumption that we'd all "be better off" if our brains were supplemented, or even replaced, by an artificial intelligence is unsettling. It suggests a belief that intelligence is the output of a mechanical process, a series of discrete steps that can be isolated, measured, and optimized. In Google's world, the world we enter when we go online, there's little place for the fuzziness of contemplation. Ambiguity is not an opening for insight but a bug to be fixed. The human brain is just an outdated computer that needs a faster processor and a bigger hard drive."
"The kind of deep reading that a sequence of printed pages promotes is valuable not just for the knowledge we acquire from the author's words but for the intellectual vibrations those words set off within our own minds. In the quiet spaces opened up by the sustained, undistracted reading of a book, or by any other act of contemplation, for that matter, we make our own associations, draw our own inferences and analogies, foster our own ideas. Deep reading, as Maryanne Wolf argues, is indistinguishable from deep thinking."