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Showing posts from August, 2009

User-Friendly Wikipedia, Encourages Enterprise Wiki Adoption

It's been some time ago I told Wikipedia is working on its usability. Now we can see the first steps. As I said before: this is very significant for enterprise wiki adoption. The platform underlying Wikipedia is Mediawiki. Mediawiki is a much-used platform in companies. Lots of people find Mediawiki hard to use. Now the interface has improve, adoption by a broader group of employees is near!---If You Read This and Like It, Tweet This to your Followers:
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What is Web Squared?

If you've been reading my blog for some time you'll know I'm very interested in 'web 3.0' or 'the semantic web'. We'll it seems this will not be the name for the new web. It will be: Web Squared.Tim O'Reilly and John Battelle recently published a report telling us what 'Web Squared' will look like. It's a fascinating report with great examples and ideas.Some nice quotes:Web 2.0 is all about harnessing collective intelligence. (...)The web is the world - everything and everyone in the world casts an "information shadow", an aura of data which, when captured and processed intelligently, offers extraordinary opportunity and mindbending implications. (...)What we see in practice is that meaning is learned "inferentially" from a body of data. Meaning is taught to the computer. (...)The real world objects have information shadows in cyberspace. (...)A person has information shadows in a host of emails, instant messages, pho…

Fused with IT

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I've been wanting to post this for some time, but was hesitant to do it. I didn't want it to be 'yet another post on 'Obama and social media'. I hope it isn't, you may be the judge.Much has been written about how president Obama used social media to connect with (potential) voters. For instance:The Global Human Capital Journal: "Social Media is its O/S (Operating system)." This report drills down to the underlying concepts of Obama's campaign, how this fits with the Web 2.0 tools that his team and voters used and what businesses can learn from this.Infonomics had a comparable piece but also stressed the content management side of the campaign.Wired has a slightly different and more critical approach: "Obama's campaign was never a bottom-up endeavor. The incoming president didn't crowdsource his view on the Iraq war or use Digg to determine how to allocate campaign dollars. He ran one of the most tightly controlled, top-down campaigns…

Wonder and Fascination, It Keeps Me Going

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Chris Brogan had a fascinating post some time ago, called 'The value of wonder'. 'Wonder' is a great concept. It's basically a way of life. He says:...let’s think about those moments when we see or experience something that makes us breathe in deeply, and then causes us to pause and just be there.And he wonders: Do we experience this enough in our work as we do when we look at our kids for instance? Very good question. Do we look around us, at the people we work with, the technology we use, the things we see happening, a colleague's great idea, and step back in wonder. Do we voice this 'wonder' to each other regularly?'Fascination' is a comparable powerful concept. It also relates to kids and the way they do things. Blocking out all else, fully concentrated.'Wonder' and 'fascination' are concepts that keep me going. It helps me look at things in a new ways. Do it with your mouth open, because you forgot to close your mouth, you&…

Picking Up Weak Signals

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How do you pick up weak signals and make sense of them? In some cases we'd rather not pick them up at all. This goes for us personally ('what is being said about you?') and for companies ('who's talking about us and why?')MIT Sloan Review ran a very interesting article on this topic: "How to make Sense of Weak Signals" by Paul Schoemaker and George Day (Spring 2009).What is a weak signal anyway? Shoemaker and Day define it as:A seemingly random or disconnected piece of information that at first appears to be background noise but can be recognized as part of a significant pattern by viewing it through a different frame or connecting it with other pieces or information.I was surprised to read that "fewer than 20% of global companies have sufficient capacity to spot, interpret and act on the weak signals of forthcoming threats and opportunities." It would be nice to read some best-practices in this area. A general framework to make sense of wea…

Product Development is Social

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Thanks to one of Dion Hinchcliffe's tweets I found an interesting post about 'Social Network and Product Development' on the Cadalyst blog. It was written by Tom Shoemaker.
To me product development is a deeply social activity. People develop product. They have ideas, write them down, share them, design what has been specified, model it, build it, sell and service it.What I see in the IT world in general and specifically in the world of tools for product development and resource planning, is a big abstraction from reality. There seems to be no 'social' in their stories. Product development, to stay with that topic, is a mechanical process you can automate in big, formal, heavy and expensive tools and you're all set.I find, the whole Web 2.0 movement is teaching us this is wrong. People are (usually...) social. Information is social. Processes are social. To me that's the big reason why blogs, wiki's, etc are so popular: they connect with reality, with t…

Facebook acquires FriendFeed: Also Relevant for Company Information

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The big news in the Web 2.0 world is, of course: Facebook is taking over Friendfeed.Lately there has been lots of buzz about the war between Twitter and Friendfeed, between Twitter and Google, and between Google and Facebook. Oh yeah, Microsoft is also playing along, by taking over Yahoo en starting Bing.For starters, I'm happy with Facebook's move. The Web 2.0 will converge (or is it already?) and still is a step in that direction. As a user of Facebook and Friendfeed I hoped they were merge in time. Although current plans don't seem to point in that direction.Secondly, we all see the 'real-time web' as the future. Friendfeed contributed to this movement. Friendfeed also nicely merges all my and that of my friend's/follower's information streams in one neat stream. Facebook has been copying this FF feature, but is now basically paying for it. Finally, and this is what I wanted to get at, these movements are interesting for companies as well. Not because t…

Disruptive Projects

Read this nice interview with Clayton Christensen in MIT Sloan Management Review (Spring 2009). The article, 'Good days for Disruptors', has some really interesting quotes. I was thinking, what they imply for instance for product lifecycle management, knowledge management or enterprise 2.0 projects in the company I work for. "The breakthrough innovations come when the tension is greatest and the resources are most limited.""The model of disruption say that a company's direction of innovation is always driven by where the margins are ...""Every disruption has three components to it: a technological enabler, a business model innovation and a new commercial ecosystem.""In general, cost is driven by overhead, which is driven by complexity.""While cost is driven by complexity, quality is driven by integration. It's when we don't integrate things correctly that problems fall through the cracks."Now not all projects have t…

Re: When Information is Not the Answer

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Andrew McAfee has another really nice post: 'When Information is NOT the Answer'. I advise you to go and read it, definitely if you are in IT. And for Knowledge and Information Management experts this post summarizes what you've been trying to tell IT all along.McAfee basically shows that not all information can be processed using IT systems. Even though many think so and heavily depend on these systems for decision making. And he gives an example of a company, Zara, that acknowledges this and works with it in practice.In a comment on his post I pointed to two books that underline the point McAfee's making. One is 'Blink' by Gladwell. (And I'll write a review of this book soon.) And the other is 'The Social Life of Information' by Seely Brown & Duguid. (The last book is one of my all time favorites.) If you haven't read them, please do so. It's very worth your time.In 'The social life' they have that nice example of a control to…

Too Many Ideas?

Can you have too many ideas? I've been musing about this question lately. And can the amount of ideas you have be stalled by the context you work in? With 'context' I mean: your colleagues, your work tools, the culture of the company, etc.I'm curious what your answer would be to these questions. I'll share my experience after you share yours!---If You Read This and Like It, Tweet This to your Followers:
Too many ideas? http://twurl.nl/jr7eov
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A Yammer Widget? Adopting Internal Microblogging

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You may still remember we're experimenting with internal microblogging. We're using Yammer for this goal. And it's still working out nicely.
But I've been thinking how can we encourage further adoption? There are lots of ways as I've written before. But couldn't it be even easier?I was thinking: Wouldn't it be nice if we had a Yammer widget? (I made a quick mock-up on the right-hand side of this post.) Then we could integrate it in the homepage of our intranet.What I find is that our Yammer page is too 'far away' for lots of people. They have to be explicitly pointed to Yammer. My question was: how can we point them to it in a much easier way?The company I work for get millions of hits on intranet homepage, containing corporate news. With the widget on the intranet homepage, eyeballs will be attracted to something that's moving on the page. What's going on there? What is this? Are 'regular' employees posting news in real-time here…