Showing posts from October, 2008

How do I decide what to blog about?

James Dellow tagged me (and others) after answering Kate's question: How do you decide what to blog on? I was listening and, as promised, will answer this question too. I read John Tropea's and Jack Vinson's answers too.I've wrote about my blog experiences before, also explaining why I started blogging. I still enjoy blogging and find it very exciting.The topics I blog about are in the area of information and knowledge management. By following blogs and websites using Google Reader I stay up-to-date on the news in these areas and learn from insights of people I admire in the field. I also post on my ideas and thoughts, mostly triggered by the things I read.What I usually do is go through my feeds, 'star' the posts I find interesting and want to read. (In the past I would also go through my Google Alerts, but I'm doing that in Reader now!) Furthermore I keep in touch via Twitter. If someone 'tweats' a question I can answer, I'll do that immediate…

Idea: Combine an eReader with MultiTouch

A small 'brain fart' (idea).One of the great things about paper is the fact that you can put pieces of paper side-by-side. This is great when you have to review a document or check difference between documents.This 'feature' of paper is not supported well in the digital domain. eReaders and computers have a hard time mimicking this. However, using multi-touch screens, like Microsoft Surface, brings this concept closer to the digital domain. Then again, most people don't like to read from a screen. Reading from an eReaders seems to better (more paper-like).I carpool to work. Yesterday on our way back we were talking about the affordances of paper vs. digital documents. And then we wondered: why can't we combine what eReaders are good at with what multi-touch is good at? We would then have a screen that could be integrated into our desks, giving us lots of freedom to move documents around, annotate and resize them, search on them, pile them, etc. But, because the…

Recommended links infoarch 10/31/2008

Approaches to Expertise Location

Just commented on an interesting by Ross Dawson on "Expertise Location: linking social networks and text mining".I agree that using "intelligent text mining" is an interesting approach to expertise location in companies (and on the internet). We experimented with this some time ago in the company I work for with interesting results. This experiment was set up because - as we all experience - employees fill in their Yellow Page profile, but don't keep them up to date. (In our company 10% filled in their profile and 3% of that 10% kept it up-to-date...) Relating the filled-in profile to mining could trigger employees to keep it up to date. And it could also (partially) fill in their profile.
We also combined this with a more social approach, which is now being capitalized in Guruscan. Because using mining to find and define expertise limits you to what's in databases. And when we write reports about a tool, for instance, we don't mention we're very …

e-Sticky Note

Just wanted to point you to this. Your traditional sticky note (I use lots of them!), but on epaper. Looks really cool. Could be a mini-wiki too![Thanks CNET for the pointer]

Feed your Google Alert (/Search)

As you know I'm a happy Google Alerts user. However, I've been looking for a way to read the alerts in my feedreader. Not too long ago I told you Google is working on it. And now... it's there and it works. And I love it!
[Thanks for the pointer, Google Operating System]

Recommended links infoarch 10/29/2008

Using Flowgram

ReadWriteWeb had a nice overview post on "Slideshows 2.0". As I commented I was hoping they would also mention something about 'slideshare for the enterprise'. But this doesn't seem to exist...However, Flowgram contacted me following my comment and we had a nice chat about my 'needs'. I'm really curious who will be the first to offer an enterprise 2.0 version of Slideshare!Anyway, I didn't know Flowgram before and was invited to try it. Here's what I think of this webapp.First of all, the user-interface is great and very intuitive! I didn't have a problem sorting things out and finding how I could get something done. It just works!So, I just went on and made my first flowgram. (I didn't make it public yet, because it contain some stuff I don't want to share just yet.) The nice thing is Flowgram allows you to make a presentation consisting of all kinds of files (Office, links, RSS feeds, pictures, etc.). You simply select the file, …

Using Live Writer

My previous post was my first post using Windows Live Writer! ChiefTech's James Dellow advised me to try it after my 'rant' about Blogger's 'network timeout'. I don't know where you start writing your post, but Livewriter seems to be a good place to do it. You can easily type in your posts, save draft posts and publish them when you're finished. The tool works intuitively. It even copies the style of your blog, so you directly see what it will look like when it's published.How do you write blog posts? Do you write them directly on your blog platform? Or in Word or Notepad? It would be interesting to collect the ways bloggers do this!

And, James, thanks for the tip!

Listen to the Sweettt podcasts!

I've been catching up on the Sweettt podcast series with Matt Simpson and Luis Suarez. Just wanted to say I think it's a great series. I like the way it's set up. Basically 2 'old' friends catching up and telling each other what they've learn together on knowledge management over the years. They talk about stuff like:
- the best way to share knowledge
- conversations as the future of conferences
- etc.

Recommended links infoarch 10/23/2008

Recommended links infoarch 10/22/2008

7 Key Knowledge Management Principles

What are the key principles for knowledge management? Dave Snowden has been thinking about this topic (a.o.) and kicking against the KM world for some time.Now, he updated his old 3 rules to to 7 principles based on his thinking about KM in the legal profession. They are:
1. Knowledge can only be volunteered, it cannot be conscripted.
2. We only know what we know when we need to know it.
3. In the context of real need few people will withhold their knowledge.
4. Everything is fragmented (also refer to this one).
5. Tolerated failure imprints learning better than success.
6. The way we know things is not the way we report we know things.
7. We always know more than we can say, and we always say more than we can write down.Great principles to chew on (as Mary Abraham says). Not only for the legal profession, but for all companies!
With respect to 'number 4' I'd also like to point to another great post by Snowden on bottom-up, low-cost knowledge management, starting with setting up b…

Recommended links infoarch 10/17/2008

Collaboration Some Time Ago

I have a pile of articles on my desk categorized as "someday/maybe". Meaning (following GTD) I will read them "someday" when I have time. Well I recently ran through the stack and found an article that I should have read before, although it's from 2006. It is an "Ethnographic study of collaboration knowledge work" by S.L. Kogan and M.J. Muller (IBM Systems Journal, vol. 45, no. 4, 2006).
It was a really interesting read. For one, to see how far we have come. But it also stressed some issues in collaboration that are still very hard to support digitally.
To begin with the last point. This article gives an interesting Table (table 3) with an overview of "Attributes associated with work processes". Or, in another way, it summarizes the tension knowledge workers live in. These tensions are:
- unstructured <> structured
- static <> dynamic
- ad hoc <> predefined
- one person <> multiperson
- single use <> repeatable

Recommended links infoarch 10/16/2008

Poverty [Blog Action Day 2008]

Well, I thought I'd give it a try. Last year I was too late, though I was planning on participating. But then I read this year's Blog Action Day theme: poverty. That's a big topic and it's a topic I think about regularly. Not that it's a topic I think I can solve or we can solve easily. Mashable has a nice lists of action groups on the web fighting poverty. And they're great. I'm glad they exist. The Netherlands has several of these groups too. Like ZOA and Unicef, to name these two. I don't have big ideas how to solve poverty. What I try to do is give part of my money back to 'the world': the poor, the hungry, the refugees, etc. I hope this contributes to making this world "a better place" (to quote one of Michael Jackson's songs). What I do find sad is the fact that in the financial crises we are in, not much attention is being paid to the consequences this big failure of the rich, Western world we live in (and I am a part of), has…

Recommended links infoarch 10/15/2008

My Dutch Newspaper in English too!

Just wanted to create some buzz for my great Dutch newspaper, which recently lauched an International (English) version too. They have some good articles on the 'new web', for instance, that haven't ben translated yet, but I hope I can share them with you soon!

Crafting Collaboration with Stigmergy

It's been a while since I bumped into a PhD thesis on mass collaboration. The Wikinomics blog pointed to it. The thesis was written by Mark Elliott and is titled "Stigmergic Collaboration. A theoretical Framework for Mass Collaborationn". Pretty interesting title, I thought, and I hoped more people would read and discuss it. But I haven't seen much talk about Elliott's work yet. 
Anyway I promised to write about this book and I hope my post will get people to at least read this nice piece of work.

Well, there's a lot from Elliott's work that I would like to pass on. I'll mainly write on what I learned (and I'm not even sure if I really grasp all of it). You can find a summary of the book on Mark's site, so I won't make another one (for you).

The concept 'stigmergy' was new to me, even though I like to read about complex, living systems and concepts like 'coevolution', 'edge of chaos', etc.
So what is 'stigmergy…

Recommended links infoarch 10/12/2008

Recommended links infoarch 10/11/2008

Trust in Enterprise Microblogging and Connecting to the Way People Work

Mary Abraham of the 'Above and Beyond KM' blog has a nice post about 'enterprise microblogging' at BestBuy. She wonders though if the way they implemented it is enough. How do they make sure there is trust to actually start microblogging. She questions:
Unfortunately, the report doesn't explain how the system's designers plan to increase the levels of trust. As I've noted earlier, trust is a critical element without which collaboration is virtually impossible. And, in our KM 2.0 world, collaboration is key. It will be interesting to see what the adoption rate is at Best Buy and whether the quality of the information exchanges meets expectations.Good point. But isn't the answer: it works in practically the same way as on the internet? You just start following people you like to follow, know or are in your social network and it takes off from there. Nobody would want to follow all 'internal tweats', right?

Her post also makes an interesting point a…

Recommended links infoarch 10/10/2008

Feedmysearch by Google

Great! Google is preparing something new: allowing us to create RSS feeds for web search results. RWW has the story/rumor. This is good news, because the tool that already did this, Feedmysearch, doesn't work as I wrote before.

Recommended links infoarch 10/09/2008

Slideshare for the Enterprise?

I just wanted to repost my comment on RWW's post on Slideshare 2.0. Sarah Perez gave a nice overview of the new web Powerpoint apps.
However, what I've been looking for for some time is: Slideshow 2.0 for the enterprise.
Do you know of commercial and/or open-source alternatives of a slideshare-ish platform for the enterprise?

Recommended links infoarch 10/08/2008

Close Encounters, Too Close?

Bumped into this interesting article in Wired (Aug. 2008) by Clive Thompson, "Close Encounters". Clive points to interesting research done on how groups interact socially. And what the role of managers and employees is in this process.
Almost every time he analyzes a group, Waber discovers that the super-connector — the crucial person who routes news among team members — isn't the manager. "The manager is almost always peripheral," Waber says. "It's some random guy." And that person is usually overworked and overstressed. He isn't given enough support to fulfill his role, because nobody in the firm knows he's doing it in the first place. If you study the org chart, the higher-ups are in control. But if you study reality, those same managers barely know what's going on.
This results have been found in an interesting way:
This type of research has evolved into a new field called reality mining. By tracking people using location-aware device…

Recommended links infoarch 10/07/2008

Everything about Work by BusinessWeek

BusinessWeek recently published an interesting issues dedicated to "Business@work". All kinds of work-related topics are discussed. Like: work-life balance, dealing with toxic bosses, how to go from good-to-great in the workplace, tips from experienced office workers, measuring productivity, staying creative in the workplace, working with Generation X and Y employees, etc.
I'd advise you to go and read all the articles. But to get you to do just that I'll give you some highlights from the articles:
- Jim Collins says: don't only make a todo list, but also a stop-doing-list. And define "white spaces" in your agenda to think. Keep asking questions.
- Managers (and employees) should openly write down "how I work" to help others collaborate with you. For instance, your colleagues should know how you react under pressure and why you do or don't give much feedback.
- Really nice article on "combating bureaucracy". I like step 4 most: "…

Recommended links infoarch 10/04/2008

How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity

Interesting Harvard Business Review article on "How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity" by Ed Catmull (issue September 2008). It's inspirational to read how they cultivate creativity in their organization. Although I find this article doesn't really bring much new approaches to fostering creativity and being an innovative organization, it is healthy to read and re-read these kinds of articles and test yourself and your organization: am I, are we fostering creativity? And if not, what are we going to do about it?

What I really liked was what Ed said about being "scared" of your customers and your competition. They want the very best from you every single time you launch a product! That is scary. And it's a good starting point for creativity!
Pixar's philosophy is: "You get creative people, you bet big on them, you give them enormous leeway and support, and you provide them with an environment in which they can get honest feedback from everyone.&…

Recommended links infoarch 10/03/2008

How's the Blogosphere doing?

Technorati recently published their "State of the Blogosphere" (in 6 parts/days). Technorati defines the "Active Blogosphere as: The ecosystem of interconnected communities of bloggers and readers at the convergence of journalism and conversation".
It's really nice to read up on what the blogosphere is made up of and how it relates to other media. Technorati gives us all kinds of facts, figures and numbers on the blogosphere.

Technorati says, blogging is here to stay:
Blogging is…
- A truly global phenomenon: Technorati tracked blogs in 81 languages in June 2008, and bloggers responded to our survey from 66 countries across six continents.
- Here to stay: Bloggers have been at it an average of three years and are collectively creating close to one million posts every day. Blogs have representation in top-10 web site lists across all key categories, and have become integral to the media ecosystem.

Bloggers are…
- Not a homogenous group: Personal, professional, and corp…

Blogger: Network timeout?

Dear readers,

Just a short note. I've been blogging on the Blogger platform for some time now and I love it. Most of the time it works fine. However, regularly I try to access the platform to write a post and I get a "network timeout". And actually I find it pops up to often. What's wrong here? Is it my network? Don't think so. I can access other webpages fine. Is there a solution for this problem? I've lost draft posts due to this error. If you have a solution, please let me know!


Recommended links infoarch 10/02/2008

Prompting Collaboration

The PICNIC 2008 conference was held last week. I wasn't there, but do hope to go there someday (maybe next year?). Of course lots of people have been there and have been blogging and twittering about PICNIC. Via Lunch over IP and The Next Web I found interestings posts on Leadbeater's talk on "The new dynamics of creativity and innovation". He provided an interesting list on "What prompts collaborative creativity?" that I'd like to share with you and like to echo. So what prompts collaborative creativity, according to Leadbeater?
1. Diversity.
2. New and easy ways to allow people to contribute.
3. Ways to connect people together and to build on one-another.
4. A shared sense of purpose and some individual sense of payoff, that they're getting something in return as they're contributing to something larger.
5. Usually there is a core or kernel that's put there to begin with (the initial Linux software for ex)
6. Structure: these communities won'…

Enterprise Desktop Search

You probably all know (and use?) 'desktop search' to search through your personal pc at home and at work. I do and love the tool! Google, Microsoft and Copernic offer free tools in this area. There are also more expensive versions of desktop search for the enterprise (like Autonomy). Usually they're integrated with enterprise search.
The company I work for started rolling out Microsoft Desktop Search. I prefer Google Desktop search, but was happy to at least have something. However, after looking more closely IT found it's not very efficient to have everyone generate their own index. This gives network and storage issues. So, now IT is looking for a desktop search solution that allows us to generate a central index, also solving the network problems.

I was wondering: Has your company rolled out desktop search? How was it done? Do you use a central index? And what solution did you use? I'd really like to hear from you!