Friday, October 31, 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 immediately. If someone points to an interesting post I don't follow, I'll open it and save it in Reader (so I can read it later and it's stored in my Reader).

After processing my feeds, I check the starred posts, open them, skim through them and see if they're interesting enough to read more closely. I select the ones I want to read more closely on a couple of criteria. A.o. I select posts that answer questions I have and I select posts that I think I'm going to comment on. I always try to leave a comment if I like the post, even if it's a short comment. Just to say thanks.

I usually print the interesting posts (- I work for a printing company... -), read them in the car on the way home or on the way to work (don't worry I don't read and drive, I carpool), write some comments in the sideline and wait for a good time to write one or more posts. And there's always not enough time...

Sometimes I also post about topics that are not in scope of this blog. I do that just for fun and to show I'm not only about IM and KM. (Although I don't intend to get too personal on my blog. This blog is about my work.)

I use my blog:

  • to write down thoughts and ideas I have about things I bump into on the web or in real life. Of course, you could do this in Word too, however blogging about it adds value: you have to write down your thoughts in such a way others can read and understand it too. I'm learning by openly communicating my thoughts, also hoping others will read it and build upon it.
  • to share what I like on the Internet. I bookmark links and post 'recommended links' on this blog (automatically). I also read the 'recommended links' from others. I see it as social search. Others are keeping track of interesting stuff on blogs that I don't follow and I do the same for them.
  • to ask questions. I also ask questions on my blog, when I run into things I don't understand. I believe there are no stupid questions.
  • to share what I've found and what I think. Very regularly I send links of my blog posts to people that ask me my opinion on a certain topic. "It's on the blog". I also see my blog as my "extended memory".
  • to show I want to be open and (pretty) transparent. I'm knowledgeable (to a certain extent) and want to listen and learn from others, because I can't and don't know everything.
  • to live blog conferences or external workshops
  • to amplify someone's idea or insight, by simply passing it on with a short comment or recommendation
UPDATE: Oh, by the way, I use CoComment to keep track of the comments I make on posts.

I'll go ahead and follow James' example and tag a few others (asking them to answer the question too). So, it's your turn:

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 screen is an eReader screen, the documents are readable too.

What do you think? Is this a good idea? Do you think this is possible? And, would this bring the paperless office closer?

Tags van Technorati: ,,

Recommended links infoarch 10/31/2008

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, October 30, 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 good at PERL programming. Maybe the report shortly mentioned the tool has been programmed in PERL, but that doesn't say much about the level of expertise. So, this social layer collects the tacit stuff. It's a necessary layer and it's also closet to real expert networks.

We've published quite a bit on our work. Here are two references:
- Samuel Driessen, Willem-Olaf Huijsen, Marjan Grootveld, “A framework for evaluating knowledge-mapping tools”, Journal of Knowledge Management, 2007, Vol. 11, Iss. 2, page 109-117.
- Willem-Olaf Huijsen, Samuël J. Driessen, Dion Slijp, "ExpertFinder: Collaborative Expertise Localization", I-Media 2007.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

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

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, October 28, 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, it's uploaded for you, then you can reshuffle the deck, add audio to the presentation and you're all set. You can then share the Flowgram as-is, or in Youtube. The way they integrated all this and kept the whole process (from creation to distribution) is really great.

This is wonderful stuff for trainers. However, I was thinking how I could use it for my work. I tell you what I think later on.

First, some remarks about the features:

- You can add a note to a webpage. It would be nice if you could fix it to part of webpage. And you can't add a note to documents.

- It would be nice if you could add arrow(s) and circles to pictures and parts of documents/webpages.

- Importing a Word-doc went well, but it was presented in a way to small font. For pdf I had the same issue. When you're on that part of the presentation you can zoom in (Flash zoom), but this not saved.

- It would be very nice if you could uploads types of content and then download those types again (unpackage). Why this could be neat is explained below.

- Adding email to a Flowgram would be nice. Of course you can copy-paste an email, but to make things easy 'eml' import or allow 'forward to flowgram' could be added too.

- Youtube now has a feature to embed parts of the video's. Wouldn't it be nice if we could embed (parts of) a Youtube video in a Flowgram?

What I like about this tool is the fact that you can bundle different types of content (- keep things in context!). This is extremely important for knowledge workers and hardly supported by tools. That's one of the reasons we still work with paper... (More info on this topic can be found here and here.) For instance, when we're researching a topic we usually work with a combination of emails, Word and Powerpoint docs, webpages, etc. Using Flowgram, this can be done in one place.

However, for this to be useful, a user would also have to be able to unpackage a Flowgram to get the different files back in their original format.

Anyway, I'm going to keep trying Flowgram and see where this goes. Flowgram emailed me they're working hard on new features, also some of the ones I requested for.

Monday, October 27, 2008

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.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Recommended links infoarch 10/22/2008

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, October 17, 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 blogs.Wiki's could/should be the next step in Snowden's bottom-up, low-cost community-building approach! John Tropea of Library Clips tells us how, by answering the question how blogs relate to wiki's.

Recommended links infoarch 10/17/2008

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, October 16, 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
- business critical <> not business critical
- automated <> not automated

A while back I pointed to the "IT Flower". The IT Flower showed that applications try to support these tensions, leaving gaps. For instance, ERP, PLM or some ECM systems are good at supporting very structured business processes, but they're not good at supporting less structured processes such as document collaboration. For document collaboration most people would rather use a wiki, for instance. But, as we know and experience, there's always stuff that seems to be in-between. Or stuff that moves from the wiki to a more formal tool and back. How is this supported? Usually your regular 'copy-paste' comes in here.
This point is rightly stressed in this old(er) article:
Knowledge workers need a simple way to change unstructured, informal processes into more formal, structured processes.
And talking about 'structured processes', I really liked what they said about the 'business applications' supporting these processes, such as SAP:
Whereas transactional, procedural descriptions of (these) processes are important, we tentatively agree with Guindon, who argues that formal versions of work may provide their principal value as reference versions of what must be done by the conclusion of an activity, rather than as maps of how a business activity should actually progress.
So, looking at this, how far have we come in really supporting all facets of collaboration. In the past only the formal business applications (top down) existed. Now we have wonderful light-weight, flexible and social tools that help us collaborate in the way we like. However their is no bridge between these two yet. On the internet, this isn't a problem. But for companies this is. I experience it daily.
What do you think? Will this be bridged? And how will it be done?

Recommended links infoarch 10/16/2008

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Wednesday, October 15, 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 for the Third World; the people that live in the poorest countries of the world. Hopefully we will learn from this situation and be a little less greedy in the future, so they can live in a better, more stable world and improve their lives.

Here's a video on 'Blog Action Day':

Blog Action Day 2008 Poverty from Blog Action Day on Vimeo.

Recommended links infoarch 10/15/2008

Tuesday, October 14, 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'? It's "indirect communication between agents which is coordinated through interactions with their local environment" (p. 7). Or: "Stigmergy is a class of behaviour in which collective activity is coordinated through the individuals' response to and modification of their local environment - one's agent's modification becomes another's cue". (p. 8)
After reading this I bet you think: Hey, this sounds like blogs, wiki's and Twitter. Well, that's exactly what Elliott focuses on: the intersection of stigmergy and collaboration, because it "provides an entirely new way of conceptualising collaboration and thus the emergence of mass collaboration which represents the most well developed and extended collective creative process currently available to humanity." Stigmergy does not only give a theoretical framework explaining the effects of mass collaboration, but also "the root dynamics of this activity, providing an explanation for the coordination between the collaborating/cooperating 'produser' and their media of choice". (p. 9, also p. 205) At the end of Elliot's work 'stigmeric mechanisms' are even stated to be "virtually identical to the mechanisms used by the human brain." (p. 214)

Elliotts work is about providing an adequate definition or criteria for discerning collaboration from other collective activities such as cooperation and coordination. He says Tapscott and Williams failed to give this definition in their book 'Wikinomics'.

So how does Mark define collaboration?
Collaboration is the process of two or more people collectively creating emergent, shared representations of a process and or outcome that reflects the input of the total body of contributors. (204)
And this is how collaboration, coordination and cooperation are related:
[T]here is an interrelated and important relationship between the three with coordination providing the necessary conditions for cooperation as cooperation does for collaboration. (204)
Elliott goes on "to discriminate between discursive collaboration—the collaborative generation of pure ideas through discussion, and stigmergic collaboration—the externalisation of such ideas through various forms of collective material production." (204)

Stigmergic collaboration can be achieved in digital networks to enable collective creativity. How this can be done, is also described. This is an interesting part of his work that I did not completely understand and have to look into more closely. Anyway, what is clear, is that it closely relates to getting coordination and cooperation right:
Digital stigmergic collaboration is introduced, showing how digital stigmergic coordination and cooperation form its enabling conditions and providing the capacity for collaborative output to become a shared digital artefact which may span the Internet’s world-wide network, providing simultaneous co-locality to a locus of creative engagement to a near infinite numbers of collaborative participants. Overall, stigmergy is found to play a central role in not only the structure, nature and ongoing expansion of the Internet, ranging from the coordination of its most basic navigational features to the emergence of cutting-edge practices increasingly referred to as ‘Web 2.0’, but in the evolution of humanity’s collective creative abilities. (205)
Well, this was in short what I learned and I'm pretty sure I didn't get all of it. For that reason it would nice if Mark could write several (short) posts explaining his work and its implications.

Friday, October 10, 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 about how microblogging was implemented: they rolled out a microblog plugin for Outlook. Mary says:
There's an important lesson here as we consider how best to integrate new knowledge management technology into existing work flow, calibrate it to user comfort levels, and thereby increase user adoption.
This is very true. I've written about this topic too. Although I'd like to stress that adding a plugin to Outlook is not the same as 'integrating ... into [an] existing work flow". But it's a good start!

By the way, I'd like to point to another nice post about "the art and science of knowledge management" and "creating possibilities". She passes on a great citation from Though the looking glass, a dialogue between Alice and the queen. Go ahead and take a look!

Recommended links infoarch 10/10/2008

Tuesday, October 7, 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 devices like mobile phones or electronic badges, scientists are revolutionizing our understanding of how social networks function.
This research also compares how groups interact socially digitally and live:
On the Web, the best way to solve a problem is to engage an extensive network; the person who provides information, advice, or answers is often someone you know only vaguely — a weak link.
In the face-to-face world, though, Waber says, groups are more productive when the team members know each other well, sharing extremely strong links. That's because face-to-face teamwork requires intimacy, he says, and "when you're among friends you can really capitalize on preexisting protocols" — nods, grunts, in-jokes — for talking and listening.
Even more interesting is the fact that this research can 'predict' collaboration and tell when collaboration is good:
Reality mining can also spot when a group is in a groove. Sandy Pentland, the MIT professor who heads up the lab where Waber works, has discovered that highly creative teams socialize in a "pulsing star" pattern: They fan out to gather information, then regroup. "People explore during the day," Pentland says, "and then later get very tight and inbred, with everybody talking to everybody.
If you have enough data about commonplace conversations, you can even predict when those conversations are going to take place. Working with Pentland, Nathan Eagle tracked the physical interactions of 100 MIT students over an academic year, using their cell phones. After a few months, Eagle could deduce likely future meetings with impressive accuracy. "So if we know that," he says, "why not design our calendars to sync up?
I'm not saying we should all be tracked and traced at all time. Although I do agree with Clive that we are slowly moving that way anyway. What I like is the fact that these research results can give us deeper understand of social human behavior and collaboration patterns.

What do you think? Will tracking and tracing of all lives increase? And is that OK with you? Furthermore, what do you think of the research results? How can we use that for the companies we work for?

Recommended links infoarch 10/07/2008

Saturday, October 4, 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: "Make information transparent. Don't let middle management hoard it. Give everyone access in order to make better and faster decisions."
- Is their really a difference between the old and new(er) workforce? BusinessWeek say so and explains why. Interesting to read, although I'm still not convince the difference is that shocking... The funny thing is I'm formally not "Generation Y", but when I compare myself to the table, I must be it...
- An article on using Facebook in the organization by Unilever.
- Again "Getting things done" is mentioned and explained shortly. I already use this productivity method and love it. You should too!
- As you know Randy Pausch passed away some time ago. In a short article his colleagues sum up how he spent and valued his time at home and at work. For instance: "He had all sorts of practical advice for work. Stand while on the phone. (You'll be more eager to finish up.) Avoid copying five people on an e-mail when you wnat something done. (Each will assume that one of the other four is going to step up to the plate.) Minimize interruptions. (Turn off the "new e-mail" popup alert or shut down e-mail during your working hours.)
And if you haven't seen his Last Lecture, please do so. It's a very inspirational presentation/story about "time". To be honest I cried at the end of it...

Recommended links infoarch 10/04/2008

Friday, October 3, 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." Very simple, but oh so difficult in practice!
What I also liked it Ed stressing the fact that Pixar employees learn to share unfinished work:
People show work in an incomplete state to the whole animation crew, and although the director makes decisions, everyone is encouraged to comment.
Why do they do this? I pass you an extensive quote:
The are several benefits. First, once people get over the embarrassment of showing work still in progress, they become more creative. second, the director or creative leads guiding the review process can communicate important points to the entire crew at the same time. Third, people learn from and inspire each other; a highly creative piece of animation will spark others to raise their game. Finally, there are no surprises at the end: When you're done, you're done. People's overwhelming desire to make suer their work is "good" before they show it to others increases the possibility that their unfinished version won't be what the director wants.
In sum Pixar fosters creativity following 3 principles:
  1. Everyone must have the freedom to communicate with anyone.
  2. It must be safe for everyone to offer ideas.
  3. We must stay close to innovations happening in the academic community.

Recommended links infoarch 10/03/2008

Thursday, October 2, 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 corporate bloggers all have differing goals and cover an average of five topics within each blog.
- Savvy and sophisticated: On average, bloggers use five different techniques to drive traffic to their blog. They’re using an average of seven publishing tools on their blog and four distinct metrics for measuring success.
- Intensifying their efforts based on positive feedback: Blogging is having an incredibly positive impact on their lives, with bloggers receiving speaking or publishing opportunities, career advancement, and personal satisfaction.
It was funny to read that the largest part of the bloggers is somewhere between 25-44 years old. (How does this relate to the Generation Y hype?!). And most of the bloggers are male (66%).

Bloggers are mostly segmented in this way:
- personal (blog about your life, personal interest)
- professional (blog about your work
- corporate (blog for your company)

I was surprised that the most important reasons for bloggers to blog is "personal satisfaction". I can relate to that! And for bloggers in the professional segment it has a mayor impact: they know their industry better, gives them visibility in the industry, etc.

Technorati also addresses blogging strategies. How do people blog and get people to read their posts. After I read this part (day 3) is was wondering: Is it OK to bookmark your own posts? Do bloggers do this?
With respect to the amount of time bloggers spend on blogging I was wondering: How much time to professional bloggers spend on blogging during work hours? (In other words: how accepted is it to blog during work hours or do professional bloggers do this at home in their own time?)

Finally, "the State of the Blogosphere" also stresses the importance of blogging for brand building
and how they think this will develop.

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

Wednesday, October 1, 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't work unless they can make decisions, so they need to have some elements of structure (think Wikipedia).
And of course he goes into tools that support and encourage these principles. All this leads to a new world: "from the world of "to" and "for" to the world of "with" and "by"."

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!