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Showing posts from September, 2008

Open, The Word Of The Moment

Actually "open" isn't the word of the moment, it's "collaboration" which I seem to stumble across in every business conversation I have - at a recent conference it was used a total of 71 times and by every speaker (myself included). However, collaboration is nothing if the bases it builds upon are not open. How can you collaborate if the information is closed, the functionality ("tools") is only given to a select few, the connections between the people/information/tools are controlled or communications are betwen slecet people in secret places. Nope, for true collaboration you MUST have an open environment. Whlst open communication is something that IT can assist with it is more of a cultural issue and so let's look at three of these core components separately - tools, connections and information ("data"). Open tools - nearly done This is the area which has seen the most progress. In the past the best tools were expensive, install

Scrum in 5 Minutes - Agile In A Nutshell [Updated]

My focus at any organisation is to: Help you become an 'open' organisation Gain tangible benefits from on-line collaboration Introduce and grow the use of Google Apps With the "become an 'open organisation'" focus I believe the adoption of "agile techniques" is a big step towards that goal. For me "agile" is probably best demonstrated through the Scrum framework, but of course I would say that as it's my knowledge area :-) I have heard reported of a senior IT executive that the following, "Agile? No bloody way are we having that cowboy behaviour in our organisation!!" (I paraphrase). And whilst I abhor the closed attitude and knee jerk reaction to something that they don't understand I do believe it is a fairly common response. I suspect this comes from those that believe they are running with agile but are actually lose - there is a VERY big difference! And so it was with absolute pleasure that I found this awesome re

My Site ... Why Bother?

James Robertson (well respected commentator on all things "intranet") takes issue with the concept of "My site" , something Microsoft Sharepoint has introduced to the business world. In essence a "My site" is a personalised homepage that staff members use to maintain their own details and - I think of it as Microsofts (early days) attempt at creating a web-based desktop. James mentions that "5-10%" mark for people actually customising/personalising their own "My site" and concludes: I would therefore argue that “my site” functionality implemented today is likely to fail in most organisations. While it may succeed in the future due to cultural or generational changes, this will not change the outcome in the short-term. More importantly, if it fails now, it may not get a second chance when the conditions are more favourable. At the very least, don’t stake projects or strategies on the use of “my sites”, as this is a very risky option. A

Fed Up Of Email Attachments AND You Have A Wiki - Top Advice

I love this advice from Seth's Wikis Not Word! Gaining adoption through psychological warfare at Enter Content Here, particularly: Draft 3: Edit . This is the version where you provide your real feedback. Start with your Draft 1. Make your edits. Name it [original filename].doc. Send it with a note saying how excited you are about this project and have been "thinking about it non-stop." Schedule a meeting to go over it and ask that your colleague send out a merged final draft for everyone's review. During the meeting, walk through everyone's feedback. By this time, your colleague is probably totally fried and is ready for a new way of working. At the end of the meeting, innocently say something like "you know, this might have been easier if we had worked in the wiki."

'Tis Talk Like A Pirate Day - And You've Been Challenged

Aharr me saucy beautie, 'tis Talk Like A Pirate Day and yee scurvy swabs 'ave to be reprting 1 unexpected ret'rn of a, "Yo ho ho". Mine was the bus cap'n, top work land ship pilot.

How To Receive Google Calendar Reminders Via SMS (txt)

If, like me, you store your appointments electronically you'll be forever wishing that you had turned on that particular laptop, or were at that particular client's office, or had looked at your on-line calendar 15 minutes ago as you realise, "Oh bum, I've just missed a meeting!" Using Google Calendar can mean that having all my information in the "cloud" (the trendy way of saying on the web") can either mean I have access to it from wherever OR it may as well be on Mars! And if I can't get at my calendar to tell me where I'm meant to be what's the point of it? Google Calendar solves this for me by incorporating my mobile phone, something that is with me all the time. Reminders can be set-up and sent, for free, via SMS (txt). Will this work for you - probably, check out the extensive supported mobile providers ( New Zealand has Telecom and Vodafone listed) How to set-up a Google Calendar to use SMS You'll need to do this for

Why Public Agencies Struggle With Being Open With Your Data

I recently had a great conversation with a public agency that has bitten the bullet and is re-writing a major geographical system they use to share information. They are re-writing the system to incorporate open standards, both in functionality and data. This use of open data standards means that you and I will, in the future, be able to grab the data and mash it up using other standards based services. Of course neither you, I nor the agency can predict quite how the data may be used and what amazing insights might be gleaned for the good of New Zealand. However, internally the agency is having a struggle with letting go of the information. It is a struggle I suspect a lot of government (both nationally and locally), NGO's and community agencies struggle with. In essence the argument is thus: We gained some money to collect and process this data If we give the data away it may be used by others to generate value If we don't generate business value ($) from the data we won&#

Score Less Than 6 Out Of 10 And You're Gonna Have A Tough Time

A most excellent source of information is Achieving effective Enterprise 2.0 from the UK National Computing Centre (" Martin White looks at the benefits and challenges of Enterprise 2.0 adoption and suggests some critical success factors for the effective application of these technologies.") And if you ever needed to hear it again, DON'T LET YOUR IT DEPARTMENT LEAD YOUR COLLABORATION PROJECT ... got it The evidence from the McKinsey survey is that less successful implementations take place when IT departments take the lead and order up the applications. All that happens is that the software holds up a magnifying glass to corporate culture and the cracks are very obvious. This is going to be a major problem with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. IT departments are very keen to justify MOSS07 implementations by offering collaboration applications as though there are no other products on the market. That is not the case as a recent CMS Watch report highlights. Oh,

[Updated] Google Wants To Own Your Content ... Doesn't It?

[Updated after re-reading my colleague's version - it's the latest] A colleague of mine, after reading this from of the Google Service Agreement he had to agree to ... Your Rights Google claims no ownership or control over any Content submitted, posted or displayed by you on or through Google services. You or a third party licensor, as appropriate, retain all patent, trademark and copyright to any Content you submit, post or display on or through Google services and you are responsible for protecting those rights, as appropriate. By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through Google services which are intended to be available to the members of the public, you grant Google a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, adapt, modify, publish and distribute such Content on Google services for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting Google services. Google reserves the right to syndicate Content submitted, posted or displayed by you

Where The Web Is Going According to Yahoo!, Google And Microsoft

From Nova Spivak: Video from my panel at DEMO Fall '08 on the Future of the Web is now available. I moderated the panel, and our panelists were: Howard Bloom , Author, The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century Peter Norvig , Director of Research, Google Inc. Jon Udell , Evangelist, Microsoft Corporation Prabhakar Raghavan , PhD, Head of Research and Search Strategy, Yahoo! Inc.

A Re-Focus Of This Blog

Hey everyone, just thought I'd let you know that this blog is going to get a lot more focussed around the following areas where I think I can offer the most useful insight: Becoming and being an 'open' organisation with special attention to: What it means for organisational culture Use of Open Source software Where agile techniques fit in What is and how to benefit from on-line collaboration : Generating good information, communication and connections Stories from those that have succeeded Hints, tips and traps for young players Use of Google Apps within organisations Moving to the "cloud" Getting benefits from the tools Hints, tips and traps for young players I'm sure I won't resist popping out of those three key areas now and again :-)

Geekzone Competition Coming ... Get Your Profile Up-to-date

I would strongly suggest, as does Mr Geekzone (Mauricio) , that you get your Geekzone profile all up-to-date as the soon to be announced competition is gonna be awesome! You know we don't send out e-mails much - actually we haven't sent out any e-mails in the last few months... But believe me if you want to be notified of our next competitions, which will be something out of this world, please make sure to udpate your User Profile - mainly country and the option to receive e-mails from Geekzone . There's a couple of big competitions coming and I am planning to send out an e-mail to let everyone know - you won't want to miss those, I tell you.

Intranet Leadership Forum ... Is It Worth NZ$3,400/Year?

I am absolutely all for communities of practice and one based around Intranet's is indeed close to my heart. But is the Intranet Leadership Forum worth NZ$3,400 per year ... that's for an individual membership. I dunno, with all that shared resource out there all it would take is to go to one well attended conference and you'll make enough connections for a year to keep ya going. Heck, in Wellington you could probably get all the Intranet "leaders" into one pub. Then again, maybe there is more to the Forum than I know ... trouble is it doesn't engage in the on-line world; no blog, wiki, tweet, Flickr ... nothing. So how am I to know?

New Zealand Knowledge Management (NZKM) Now Has A LinkedIn Group

The NZKM has recently launched a new website and as part of that endeavour I am now on the committee as their "on-line community wrangler". Part one of that is to tidy up the site and make it more user friendly then I'm gonna start asking each of the 300 or so members to visit, create/update their profile and start looking around at the content. However, in this interconnected world we can't rely on everyone visiting the one website and so I am slowly spreading the NZKM wings to bring in newer networking sited and have started with an NZKM LinkedIn group . Why LinkedIn and not, say, Facebook where I am sure more of the members already exist? LinkedIn is aimed at at the professional demographic and say what you like about Knowledge Managers they are most definitely a professional bunch. And so, NZKM is on-line both at it's own website AND on LinkedIn ! Join both :-)

Zoho Month ... What Is Zoho?

It's all very well me telling you it's going to be Zoho month if you know what Zoho is. If not, check these definitions out, starting with their own answer : Zoho is a suite of online applications (services) that you sign up for and access from our Website. The applications are free for individuals and some have a subscription fee for organizations. Our vision is to provide our customers (individuals, students, educators, non-profits, small and medium sized businesses) with the most comprehensive set of applications available anywhere (breadth); and for those applications to have enough features (depth) to make your user experience worthwhile. Wikipedians have this to say about Zoho : The Zoho Office Suite is a web office suite which includes tools for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, databases, note-taking, wikis, CRM, project management, invoicing and other applications. Being web-native, all Zoho applications are operating system independent. What does Z

September Is Event Month In Wellington - The Complete List

[updated: added Kiwicon] Crickey, it's all go ... hopefully this is the the full list now including the previously missed off Open Source Awards Night - how do I get on the guest list??? If anything else comes through ( leave a comment ) then I'll update this and not post an endless stream of "events". Engage Your Community Conference - tomorrow (8:30am-5pm) Details: http://work.miramarmike.co.nz/2008/09/engage-your-community-conference-agenda.html Webstock Mini and 2009 Launch - Tuesday 9th (5pm+) Details:  http://webstock.org.nz/upcoming/mini-9sept.php Software Freedom Day - Saturday 20th (12pm-6pm) Details: http://www.softwarefreedomday.org.nz New Zealand Open Source Awards - Wednesday 24th (evening) Details: http://www.nzosa.org.nz Using Google Maps - Friday 26th (8:30am-10:30am) Details: http://googlemaps-atom.eventbrite.com Kiwicon (New Zealand's Hacker Con) - Sat 27th & Sun 28th Details: http://kiwicon.org What have I missed o

Another Free Google Event: Using Google Maps (Fri 26th Sept: 8:30am-10:30am)

Following on from the extremely well attended Google Apps In The Public Sector , Jan Zawadzki Ltd are running a second free session: What: Using Google Maps   When: Friday, September 26, 2008 from 8:30am - 10:30am Where: The Terrace Conference Centre, St John House, Level 3, 114 The Terrace, Wellington ( map , of course) Here's the blurb: Google Maps is a great tool for making your data more accessible to your staff, your customers, or the public. Using Google Maps as your platform, you can: make it easy for all your staff to benefit from the geospatial information you already maintain link information stores to Maps and help users find and interpret information faster engage your public with interactive Maps-based applications In this two hour session we will cover: What types of information can be presented using Google Map How to use Google Maps to visualise your existing information sets How to augment your systems with Google Maps as a front-end Examples of effe

Engage Your Community Conference - agenda, venue and my workshops

See everyone at the workshops (10:30am-11:40pm / 1:30pm-2:40pm) or the preso (3:10pm-3:30pm)! http://www.miramarmike.co.nz/engageyourcommunity - all the info you'll ever need How to get there (by 8:55am) ( more venue info on the EYC website ) Here's a link to a map of the campus [PDF 178kb] . Best entrance for registration is through Main Entrance A, on Tasman St. View Larger Map The days agenda ( more on the EYC website ) Here's Google Calendar version of the Wellington conference agenda so you can add it to your own calendar using it's iCal feed To learn how to create your own public Google Calendar showcasing your own events read our guide: Make Your Public Event Calendar Usable To All What the conference is about ( more on the EYC website ) This is a conference pitched at an introductory level. If you've ever wondered how the web could be better used by your organisation; or know what a blog is, but not how it could be useful; or are a li

Tech Ed: Microsoft Industry Solutions Group Architect Predicts The Obvious

The Microsoft Tech Ed is probably THE geek event here in New Zealand and is currently running in Auckland with Computerworld reporting some of the more fascinating presentations. This prediction by Microsoft Industry Solutions Group architect Miha Kralj around his predictions made me raise my eyebrows somewhat: ... IT will become industrialised over the next 10 years as consumers grow to expect scalability and repeatability at a commoditised cost. Um ... yes. Computers are moving out of the realm of the wizards and into the hands of real people that expect the bloody things to do things for them in the manner they want, when they want ... without breaking. My eyebrows were raised because as far as I can tell Microsoft hasn't been enabling that for quite some and were (are?) content to sit on their revenue stream and feed out boring updates that never actually did more for their customers (a new "ribbon" as a toolbar doesn't really add much does it?) Oh, do

Google Page Creator To Be Closed

I s'pose it was always on the cards that Google Page Creator would be closed once Google Sites was released. And I always wondered why it was a service that had to be be turned on unlike the rest. I will let you know just how smoothly the transition goes from Page Creator to Google Sites as I will, as Vista Coaching's IT Department, be moving Liz's website . Read the latest at: Google Page Creator to Be Closed Google Page Creator Discussion Group : More on the transition from Page Creator to Sites