Archive for August, 2008

Connect, develop, contribute

Keith August 13th, 2008

“Social media has enabled me to feel ahead, not behind as I return to work after 2nd baby.”
 - Serena Joyner (on Twitter

While preparing for my workshop for Key Forums on Friday – Using social media to harness knowledge within an organisation: Addressing the challenges – (breathe in now) I read this great tweet from Serena Joyner on the benefit she has found in Social Networking tools as she returns to work after her second baby.

Serena then directed me to a longer blog post that she has written on this topic, which was inspired by a similar blog post from “wonderwebby” (Jasmin Tragas), who I have only met recently via Twitter.

They each have a number of points to make about the the benefits of social networking, and wonderwebby has a number of additional ones from others as comments on her post.  In brief summary, these points (which I have now added to Friday’s slide pack) are:

  • Personal development.
  • Providing a “virtual water-cooler” – a looser network than the face-to-face one, but a network that includes thought leaders, and is “warmer” than the community provided on a (more traditional technology) listserve. Continue Reading »

On the road

Keith August 12th, 2008

On my way to Sydney for client meetings, and to present at a Key Forums conference: Enterprise 2.0 for Information Professionals.

Monkeys – a reflection on how we do things

Keith August 7th, 2008

Start with a cage containing five monkeys.

Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it.  Also, set up a system of cold water sprinklers over the whole cage.

Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs to climb towards the banana.  As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the monkeys with cold water. The monkey will leave the banana alone and try to get away from the water.  Turn off the spray.

After a while, another monkey will make an attempt with the same result. Pretty soon the monkeys will get sick of getting wet, and will stop any of the monkeys from attempting to climb the stairs, even though no water sprays them.

Keep this up for several days.

Now, remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one.

The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his surprise, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.

Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. Even the previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm. Likewise, replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth.

Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked.

Continue Reading »

Twitter as an important resource

Keith August 5th, 2008

“If only most companies realised the treasure trove of expertise and information that their employees would be able to access if they encouraged the use of such services.”
 - Shane Goldberg

Just bumped into Shane on Twitter.  He also has a blog.

He has quite a few interesting blog posts, but the current one caught my eye in particular.  Shane has found that Twitter: “is actually becoming an essential part of my information-sourcing activities, which are critical to my role.”  So, for Shane, a public social networking tool is far from being a distraction from “real work”.

As Shane puts it:

“… many large companies are oblivious to the type of benefits that (open, publicly available) Web 2.0 services like Twitter can provide to their employees… 

“These open systems allow employees to draw on the social networks they have created in the same way they use traditional internal informal networks that are always so beneficial to those who know how to use them.”

Read the full article at Shugg’s World.

The power of story

Keith August 4th, 2008

You may have caught this video on YouTube, or seen it going around on email or FaceBook. 

So many emotive emails turn out to be fake – it is refreshing to find that this one (according to Today) is apparently a true story.  Just looking at the hair styles in the video places this in the early seventies! The original version was shot on 16mm film (yes, remember film?) without sound (making it easier to dub schmaltzy music over it).

It appears that “Christian” the lion was actually bought at Harrods by two Australians – Anthony Bourke and John Rendall – in 1969, kept in the basement of a London furniture store for a year and eventually repatriated to Africa, in the care of George Adamson of Born Free fame. (This came about because the actors who played Joy and George Adamson in the movie just coincidentally happened to drop in to the shop one day.) 

The Today article states that the reunion shown in the video took place in 1972. The YouTube version of the video linked above also shows George Adamson. 

The really amazing part of the story is a later reunion in 1974.  Christian hadn’t been seen for three months, but suddenly reappeared and sat on a rock outside Adamson’s camp the night before Bourke and Rendall landed, as if waiting.

Continue Reading »

Separated by a common tongue

Keith August 1st, 2008

An earlier post here referred to “Indlish” – a blend of Indian and English. An alternative name that I picked up since is “Hinglish”. 

So which is it?  The score on Google, with links to the top site in each:

  • Hinglish – 104,000 (a Wikipedia reference)
  • Indlish – 2,900 (a link to a book)

 Maybe that tells the story.

The British government’s call for migrants to be able to speak standard English was the topic of a Telegraph article a while ago.  The article defined the following variants of English:

  • Hinglish (Hindi/Punjabi/Urdu-English)
  • Chinglish (Chinese-English)
  • Spanglish (Spanish-English) – also known as Tex-Mex

As stated earlier, this is in addition to Singlish (Singaporean English) and Manglish – Malaysian English. 

The article quotes a report that makes the wise statement that English “… is no longer the preserve of the English, who are ‘just one of many shareholders’ in a global asset”. 

Continue Reading »

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