Archive for the 'About' Category

A Blog Observed

Keith August 28th, 2008

I know that there was a bit of a hiatus here after my exit from Telstra (two posts in April and only one in May), but I have just done a quick check of my Archive list, and it appears that I am currently averaging around 7 posts per month – which is around one post every four days.

It is very tempting to put off posting – particularly when you are incredibly busy – but for all aspiring bloggers out there, the secret is to post when something is on your mind, even just a few words.  A blog post doesn’t have to be a magnum opus, although when you have the time and inspiration that can be good, too. 

The most important thing is to keep up with a fairly steady stream, and keep your network engaged and building as much as possible!

One thing that I now find invaluable is Google Toolbar, which includes a spell checker – this is a lot easier that copying and pasting between Word and WordPress.  Of course, when I do finally get around to upgrading to the latest version of WordPress, it’s all built in!

So, any other bloggers out there, what is your posting average?

Danger, Will Robinson, danger…

Keith July 31st, 2008

Apologies if you have visited this site any time in the last 12 hours or so, and noticed that it didn’t look quite right.  Something caused complete chaos…

I realised that I hadn’t checked for dead links for ages, and ran LinkSleuth.  In fact, I may never have used it since setting up the WordPress blog.  This is a great little program that has always worked very nicely in the past, but this time it apparently caused complete chaos.  Half the posts on the site vanished, the theme changed back to the basic old WordPress look, and all the Categories vanished.

I am still not quite sure what happened.  I may have entered the URL into LinkSleuth in such a way that it behaved incorrectly; the way I have my site set up with redirects may have upset LinkSleuth; or LinkSleuth may just be a bit dangerous with WordPress for some reason.  I’m not sure about this, but I can’t find anyone else complaining about it on Google.

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The first day…

Keith May 1st, 2008

So – today is my first day post-Telstra!

I have spent the day in Sydney delivering a half-day workshop at the Data Quality conference, and spent some time catching up with Matt Moore in the evening over a refreshing drink or two – and a $10 steak.  We had a very small group for the workshop, but everyone seemed to get something useful from it.  It was actually quite fun having the small group – we only needed one table, so I came and sat at the table as well, and delivered the session from there.  More fun in the city tomorrow.

By odd coincidence, last night was also my first night at a Creative Writing course at CAE, which I am attending with my daughter Renée.  One of the exercises at the course was to write continuously – about anythng – for ten minutes.  You can imagine what was the first thing that came to mind.  So, just for fun, here it is – completely unedited:

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A new journey begins

Keith April 7th, 2008

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door.  You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”  – J. R. R. Tolkien

Where does the KM function ideally belong in an organisation?  This is the topic of a recent discussion on actKM.  I have been working in KM in Telstra for about eight years.  The role of my team is to make it easy for our business sales people to access the knowledge they need to sell our products, services and solutions.  Over this time, the migration of the team through the organisation has been as follows:

  • Sales (in a specialist sales/technical area)
  • Marketing
  • Sales (in “Sales Programs”, with the communication group)
  • Marketing (with the Campaign Build function)
  • Business Operations (for six months, where I was the only member of the original team remaining)
  • Sales Excellence (with the Sales communications, training and other support groups)
  • Enterprise Learning (over the last six months or so)

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Making social sites more sociable

Keith January 8th, 2008

Things are a bit quiet around here while I am on holiday.  I am currently sitting at our tent in Tathra, on the south coast of New South Wales. 

One thing I have discovered in my brief online forays is the “My Blogs” application on Facebook.  I was hoping that there was something like this available.  I find it slightly annoying that there are few connections between various social networking sites, and (as a Knowledge Manager) I abhor duplicated effort. 

If it works as promoted, My Blogs will put blog posts from this site up on my Facebook profile.  So far, it seems to have only posted two entries from late November last year – it will be interesting to see if this one goes up…

I had previously had an app on Facebook pointed out to me that lets me look at my LinkedIn contacts via Facebook, but both of these still seem a little limited.  May there be many more improvements in this space!

Season’s Greetings to all!

Keith December 28th, 2007

Thank you all for your support over this year, and all the best for the season – however you celebrate it!

Bailey minding the Christmas Tree

15 seconds of fame

Keith June 7th, 2007

So, in case you ever wondered, I did actually appear on “1 vs 100”.  I spent a total of four days in the studio in January and February, and actually had a total of three turns in the “mob”.  The closest I came to winning a significant amount of money was during the game where Jennifer Collingwood was out the front.  This final part of this game went to air on 23 April.  You may well have seen me on screen a few times in this episode (if you were watching TV in Australia) – I was in podium 85, near the front, a little to the left.

(Speaking about the context of humour – the host, Eddie McGuire, is also the President of the Collingwood Australian Rules Football Club – a connection that he made a point of several times…)

Jennifer got down to 1 vs 7, with a prize pool of $149,000.  (This was the closest any competitor in the Australian version of the game had got to the million dollars so far.)  Up to this point, she was quite aggressive in her approach, and seemed determined to win the million dollar prize.  When ten or less remain in the mob, the contestants are allowed a three-second “sneak peek” of the question.  This one was:

Leaving out the water, what does a standard beer recipe use most of?

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Continual Learning

Keith April 5th, 2007

I spoke at CPA Australia’s National Public Sector Convention in Brisbane on 21 March.  Hard to believe that it was just over two weeks ago!

As I have written here before, I enjoy speaking at conferences.  Apart from learning lots from other speakers and the networking opportunities, it is a great chance to play tourist in between everything else.  I strongly believe in continual learning.  My personal development plan (agreed with my manager) is mostly based on attending conferences. 

I do sometimes think about going back to formal study again some day.  It is now 13 years since I graduated with an IT degree, and I have done no formal study since then.  I have dabbled though – First Aid, Teaching Migrants English, a little German language.  All very enjoyable.

However, it occurred to me a while ago that speaking at conferences fills a very similar niche.  In both roles, you need to do your research, and prepare your material for submission.  The conference is your final exam, and the session feedback provides your results.  (Perhaps a better indication of results is being invited back again…)

There was some discussion last year on actKM about conferences, and the best ways to run them.  An observation made about speaking (I think it was in the actKM discussion) that I have noticed myself is that about 50% of the response you get in your feedback comes from your expectations and how you feel about your session.

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My Generation

Keith March 19th, 2007

British Prime Minister Tony Blair told a self-deprecating anecdote about himself at the Davos Economic Forum.  He had decided to overcome his own computer phobia and enrolled for an IT course in his constituency’s community centre.  At the final examination, he asked a nervous young man next to him if he was so tense because he was next to the PM.  “No,” replied the youth, “I’m tense because I can do this stuff and I’m unemployed; you can’t do it, and you are Prime Minister”.

What makes you digitally literate?  Is it just the generation you were born into?  I’m convinced that it is not that simple.  The quote above is from Patrick Lambe’s book The Blind Tour Guide: Surviving and Prospering in the New Economy.  You can also read the relevant article on Patrick’s site.

In this article, Patrick provides a list of characteristics of the “Net generation” worker, and contrasts these with the pre-Net generation manager.  I find it intriguing to try to place myself on this table.  I am convinced that it is not as simple as physical age.  I can see parts of my world view on both sides.

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Let me take you back…

Keith March 14th, 2007

I had a very enjoyable week in KL and Singapore – a good conference session in KL, with lots of discussion, and a similarly positive session at the iKMS meeting.  (Not to mention the food, the sightseeing, catching up with old and new friends, the food, the shopping and – did I mention the food?) 

The kind people at iKMS gave me a copy of Patrick Lambe’s (previous) book The Blind Tour Guide: Surviving and Prospering in the New Economy.  I have only had time to read the first few pages, but it has already given me fuel for a post here!  This relates to the distinctions we make between our personal and professional lives – but more on that later.

Reading the book gave me cause to wonder how long I have been dabbling in computers and web sites.  I could probably dig up some old archives on floppy disk at home to be more precise, but a good way to look at the history of any web site is to use the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

This tells me that a copy was saved of my first web page on 3 Dec 1998.  I set it up a bit earlier than that – the copy here is a later version.  However, if I use that date, that means that I have been editing web sites for just over eight years.  This is pertinent to the discussion to follow.

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