Archive for the 'Social Media' Category

Now looks better on a mobile

Keith July 18th, 2008

I have just heard about MoFuse. So what?  So now you can view my blog in a neater way from a mobile device.  Check it out now at:

(The idea is to open this URL from a mobile device – but you can see a simulation on a PC browser…)

MoFuse is “Mobile Fusion”, and it was mentioned by Chris Brogan in an email that was forwarded to me.  It is “a web application that allows content publishers to easily and instantly create a mobile version of their blog or website.”

I wonder if it will be friendly to me?

Are your colleagues interested in what you say?

Keith June 20th, 2008

Telstra operates a public web site (Nowwearetalking) promoting public comment and debate on the telecommunications industry. I authored a blog on this site for eight months when I worked at Telstra.

So I am interested to now read that Telstra is promoting blogging internally!

A recent internal message is asking staff to advise the corporate comms team if they are already blogging (publicly), and they will promote selected blogs via an internal portal. 

This is not quite internal blogging (so far as I know, the Telstra internal infrastructure still does not support the relevant apps), but it is a step in the right direction!

Just before I left, there was an initiative started in which staff were asked to submit “good-news” stories for internal publication.  I found that the submission form for the “stories” seemed rather too prescriptive – and restrictive – to really capture meaningful narrative, but again, another interesting step in a worthwhile direction.

Podcasting – and learning

Keith June 20th, 2008

Just back from working with Dan and the team on the Kokoda Pathways blog.  Finally got PodPress under control last night – it’s all taking shape!  Just waiting for iTunes to set up our feed, and James and Jess will be full-time on interviewing, editing and uploading next week.  Good fun!


Last week I had the opportunity to meet Jay Cross – thanks to an invitation from Shawn.  Jay and I share some views on the role of learning in today’s organisation.  My main view is that making distinctions between learning, communications and content/knowledge/information management is an entirely archaic device intended to protect some people’s individual empires.  (Read more on my view here.)

Jay wrote back, directing me to one of his blog posts.  The salient point here is:

KM & training both suffer from corporate Alzheimer’s: the inability to read the handwriting on the wall. The future is bottom-up, open, networked, and more complex than we’ll ever understand. Deal with it… Isn’t it time for a requiem to these “solutions” to yesterday’s problems? Old-style KM and training don’t work in today’s egalitarian, networked world. 

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The value of social networking and collaboration

Keith June 18th, 2008

Blogs are only useful if you post things on a regular basis!  It seems that life after Telstra has been busier than when I was there!  Since then, I have started work on a number of projects in my new role as an independent consultant, and I have now managed to update this site to reflect my new status.  So time to get back into the blog-posting saddle…

The new projects I have been working on have mostly come via the network of people that I have had the privilege to meet and work with over the last four years or so.  Much of my contact with these people has been via this site, and via Facebook and LinkedIn.  (Which have also helped me to find a new car!)  So it was very timely that one of my network colleagues has drawn my attention to this NY Times article on LinkedIn’s recent capital raising.  (Thanks, Sharon!) 

LinkedIn has just raised $53 million (USD) in capital.  Based on this - and recent valuations of Facebook and MySpace - these three social networking sites are potentially worth something like the following (in USD):

  • MySpace: $580 million
  • LinkedIn: $1 billion
  • Facebook: $15 billion

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Practice, Communities and Technology

Keith March 29th, 2008

Why do Communities of Practice sometimes fail?

In my experience, one common failure is just throwing technology at a problem.  I have no problem with wikis and other technology – communities probably work best when they have appropriate support technology – but communities are fundamentally about people.

So, before you think about technology, you must first think about the community.  Seems fairly obvious!  There are lots of things you can do to bring a community together that require very little in the way of technology.

However, this is not the whole story.  I was present when Dr Ron Harper, late of RMIT, spoke to a group recently (a community of practice, in fact) on this topic.  Ron made the point that the important thing for a successful CoP is, in fact, the Practice.

When I look back at successful communities I have known, this rings very true.  A successful community must have a reason to exist. 

It should be pointed out here that a CoP is not a work group or a project team.  Work groups and teams certainly have a reason to exist, but they are also motivated in a totally different way.  They exist as an entity within an organisation, with a common management structure, and defined deliverables within that structure.

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What are you doing?

Keith March 28th, 2008

Just been told about a really neat explanation of Twitter.  This is a short animated video by Lee Le Fever at Common Craft, and makes a lot of sense.

I have still not signed up for Twitter, but have been learning a bit about it.  Another description of it that I like is to see it as “group proprioception”.  Proprioception is a sense that we all have.  It is quite different to the five senses that we are more aware of.  In fact, as Oliver Sacks explains in The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, there are a number of senses that we are normally unaware of. 

To understand this one, close your eyes, hold you arms out in front of you, then bring the tips of your two index fingers together.  How did you do that?  How did you know where your fingers were in relation to each other without being able to see them?  Your brain just “knows” where all the parts of your body are at any point in time – that’s proprioception.

So Twitter is like knowing where all your friends are at any point of time, and what they are doing. 

 Am I going to sign up?  I’ll have to think about that a bit more yet…

Got blogs?

Keith March 26th, 2008

It just occurred to me that I may not have put a link up here to the list of actKM bloggers before.  This was compiled late last year by Kaye Vivian with input from across actKM members, and loaded at the DARnet wiki.  It is a useful list, with descriptions of each down the page.

The power of social networking

Keith March 21st, 2008

So we have found our new car.  This certainly demonstrates the power of networks.  It also is an example of the use of a “hook” in a story.  Would the exercise have worked in the same way if I had just written: “Wanted – used car”?  A couple of my correspondents mentioned that it was the use of the precise amount of $8,516.58 in the title that attracted attention.  This also perhaps reflects the “stickiness” factor discussed by Malcolm Gladwell in The Tipping Point.  (In fact, my use of a number like this was inspired by $16,940, an old Sci-Fi short story by Larry Niven.)

There are still many people that are critical of Internet social networking tools, such as Facebook.  In August last year, Brian Lehrer of NPR in New York put out a podcast called “Facebook is a waste of time”.  He starts off sounding critical of Facebook, and particularly its impact within organisations.  It is interesting that while some organisations have blocked Facebook access to employees, others are using it extensively.  Last I heard, over 14,000 Deloitte staff are members.

In this podcast, he interviews Nick O’Neill of  Nick highlights the benefits of Facebook to organisations for recruiting and adding to brand image, among many other things. 

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Found – used car for $8,516.58

Keith March 16th, 2008

Exactly one month after posting my request for a replacement car here and on my LinkedIn and Facebook networks, I picked up my new car. 

And I paid exactly $8,516.58!

It is a really nice, low-mileage 1999 Subaru Impreza (no, not a WRX).  It is in most ways a substantially better car that the Hyundai it is replacing.  It even comes with a number of bonuses, like mag wheels, roof bars and towbar.  Here it is, safely ensconced in the front yard:


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Nothing new under the sun

Keith March 10th, 2008

My wife Marilyn and I have got away for the long weekend to Lorne (on the Victorian south-west coast, on the Great Ocean Road).  Found a delightful place to stay – Shepherd’s Rest.  This is a modern two-bedroom apartment, on the top level of a new house in North Lorne.  It is owned by a couple of artists, who have moved down from further north in Victoria, where they ran a farm. 

The place is totally delightful, decorated with a wide range of pieces of art.  It is only two blocks back from the beach, and only a short walk from where my uncle once had a holiday house, where I spent many happy holidays as a child.  It was interesting walking on the beach here again for the first time for many years.  The beach has changed a lot – a large amount of sand has been washed away.

There is a good supply of holiday reading in the bookshelves here.  One book is of a type I have never seen before.  It is a taste of absolutely brash commercialism from the 1890s (precise date not specified).  It is Dougal’s Index Register to Next of Kin, Heirs at Law, and cases of Unclaimed Money Advertisements.  At least, that is the short form of the title.  The title page expands this out to a grand total of 85 words, including several et ceteras (then spelt as “&c.” – the ampersand sign comes from the letters “et” – the Latin for “and”). 

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