Headshift hosting Breakfast event in New York

Headshift is hosting our first breakfast seminar in New York on June 16th. This will be different from most “social software” events for two reasons:

1) We’ll be focusing on using social software inside the firewall for private, secure collaboration, rather than going over topics that have been done to death such as how you can use Facebook and Twitter to promote your brand.

2) We’ll focus on real case studies of large, conservative and often regulated organisations (such as law firms) who have found real value in using these tools day to day, rather than blue-sky theory, for example if you want to contact a personal injury attorney New York, they will have more reach by using these tools.

If anyone based in New York is interested in hearing about internal use of social software from expert practitioners in the field, I strongly recommend you attend. You can register by getting in touch with Christoph via email (Christoph@headshift.com) or Twitter (@Christoph)

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Best. Holiday. Ever.

So I’ve just come back from nearly a month away from a stag do / wedding / honeymoon trip. Chris Tyler was the best man and did a spectacular job organising a three day stag do in Rome. In all 12 of us took in some drinking:

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eating:

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poker:

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bocce:

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and recovery…

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From Rome, we then travelled up to Villa Pignano for the wedding. Photos cannot do this place justice:

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and Raffaella and her team did an amazing job of making all 60 of us feel welcome and making it an amazing day:

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From Tuscany it was off to the Diva resort in the Maldives. This was an amazing place, the staff were unbelievably helpful and the facilities and food were wonderful. This was the view from our villa:

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There were 5 or 6 bars and restaurants with views like these:

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and some spectacular sunsets:

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For our last two nights, we upgraded to a water villa, which sit on stilts in the sea, about 200 metres from the shore. This was the view from our room – with steps down into the sea!

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It was an absolutely amazing holiday – and I managed not to check email the entire time!

And now… back to Enteprise 2.0…

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See you later… and as a married man!

Wedding Bands 1I’m off on holiday now for quite a while as I’m combining a stag do, wedding, and honeymoon all into the next three and a half weeks. I have no intention of doing anything internet related until 5th May so no blog posts / tweets / comment approval, so apologies if anyone comments and it gets stuck.

For those that are interested, the stag do is going to be in Rome, followed by a wedding in Tuscany then honeymoon in Maldives. I promise to post photos when I’m back!

Have a good April everybody!

Posted in Enterprise 2.0 | 2 Comments

How to find the people you need

Rich profiles can be a powerful cornerstone of an Enterprise 2.0 / next generation intranet / social business software solution. My previous post on how finding people rather than documents can be highly beneficial in terms of productivity, using information rather than looking for it, and simply getting things done and making things happen.

They are also often misunderstood, many fail to understand that profiles do not require regular maintenance or updating, and can stay current and relevant with very little effort on the profile owner’s part. This is a scenario based on Jive Clearspace (although Socialtext and Lotus Connections have very similar functionality) to show how rich, social profiles can help people do their jobs.

Here is a sample profile for Gia. Most of the content is automatically generated as Gia uses the intranet in the flow of her daily activities, rather than having to manually keep the profile up to date. Fields such as Twitter account name, expertise, phone number and photo are manually added. The vast majority, however, is automatically created, keeping the profile fresh and up to date without any effort from Gia herself.

 

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Let’s assume I was trying to find someone who could help me with user adoption of the intranet. Perhaps my team is not using the intranet as well as I think they could.

In the bottom right hand corner of the profile we see a list of similar people within the system. This takes into account all of Gia’s activity, her blog posts, comments, discussions, tags etc. This is highly useful if Gia was exactly the person I was looking for, only to find they were on holiday, off sick, or otherwise unavailable. Immediately I can see other people who might be able to help.

Further down the profile, I can see Gia’s recent activity. Gia does not have to remember to add this, it is automatically added to her profile.

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I can see that she has recently been contributing to topics around a “Watercooler”, the owners of intranet platforms and has recently been visiting clients. I can tell that this is recent activity, so Gia is clearly active within the community, and I can also see that Gia has created discussions, as well as simply replied to them.

I might wish to see all of Gia’s content, which I can do by clicking on “Gia Lyons’s stuff”.

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Here I can see other topics, blog posts and content that Gia as contributed and created, and can judge whether it shows her to have the expertise I am hoping for.

On this page, and on Gia’s main profile page, I can see the tags that Gia has used to tag content on the intranet. I can clearly see that Gia has tagged items with “user_adoption”. These might be people, external websites, articles, discussions, wiki pages or blog posts of interest to her that she wanted to be able to find again quickly but it is a great resource for me. If I click on that, I see all the content that everyone, not just Gia, has tagged with “user_adoption”.

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The second post from the top is a discussion on reputation points, and whether or not they help or hinder intranet adoption. If I am struggling with user adoption this is probably something I have thought about, and if not it should be, so immediately I have found something of value. I also might want to check out Ted Hopton’s page, to see if his profile is worth looking at in more detail.

At the top of the page, I can reduce the amount of content if I was only interested in blog posts, or only interested in people who had been tagged “user_adoption”. I can also see which additional tags have been used to tag “user_adoption” content. If I were to select enterprise_2.0 for example, I would see all content tagged with “user_adoption” and “enterprise_2.0”.*

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Here I can see two articles by Steve Golab and Niall Cook. These two articles might be helpful, equally I may wish to go to Steve’s or Niall’s profile and start to look at their activity as I did with Gia.

I have very quickly found a mixture of content and people relevant to my query, with very little effort by myself or Gia or others involved. I may end up making connections with Steve or Niall, and find we have common interests within the organisation and work together. None of this would have been available to me in a traditional knowledge management or intranet system. The key is that the subject matter experts such as Gia, Niall and Steve had to do very little to create the social data that helped my search. As they found content and people, they simply tagged it or them (a very low touch activity), mainly to help them find the content again. As those tags are shared I benefit in the social capital being created.

* you might notice that there was also an enterprise_20 tag, as well as enterprise_2.0. This is an important point, you should consider software that suggests tags as you type them, to stop this from happening. Your community managers should also spend some time looking to aggregate tags where it makes sense.

Posted in Enterprise 2.0 | 7 Comments

Sharepoint as an Enterprise 2.0 platform

After my recent posts on Jive, Socialtext and Connections, some people have been asking me where I see Sharepoint fitting in. I was planning a long post on it, but having read Thomas Vander Wal’s recent post I have nothing left to add. I’d just like to highlight one of his points:

“Many who deployed SharePoint, thought it was going to be the bridge that delivered Enterprise 2.0 and a solid platform for social tools in the enterprise is summed up statement, “We went from 5 silos in our organization to hundreds in a month after deploying SharePoint”. They continue, “There is great information being shared and flowing into the system, but we don’t know it exists, nor can we easily share it, nor do much of anything with that information.

The overriding message that we are hearing is that Sharepoint is a good document management / file sharing system, especially in terms of Vista / Office / Outlook integration. There’s no reason why you can’t add social tools on top of it, but don’t look to it as a social software platform in its own right.

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New IBM System i blog

For anyone involved in IBM System i, Mandy Shaw, a guru in the field, has set up her own consultancy, iPerimeter. Mandy has also started blogging, and is on Twitter, so if System I is your thing I’d strongly recommend checking out this new System i consultancy.

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New features of Socialtext – Signals and Desktop

Socialtext have released Socialtext Signals, as well as Socialtext Desktop which I took a look at today. The easiest way to explain Signals is “Twitter for the Enterprise” but Socialtext have added a few features that give it extra value in an enterprise context.

The basic principle behind Signals is simple. You update it with a status about what you are working on using messages of under 140 characters. From my Socialtext dashboard below, you can see Signals in the top left. You can also see that peoples’ Signals also appear in the “My Colleagues” stream in the top middle widget as well.

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You can see two examples of using Signals here. First, I can see that Lars has just met with John from Acme corporation. I may know John, or I may have another contact at Acme. Lars’s update allows me to realise that Lars and I may share contacts, and it would be worth catching up with him to see if we can share knowledge about our contacts. A formal CRM system might not capture this fact.

You can also see Livio asking a question about finding some content for a proposal. This is a powerful use case of Twitter that applies also to Signals. Instead of searching around a shared drive, or re-inventing the wheel, I can quickly ask if any standard proposal material exists, and find the person who knows about the content, as well as the content itself. Linking me with the original author of the content gives me access to context as well as content, which increases my ability to re-use existing material.

You can also see I have the option of displaying updates from people I am following, or everyone within my organisation. This can be a useful filter, depending on the task I am trying to achieve.

So far, so like Twitter. There are two additional elements that stand Socialtext’s implementation apart. The first is when I am editing a wiki page. As my mouse hovers over the save button I am prompted to add a summary which will appear as a signal, as shown below

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Having the prompt appear as the user hovers rather than clicks is an excellent UI development. It reminds the user as they save a document that they can Signal, and makes it as easy as possible for them to do so. It also remains unobtrusive, if someone just wants to save they can do so, without an annoying popup reminding them about signaling all the time. If people were had to click before the dialog appeared, it would have been cumbersome and counter-productive.

The final feature Socialtext have implemented is Socialtext Desktop. This is an Adobe Air client that runs on your machine, showing you Signals and other updates from Socialtext without you having to log in, receive email updates or monitor a news feed. It lowers the barrier to using social software is a similar way Twhirl or Tweetdeck has done for Twitter. As with those Twitter clients, you can update as well as receive updates from your colleagues. As well as Signals it can also show who has commented on and edited documents that you are watching.

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Whilst other social software platforms have status features, none have put them in the context of a user’s existing workflow in the same way as Socialtext. By prompting people to Signal as they save documents, and allow them to receive and send Signals immediately without having to log in to a website should drive up adoption significantly, as Twitter clients have done for Twitter.

If you are interested in taking a deeper look at Socialtext, or some of the other enterprise social platforms that are available, please get in touch with Headshift!

Posted in Enterprise 2.0 | 4 Comments

Save management costs with Enterprise 2.0

The good news is for us players, the boom in online gambling enterprise gaming has a life of its very own– one that will certainly not so easily be quashed. In fact, a panel investigating the conflict ruled that the U.S. remained in violation of its own monetary guidelines when it gets in the way of American banks engaging in transactions with Antigua-Barbuda online gambling establishments. Rating one for online casino site betting.

Actually, rack up more compared to that. Many countries are starting to face realities about the financially rewarding business of on the internet casino gambling and also finding means for their local economic situations to take advantage of the trend -I regularly play at high roller casinos when i want to win big-. Not just does online gambling enterprise gambling supply to the local neighborhoods that license and also control them enormous sums of money through tax obligation profits, but the on the internet casino gambling market likewise fosters massive job development in whatever geographical locations it touches. Think about Antigua-Barbuda, where 30% of the locals are used by online gambling establishment gambling facilities.

The next time they went, I got invited again to play slotzo – ah just one beer, bring 10 euro, it will be fun they said. – So I caved, and joined them. My first time in a casino, it was fun, not because of gambling, but because of the people around me. I didn’t play much nor did I win or lose.

One of my roommates won 120 euro, and he bought us 46 chickenwings. We brought them home, tried to finish all 46 chickenwings (and failed), drank beer and played Risk that night.

Posted in Enterprise 2.0 | 1 Comment

Use Enterprise 2.0 to save money – web conferencing

istock_000002523894smallAs with all industries at the moment, Enterprise 2.0 is trying to reposition itself as the one essential thing that you need in a recession. Michael Sampson wrote recently on how to manage your business in a recession, and one of his key points was to reduce costs using on-line meetings:

“Meetings that are more about co-creation of content than discussion and decision making can be supported through online meeting tools like Citrix GoToMeeting, LotusLive Meetings, Microsoft Office Live Meeting, and many more (my personal favorite is Citrix GoToMeeting — it just always works!). Co-writing of documents, looking over an upcoming presentation, brainstorming about market opportunities, and more … all can be supported just as well through online meeting tools, for about $40 per month.”

I have used a variety of these sorts of systems, and in general they work well within an enterprise, until you want to involve people outside your firewall. Webinars are an excellent way to get your message out to key customers at very low cost if done correctly. If done incorrectly, they are a nightmare for both parties.

I’ve just come off a failed webinar powered by WebEx, which I understand is the market leader for these kind of things. In all fairness, I think virtually any webinar broadcast over the internet that I have attended has had huge problems (with the exception of Adobe Acrobat ConnectJive Software use this and it rocks, haven’t seen much uptake elsewhere though).

Two areas that are absolutely essential for successful marketing webinars (which didn’t happen today) are:

  1. The presentations must scale to the resolution of the webinar attendee. Many organisations with several people attending the webinar may want to meet together and project (800 x 600) the content
  2. The audio must work. In all the webinars I’ve attended this fails so often. I know that Lotus Sametime and Microsoft OCS suffer as they use ports that most corporate firewalls don’t open. If you’re offering a webinar to keep costs low then making me dial-in doesn’t work.

Interestingly, more lightweight, SaaS solutions such as Lotus Live, and Dimdim (who get bonus points for reaching out to me via Twitter minutes after posting my frustration with WebEx) seem to be coming out on the market, and as mentioned previously I was very impressed with Adobe Connect.

Dimdim’s tagline is “Web conferencing that just works” – that’s what we need! I’d be interested if anyone has used them, and may give them a try next time I host a webinar, so that my customers don’t go and blog about not being able to listen!

Posted in Enterprise 2.0 | 3 Comments

Project manager jobs

Headshift is has openings for project manager jobs. If you’re a project manager based in London and keen to work on the most exciting social media and Enterprise 2.0 projects please get in touch!

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