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November 2009

12 posts from October 2009

Which is easier to understand? Google Wave or the Swedish Chef?

Heh... you just knew it was only a matter of time before the parody sites came out! Kudos to whomever put together:


Very cute.

The reality, too, is that Google Wave is hard to understand until you wrap your brain around the not-overly-intuitive user interface. Once you start to get the interface, though, there are some VERY cool things you can do with it... I've got some screencast ideas I hope to be posting soon...

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Heading out to Enterprise 2.0 conf next week in SF...

enterprise20-2009-boston-1.jpgOn Sunday evening I'll be heading out to San Francisco were I'll be speaking at both Enterprise 2.0 and VoiceCon next week at the Moscone center (they are co-resident). As I outline on a page on the Voxeo Talks blog, my talks at Enterprise 2.0 will both be on Tuesday, November 3, 2009. The first is:
11:15 am–12:00 pm – Case Studies In Enterprise Micro-Blogging Micro-blogging is taking hold within the Enterprise. The social aspects of real-time messaging promise to improve productivity, knowledge sharing and community-building. Organizations pursuing “Enterprise Twitter” solutions however face numerous issues: *What is the business case (including metrics and ROI)? *What are the policy, security, compliance, and discovery implications? *Are there best practices to help with employee adoption? *What application scenarios work best? e2 Moderator – Irwin Lazar, Vice President, Communications Research, Nemertes Research
Speaker – Brad Garland, CEO, The Garland Group
Speaker – Dan York, Director of Conversations, Voxeo Corporation
Speaker – Scott Mark, Enterprise Application Architect, Medtronic
Speaker – Wim Hofland, Manager, Inspiration and Innovation, Sogeti Netherlands

It should be an interesting discussion, particularly because my views on "enterprise micro-blogging" have evolved a good bit (and not necessarily in a positive direction) since I wrote my long piece a year ago about Yammer, and Laconica.

Next up, and on the same general theme, is a "reactor panel" that is a bit of reprise of a similar panel at Enterprise 2.0 in Boston earlier this year, although with different participants:

4:15 – 5:00 pm – The Future of Social Messaging in the Enterprise The rapid rise of social messaging services such as Twitter creates challenges and opportunities for end-user organizations. How can end-user organizations utilize social messaging to improve external and internal collaboration? What’s the role of social messaging in a unified communications and collaboration architecture and how are UC&C vendors incorporating social messaging into their products? How can organizations embrace social messaging in a way that is consistent with needs for security, governance and compliance? Will the rise of public social messaging services render investments in unified communications moot? Join us for a free-wheeling discussion into the all of these topics and more. e2 Moderator – Irwin Lazar, Vice President, Communications Research, Nemertes Research
Speaker – Akiba Saeedi, Program Director, Unified Communications and Collaboration, IBM Software Group
Speaker – Dan York, Director of Conversations, Voxeo Corporation
Speaker – David Sacks, CEO, Yammer
Speaker – Eugene Lee, CEO, Socialtext
Speaker – Paul Dunay, Global Managing Director of Services and Social Marketing, Avaya Inc.
Speaker – Vivek Khuller, President and CEO, Divitas

Again, it should be an enjoyable session... particularly if we get to have a bit more of a discussion.

Both sessions are "slide-less" in that we as participants are not showing slides... just discussing the topic.

On Thursday morning, Irwin Lazar and I also have a "Deep Dive" on "Web 2.0 in the Enterprise", although interestingly that is going on over on the VoiceCon agenda.

Anyway, if you are out at either Enterprise 2.0 or VoiceCon, do drop me a note and perhaps we can connect somewhere out there. You can expect, of course, that I'll be tweeting from the show on probably both @danyork and @voxeo.

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I'm toying with creating an email newsletter - care to sign up?

For some time now, I've been playing with the idea of starting an e-mail newsletter. Several reasons... but primarily because I am curious about using it as an adjunct to all the writing I do online. I write across a good number of sites and yet there are common themes that are woven into all my writing - primarily this one:
to try to tell the story of all the changes that are going on all around us in both the way we communicate and also the tools we use to communicate.

That theme is here on Disruptive Conversations, over on Disruptive Telephony, in Blue Box podcasts, in my Emerging Tech Talk video podcasts and definitely also in what I write on Voxeo's blog site. It's also a theme in some of what I post on Facebook and Twitter, too.

I don't know how often I'll send out the newsletter. Knowing me, I expect it will vary in frequency. Right now I'm thinking it will probably include items such as:

  • Major pieces I've written or produced somewhere in my network of sites that I think would be interesting to a larger audience.
  • Updates on upcoming conferences where I'll be speaking and where we might be able to meet.
  • New projects or initiatives - or other bright, shiny objects I'm chasing.
  • New tools I think people might find useful.
  • Random personal updates or other notes.

Again, it's still very much in the formative stages (what kind of information would you like to receive?)

It also, quite frankly, gives me a chance to experiment with iContact, a service I've been wanting to try for a while.

Anyway, if you'd like to join me in my little experiment, you're welcome to do so and I'd be honored to have you along for the ride. The shiny new sign-up form is here:

Sign up for my e-newsletter
* Email
First Name
Last Name
* = Required Field

I'll probably be sending out the first newsletter in the next week or so. Being the security/privacy nut that I am, you can be sure I won't sell your name or do anything like that. That's not my style.

If you do sign up, thanks for doing so.

P.S. And yes, because I despise the link-spam bots out there that clog up systems by filling out forms on sites, I do require you to confirm your email address. I know it's one extra step, but really it's better for all involved...

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Experimenting with Google Wave? Here's a great list of keyboard shortcuts

googlewavepreview.jpgAre you experimenting with Google Wave and wish you could work quicker within the Wave windows? If you are like me and love keyboard shortcuts, I found this site that may be of help to you:

The two shortcuts that save me the most time are:

  • "Shift+Enter" - ends your editing, the equivalent of pressing the "Done" button with the mouse.
  • "Ctrl+Space" - marks all blips in a Wave as read (important in a wave like the VUC Wave that has lots of commentary).

What Wave keyboard shortcuts do you find most useful?

P.S. If you are on Wave and want to say hello, I'm at "[email protected]".

P.P.S. No, I don't have any more invites. :-)

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R.I.P. GeoCities...

yahoogeocities.jpgAs has been widely reported, Yahoo! is shutting down and deleting all the content from its GeoCities service today. This isn't a surprise, as Yahoo! has been laying the groundwork for the shutdown for some time. And in truth, I'll barely mourn the passing... I haven't intentionally been to a GeoCities-hosted site in years.


..."back in the day", as folks are so fond of saying now, GeoCities certainly was a place where many people got their start with free websites. For those of us online in the 1990's... long before all the zillion sites today where you can go and create your own free site... there was GeoCities.

I had websites running on other servers and never set up my own site on GeoCities, but I certainly knew folks who did and undoubtedly spent time on some sites there. It's amazing on one level that the Yahoo! acquisition was ten years ago... but in recent years the service had definitely been eclipsed and for many of us was more almost a caricature than anything else... (see today's XKCD layout to get a sense of what the site had become like).

Still, it's worth noting the passing, because back in the 1990's, GeoCities certainly did help many people get online. Some articles I noticed today:

And, as I mentioned earlier, the folks at the XKCD comic changed their layout in tribute:


(P.S. A colleague has pointed out that if you view the source of the XKCD page, it's even funnier...)

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Using TypePad Connect now to let you comment with your accts from Twitter, Facebook, OpenID or more

Earlier this week I enabled "TypePad Connect" for this blog and my Disruptive Telephony blog so that you can now sign in when commenting using your "identity" from TypePad, Twitter, Facebook, OpenID, or many others. Nicely, you can also, of course, simply enter in your name, URL, etc. like you always could before on this blog. The difference is that now down above the comment field you should see this:

If you click on the "more..." link, you will be taken to a site to choose the account you want to use:


I'm particularly pleased about the ability to support OpenID, something I've written about both here and over on Disruptive Telephony, although that's not particularly surprising given Six Apart's support for OpenID in the past.

There's a larger story to be written here about TypePad Connect and how it is part of the greater battle going on both with regard to your "identity" across blogs and also where your comments are stored. The Read/Write Web had a great article on the topic a year ago when TypePad Connect first came out. For me, since both this blog and DisTel are already hosted on TypePad, the issue about having your comments reside on TypePad's servers is irrelevant, really, since they already are. Another time, though, I'll write more on the larger story.

In the meantime, feel free to leave comments through being logged into those services (and saving yourself filling out the form).

For those wanting to know more about TypePad Connect, there is a video on the main page and also previous TypePad blog posts in November 2008 and January 2009 that go into more detail.

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Congrats to HubSpot on $16M funding AND launch of "Inbound Marketing" book

hubspotlogo.jpgCongratulations are very definitely in order to the folks over at HubSpot today for two reasons:

HubSpot has definitely been one of the companies I've been watching in this space. They've provided a great amount of content through their Internet Marketing blog on a wide range of topics. I've also enjoyed some of their "Grader" tools. Plus, on a purely local note, they are an interesting Boston-area company just a couple of hours south of me.

Congrats to Brian Halligan and all the HubSpot team... and best wishes to them as they aim to become "the of marketing".

P.S. Check out their "Inbound Marketing cartoon eBook".

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Sustaining a launch/campaign - the Attention Wave is just the spark...

A few weeks back, Bryan Person replied to my Attention Wave case study with this comment (my emphasis added):
I like the "attention ripples" expression, and it feels like a more sensible way to steadily build awareness and momentum around new products and services. You *can* still drop multiple blog posts, for example, on "launch day," but why not also have an editorial plan to publish content across multiple social channels over several days and weeks?


The last part is the critical point to me. Packaging your initial content into an "Attention Wave" should just be the spark that ignites your campaign/launch/etc. The goal of that first package of content is to:

  • tell your story from multiple points-of-view
  • provide the resources to help others tell your story (ex. provide an embeddable video people can use)
  • get as much initial visibility as possible

But if there's no plan to continue the content creation, then your nice Attention Wave package of content becomes simply a spark that may light a small fire but soon runs out of fuel.

To Bryan's point, you should have an editorial calendar that continues to build on your launch package and that streams out in the days, weeks and months after your launch. You want to feed fuel to the fire and keep the flames burning.

The Attention Wave is just the spark...

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PodCamp NH coming up on November 7 - 8, 2009 - sign up now!

podcampnhlogo.jpgI was delighted to learn recently that PodCamp NH is coming up Saturday and Sunday, November 7 and 8th, 2009, in New Hampton, New Hampshire, near big Lake Winnipesaukee. I've been a huge fan of the PodCamp type of events ever since I attended and spoke at some of the first PodCamp Boston events a few years back... and it's great to see such an event coming to the Granite State. Kudos to Leslie Poston and team for getting it going.

There already are a good number of people indicating that they will attend and the list of sessions looks great so far. (I'm pleased to see that friend Ted Gilchrist is doing a talk on voice mashups!) Following either of those links you can sign up to attend and/or propose a talk - they are also naturally looking for sponsors to help defray the costs.

Sadly, it looks like I'll have to miss this inaugural Podcamp NH. I'll be spending the week prior out in San Francisco speaking at both the VoiceCon and Enterprise 2.0 conferences and then will be heading down to Voxeo's office for the week of November 9th. Since I'd kind of like to see my family in between, well... I'll have to catch the next PodCamp. It's somewhat ironic in that several of the talks I'm giving at both VoiceCon and E2.0, particularly the ~2-hour "Web 2.0 in the enterprise" session I'm doing Wednesday with Irwin Lazar, directly relate to the kinds of things discussed at PodCamp and would be fun to talk about there. Ah, well.... next time.

I look forward to reading about it and I'm definitely glad to see the activity increasing here in the Granite State. Now Podcamp NH just needs a tag line that riffs on our state motto... something like:

Blog Free or Die!

If you are in New Hampshire (or want to travel here), definitely do check out PodCamp NH... attend... present... learn...

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What I need is the "Brain-To-Blog" interface!

braintoblog.jpgAs I see in the Twitter stream, many good friends of mine are attending and speaking at Blog World Expo right now out in Las Vegas. I'm not there, nor was I at last year's BWE, but I was a huge fan of and attendee at the "Podcast and New Media Expos" that proceeded it. There are some REALLY great sessions going on out there right now.

The one thing I don't see being discussed there is this:

I need a Brain -> Blog interface!

I need something that can take all the article ideas in my brain and just mystically make them appear on my various blogs. My problem is not a lack of ideas. No way! I have the opposite problem.

Every day I wake up with my head exploding with stories to be told ... and every night I find myself going to bed with so many of those stories left untold.

I have an article queue miles long... and I find myself thinking through stories at all sorts of times... but finding the time to actually write and post those stories is so incredibly difficult. Between crazy work hours, a family I love to be with (including an extremely cute but demanding 5-month-old) and, well, the need to sleep and eat... the time to convert those articles from thoughts in the brain to words on a blog site seems incredibly hard to get.

I want the interface that's in many cyberpunk/sci-fi stories... where I can just think the text that I want to post and... ta da.. it magically gets created! Sadly, such things are right now only in stories and research labs... but it sure would be nice to have.

Meanwhile, back in the reality of 2009, I guess I'll just have to figure out how to carve out some more time... ;-)

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