Friday, July 23, 2004

Trapped in email

Ross Mayfield posted a really good overview of social software. My favorite bit is this: 75% of knowledge assets are trapped in email. This really backs up our view that blogs are a natural knowledge management system.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

How Microsoft Does Collaboration

Summer slowdown

There hasn't been much activity here recently. Vacations, moving, and the ever-present other work we really have to do are the chief factors in the slowdown in posts. Look for much more frequent posting in August.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004


Completely anonymous blogging, although you still have to use your head and keep the paranoia ratcheted up. The only corporate use I can think of for something like this is whistle blowing, and hopefully you work for a decent company with an ethical corporate concerns group and would never need something like this. Still, cool stuff, especially if you are a political dissident. (via Scripting News)

Monday, July 12, 2004

Watchdog Blogging?

John Leo over at had an interesting column on how blogging is beginning to put pressure on the more traditional news outlets to be more truthful in their news. Apparently, articles that are long on speculation/agenda and short on facts are getting increasingly criticized in blogs. While it hasn't necessarily brought big change in actions of the news outlet in question, it IS getting more and more press and the trend it growing. As the pressure grows, how long can the outlet affort to ignore it?

We've already seen the power of blogs in many different ways in the political spectrum this year. Regardless of your particular affiliation or leanings, there are blogs to provide information no matter the interest. But now, in a time when large financially deep-pocketed organizations seem to have all the control over what is said where and how it's spun, there is arising a new form for "the little guy" to get his voice heard anyway...and get results.

Then again, you have to read blogs to see the benefits...

Friday, July 09, 2004

Blogs as a data mine

In our collaboration strategy, we view blogs as a natural knowledge management system. Instead of having to do extra work to put information into a special system, you replace a large chunk of your email with blog posts. Instead of being trapped in email, that information is freely available to those in your corporation who need it. There is no need to mine email like Tacit does, which corporate resource or not, creeps out users and ends up being counterproductive.

But maybe it can go even further than that. In this old Cringely column that I stumbled across today, he mentions the concept of blogs as a personal data mine that could look for patterns in your posts and provide you with alerts along the lines of "Dude, you really need a vacation." As silly as that example is, the idea might be promising.

Where Cringely and I disagree is on the public/private nature of this. Cringely's blogosphere is limited to one, a personal recording of everything in your life. He dismisses idea sharing: "But most people's thoughts aren't really worth sharing."

From a corporate perspective, you have to wonder why you would continue to employ knowledge workers whose ideas weren't worth sharing. So, in that environment you'd hope that most people's ideas were worth sharing. Better yet, those who want to learn can learn from those with best ideas, even if the big brains have no idea who the learners are.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

At the Eleventh Hour?

Can email as we know it be saved? Can Sender ID become its rescuer?

I don't often spend a lot of cycles combing through IETF pubs, but this one looks quite promising. The right thing, at the (nick of the) right time, looks to be deliverable soon. If it happens, it's thanks to a successful collaboration between some of the best minds trained on the opportunity (notably Meng Wong) and Microsoft, whose potential to turn around calamities of global proportion stands unequalled today.

"This document describes mechanisms by which a domain owner can publish its set of outgoing Message Transfer Agents, by which SMTP servers determine what address is responsible for most proximately introducing a message onto the Internet, and whether that introduction is authorized by the owner of the domain contained in that address.

The specification is carefully tailored to ensure that the overwhelming majority of legitimate emailers, remailers and mailing list operators are already compliant."

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

'Facetop' Blends Screen and Video Images

Some UNC researchers have found a really great use for the transparency in the OS X interface. Facetop lets you see a more or less ghostly image of the person you are collaborating with superimposed on the screen. You can see what the person is pointing at, for instance. A Mac version could be ready in a couple of months, but there apparently can't be a Windows version until Longhorn.

FedEx tracking via RSS

It's a hack which will break whenever FedEx changes the page layout, but it is a pretty cool hack nonetheless. Some interesting comments to the announcement, including the fact that you need a FedEx account and FedEx's approval to use the XML API. Pretty short sighted if you ask me. (via BoingBoing)