E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

The Man Who Should Have Used Lotus Connections – Innovate or Die

Tenerife - Mount TeideIf yesterday I talked about the latest adventures of Molly exploring social software within the enterprise with IBM’s own Lotus Connections, today I thought I would go and check out what "The Man Who Should Have Used Lotus Connections" has been up to lately. After all, it has been a few weeks since the last time I talked about him and his discovery of the immense power behind participating actively in online communities in order to reach to fellow knowledge workers to share your own knowledge and collaborate on a common topic.

Yes, of course, I am talking about the wonderfully delightful series of video clips that my good friend, and fellow IBM colleague, Jean Francois Chenier, has been putting together over the last few months and whose latest episode (#5 at this point in time) is just as witty and hilariously funny as all the other ones, if not more! But this time around he actually touches base on a use case related to one of my favourite services within Lotus Connections: Activities. And I will explain why shortly …

First, go and check out "Innovate or Die". That’s the title of this last episode and although it lasts for a little bit longer than all the others (8′ 19”) it’s just as worth it going through it and learning plenty more how easy it can well be preparing, managing and hosting a conference event using Lotus Connections Activities versus other traditional communication and collaboration tools. Certainly, a lot less painful, I tell you and, if not, hit play, judge for yourself and start enjoying this last episode:

Just too funny, eh? I told you. I said you would enjoy it and I bet you did. And quite a bit! I did, too! It’s interesting to notice how from all of the various services that Lotus Connections has got Activities is probably the most unknown of them all. And, funny enough, it’s yet *the* most powerful one of them all! In this episode #5 Jean Francois takes the opportunity to show how different things could have been for organising and hosting a conference event when making use of Activities versus other options. And having used it myself a few times for such kind of event organising I can tell you how easy it is to keep track of multiple threads trying to nail down such complex set of activities without going crazy along the way.

But that’s not the only reason why I really do enjoy working with Activities, both inside and outside of the firewall. At a time when most people are talking about how effective the Getting Things Done method is within your email system, here I am myself having my own GDT method: Lotus Connections Activities. There are multiple kinds of definitions that plenty of folks have been using to define such service, but the one that I keep re-using myself constantly is how I view this component as my micro-project management system, allowing me to execute incredibly easy on every single to-do or action item that hits not only my Inbox, but also my own day to day productivity.

Indeed, Activities touches base on a key area that I have developed a keen interest on over the last few months as one of the major drivers of Enterprise 2.0 within the corporate world: Task Centric Computing. That is right, if you would want to focus on interacting socially in finishing up task after task, to-do after to-do, with hardly any effort and in an open, public and transparent manner, so everyone can benefit from those interactions, (Although you can also keep it private, if you wish) Activities is the way to go.

Why, you mabe asking? Well, mainly because of how simple they are to use; mainly because of how integrated this service is with a bunch of the tools that I use on a daily basis: Lotus Notes, one of my Web browsers (FireFox) and Instant Messaging with Sametime. So all of those action items that may come through my way through those tools, and whatever other ones, I can just convert them easily (With a single click, in most cases) into a new Activity (Or an existing one). Just like that!

But what’s also amazing is that if you happen to be a Lotus Notes 8 user you will have to agree with me that it is just such a treat being able to take those Activities offline and work disconnected. Whoahhh! Who would have thought about that, eh? One of the major issues that mobile knowledge workers have got against social software (Lack of offline support) is fully supported by Activities! Ha! I told you it’s one of my favourite social computing tools, right? That’s why! Now I can take my to-dos and action items in a protected and secured environment I control with me wherever I may well be… and WITHOUT using email! Good stuff!!

Better use cases than that one of GTD using Activities? Probably, yes, but you would have to agree with me just that one makes it all worth it giving it a try. And believe it or not, you, too, can take it for a spin, right as we speak and, best of all, free of charge: Welcome to Connections Activities on ibm.com!

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