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Next08 – Giving up on Work e-mail – Status Report on Week 14

Half way through the "See the Light 2.0" road show here in Germany, that I have been doing over the last couple of days, and which is going to be very difficult to forget for many many moons to come!, it is only now that I am starting to have some more free time to share with you folks some further thoughts on what has been happening over the last couple of weeks. I think it is kind of pointless to actually continue working on my draft blog posts while you are driving through the Autobahn, if you know what I mean ;-)

So while I am still here in Köln (Beautiful city, by the way!), I thought I would go ahead and share some more of the highlights from the Next08 event (Probably the last blog post of the series, for the time being) I attended a couple of weeks back in Hamburg (And of which I have talked about already over here a couple of times); at the same time that I share with you all the weekly progress report from my giving up on e-mail new reality, moving on from where I left it before going on the road again: week 14.

Main reason why I wanted to continue talking about Next08 is because of the good amount of comments and offline interactions I have been getting from people to share a specific blog post where I would just point out to the presentation I did, which you already have, but more interestingly to the video recording that a few days back has already been made available on their site. Yes, that is right, something that I mentioned already elsewhere over here, but since it was a bit hidden with some further commentary, I think it would make sense to mention it briefly, once more.

Just recently we all got a notification where it was mentioned how all of the videos from Next08 were already up and running; ready to be watched! Including mine. Unfortunately, I will not be able to embed it over here, so you will have to head over to the main programme site and scroll down till you bump into it. But it is there. In it you will be able find out how over the course of a bit over 30 minutes I cover some of the background of where I am coming from with this new reality of giving up on work related e-mail, where I am heading and trying to achieve, as well as for what purpose(s), and in the end I get to talk about a little bit more hinting the various social software tools I use the most on a regular basis.

So far the feedback I have been receiving has been very positive, but I would certainly like to continue encouraging you all to watch it and provide some further feedback or comments you may have overall on it. Time continues to move forward and as such so has my presentation on "Thinking out of the Inbox", specially after these last few days on this Enterprise 2.0 / Social Computing road show. Quite an eye opener that I would be able to share with you whenever I am done with the overall event in the next couple of days… Thus stay tuned for more to come!

And now that I got that done with, I thought I would share with you the weekly progress report from that week, which would be the 14th consecutive week that I have given up on e-mail at work. Coming closer to the four months already at the time and now that I am just about to hit on the fifth month I can tell you that the results are even better! So here it is:

As you would be able to see I had a peak of 40 e-mails for that week, which although not too bad, it surely was an indication that I couldn’t move away some of those conversations about (conference) events, like I mentioned I would try to do. They were still coming up my way through my Inbox. I am not going to share with you just yet what happened in the following couple of weeks, since in each of them something really remarkable has taken place, so one step at a time, but as you can see, it is still looking good. Very doable and tripling the kind of online social software interactions I have been having thus far, which is helping me stay connected with people and feel that even though I am on the road travelling on a regular basis I can still contribute towards helping others. And not using e-mail!

And, finally, talking about people, if there would be a single key element that I could talk about from the Next08 event in Hamburg, it would be the fact that it is one of those special events where lots and lots of emphasis is placed on the social networking activities. It surely was an amazing experience, both from an organisational perspective as well as from a participant / presenter one. There were two things that immediately caught my attention throughout. One how everyone got a chance to come over and share their thoughts with their favourite speakers. That is how I got to know plenty more Stowe Boyd, Steve Rubel, Markus Angermeier, Tina Pickhardt, Sarik WeberMatthias Schrader, of course! (And his entire team! Well done, guys!!!) and many many more, including a whole bunch of IBMers (Yes, yes, you know who you are! :-P heh). I know I will be keeping up with them in various social computing tools, like Twitter, whenever it would be working properly again. But one thing, for the sure, the first face to face contact has been made successfully. The rest will be coming along through nicely as time goes by and till the next event!

The second thing is to re-discover how healthy Web 2.0, along with Enterprise 2.0, is becoming in Germany. I already knew from my various interactions that Germany was on the right track, and to be honest, during that particular event I had the certainty of diving into conversations with an incredibly smart talent who are not only exploring the limits of Web 2.0, but they are taking them to the extreme to see where they can push them within the corporate world! And, not sure what you think, folks, but I am incredibly excited about it, because it comes to prove that it is not just America and Asia doing some really good things in this space, but also Germany, along with the UK and a couple of other countries, like Italy, where things are starting to turn around in the right direction: our direction!

Thus I am not sure about you, but I am surely looking forward to Next09. Will you be there? I hope I will. For sure! :-)

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Next08 – Highlights from Attended Speaker Sessions

Continuing further with some more highlights from the superb event I attended a couple of weeks back in Hamburg, Next08, I thought I would go ahead and share another blog post where I will not be mentioning much more about the Keynote speakers, since I did that last time, but more with the rest of the breakout sessions that I got to attend for the remaining of the day. One thing that you may have noticed already is how the great folks from Next08 have already provided some preview of what other people attending the event have been blogging and twittering about all along, including plenty of pictures shared all along by a whole bunch of folks. Thus you may want to have a look into that as well.

At the same time you may have noticed how a good number of the recorded videos are starting to become available for everyone to enjoy and in multiple spaces. So what I will do from here is just share a line or two from the breakout sessions I attended and a quick thought on whether it would be worth while for you folks to watch the video replay or not. That way you would be able to keep up accordingly, and at your own pace, with what has been happening. So let’s get the ball rolling…

Being Real-time: Google’s Mobile Strategy by Robert Hamilton (Google Mobile Management)

The video replay is already available on the Next08 and this would be one of those breakout sessions that I attended that would be worth while watching again. More than anything else to watch where Google is going with its Search engine, amongst many other items, within the Mobile 2.0 world. One keyword coming to mind, even after two weeks that the event is now finished: FAST!! Or, even, FASTER!!!

Decaffeinating Tea – Why Enterprise 2.0 isn’t – what it needs to make it happen by Jeremy Ruston (British Telecom)

Although Jeremy’s video replay is not yet readily available for watching, I can certainly recommend that you take a look into it, whenever it makes it. More than anything else because Jeremy engages in a very interesting and thought-provoking presentation (Using TiddlyWiki, by the way. No PPT slides at all! – Loved it!) where he touches on a good number of elements to take into account with regards to the adoption of Enterprise 2.0 that converge in most cases into cultural aspects, and not just technology. Very inspiring session that settles the ground on where the next generation of the workforce is already and how they themselves will be shaping up the future workplace! Truly engaging and remarkable, to say the least. Like I said, it would be interesting for you to watch this one, whenever it would become available.

And perhaps, for now, and to give you a glimpse of what you will find out, check out Fischmarkt’s summary of Jeremy’s session where you can read some more as to what Jeremy is up to in helping shape the workplace of the future, one where the knowledge workers themselves would be the ones in power! Very good, indeed!

Thinking out of the Inbox – More Collaboration through less e-mail by Luis Suarez (Social Computing Evangelist at IBM)

Going to keep things short on this one, since I already blogged about this particular session where yours truly gave a speech on where we are with Enterprise 2.0 from a corporate perspective as well as sharing my own experiences on my new reality of having given up on work related e-mail. The video replay has now been made available, but I will be creating a new blog post on it specifically, as I would want to share with you folks a thing or two I got from listening to the replay once again. Too funny to watch yourself on a computer screen doing such stuff, I tell you. Thus stay tuned for that one to be posted and feel free to leave a comment if it sparks a question or two while going through it.

Things we care about by Ryan Singer (37signals)

This is one other session that I surely enjoyed quite a bit! And even though I am not a designer, nor a developer, I still found it incredibly inspiring and mind-blowing! Why? Well, because Ryan spent a few minutes explaining, through demos, how certain design elements would work out with different Web sites to help enrich the user experience tremendously and although I know that for most of you folks out there this would not be any news to you, I can honestly say that I wish most of the Web 2.0 tools that I use out there would implement a few of these designer enhancements that Ryan explained and covered very nicely, because it is caring about the smaller details when putting those interfaces together that surely have the highest impact. And Ryan was able to transmit that throughout the whole time! Just brilliant and highly recommended!

Oh, and his session is available through the video replay already! Go ahead, watch & educate yourself on what Web design should always be about!

From there onwards there were a couple of other breakout sessions that I didn’t get to attend, since they were in German, and my German skills are a bit rusty at the moment, so I decided, instead, to do some serious social networking face to face and have a few conversations with various folks coming from different areas of expertise, but all of them with a commitment to make Enterprise 2.0 a success within their own companies. Quite re-energising to see all of that talent coming together into changing the way the corporate world has operated for the last few years. Very refreshing stuff, if you would ask me, because whether we like it or not, this is going to be the generation of folks who will be ruling the corporate world in the next couple of years, if not already! … I can imagine how some of the pictures taken were able to capture those precious moments of an engaging dialogue with someone you share a common passion. Priceless!

And, finally, the last session was the wrap-up session from Gunter Dueck, which I have talked about previously, and one of those sessions that although I didn’t make it, as I was busy with meetings, & Gunter was giving his speech in German, it surely was worth while the time! Kept bumping into people that afternoon saying that his session was one of the very best from the entire the event! And with that introduction, I am certainly looking forward for someone to be able to translate the main thoughts into a blog post in English that we could all digest. Another one in German may also help out quite a bit!

That was it, folks! That’s it for me for today on the highlights from the breakout sessions I was able to attend during Next08. There are plenty more, of course, since there were four concurrent tracks taking place, so you may want to head over to the Agenda and check out some of the remaining sessions, which are already having the replays of them available on the main site for the event, so you can watch them at your own pace…

In an upcoming blog post, the last one from the series, I will be sharing some of the different highlights from a personal perspective from the people I met there, as well as the organisation of the overall event, which I think did a GREAT job! Thus stay tuned, because there is more to come!

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Next08 – Highlights from the Keynote Speaker Sessions

As you may all recall from a blog post I put together a couple of weeks back, this week I am in Barcelona, preparing for a couple of client meetings, over the next couple of days, to talk some more about Social Computing @ IBM and the kind of impact it is having within the corporate firewall, and then on the 21st I have been kindly invited by Jose Antonio del Moral to attend Startup 2.0, where I will also be able to meet the one and only: Tom Raftery. An event that surely promises to be one to remember! But more about it as time comes by as I will be sharing as well a short story on how I got into that one.

For now, and while I am wrapping things up for the next couple of days, where everything has now been ready for a few hours already, I thought I would drop the first of a series of blog posts detailing some of the highlights from the superb event that I attended last week in Hamburg, Germany: Next08. An event that will be difficult to forget as all of the already high expectations I had for it before getting there were met and exceeded big time! To say the least.

As you may remember from previous conference events, I have now developed the tendency to live twitter events as opposed to live con-blogging them and so far I have been quite delighted with the results. Next08 was no exception and have been able to share a bunch of tweets at my second Twitter id: elsuacon. As you would be able to see, there are some intervals where nothing seemed to have happened and that was because the wireless connection was a bit flaky at times, but was still able to capture some offline tweets which I will be sharing shortly as post-conference notes in that same Twitter stream. That would give you a good sense of the kind of event that this conference has been! Just amazing!

So what could I talk about in this first post sharing these highlights? Well, there are many many things, but I think that the first thing I should be sharing with you would be some quick, short notes on the various keynote sessions that I got to attend and which I am sure you would find rather interesting as well, specially for three of them! No doubt!

Here we go then:

To get things started Matthias Schrader kicked off the conference with a short pitch detailing what we were going to find throughout the event and, I tell you, if the expectations were high with Matthias’ presentation they reached into another level! Very good!

From there onwards we had the first three keynote speaker sessions with Geraldine Wilson (From Yahoo! Mobile), Matt Cohler (From Facebook) and Mike Jennings (From Google – Android). Both Geraldine’s and Mike’s sessions were recorded so I am not going to comment much on them, except for mentioning that the future of the Mobile 2.0 market is bright and that I hope to be able to jump in very shortly with my Nokia N95, being able to do all of the stuff we saw during the speeches. I must say that Mike’s session on Android though was a bit too technical for my taste, but I am sure that the techies on the floor enjoyed it quite a bit. I think I would have done the presentation a bit different. A bit more on the pragmatic side of things showing the potential for mobile workers like you and me. I guess better luck next time…

What was disappointing as well a little bit was Matt’s session on Facebook. Too basic, in my opinion, from the perspective that those folks who may have been using Facebook for a while would have learned very little, if much at all. I think I would have focused more on the current situation that Facebook is facing with more and more business folks abandoning it by the day (I think we would all love to find out more on what FB is doing to gain those folks back, before it is too late, and if at all worth it), un-targeted adds, privacy (Not deep enough originally), security, Intranet potential, etc. etc. Like I said, I would have provided a bit more than just the basics.

Another keynote session that I enjoyed quite a bit, specially since most of the background was new to me and found it rather fascinating was Werner Vogels‘, from Amazon, who opened up my eyes a bit more on some of the really good stuff that Amazon is doing, and yes, nothing to do with books! ;-) hehe Highly recommended watching the replay!

For the first three keynote speaker sessions, with Geraldine, Matt and Mike, the video recordings are already available and you can re-play them from here. Werner’s session is not up yet, but it would be another one to watch!

Finally, from all of the various different keynote speaker sessions, I would strongly encourage you all to have a look at two of them that really had an impact throughout the whole event. Just those two, and another hidden gem, were worth while attending the entire event! Yes, of course, I am talking about Steve Rubel‘s and Stowe Boyd‘s inspirational sessions that are going to make you think and WOW for quite some time to come! At least, they have with me. I was there live, but I am surely going to watch them again from the re-play, because too many goodies thrown out at you cannot be left behind just like that!

Stowe‘s session on Social Revolution on the Web, and its impact on business, media and society … and us, as individuals is already available for re-play, and at the same time he has made it available, with the lovely option to download a copy of the deck, in Slideshare. Like I said, the session’s video is already up and running and you can watch it over here, but if there would be a single sentence that could summarise what we witnessed and that made me proud of being an edgling was this one: "A well-ordered humanism does not begin with itself, but puts things back in their place. It puts the world before life, life before man, and the respect of others before love of self.Claude Lévi-Strauss. Priceless! Watch it! Now!

Steve‘s session, just as inspirational as Stowe’s, is probably an essential must-watch the re-play (Whenever it would become available) for those folks in marketing and PR in order to figure out some more what’s going on at the moment and what are the emerging trends in the next couple of years, if not sooner, altogether! Very thought-provoking, to say the least, and, once again, if I were to summarise it using a couple of keywords I would probably say the following: Attention Crash, Digital Curators, Open Collaboration (Slide 25 from the deck & and a must see!!) and the role of Digital Nomads ("It’s conceivable that in the future corporations will be more virtual than they are today").

Like I have mentioned above, Steve’s session hasn’t got a video re-play at the moment from all of the keynote sessions I have mentioned in this blog post (Werner’s either, by the way), but I am sure they would be added eventually, and when they are, be certain to go and spend some time watching them. You can then thank me later ;-)

Oh, and to close off this initial first blog post on the highlights from the keynote sessions, I would now like to point you to the hidden gem from the event that although I couldn’t make much sense out of it (Need to polish my German skills for the next time I am around!), from what I talked to people right after and for several hours, it was just pure delight and a treasure enjoying one of those engaging speakers that will make you think twice about things and shake your ground big time! Yes, I am talking about the final keynote speaker session from Gunter Dueck, fellow IBM colleague , whose video re-play is now available, and who provided such an inspirational and capturing speech, in German, that I am hoping my German readers (Specially my good friend Martin Koser, who I am sure is going to enjoy it quite a bit!) would be able to enjoy and then share a highlight or two from the talk, because from what I could gather asking around, it was a speech to remember!!

And that was it, folks, first blog post with the keynote speaker session highlights done with. Next blog post will deal with some of the other sessions I got to attend during the course of the event, and then a final blog post where I would just comment further on impressions of the overall event itself … For now, I am just going to tease you all a bit embedding both Steve’s and Stowe’s decks over here, to give you a glimpse of the unique opportunity we had last week at Next08 to be watching them live giving such powerful presentations in under 30 minutes! Yes, a privilege, that’s the word … (Even more when you get a chance to talk to them on the side, too!)

Next08 – Marketing Trends – Open Files

The Social Web – Why The New Web Matters

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