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

General Interest

Crazy People Changing the World – The Blessing

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Here we are again, folks. Friday! YAY!!! And, like every Friday for the last few weeks, here I am again, going to share a couple of rather inspirational videos that I thought would fit in quite nicely with the theme inspire on a Friday! One of them is coming from a commercial and the other one is coming from one of this week’s episodes from RocketBoom. There is a logic in both videos put together one after the other, so you will first have to watch the one from the commercial, which is stored in YouTube and then straight after go and watch that episode from RocketBoom. Yes, all in that order. And you will see what I mean with inspirational. Here we go:

And now here is the link to the RocketBoom video. After I have watched both of them there would be just one single thing that is left for me to say for the day: whatever people tell you, no matter what, it is the small things that matter. Always!

Have a good one everyone and join today the crazy crowd that will continue to make a difference and change our world!

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Wear Sunscreen!

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There are times where just surfing the Internet for the sake of doing just that is incredibly enlightening, educational, revealing, thought-provoking, inspirational, empowering, mind-opener, to say the least. You name it. Well, this week I have actually bumped into a particular YouTube video for which I do not have many words left other than saying watch it!

Perfect timing that I am getting to share it over here today, because it is certainly one of those video clips that not only would it make you think about things twice, but it also introduces quite nicely the weekend ahead of us. This is one of those video clips that as inspirational as it may well be, it is totally worth it watching it and digesting its content.

And I am going to leave it there for today. Have a good one everyone ! I need to go now and make a few phone calls! (After you watch the video you will know why…)

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I Taller de Podcasting de Canarias – Y lo Mucho que se Aprende de los Expertos

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Sí, ya sé que vengo un poco tarde con el post sobre el I Taller de Podcasting de Canarias que tuvo lugar el 17 de marzo y que ya comenté en su momento, pero como lo prometido es deuda aquí tenéis una descripción de cómo fue el evento y de lo que aprendí durante las varias horas que estuvimos absorbiendo conocimientos, un montón, como dicen por aquí, del fascinante mundo del Podcasting.

Pero vamos por partes. Primero, hacer referencia a toda la gente que atendió el evento y que ya han creado sus respectivos artículos comentando cómo fue el evento. Segundo, por supuesto, las fotos del evento que podréis encontrar en Mangas Verdes, gracias a nuestro reporteros gráficos más dicharacheros: Manual Almeida (¡Vaya pedazo de cámara que se gasta el colega!) y Víctor Ruiz. Y luego, por supuesto, el agradecimiento a Octavio por haber habilitado la sala Luroa. En fin, un buen grupo de gente que se molesta y se preocupa, y mucho, porque todas estas tecnologías emergentes tengan su propio espacio en Canarias y los demás podamos explorarlas con comodidad y bastantes conocimientos para probarlas sin ningún tapujo. Vamos, de lujo.

Y, como siempre, lo mejor es siempre estar conectados y enchufados con los expertos en la materia con los que poder aprender bastante sobre el tema antes de lanzarse de lleno a explorar el medio. ¿No creéis? Y eso es prácticamente lo que hicimos los asistentes disfrutando de los conocimientos y consejos de gente que lleva mucho tiempo en esto del podcasting como Fran J. Saavedra, de Crónicas de Esperantia, o Charlie, Miguel y Pino del equipo de Canarias Burta. El evento en sí puede que no tuviera una altísima participación, pero lo cierto es que los que fuimos lo disfrutamos mucho, no sólo por lo didáctico del evento, sino porque parte del propósito fue también dar clases prácticas sobre lo que es el proceso de creación del podcasting y su correspondiente publicación en la red. ¡Increíblemente fascinante lo fácil que llega a ser una vez que te pones a la faena!

Y quizá fue éste el aspecto que más me llamó la atención y la que más me ayudó a dar ese empujoncito final para la creación de podcasts dentro de no mucho tiempo, la verdad. El gusanillo siempre ha estado ahí, desde luego, pero la charla por parte de Fran, Charlie y Miguel ha sido la que al final va a tener su fruto y me va a lanzar al mundo de los podcasts.

Como habréis podido ver si leéis este blog con regularidad, en el pasado ya he comentado cómo había participado en una serie de episodios con diferentes podcasters, pero siempre desde la perspectiva de invitado y nunca desde la perspectiva de productor de los diferentes episodios. Bueno, ¡pues eso va a cambiar y muy pronto!

Quizá ése sea el gran éxito del I Taller de Podcasting de Canarias. El hecho de que después del evento ya he empezado a poner las cosas en su sitio y estoy preparando el lanzamiento de mi propio podcast, que, por cierto, va a tener un poco de todo. En formato híbrido, haciendo podcasts tanto individuales como colaborativas, tanto en inglés como en español, tratando varios de los temas sobre los que ya llevo un buen tiempo comentando en los diferentes weblogs que mantengo: Gestión / Administración de Conocimientos, Colaboración, Comunidades, Educación y las Redes Sociales o el social computing.

Ahora sólo me quedan ultimar los detalles finales, como echar un vistazo a Pamela-Systems y en particular Pamela para Skype y decidir cuál es la mejor opción, y empezar a dar los primeros pasos. Habrá que ver cómo irá todo al final, pero lo cierto es que estoy bastante ilusionado con empezar ya que me va a permitir poder conocer a mucha gente que ya llevo leyendo durante bastante tiempo. Veremos a ver qué tal se nos da. De momento, agradecer, de nuevo, tanto a Fran, Charlie y Miguel, como a Octavio el haber organizado tal evento por primera vez en Canarias y que sepais que el gusanillo estaba ahí desde hacía tiempo, pero lo habéis despertado y con muchas ganas! ¡A por ellos! (Uy, perdón, ese último comentario pertenece a otro contexto 🙂 )

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Arriving in Charming Budapest

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As you may recall from last week, this week and till next Monday, I am actually in Budapest, Hungary, attending the University event with the European team from IBM‘s Global Business Services Learning and Knowledge, getting to know face to face a whole bunch of the folks I have been interacting with virtually for a number of months. Yes, I know, an interesting event to say the least as I will be able to place some faces behind the voices, IM conversations and e-mails I have been having for quite some time now.

The event is supposed to get started tomorrow afternoon although registrations are starting in the morning. Then over the next couple of days, it is going to be a pretty packed agenda with very little time for anything else, including some team building activities in the evening, so I am not sure I would be able to create any other weblog entries at least till I am done on Thursday afternoon. Thus I have decided to venture now and share a few thoughts on my first experiences coming to Budapest for the first time and share some of the pictures I have already taken about this incredibly fascinating city. Here it goes:

1. Too much of a long trip!: Yes, indeed, having to take three planes in the same day to get over here is just way too much. My ears are still buzzing and pretty much stuck, despite all my efforts to get over it!!

2. Quite disappointed with Wi-Fi networks at airports in general: As I have been mentioning in my twitterings, I guess the world is way far far away from offering competitive (Not even free options) prices for making use of Wi-Fi networks while waiting on connecting flights. Not a chance that I would pay for two or three hours worth of broadband what I nearly pay on a monthly basis. *That* is just out of the question. Period. So much for making broadband widely available to everyone… Sigh

3. Taxi drivers need to understand that when they are told that the suitcase they try to grab is rather heavy they should be paying attention. We know better. We packed those suitcases, you know!?!?! Now I have got a broken suitcase ! Double sigh

4. Second major disappointment: This time with the hotel broadband services. Not only are they rather expensive (25 Euros for 24 hour connection! Yes, you are reading it right, 25 Euros per day!), but the actual broadband connection is as flaky as I never thought it would be for the price I am paying! I haven’t been able to access most Web sites I normally get to access, Twitter included, GMail, a whole bunch of behind the firewall Web sites through VPN, or even my weblog! (Where there are a whole bunch of comments and trackbacks I need to get to, but can’t! So bear with me while I try to get that sorted out). I hope I am able to post this one entry, but so far I must say that it is far from ideal !

And all this in an era where most knowledge workers are mobile, travelling all over the place, and need to have that pervasiveness to stay in touch with their peers, friends and family than otherwise is going to make things rather difficult. Already got several thousand RSS feeds to catch up just because the broadband connection has been rather unstable all along. Sigh. I guess I was just asking for too much this time around. Yes, indeed, there is nothing like one’s own home wireless connection that you know it just *works*.

5. Lovely beer: Yes, indeed, I just had my first couple of pints and although I do not remember the name of the lager, it surely was nice! I need to pay much better attention next time, but if all beers are just like the one I just had, I think am going to have some good fun from here till next week! 🙂 heh

6. Sex offerings: After a lovely light dinner with a pint or two of that nice lager, I decided to go for a walk in the surroundings of the hotel, voted as “best view” hotel in Budapest, and while I am walking alongside the river in a rather cold evening the first thing I get offered is just that: sex. Yeah, like you are reading it right there. I got here less than 3 hours ago and I am already being offered some sex… Hummm, no hard feelings to anyone of my friends out there, but that scene reminded me very closely of Amsterdam.

I decided to walk further and continue enjoying the scenery, in case you are wondering. See above for a whole bunch of reasons why 😛

7. First glance of what promises to be a wonderful place to enjoy for the remaining of the week: As I was taking that walk in this cold evening, I got to enjoy some of the different ancient buildings (Still need to learn the names and all as well -Reading some books about them at the moment…) and the spectacular lighting effects that have been put together. They have clearly reminded me that I need to buy a much better digital camera if  I would want to do them justice ! And big time!

You will have to get over here to judge for yourselves, but I have taken the liberty of taking some photos of some of the stunning places I have been checking out thus far so that you can get an idea of what is awaiting you over here, in case you may have never visited Budapest.

8. I am tired: I guess that is a no brainer since I have been up this morning since 4am GMT and it is pass midnight, local time, so instead of sharing with you some further details, I am actually going to leave it over here and share with you below some of those, above mentioned, pictures I mentioned of some of the stuff I have seen tonight. Hopefully, there would be a couple more weblog posts about my experiences over here, but there is a good chance that I may just be able to share some of my twitterings all along, specially if the broadband connection is good. We shall see.

Have a good one everyone! And hope to be able to weblog some more soon! (If you do not see me weblogging away, not to worry, you know where I will be. Yeah, not there actually either! You bad bad bad folks!! :-D)

 

(More to be uploaded over here)

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I Taller de Podcasting de Canarias

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Sí, ya sé que llego un poco tarde a este pedazo de evento que se va a celebrar mañana en Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, durante la tarde / noche, pero más vale tarde que nunca, supongo :-). Probablemente, algunos de vosotros ya lo habréis leído en Crónicas de Esperantia, en Mangas Verdes, en Linotipo (Bienvenido de vuelta, Víctor!), en Atarecos, entre otros.

Efectivamente, mañana, a partir de las 4pm GMT empezará el I Taller de Podcasting de Canarias! ¡Fantástica noticia! Todos los detalles del programa los podréis leer de mano de Fran en Crónicas de Esperantia. Lo cierto es que, al leerlo, uno no puede nada más que comentar lo espectacular que va a ser el evento. Único, más bien, diría yo.

Aquí tenéis un fragmento para poneros un poco los dientes largos:

"Los podcasters canarios vamos a celebrar el próximo día 17 en la Galería de Arte Luroa a partir de las 16:00 horas el I Taller de Podcasting de Canarias con el que vamos a intentar acercar el maravilloso mundo del podcasting, sus posibilidades en todos los ámbitos y su funcionamiento a todas aquellas personas que quieran conocer algo más de una palabra que ya está sonando muy fuerte en los medios y que se le vaticina un futuro prometedor como herramienta de comunicación."

Por supuesto, que me voy a dejar caer por allí. Ya llevo algún tiempo involucrado en el mundo de los podcasts habiendo participado en unas cuantos episodios y la verdad es que me apetece mucho el poder ver un poco más del mundillo que los podcasts en cuanto a producción,  edición, herramientas y demás tema logístico.

Y encima de todo ello habrá algo que me parece de lo más interesante e intrigante:

"Durante el transcurso del taller estableceremos conexiones con podcasters de todo el mundo que participarán activamente en el taller a través del audio y de las herramientas gratuitas que usamos para interconectarnos."

¡Fantástico! Pues con poco más que añadir os invito a los que estéis por aquí que os dejéis caer por la Galería de Arte Luroa mañana a partir de eso de las 4pm GMT y allí nos veremos. ¡Por supuesto!

Y, por último, desde aquí simplemente dar las eternas gracias tanto a Fran como a Canarias Bruta por haber conseguido un programa espectacular y tan atractivo. ¡Seguro que se nos hará corto, como mínimo! ¡Allí nos vemos!


(For those of you who may not understand Spanish, the above text is a weblog entry that mentions the upcoming podcasting workshop that will be hosted, for the first time, tomorrow afternoon in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. If you are reading this and are in the area and want to know some more about the fascinating world of podcasting come and join us! We would be more than happy to have you with us!)

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Latest Upgrade from Quintura Visual Find Engine – Social See and Find Online!

(Previously, on elsua – The Knowledge Management Blog at ITtoolbox)


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If you remember, a couple of months back I created a weblog entry over here about one particular search engine that was making its way into becoming one of my favourites for the way in which it was getting to display search results focusing more on the visual aspects of it rather than on some kind of linear display of those same search results. Yes, indeed, back then I was talking about Quintura. And today, a few months afterwards, I am going to be talking about it again because, in case you may not know, it has just released a new version worth while exploring, to say the least.

Yes, I know that most of you are going to say that you all depend pretty much on Google for all of your searches. Same over here, of course, but do you actually have got alternatives. Do you play with them? Do you make use of other search engines and find out that the results provided by Google are somewhat different than whatever those other search engines provide? In short, do you actually trust Google to provide you with accurate results all the time?

Well, I used to. And very much so. Till I opened up to see what other search engines were doing and found out that sometimes Google is not keeping up with the same standards it used to at some point in time. Perhaps one indicator of the issues that imply diversifying your product line. Either way, that is why lately I have actually been using a number of different search engines to see what other options are there for those times where I feel Google fails to provide me with what I want. Over at the fine Read/WriteWeb weblog you would be able to find an impressive entry where you can find Top 100 Alternative Search Engines. Lots of great choices in there. And, of course, several of my favourites are listed over there as well. Quintura being one of them. Worth while a read for sure.

However, and ever since Quintura has launched a new version of the online search engine in the last couple of days there have been a whole bunch of folks who have been commenting about the new version and what it actually does. And quite a lot of interest from the past is also coming along, including the superb attempt to make it closer to kids the usage of search engines. Yes, indeed, who said that searching the Web could not be just as much fun for kids, eh?

This is just one of the many things that I like about Quintura. Not the fact that it is providing a good solid alternative to Google and other popular search engines, nor the fact that it has put a nice set of new features as part of the upgrade, nor the fact that they are trying to reach out to new markets, but the fact that they are always on the verge of pushing their limits and see how far they can go. And that is just exactly what they have done with this latest version. A commitment to keep pushing for innovation in a space where we all thought it was all written down for everyone else. Well, not the case apparently.

Last night I actually got an e-mail in my Inbox with the press release that was put together and, instead of me detailing some of the key innovations that Quintura has put together, I am actually going to quote a couple of paragraphs from the press release that are quite descriptive of the new changes coming along with the upgrade and what you can expect from it:

"Quintura offers an intuitive way to refine and narrow a search. The innovative graphical user interface of Quintura presents search results in two panes – the left pane contains a preset interactive tag cloud and the right pane lists search results. The intuitive nature of the cloud allows web users to refine their search by clicking on tags that appear in the cloud. Holding a mouse cursor over a tag in the cloud causes new, related tags to appear surrounding an original tag and search results to change in the scrollable right pane. Clicking a tag in the cloud the web users can easily refine a search and navigate through visual clusters of search results.

Quintura is the first to display graphical images (favorite icons) next to tags (search terms) in the tag cloud. The icon is associated with a URL that corresponds to a search term. Clicking the icon users can visit web pages right from the tag cloud making Quintura easy to use for simple search queries."

Don’t tell me that after reading through those two paragraphs of text you don’t feel intrigued enough to actually go and check it out. Yes, I thought so. I have actually been taking it for a spin ever since I got first alerted about it from the Techcrunch weblog entry and so far I am really enjoying the experience. It surely makes my searching habits much more visual and appealing to the eye to just go along with those tags till I find what I am looking for on the right panel of the displayed search results. I knew I was off to a great start when I was first exposed to it back in November last year, but what they have just done with this particular release is push forward innovation really hard in a space, Web Search Engines, that I bet we all thought it was all invented already with Google.

Well, think again because that is not the case. If you are looking for an alternative search engine, there is probably no better place to get you going than Quintura. Whether you want it for yourself, or for your kids, this is one of those search engines that it surely is going to help you surf the Web in a breeze and much more intuitively than whatever else you may have experienced in the past. I must say that if their innovations keep going at this pace Quintura will be winning enough points to make it for my default search engine. It is probably not there just yet, but I suspect it will be some time soon. How about you? Found your own alternatives to Google, yet?

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