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

IBM

A Weekly Glimpse of elsua – The Knowledge Management Blog – Weeks 49 and 50

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Here I am again sharing with you some further notes on some of the most popular weblog posts I have created in the last couple of weeks over at the other Internet weblog that I have been maintaining in the last few months: elsua – The Knowledge Management Blog around the world of Knowledge Management, Collaboration, Communities and Social Computing. As you have been able to see, the last weblog entry I created on this subject followed the same format that I am going to follow in this particular post, which is actually group those popular weblog posts by the last two weeks, so that you get a chance to see in a single go what people have been reading in the last couple of weeks.

I must say that this time around folks over at ITtoolbox have actually been reading a bunch of different topics so, as usual, I am just going to share a couple of comments from the more frequent weblog entries that have appeared already over here and for the new ones I shall just put together the syndication feed summary so that you can have a quick look just in case you may have missed it. So without much further ado, here are the most popular weblog posts from elsua – The Knowledge Management Blog in the last couple of weeks:

1. The Problem with Wikis Is People – Time to Provoke a Cultural Change in the Way We Share Knowledge?: A couple of days ago I actually bumped into a very interesting, and thought provoking, entry over at Jeremiah’s Web Strategy weblog titled: The Problem with Wikis is People, where he actually coins a very insightful definition of what wikis are all about: "Wikis are great for Community Knowledge". A definition that I would certainly agree with, I must say, specially from a Knowledge Management and Social Computing perspective.

But why is it that wikis have not been adopted widely specially both inside and outside of the firewall? Here is a weblog entry that tackles these issues and that proposes on solution: Provoke a cultural change!

2. Is Skype Becoming an Enterprise Collaboration Platform? – Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid!: Can you imagine what will happen if one of these days companies would start opening up to Skype and begin adopting it as an enterprise real-time collaboration tool? Can you imagine what that would mean for different businesses? Yes, Skype may be forbidden in most companies but how long before they give up and they would start seeing some more of the capabilities that Skype provides, specially with the recent release of Skype 3.

3. Taking Down Knowledge Management Barriers: For the second time running, this particular entry came up as being one of the top, most frequently read, weblog posts over the last couple of weeks and interestingly enough so it did the follow up weblog post I shared not so long afterwards: Taking Down Knowledge Management Barriers – Part Deux. I am glad to see that plenty of folks are actually discussing some of the major issues that have been dragging KM all along and try to venture into potential ways to address those issues, overcome them and bring KM back to where it was supposed to be in the first place. Stay tuned because there is a third part coming up tackling those same issues and I will be sharing those insights over here in this particular weblog.

4. 15 Ways to Use Software to Improve Your Knowledge Management: Here is this other weblog post coming up for the second time running as well, where it shows how quite a few people seem to be interested in how software, specially with all this social computing hype going on at the moment, is helping KM come back in full force empowering knowledge workers to share more information and knowledge and collaborate with others perhaps even much more effectively than ever before.

5. Your Single Social Network – ClaimID and Identity 2.0 to the Rescue?: Here is a follow up weblog post on the series about social networking fatigue that I have been weblogging about in the past a couple of times and which touches base on one of the major inhibitors from social networking adoption which is the sign-up and building further up of the initial network for each and everyone of the social networking tools available out there. This is another plea, like some other folks have already commented, on perhaps introducing a single and unique social networking profiling capability and use that one across the board.

6. IBM’s Knowledge Management Strategy: Well, well, well, it looks like this particular weblog entry seems to popup, almost every week, as one of the most popular reads as well. And I am saying all this because I am delighted that plenty of people are still interested in finding out some more about some of the stuff that IBM is doing in the space of KM, something that, if you would remember, I decided to give it a bit more exposure with the IBM category in this very same weblog. And again, I would suggest you continue to tune into this particular category because there will be plenty of stuff to discuss on this area during the course of 2007 or, perhaps, starting even earlier!

7. Ten Video Sharing Services Compared – Time to Enter the World of Videocasting? – Part Deux: Here is a follow up weblog entry on yesterday’s post that I shared regarding online video sharing offerings. If yesterday I was actually suggesting an interesting resource worth while going through for those folks interested in videocasting in general here is a recommendation to a weblog post from DVguru that is certainly worth while a read for those folks who may not be too sure where to get started and how to get things going with whatever the online video sharing service. The weblog entry may be a few months old already but still very much relevant and worth while a read, including the commentary.

So that was it, folks, at least, for the last couple of weeks. As you would be able to see, still that lovely combination of KM related topics, along with some more knowledge tools discussion and a few other interesting bits and pieces around the world of Social Computing that I haven’t covered elsewhere just yet, but that I am planning to come back to as time goes by. Specially in those areas where I feel that KM is coming back from wherever it was before and it is now a good chance to see how it is benefiting more and more from that comeback with the emergence of social software. But that would be another story for other weblog posts. For the time being, hope you get to enjoy those already popular weblog posts and I shall be back for some more in upcoming weeks.

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GreaterIBM on ibm.com: The Network Hub

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There is no denying that as of late plenty of things have actually been happening in IBM around the subject of Social Computing and Social Software. Check out, for instance, the superb Executive Interaction Channel – Innovating under the radar: the benefits of asymmetry and play around with it for a bit. (I will probably talk about it at a later time as well). Yes, you could say I am really glad I recently started a category over here around IBM happenings because it looks like they keep piling up further. Good stuff !

Here is the latest one though. And it is coming up again from GreaterIBM, the IBM social networking application for current IBMers and IBM’s alumni, and which I talked about yesterday as well. This one though actually shows as well how much IBM is actually opening itself towards that on-going social software adoption within the Enterprise, because if you head over the GreaterIBM weblog you would be able to see an entry shared today where it is announcing the availability of the GreaterIBM Web site as part of the ibm.com homepage.

Yes, that is right ! You would be able to find it over here: The Greater IBM Connection. It looks very good and over there, IBMers and alumni, would be able to find all of the necessary details to join this social network and become one of us (I always wanted to say that! heh).

"The page offers links to join the network’s main portal, the new complement to that base, a Group we’ve just launched on LinkedIn, as well as the opportunity to get a bi-monthly greaterIBM Update e-newsletter.

Of course, we’re also pointing out the exciting new virtual component of greaterIBM, as well as the Machinimania Challenge, which has gotten a tremendous response."

Most of that I already talked about but the interesting thing is the actual virtual component of greaterIBM, where you would be able to read some more about how this particular social networking initiative will also be making extensive use of Second Life (We are already, by the way, in case you are wondering…):

"The Connection Center will be the home for all kinds of events and exhibitions, as well as a destination for where greaterIBMers can do real collaborative work in this strange new environment. Or just hang out with each other."

That is certainly going to be really cool and fascinating; to be able to hang out with people I used to work with (Or still do) in an environment where, they say, the next wave of Web interactions have already started to take place and continue to share and collaborate with them but in a brave new world: Second Life.

In case, you are wondering, yes, I have entered the Second Life world a few weeks back (Using the same nickname as this weblog’s name) and during this time I have been exploring things, getting comfortable with my avatar, smashing against every possible thing you can crash to and have an incredible amount of good fun. Yes, virtual worlds for the Enterprise (Enterprise 3.0) are already here and GreaterIBM will actually be playing its part over there, too!

But for the time being go and check out The Greater IBM Connection if you would want to find out what we are up to. Oh, and if you want to taste a little bit what GreaterIBM is doing in SecondLife check out the following YouTube embedded video from the recent GreaterIBM Virtual Bloc Party held not long ago:

Yes, I know, way cool ! Have a good one !

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LinkedIn: So Popular Nobody Goes There Anymore? – Well, GreaterIBM Is Now There, Too!

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You would remember how some time ago, a few months back, actually, I created a weblog post where I shared some details on an upcoming initiative from IBM related to Social Networking called GreaterIBM where IBM was going to try to get together in a social network current IBM employees and IBM alumni, people who were once IBM employees but who now may have moved elsewhere into other jobs. Well, I am not sure if you have been following such initiative already but, just in case, you may not have I would like to share with you folks that things have been buzzing big time for the last couple of months.

From its continued usage of the openBC (Now XING) social networking tool where we are still going very strong with it, to actually hosting a number of different face to face events in multiple countries and geographies (Here is a highlight from one of the most recent ones), to actually host a virtual bloc party in the ever exciting virtual world of Second Life (More on that at a later time, for sure!). Well, it looks like things are going to get even more interesting, because over at the GreaterIBM weblog (Where you can get all sorts of information about how such initiative is moving along) you would be able to read the following weblog entry: The Greater IBM Connection on LinkedIn.

In that particular entry you would be able to read how if you are a heavy user of LinkedIn, one of the most powerful business oriented social networks available out there at the moment, you can still enjoy all of the major key benefits from the GreaterIBM initiative because there is now a GreaterIBM LinkedIn Group for it. If you are a current IBMer or, much more importantly, if you are an IBM alumni, you can actually join us by going into this link. So if you were not sure if you would be going there and create just another profile over at XING, the main social network that GreaterIBM is using then you can still get the most out of it from signing up with that GreaterIBM LinkedIn group. Nifty !

While I was actually busy writing this particular weblog post mentioning that particular new capability from such IBM initiative in the social computing area, I just couldn’t help thinking about the recent weblog post that Jerry Bowles shared over at Enterprise Web 2.0 where he is actually starting it up with the title: LinkedIn: So Popular Nobody Goes There Anymore? In that particular article he is actually sharing some experiences from different folks as to how they feel about their social networking interactions within LinkedIn, perhaps one of the most popular social networks for professionals available out there. And I must say that the article itself makes for an interesting reading.

Main reason being that there are lots of different examples where it is detailed how social networking tools like LinkedIn may be just a bit too much noise going around lately, but in some other cases it can provide some incredible business value, like the fantastic success story from Ismael Ghalimi which Jerry also highlights in his weblog post.

Either way, while I went through the weblog article it clearly reminded me of another couple of posts that I have shared not long ago where I stated that the clear business value of any such tools as social networking tools would depend not much on the raw number of the connections you probably make, no matter how many you actually have, or how many different social networks you belong to, but actually pick up the odd couple of them and stick with them. Yes, indeed, the key success towards social networking tools adoption is actually focus and balance.

So that is why I am really happy to see that the two choices that I have picked up some time ago, LinkedIn and XING, are now the two social networking tools that GreaterIBM is making use of. Excellent stuff ! Time now to continue with that focus and balance and carry on building further up with those relationships and connections. Oh, and in case you are wondering here is my LinkedIn profile and my XING profile. Just in case you may want to drop by and say "Hi! Let’s connect!"

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A Weekly Glimpse of elsua – The Knowledge Management Blog – Weeks 47 and 48

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Oh dear, I actually thought that I had shared a weblog post last week where I was sharing the weekly glimpse of elsua‘s (The Knowledge Management Blog) for week 47, like I have been doing for the last few weeks already, to then only find out just now that it didn’t get posted after all. It just went into my draft weblog entries and it has been sitting there ever since ! Hummm, I guess I will have to go ahead and re-write what I put together back then and try to combine it with the weekly glimpse from the following week. So that is what I will do. However, I will try to keep the weblog post as short as possible and therefore just share the details of the different weblog entries without duplicating content. Let’s see. Here you have got the most popular weblog posts for the last two weeks from elsua – The Knowledge Management Blog ranked by page hits:

1. 15 Ways to Use Software to Improve Your Knowledge Management: If you ever wondered what would be some of the major components that a successful Knowledge Management programme should have, if you are in the actual process of reviewing your current Knowledge Management programme I would encourage you all to check Techsoup’s article on "15 Ways to Use Software to Improve Your Knowledge Management" where you would find plenty of different tips put together by combining the best of both worlds, both the traditional KM and the new emerging KM based on social computing. Worth while a read and here is a preview of what you would be able to find over there.

2. Taking Down Knowledge Management Barriers: Ever wonder why Knowledge Management didn’t take off within the enterprise in the way it was first envisioned? Ever thought what were the main KM barriers that prevented that massive adoption of KM programs? Want to find out how things are changing nowadays with the inclusion of social software into the whole picture? Here is a weblog post that touches on some of the issues of the past and also a look into the brilliant present and most promising future.

3. IBM TV – Keeping an Eye on IBM Happenings: Ever wanted to keep up to date with whatever is happening over at IBM around the world of Knowledge and Information Management, Collaboration, Communities, Emerging Technologies, Social Software and Web 2.0? Ever wanted to know how IBM is trying to combine the best of both worlds and merging quite successfully both traditional groupware tools with the latest on social software tools? Then you may be interested in this particular weblog post where I am sharing a link to the IBM TV Web site where you can find some good resources to get you going in this area. So read on further for some more recommendations on what to check first.

4. Tips for Successful Corporate Blogs: Ever wanted to find out what corporate weblogging is all about? Thought you have seen it all when talking about corporate / enterprise weblogging? Ever thought you have had enough of all those studies and surveys? Well, here is a weblog post I created where I referenced another weblog post by Roland Piquepaille that gets to comment on a very worth while survey and study performed around the subject of corporate weblogs and which I am sure you are going to enjoy. This time around, this one is coming from Northeastern University, MA., and Backbone Media Inc.

5. Instant Messaging As a Powerful Vehicle for Instant Communications with the Enterprise: Here is a weblog post where I am sharing some of the annotations that I have taken from a recent e-meeting I have attended, through the replay, from Osterman Research Inc. around the subject of Enterprise IM and how Instant Messaging is making its way rather quick into the enterprise world as perhaps one of the most powerful collaborative tools for real-time interactions. Long gone are the days where IM was just meant for teenagers …

6. IBM’s Knowledge Management Strategy: This is also bound to be one of the most popular weblog posts for the whole month, because on the statistics it is actually showing up on the Top 5 for three consecutive weeks. So I guess it is interesting for folks out there to find out what IBM is currently doing around its KM strategy. And I guess that over here, in this weblog, you would be able to hear some more about it, specially now that I have got the IBM category up and running. Thus stay tuned for plenty more to come.

7. Vyew 2.0 – Free Web Collaboration: This particular article also came up on the top 5 for week 46 and it clearly shows how much worth while it actually is in order to help virtual and distributed teams and communities collaborate and share knowledge on whatever the topic. And all of that with just something so relatively simple as just having your favourite browser and a URL. Stunning!

8. BlinkList Guide for Educators- Tools and Tagging: Here is a quick weblog post that actually details how you can get the most of your social networking tools experience by making extensive use of an impressive social bookmarking tool like del.icio.us and FireFox 2.0 and how in my own set up I am actually achieving similar results making use of both BlinkList and Flock. BlinkList as my preferred social bookmarking tool which now integrates quite nicely with whatever other social bookmarking tool and Flock, still my default web browser despite the recent releases from IE7 and FireFox 2.

As you would be able to see, plenty of different topics dealing not just with traditional Knowledge Management but also with the next generation of KM, Social Computing, which, as I have been saying all along, is perhaps what KM should have been all about all along: the perfect combination in balance of both explicit and tacit knowledge exchanges. Good stuff!

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My Reflections on Blogging – Three Years On and Why I Am Still Here

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I think that this post is actually going to be somewhat a bit of an insular weblog entry on its own. Oh, wait, I just linked to Darren’s ProBlogger! I guess it will not be after all. Sigh. Anyway, I just wanted to get together this article in order to share something that although initially it may sound a bit too selfish (Not to worry. I will try to keep in mind being a humble blogger. Goodness ! Here I go again, linking to another article from Darren’s weblog referencing the superb entry "The Honor of Humility"), it is actually quite interesting since earlier on today it forced me to actually ponder about my blogging habits and why I got here in the first place. Yes, that is right, this is another weblog post that touches base on some of the reasons as to why I still keep on weblogging on three different places day in day out. And for the last three years already !

Earlier on today I created a post in my IBM Intranet weblog stating how yesterday it was actually the third anniversary of my internal weblog (Called elesar’s) and right there I mentioned how over the course of those three years I have been able to have some of the most incredible experiences thanks to my involvement with both the IBM and Internet blogosphere by sharing my thoughts around Social Computing and Knowledge Management with others. In the past I have been detailing some of the reasons as to why I have always felt (Still do) that weblogging has been very much worth while for me all along. But I guess, that today, after reaching that third year anniversary milestone I have realised about the main reason why I still keep on weblogging on a daily basis.

Back in December 3rd 2003 I got started with my Intranet weblog and after three years, and two other Internet weblogs (elsua – a KM Blog and elsua – The Knowledge Management Blog), I have now managed to put together 2.610 weblog posts all in all: 1.935  for my Intranet weblog, 458 for elsua.net and 216 for elsua @ ITtoolbox. That is 2.4 weblog posts a day for all of the weblogs I currently maintain. Not too bad, I guess, considering that I only get to do this as some labour of love, like Dennis would say.

The thing is though that while reflecting on all of those statistics as a result of celebrating that third anniversary, I have actually realised that the one thing that keeps me going with all of these weblogs all along, and still going strong,  is actually not talking about different KM tools and technologies, like you have read about a few times already, nor having lengthy weblog posts around different issues related to KM processes. On the contrary. The main reason why I still keep on weblogging after those three years in the blogosphere is nothing more, nothing less (Yes, you guessed it right!) than the people! Yes, that is right. You, folks!

Every which one of you who every day keep on reading some of the stuff I get to write about; who get to comment on a regular basis on some of the different items I have been discussing around the world of Knowledge Management (Sometimes as weblog comments, others as informal conversations through IM or VoIP, or through e-mail, you name it). Despite whatever else you may have been doing all along, I am ever so much grateful that you still keep coming back and dropping by sharing your insights and make all this experience worth while on its own. And big time ! Back when I started three years ago and till today.

So for that and so much more that weblogs have been providing me throughout all this time here is an entry where I would want to sincerely thank you all for being there, through thick and thin, and for making of Luis Suarez what he is at the moment: Luis Suarez. (Wish I could include the link to my internal blog in that last sentence!)

Happy anniversary, elesar’s! I hope you get to celebrate another three more years of exciting conversations and that you keep spreading the message around that weblogging is nothing more than about the people!

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IBM Lotus Ventura – IBM’s Take of Social Software within the Enterprise

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If yesterday I mentioned how I was creating a new category here in this weblog to talk about all things happening inside IBM around the world of Knowledge Management, Collaboration, Communities and Social Computing, I think that folks are going to be pretty excited about this particular weblog post I am starting up right now. Lots of people have been wondering all along what is IBM’s take towards social software adoption within the enterprise. Quite a few still think that IBM’s software division is all about Lotus Notes and everything else related to Lotus products, and although certainly Lotus Notes is still going rather strong (Watch out for the Lotusphere event in 2007!) there is no denying that things are about to change and big time!

Not only with the already available Lotus Sametime 7.5, next generation of both IM and VoIP for the enterprise, but with something else that a few of my IBM colleagues have been mentioning already and something that I am really excited about: Lotus Ventura. Yes, indeed, yesterday it was uncovered over at Cote’s weblog post IBM SWG: Lotus "Ventura" and right away it has been picking up some more steam with James Snell, Elias Torres and Andy Piper.

Lotus Ventura is supposed to be IBM’s adventure (Pun intended ;-)) into the social computing world for the enterprise. Yes, once again, that IBM 2.0 thing. And as you may have been able to read already over at Cote’s weblog post Ventura would be an application that will integrate a number of different social software tools that, as James mentioned, some of us, inside of IBM, have been using for years now!:

1. IBM’s BluePages (a.k.a. IBM’s employee directory): So that expertise location within the enterprise can be easier than ever having access not only to knowledge workers but also to the information behind those same knowledge workers. That is, their information.
2. Dogear: IBM’s social bookmarking application: and which I have talked about over here a few times already.
3. Activities: Of which you would be able to read some more about on the presentation I shared yesterday over here from Mike Roche (Slides 6, 23, 46 and 49) and of which I will talk about some time later on.
4. Communities: Given my role as a community builder and knowledge manager, this is actually one of the components that I will be really looking forward to and that, as time goes by, I will be able to share some further details on it.
5. Roller: Or, as we all know, weblogging; yes, that is right. Ventura will have a component that would connect knowledge workers with the world of weblogs using the Roller weblogging engine, which is basically what we have been using as well inside IBM with Blog Central. I have been keeping my Intranet weblog over there for nearly three years and it would be an incredible experience to be able to see it integrate nicely into Ventura’s other components. Nifty!
6. Integration with other components: Like search or Lotus Sametime 7.5, amongst others. Actually with the inclusion of that integration with Sametime 7.5 we would be getting the best out of both worlds, synchronous and asynchronous collaboration. And all that available from a single point of entry. Can it get better than this ? Hummm. I don’t think so.

Anyway, there you go. A quick and brief description of how IBM will be entering the space of social computing within the enterprise and how IBM will try to make sense of the so-called Enterprise 2.0 with something as cool as Lotus Ventura (Yes, watch out for Lotusphere 2007!!). Exciting times ahead for all of us who feel strongly about social computing within the enterprise as the next big thing to help improve knowledge sharing and collaboration and try to bring some more sense into an unbalanced environment where explicit knowledge has been on top for far too long.

But more to come later on, I am sure.

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