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

Metablogging

New Search Engines Help Users Find Weblogs

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

Over at Micro Persuasion Steve Rubel talks about how as of late there have been a number of different new search engines that are starting to focus more on searching contents in weblogs than everything else. And he references a particular news article by the WSJ that expands further on it: New Search Engines Help Users Find Blogs.

I must say that as I read through the news article it kind of felt familiar with what I have been doing now for a few months already whenever I need to look for information that is not necessarily stored in static web sites. As you have been able to read previously in my weblog not everything out there in the search engine business world is just about Google, Yahoo! or MSN Search. There are a number of different, and yet, equally powerful, new search engines that are switching their focus into providing a new alternative way of getting access to information; and that is through weblogs.

Many people may doubt the authenticity and thoroughness of the information but one thing for sure is that more and more people are turning to web sites like IceRocket (One of my favourite search engines of all times, by the way) or Technorati to search for content stored in weblogs. And it is not happening with just a few hundred searches but several thousands a day, if not more. People are realising that just having access to content stored in static web sites is no longer good enough. Readers want to hear as well about what other people have got to say about a particular topic. They want to get the story and also who is behind the story. That personal touch that not many other sites, apart from Weblogs and, probably, Wikis as well, are able to provide.

All that is just an incipient urge to share knowledge and information through adopting an innate social networking need to have access to just something more than the information. People are starting to follow up not only on information but also on the people behind that information. And that is probably one of the key success factors that would be put together into the 21st century to help Knowledge Management survive and make it through as the dynamic organism it once was. Except that this time it will be making use of the social networking aspects to bring forward a much more dynamic and engaging way of exchanging information. And to that extent both Weblogs and Wikis” will be an integral part of it. Thus whoever thought that both Weblogs and Wikis do not have an add valued in the KM space they should probably think about it twice. Because whether we like it or not they do have a value and, probably, much more powerful than any other traditional tools and processes.

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Who Said That Weblogs and Wikis Are Not Effective Communication and Knowledge Tools?

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

Indeed, whoever said that they would probably need to come again and think about it twice. Specially after seeing web links like these two: News junkies find Wikipedia more than encyclopedia and Praise for ‘weather nerd’ comes from blogosphere. Certainly, over the last few years (And maybe now even more so) we are starting to see how new, and yet more powerful, ways of spreading around information and knowledge are taking place all over on the Internet. Cases like Wikis or Weblogs are just two examples of some of the most impressive given the fact that they have democratised the way information is made available to everybody on the web.

As we went ahead in time we have seen how both tools have enabled people to have their own voice and formed opinions available to millions of people in no time and all that with a permanent record, that later on search engines would manage to find information in them. That is why Wikinews has become so popular lately. That is why weblogs cannot longer be ignored. Take, for instance, the example from Brendan Loy and his weblog. Out of nothing who would have said that just before the tragic events took place in New Orleans he actually predicted it all and let the whole world know about it? You may think that it was pure chance, since he is not fully qualified for the job, but he certainly had lots of hard facts at his disposal that he used and that cannot be denied. Yet, everybody ignored him and his comments. After all who is going to believe somebody with such peculiar About me description ?

Yet, he was right. He still is right. And like you I am sure that it has crossed out your mind what would have happened if the powers that be would have listened to what Brendan had to say. I am sure that lots of tragic stories could have been avoided. We would have probably been talking about something else the last few days than what Katrina has managed to do. That is why even though there was a time where we would be ignoring content stored in Wikis and Weblogs that time is now part of the recent past. There is a new wave of spreading information, and most of the times, the right information. Yet we tend to ignore it and obviously face the consequences. So after the recent set of events and seeing how web sites like Wikinews are coming along, I doubt that we can ever afford not listening to what is happening out there. We eventually should re-focus ourselves and start taking both means of spreading information a lot more seriously and consistently. After all there is probably a good and refreshing new way of spreading the information, other than the traditional media. Key question would be though …

… Are you ready to listen ? Will you ignore it the next time around ? … Hopefully, we will not. Otherwise we may face the same sad stories like the ones we have just seen all over the place taking their share once more. And, to be honest, I doubt we would be able to afford it once again.

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HealthNex – IBMers On The Building Blocks of Connected Care

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

I just wanted to take a couple of minutes to welcome to the Internet Blogosphere one of those weblogs that can certainly make a difference not only in our businesses but also in our own personal world. If you have got an additional interest about anything related to Health care and Health, in general, then you should add to your Blogroll HealthNex.

HealthNex is the latest IBM addition to the Internet Blogosphere and in it you will find some very interesting, and thought provoking, weblog posts from some IBM execs, and other high profile colleagues, talking about stuff like “Electronic Health Records, Information-Based Medicine, e-Prescriptions, & The Integrated Healthcare Ecosystem“. I know I have always had an additional interest on the topic and have been following a number of different trends on the IBM Intranet, but the fact that IBM has gone external on this particular topic, and using a weblog, just indicates how seriously IBM is taking weblogging as an interactive and collaborative medium to boost conversations in multiple layers. Everybody has been encouraged to actively engage with the Blogosphere. And HealthNex is the latest addition to the external IBM weblogging wagon.

I will be certainly keeping an eye on that particular weblog and will be looking forward to some of the discussions that will be taking place. So far I have enjoyed reading Combating Disease with Innovation and BioBanking 101: Accelerating Personalized Medicine. Fascinating, indeed ! And worth while adding to your Blogroll if you are into such topics.

Thus welcome aboard HealthNex !

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How Do I Get More Traffic to My Weblog?

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

Some time ago I weblogged about one item that I still think is crucial for most webloggers out there in the Blogosphere: that is, increasing, or not, your weblog readership to some comfortable levels. And although I have never intended this weblog to pick up on the total number of readers, since that is something that will come by itself at some point (I am not in a hurry), I still found this particular weblog post by Dave Taylor spot on: How Do I Get More Traffic to My Weblog?.

Indeed, having a successful weblog is not just about hosting your weblog at some free weblogging service or even at your own server. It is not about having some of the most interesting content in it or rather a fancy format. Having a successful weblog is just getting involved out in the Blogosphere, like Dave mentions. But one thing that I think is also key about this interaction with other webloggers is to try to put a certain pace in place that is comfortable for the weblogger. I cannot see much of a point to attract other webloggers to your weblog if you keep posting comments at their weblogs and you cannot find time for your own weblog to post some content.

Participating of the weblogging phenomenon is a street that goes both ways and as such there should always be a balance between the number of posts you share in other weblogs as well as posting new content at your weblog. I know that it is going to be difficult to reach that balance, but one thing for sure that people can go for is to start small. Share a comment here and there and engage in those conversations from the weblogs you follow on a daily basis and at the same time create a weblog post or two a day or a week to continue building up in your weblog. Over time you will be able to say that you are engaging with the part of the Blogosphere that you are interested in but at the same time you will still have got your own content that you can refer to to make that experience ever so much richer.

Still Dave Taylor’s weblog post should be considered a very good start and guidance for folks who are getting started with their weblog and who would want to get engaged with other weblogs in order to establish and nurture some very good relationships. Worth while a read, to say the least.

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Qumana Survey

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

Phew ! That took some time ! Indeed, yesterday I received an e-mail from the folks over at Qumana inviting webloggers who may have been using this weblogging tool to provide some input on what we think about this weblogging tool in our daily weblogging experience and I just couldn’t help chiming in. You know that I have been weblogging in the past about Qumana and although it may not be my default weblogging tool, at least, not just yet, I still think it was worth while going through the exercise so that I could share some of the features I would like to have so that it then becomes my default weblogging tool.

Thus I took the Qumana survey. And I enjoyed going through the different questions as I felt that they were asking the right ones. Maybe the survey was a little bit too long though; it could have done with a couple less sections but still I thought it had the right pace and was asking the right set of questions to seriously increase Qumana‘s usability. There were some very interesting questions that I am not going to reveal over here, you will have to go and take the survey (About 20 minutes long), but they got me thinking about a number of topics that I will certainly be weblogging about as time goes by.

One of the items that I noticed though is that the Qumana folks actually hosted the survey using a service called SurveyMonkey, one of my favourite web tools out there to conduct surveys free of charge, for some basic functionality, but very powerful options, if you pay a little bit extra more. The result of a good survey where you can work with all the different results in a very efficient way is something very important and I know that SurveyMonkey actually provides this kind of service so I am looking forward to seeing the results evaluated and, most importantly, watch out further on the different enhancements in future versions.

So if you are a regular user of Qumana and would like to see some further improvements and some new features I would think that your best chance is to take the survey and provide all those great ideas you may have about improving the tool. After all that is the whole purpose of the tool, that it gets better and better by the day and without our feedback I doubt it would ever get anywhere. Besides that, you may want to complete the survey if you want to be entered in a draw to win one of four licensed copies of Lektora. Humm, maybe I will weblog about Lektora some time later on. We shall see.

Thanks, again, Qumana team for taking the time to listen to our needs and for trying to improve things further. I wish other application / tool owners would do the same thing you have just done ! Kudos to Qumana !

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Blogger Faces Lawsuit Over Comments Posted by Readers – Continued …

Earlier on today I mentioned that I would be following up on a story that I found particularly interesting as I felt that at some point in time or another we, webloggers, may be affected by its developments, depending on how it progresses further. And so I did. I have been following it up and it looks like things are starting to develop quicker than I thought, because by the looks of it Aaron is getting ready to hire a lawyer and get things rolling. At least, that is what you can read from his weblog, where he is also accepting donations from people to help out if there would be a need for it in the near future.

Yes, I mentioned in the previous weblog entry that this particular case is going to get very very interesting as we go ahead, specially when next to all the buzz that is going on out there you bump into the following weblog post by Michael Froomkin: Can Bloggers Be Sued for Commentators’ Postings?. Quite an enlightening reading that proves that there is some light at the end of the tunnel. As I said before, I am not sure how this is going to turn out but one thing for sure is that I hope that Aaron comes out successfully, specially with statements as clear as this one:

“Why a blog with comments would be treated differently from, say, a BBS or a chat room escapes me.”

Thus good luck, Aaron ! All the best ! We are all with you on this one !


For those folks interested in getting a feel of what is happening out there in the Blogosphere about this particular issue here is the Technorati Search, with a special mention to this weblog post by Dave Taylor, owner of The Intuitive Life Business Blog: Comment added to blog leads to inclusion in the Wall Street Journal. A very good read, worth while going through, to show that, despite all the fuss, it is always a good thing to participate in weblogs sharing your comments. It is just a question where the weblogger may need to monitor them closer, a little bit.

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