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

Open Business

Harnessing Your Interstitial Time

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

Over time, you always have got a tendency to get the same types of questions over and over again. Yet, for some of them there are easier ways of finding a solution than for others where it would require some substantial work. Funny thing is that those recurring questions seem to be slightly more complicated every time they come up. And this is what has been happening to me over the last few months. Lots and lots of people have been asking me over and over again how they can go ahead and share their knowledge and collaborate with their peers when they are busy doing something else working on the different projects they may be involved with. The complicated item in here as well is the situation were lots of people think that sharing knowledge is a hardworking activity that would require substantial amount of time and therefore some people think that sharing knowledge is just not worth their time and effort. Boy, are they just so wrong or what?

Sharing knowledge and collaborating with your peers is just an activity you engage with just whenever you have got some free time for it, not when somebody tells you to do so. Sharing knowledge cannot be imposed on anyone, no matter what people say, and cannot be rewarded or incentivised like it is happening in most cases all over the place. Instead, sharing knowledge and collaborating with your peers needs to be encouraged and promoted as an ad-hoc activity for those spare or idle moments in between much more complicated activities. And since lots of people keep on asking me how to get engaged in such a way where they could share their knowledge with little effort but still getting the most out of the experience I just advise them to check out the following weblog post from 43folders: Harnessing your interstitial time.

Harnessing your interstitial time is probably one of the best reads I have come across in months as it clearly puts together a very strong and clear message as to what Knowledge Management and collaboration is all about. It is not about writing long essays or books or updating websites with some large content or when creating lengthy weblog posts that would take ages for people to digest. It is more about spending some time on those idle moments, where nothing seems to be happening while we wait for things to take place, when we can take the most advantage for knowledge sharing and collaboration. That is when the inspiration and the motivation would come up to share some knowledge with your colleagues. The key thing from Harnessing your interstitial time is that it brings forward a message that anybody can do apply successfully Knowledge Management principles about sharing knowledge and collaborating with others who may need to know or be aware of what is happening.

And as you can read from the weblog post there are tons of ideas for short activities to get engage with in order to share knowledge with others. Sometimes a simple phone call, or an e-mail, or an IM / VoIP conversation with others would be more than enough to get the ball rolling and start sharing for the benefit of the group. And this is what 43folders has put together very nicely. A good listing of impressive tips with which nobody can say there is any longer an excuse to share knowledge with your peers, since we are all having lots of idle moments during the course of the day, and yet we do not get anything done during those time lapses. Well, maybe we should do something now, maybe we should start taking much more seriously Knowledge Management and encourage folks that the benefits of knowledge sharing and collaboration are much more rewarding than working in your own silo without looking any further. And on top of that you can do it in a much shorter time than you thought. Or not ? Thus are you harnessing your interstitial time well enough or are you thinking that those idle moments are still unproductive and you are just as fine with that? I guess you decide but let me tell you how easy it is just to make things work and share that knowledge with others. You just need to dive in for a few minutes and off you go. You have done your work and have made it work for others. Knowledge Management in its purest form: sharing knowledge whenever you want with whoever you want in the time span you decide it is best for everyone and without having any restrictions on the nature of the amount of time spent.

I tell you, folks, if you are looking for an inspirational weblog post to help improve the productivity of your colleagues by helping them share their knowledge and expertise I doubt there is a simpler, yet so much more effective, way of achieving this than 43Folder’s Harnessing your interstitial time.

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Killer Buzz Flocks to New Browser

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

I have meant to create a weblog post back when I was first exposed to a Wired news article, but I thought I would delay it a little bit hoping that it would be in perfect timing with the release of a new web browser. But it looks like it is going to take some more time before that may happen so I thought I would go ahead, create the weblog post, give you a little taste of what is coming and then wait for an upcoming launch of, what some have already mentioned, the best web browsing experience there is out there on the Internet, specially for those power web browser end-users who are very much into Web 2.0.

The news article itself from Wired is titled Killer Buzz Flocks to New Browser and it basically comes to talk about Flock, an open source browser that supposingly will go live in early October. I am certainly looking forward to trying out this new web browser, more than anything else because of all the hype there is going on about it from the perspective where it has been flagged as a “social browser”, something that you obviously don’t get to see every day.

I will be looking forward for its integration features with other social computing offerings like Flickr, Technorati and del.icio.us since we may be actually witnessing a new much more creative and interactive way of browsing around the Internet, and, what is most important, we may end up using a browser that will help people connect with one another much easier in such a way that group collaboration on the Web will take another meaning. Lots of great things have been said about it, about how it will be helping out give web browsing a lot more collaborative power than what we are used to with the current offerings. But so far the only thing we can do is to head over to the Flock and sign up with your e-mail address and hope you will be one of the lucky winners who may have the opportunity to try it out first before everybody else does.

Either way, if it does bring together all of the different social computing features that have been mentioned all over the place I think we are off to some some really good fun on the Web by allowing us, end-users, to collaborate and share information with others in a much more powerful way than ever before, even than when working with traditional desktop software. If you want to go for a good read on what is behind Flock just check out this weblog post at Techcrunch: Flock – Social Browsing is Cool. I bet you can’t wait for it long enough, can you ? Neither can I.

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Social Networking Breaks the Ice – Google Acquires Meetroduction

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

Not long ago I wrote a weblog entry where I was sharing my experiences about one of the latest, probably somewhat most interesting IM clients out there that was bringing together IM and location-awareness. That IM client was Meetro and back then I was mentioning that I would be watching over the next few months how it would develop further.

Well, it looks like I may not have to wait for that long as there are a number of folks out there who are now saying that Meetro is facing some interesting times. Nothing less than an acquisition from Google. Although there are no official news out there just yet, it may happen during the course of this week, it would certainly not come as too much of a news item. More than anything else because IM may be the only thing that Google was missing from the whole range of different offerings that it currently offers.

So if that acquisition takes place it would certainly be an interesting period of time for us all over the next couple of months or so, just to check what the Google folks would be doing to this IM client. Can you imagine if it would be integrated with the Google Personalised Home, or if it would be integrated with GoogleMaps (Pretty much like Plazes does), or even if it gets further integrated with whatever of the other different current offerings Google has. The possibilities are endless and if any of this comes out just right then I would think that all the other IMs would have a lot to worry about. And Google decides to add VoIP to Meetro then we would have in front of us, may be, one of the best real-time, location-awareness, collaboration tools that might be available out there. What do you think ? Am I am dreaming a bit ? Or could it really happen ?

I guess we would find out very shortly. So stay tuned for some further updates whenever they come through. Can’t wait !

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Absolutely Del.icio.us – Complete Tool Collection

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

Anybody who has been showing a growing interest in social software, like groupware, social bookmarking or social networking tools, for instance, would probably already know by now about one of the most popular social bookmarking tools out there: del.icio.us.

Del.icio.us is one of those services that allows you to store your favourite bookmarks on the web so, regardless where you are or what computer you are using, you always have got quick access to your favourite links. And even more when you can also search and look for other people’s bookmarks. This social bookmarking tool has been around for quite some time and although my bookmarks are only starting to grow as we speak I still love the service for what it does: storing and sharing with others your favourite links.

What you may not know is that there seems to be out there a huge collection of Del.icio.us hacks that you could use to improve your own Del.icio.us experience. And over at Quick Online Tips they seem to have been doing an incredible piece of work. And if you do not believe me check out Absolutely Del.icio.us – Complete Tool Collection where you can find one of the most extensive listing of Del.icio.us hacks that you can find out there on the Web.

I am sure that there will be something in that weblog post for everyone. It would just be a matter of time and a little effort to just go through it and see which ones you would want to make use of. I am already in the process of choosing my favourites and although I am already using some of them that I have found elsewhere it is great to see what other interesting things you can get done with your own bookmarks. So go and have a look and see which one would be your favourite hack. I am sure there would be more than one but since we have got to start somewhere we might as well get going right away and dig in further. This promises to be some really good fun !

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Social Networking and Video4Skype

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

WOW ! I just couldn’t help posting another weblog entry about the latest, and awesome, plugin for Skype called Video4Skype and which I talked about yesterday. So far today I have been trying it out with a couple of friends and work colleagues and I am very much impressed not only for the quality of the image but also because of the ease of use, set up and configuration steps that need to take place in order to get it working. Literally, in less than 10 seconds after install it is all up and running. Fantastic !

For somebody like me who has always been very passionate about social networking and social software the new plugin from Skype may be the beginning of a new era where IM chats, VoIP and videoconferencing come together under a single platform that allows folks to decide which medium they would like to use to communicate depending on the level of trust they may have developed in between the different parties. So, for instance, somebody who may just be getting started to know some other person (an acquaintance, or a work colleague) may prefer to use IM chat and start the chat that way and build up from there.

However, somebody who may have had already a number of different contacts with a particular individual and feel that there is already some trust in place may venture into starting an VoIP chat and let the voice come through. And now with Video4Skype people who have got a much more comfortable level of trust, like in family, friends or close work colleagues, things can be taken into another level by allowing people to see each other at the same time that they may be having an IM chat, or exchanging files or even on an VoIP chat.

As I said, what Video4Skype enables now in Skype is the possiblity of people to break the space and timezone barriers and get closer to one another, not only to get in touch with your family or your friends but also for your day to day job, where you can now put a face to that person behind all those e-mails, phone calls or IM chats. Just fantastic !

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