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


Spark – CBC Radio – Full Interview: Luis Suarez Explains How to Quit Email

After a couple of rather long blog posts I think it is now a good time to probably go for a short one, don’t you think? A little bit of a breather; actually, I thought I would go and share with you folks a follow up blog post from one I did earlier on this week and which I would think you would find quite interesting, specially if you have been following my little project of living "A World Without Email".

Earlier on this week, you would remember how for the weekly progress report for week #29 I mentioned that later in the week, yesterday, to be more precise, I would actually be spending a few minutes doing a Skype interview with the wonderful Nora Young from CBC radio show Spark, where I would be talking much more in detail about how to give up on corporate email for good and how I have been doing it for the last 18 months and counting…

And it looks like the interview is now available at the CBC Spark blog under the following title: "Full Interview: Luis Suarez explains how to quit email". You will be able to listen to the podcasting episode directly from that blog post or you could download the MP3 from here.

It lasts for a little less than 28 minutes and in it we had a great conversation throughout where I started giving some background on why I begun with this initiative over 18 months ago; the consequences and key learnings over time; the kind of responses I have been receiving all along; where I would go further from here, and, perhaps the much more interesting part, which is the one where I share a few tips that would help out everyone out there, who may be interested, how to perhaps not give up on email altogether in favour of social software tools, but certainly how to reduce quite a bit of that email clutter we have probably gotten too used to and, instead, make good use of social software tools to share our knowledge and collaborate with other knowledge workers.

I must say that being interviewed by Nora was actually plenty of good fun, because we eventually managed to talk about a good number of things I didn’t touch base in the various blog posts I have done so far, or the numerous conference events I attended last year or the ones I have been involved in this year so far. I was surprised about that, because I thought I had said most of the stuff around this topic of giving up on corporate email already, but it looks like Nora just asked the perfect set of questions to help me share a different set of insights on what it has been like living without email at work for over a year and a half now and still going strong…

So, I am going to keep this post on the shorter side of things, and leave it over here for now. And if you would be interested in listening to the interview I did with the delightful Nora (We surely had plenty of good laughs, too, on common misuses of corporate email! Hilarious some of them!), you can head over to the original blog post Dan Misener put together, or, alternatively, you could download the .MP3 file from here.

Hope you enjoy listening to it, just as much as I did participating in it. It surely was a blast and I would want to take this opportunity to give a special thanks to Tony Burns, who made the introduction with Dan possible in the first place and to Nora & Dan himself for having me in their show! Thanks ever so much, guys! It was fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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Collaboration Matters 8 and 9 – Lotusphere Highlights with “Los Dos Luis”

A few weeks back I got invited to participate in a couple of podcasting episodes from the wonderful folks behind Collaboration Matters: Stu McIntyre and Neil Burston. And, of course, I couldn’t reject such kind offer. Even more when I found out the other guest for those two episodes was eventually IBM fellow colleague, and good friend, Luis Benitez (Not to worry, we are not twin brothers, despite what most folks keep telling us, even if we tend to look alike somewhat! heh) and on the agenda we were going to talk about Enterprise Social Software as well as detailing some of our key highlights from Lotusphere 2009, held earlier on this year in Orlando, FL.

And so we did take part on these two different fun podcasting episodes, where we talked about a whole bunch of different topics, but always with some of the best highlights, in our opinion, of Lotusphere 2009 running in the background. Now those episodes are readily available for replay and I am sure you may be wondering what we did talk about actually with both Neil and Stu, right? Well, here is a quick synopsis of what you will find in both episodes, to give you a taster of what to expect:

Collaboration Matters 8 – Los Dos Luis (36MB download and running for 26 minutes in Spanish with Neil)

  • Lotusphere – the excitement and the challenges
  • Successes and challenges for Social Software
  • Is Social Software "Mainstream"?
  • A Year without email – working in different ways?

Collaboration Matters 9 – LS09 Connectr BoF Review (41MB download and running for 30 minutes in English with both Neil & Stu)

  • What is a Connectr?
  • Who was there and what did we discuss?
  • Tools versus Enablement & adoption
  • What Social tools are people using – injecting Social Software capabilities into the existing application landscape
  • Actually using Social tools – asking questions and opening up the Silos
  • Do Social Software Best Practices really exist?
  • Who is driving social software adoption within organisations?

As you will be able to see plenty of really good and interesting topics where both Luis Benitez and myself shared our two cents on what we have been seeing in this social software space for a little while now and where we may be heading next. On episode #8 I even got a chance to talk about living "A World Without Email" and this particular episode may be more interesting to those folks who speak Spanish, since we had the entire conversation in Spanish! Funny enough, it’s probably one of the very few podcasting episodes I have done in my native language. Yeah, too funny!

On episode #9 you will be able to get a grasp of our first public reactions to the BOFs session both Luis Benitez and myself did along with Stu on the topic of Connectr. Perhaps one of the most engaging and interactive sessions I have been talking around the subject of Enterprise Social Software, adoption, social tools, the so-called "best practices" of social software (Priceless that one, I can tell you know, and something I will be coming back to shortly as well with a couple of follow up blog posts) that I can remember in a fully packed room.

So, I am going to leave it there for now, and would encourage you have a listen to episode #8 where you can find out plenty more about social software at the same time that you can practice your Spanish skills πŸ˜‰ , or have that rare chance where you can hear me talk in Spanish about some of the 2.0 subjects I have been really passionate about all along. On episode #9 you will be able to find out, first hand, what we learned from the BOFs session (Connectr) we did at Lotusphere.

From here I just want to take this opportunity to share a special thanks! to both Stu and Neil for their time and for their kind invite to the Collaboration Matters podcasting show and to my tocayo for sharing along all of the good stuff he has been doing all this time in the field of social computing and, more specifically, around IBM’s Lotus Connections. Thanks, guys!

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The Sweettt Podcast – Episode 11 – Information Flow (Part II)

I haven’t been very successful today trying to join the superb 24 hour online event from Corporate Learning Trends and Innovation on “Conversations about Learning in Organisations” that I blogged about yesterday. It looks like Elluminate doesn’t get along well with my Mac apparently, since it keeps crashing consistently ever single time I try to access the online event (And I don’t seem to be the only one either!); so I guess I will have to try again tomorrow and, if that doesn’t work still, I suppose I will be catching up with the various recordings that will be made available at a later time.

Moving onwards then!

Yes, folks, it is that time again! The Sweettt Podcast moves on further along and I am happy to bring you over here our next episode (Episode 11), where both Matt Simpson, my good friend and co-host, and yours truly spent a few minutes talking some more around the topic of Information Flow (Part II). You can download or play the podcasting episode from this location. And here are some show notes of what you may expect from listening to it that Matt already mentioned in the corresponding blog post:

  • What is more important, quality or quantity?
  • Who you are in your blog is very different than who you are in a microblog.
  • What constitutes a valid blog? Can a blog be trivial?
  • When does your Twitter become a village? – See Laura Fitton
  • How do you enter a online social village and navigate its streets?
  • To achieve flow in the information space, how do you sample information?
  • What is the alternative to managing content within the information space?
  • How do you choose which new technology to use in the information sharing space?
  • What kind of people try technology first? What does a bleeding edge early adopter look like? See Chris Miller
  • How do you keep track of your new technology?
  • What’s the ideal amount of technology for the majority of us?
  • Which is the predominant future trend, increased technology fragmentation with more tools, or consolidation of technology into fewer tools?
  • If services become specialized and exploited in other contexts (other web sites), what will be the incentive for the service to be provided, especially if people are not going to the homepage?

And, of course, you will notice as well how we spent some time as well talking about living “A World Without Email” and our growing need to diversify our email inboxes; to fragment them so that it does fit a specific purpose versus all purposes, which is what is happening at the moment. Some fascinating conversations, indeed, which developed into other areas we will be exploring in future podcasting episodes.

Oh, yes, it is good to be back! Hope you enjoy the episode, just as much as we did πŸ™‚

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The Sweettt Podcast – Episodes 9 and 10 – We Are Back!

Sometimes things are just so incredibly busy that you lose track of time and before you realise it, several months go by, and you feel pretty bad that you haven’t blogged about something that is so close to your heart for how wonderful the overall experience is that you don’t know where to hide anymore! Well, indeed, that’s exactly how I felt today, in the midst of a full day of meetings galore!, when I became aware it has been quite a long time since the last blog post I put together for our dear Sweettt Podcast! Yes, that Modern Salon, or Tertulia 2.0 podcast, as both my good friend, and co-host, Matt Simpson and myself like to call it, that we have been doing for a little while now.

Indeed, last time I blogged about The Sweettt Podcast was in November last year! Ouch! That hurt! I cannot believe that it’s been that long already! Where does the time go, eh?!?! Not to worry, every so often we have been able to get together and record some amazing conversations with some really interesting folks in the area of Enterprise 2.0, Knowledge Sharing and Collaboration, plus our usual 1:1 conversations on whatever else is left out there …

However, I thought I would pick up the subject again, specially after talking to Matt and announcing we have fixed the issues with the iTunes store (Finally, you can now subscribed to our podcast by going into this link!) and let you know that since last time I blogged about it, we have got two more episodes for you to enjoy:

  1. Sweettt.com – Episode 9 – Put Your Innovation Where Your Mouth Is – Part 2 of August 22nd Discussion
  2. Sweettt.com – Episode 10 – Information Flow – Part 1

Plus plenty more that will get posted over the course of time. Yes, we know, we could be a bit more regular on our sharing of the various recorded episodes. And we are working on it! Eventually, we are also going to change a little the scheme we have been using when announcing those different episodes.

Instead of putting together rather lengthy blogs posts where we share extensive show notes, including some fancy tagcloud visualisations with the wonderfully crafter Wordle, we decided we don’t want to be the bottleneck, so from now onwards expect rather shorter entries, like this one, with one or two lines explaining the major themes we discussed on the podcast and from there onwards we are going to leave it up to you to go and listen to the various episodes and share your thoughts / comments to keep the dialogue going.

And that’s it! I guess we are back in the game! The Sweettt Podcast feed is now finally fixed and we are ready to keep those conversations flowing. Are you ready to join us? Do let us know! Get in touch! We would be delighted to have you on the show!

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The Sweettt Podcast – Episode 8 – Inside and Outside the Firewall – Part 1 of August 22nd Discussion

It’s been a little while now since last time I posted about this. My holidays kicked in, a bunch of business trips followed and the usual catchup has delayed a bit the sharing of this blog post. Yes, indeed, as you may have seen it already, The Sweettt Show is back! And with that both Matt Simpson, my fellow co-host, and yours truly are back into the full swing of things with our podcasting series!

You may have noticed how over the last couple of weeks we have slowed down a bit. Like I said above already, it is in part due to my not being there for our weekly recordings, but we still get together and record the episodes which you can then listen and engage with at a later time, whenever we have got the opportunity to push them forward. And, as you may have noticed already, we are on Episode 8 already, this time around on the following topic: Inside and Outside the Firewall – Part 1 of August 22nd Discussion.

Matt already shared his show notes, which are an excellent read and a must go through, if you woud want to find out more on the essence of this particular episode, before you start listening to it. I will take the opportunity now, though, to recap and share my own show notes to provide you folks with an additional set of commentary that would help digest the content of the podcast or, at least, help venture what we have been talking about over the course of a bit over 35 minutes.

Thus here they are. I have tried to keep the same spirit and flow as with previous episodes, hoping to spark as well a smile here and there and hoping as well it would give you an opportunity to chime in with that special request that Matt mentions towards the end of the recording:

– Still lingering around on the awesome experience of the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston, back in June.
Robin Carey, from Social Media Today gets a mention. One of the many fine people we met while at the conference (*wave* Hiya, Robin! *wave*)
– Oh, and Mark Masterson gets another mention! We might as well make it with him on the show! Actually, we are!! Stay tuned! πŸ™‚
– Yes, indeed, there is nothing that will beat face to face while at a conference, but then again, social software provides the perfect add-on to help augment that face to face experience and make it even much more intense! And relevant.
– Enterprise 2.0 social software within the corporate world *still* has got a place. Just because not many people are as extrovert as we think they are.
– Finding your own comfort zone would be key for that social software adoption. Even for something like sharing pictures!
– IBM’s Social Computing Guidelines get another mention along with the opportunity to have a protected environment where people can play with these social tools in a safe environment.
– Yours truly regretting the fact it took me two years!, before I decided to have my Internet blog(s)! Should have been a lot sooner than that!
– Yeah, don’t get too comfortable either or you will never move on / change! (Yes, I learned through the hard way!).
– WOW! Matt has been online for 17 years and all over the place!!! Where were you back then? (I was playing ball! :-P).
– (Did you know that Matt was probably the first person who introduced the concept of wikis inside IBM, way before the corporate world was even thinking about it?)
– Censorship is not healthy. Period.
– There is always a space to share stuff internally and externally. What would rule it? Yes, indeed, you got that one right! … Common sense.
– Little anecdote shared as well of how all my three blogs started with different content and because of having, each of them, different audiences in the end it all moved into cross-posting between all of them.
– Corporate blogging is *not* a waste of time! Why? Because a blog empowers employees to have a voice, both inside and outside of the corporate firewall.
– Even smaller companies can benefit from blogging. Meaningful content will still be shared and commented on. Remember, it is not about the quantity, but the quality of the blog posts!
– Ranting is not as effective as constructive feedback. Isn’t that right? heh
– (Although sometimes the odd rant here and there wouldn’t harm, right? Even in the microsharing world!)
– Another perk from corporate blogging: allowing you to find experts on a particular subject they are passionate about. Yes, sir!
– Injecting now one of my all time favourite thoughts I have been putting together all along: people will always be keen on sharing their information / knowledge just because they want to, not because they have been told so. It is a natural behaviour.
– Storytelling, anyone?
– Another perk of social software behind the firewall: a much lower barrier of entry. In most cases, it takes a matter of seconds to have a blog, a wiki, a podcast, etc. etc. No approvals required!
– Oh la la "The Emperor has no clothes!" coming back again! Always learn to be positive, don’t criticise, always suggest improvements. That’s how we have been taught (Wise words from Matt, indeed! Loved it!)
– You see? Constructive feedback & co-creation of solutions can do wonders!
– Not being afraid of bad news is key in the world of social software adoption. Be ready to take that feedback on what’s broken and help fix it! It cannot get better than that!
– Openness, transparency, public knowledge exchanges … Hummm, where did I hear that before? πŸ˜‰
– Go and read the main five reasons Matt has annotated that clearly explain why social software within the corporate world still has got a place. It always had and always will!
– Yeah, at the end of the day it is all about how your passion drives the stuff you do at work (And outside as well, of course!), but it is that passion that will make things easier to engage with others, and connect with them, specially if you share that common interest!
– Thus what is it that you are passionate about? Is that passion showing?

So there you go, another really interesting episode, we think, that we hope you get a chance to enjoy and participate from. Now, off to The Sweettt Show and engage in the amazing conversation that is going on at the moment! Will see you there!

Wordle of episode #8

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The Sweettt Podcast – Episode 7 – Conversations as The Future of Conferences

Yes, indeed, we are baaaaack! That is right, folks! We are back again at it! Here we go with another podcasting episode from The Sweettt Show, Living on the Bountiful Net that my good friend, and fellow co-host, just shared over at The Sweettt Podcast – Episode 7 – Conversations as The Future of Conferences. And we back into the action! Here is a short excerpt from what Matt wrote in that blog post that I am sure that you would be able to relate to quite a bit, specially if you get to travel, quite often, to various different conference events all over the place, and not just restrictive to a single geography or country, for instance. So here is the text:

"In this episode, we really point out all the things that are wrong about the modern conference and presentation format. In our conclusion of our August 15th discussion, we contrast this old guard presentation style with a more refreshing approach in which the audience is a key contributor to the event. When people gather together within conferences, this is a knowledge sharing event, designed to maximize the sharing of insights and perspectives."

At first sight you may be pondering that what we are actually doing is talking about the "barcamp" concept. No, we are not talking about such concept. In fact, we are talking about how we feel regular conferences would need to do to move into the 21st century. Have a listen to the whole episode and you will see what we mean…

Matt already shared his show notes from this particular episode and you would be able to read them all over here. Now, it is my turn to give it a show and share with you folks what I got out of that episode and what I learn while recording it with Matt. Yes, we do get to learn a thing or two, as well! And even better when those new ah-ha moments kick in live, right there, right then, and you have got that sense of accomplishment very difficult to surpass heh πŸ™‚ (Yes, you can tell I am loving the show quite a bit thus far, eh?). Here we go!:

– Still musing on the superb presentation that Carl Frappaolo did on Knowledge Management 2.0 and how disruptive it was from the traditional breakout sessions you get to attend on a regular basis. Hang in there, we are not talking about barcamp events …
– I still think about it along the very same lines: "Main tent / Keynote sessions are a waste of time from a knowledge sharing point of view."
– With the huge amount of events on Enterprise 2.0 flourishing out there nowadays, we need to look for new models of delivering the message. Traditional events need to move into the 21st century and become much more engaging than what they are now!
– People at conference events appreciate quite a bit not being talked at… (Too true!)
Two way conversations rule at conferences, why neglect them? What would it take to change the model of delivery. Webcast format(s) are just that, for the Web, not in front of real audiences, real people!
– One of the best keynote speaker sessions I have been to this year from the various events I attended, and which I thoroughly enjoyed for the innovative approach, was that one of Harriet Pearson, Chief Privacy Officer at IBM, at IBM’s Web 2.0 Summit, who got started with her session by asking whether the audience had any questions, way before she started talking on the topic of privacy!
– Now, that‘s the way to engage with an audience as a keynote speaker and grab their attention from the very first moment! Oh, and check out Harriet’s Facebook profile to see what she is up to (It will surprise you!)
– Will upcoming conference events be up to the challenge? Will you be up to the challenge? heh
– Moving on … ahhh, the obsession of slides for every single conversation. Wonder what the world was like before slide decks took over?!?
– "Without your slides are you naked?"
– Wish people would start giving up on slides. For good. They are just a tool, NOT your message!
[Check out Matt’s show notes on this section… Couldn’t have put it in much better words than those! W00t!]
Dave Snowden gets a mention for being on of those rare folks who doesn’t use slides and gets away with it! Powerful! Wish more folks would follow his example …
Lou Gerstner gets a mention as well as being on of those folks who doesn’t use slides either!
[Too funny that in the course of about a month from now I will eventually be meeting up face to face both of them! — Stay tuned for more updates coming up on that! :-D]
– Musing on how BIG people feel when they know they have got a bunch of slides behind them is probably as good as it gets on what needs fixing!
– We will probably cover this topic at another time, since there is so much more to talk about! But let’s move on …
– Brainstorming on the best way of engaging with the audience from The Sweettt Show. We have got the blogs where some folks have been commenting so far, but what would you want to use to engage with our tertulia and be part of the show! Share your insights with us! More than happy to accommodate … Remember, this is our – your tertulia!
We will figure it out at some point, I am sure …
– Introducing the podcast at the end of the recorded episode?!?! My goodness! What’s going on with these guys?!?! Are they crazy? (Probably!)

And that would be it, folks, for this our 7th episode of The Sweettt Show on Conversations as The Future of Conferences. We hope you enjoyed it and get ready for the next one, because it is just around the corner! And it promises to be just as entertaining … we hope …

Oh, dear, I won’t let you go just yet … I nearly forgot to include as well in this blog post the Wordle (Thanks, Jonathan!) from this episode, so here you have it:

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