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


IBM Software 2010 Congress Highlights – Existo, Luego Pienso by Eduard Punset

Eduard Punset at IBM Software 2010 CongressI am more and more convinced by the day that if we would want to transform the corporate world as we know it with Enterprise 2.0, how we work, how we cooperate AND collaborate with other knowledge workers, how we innovate, how we let social networks disrupt who we are, we need to start thinking more about incorporating into the mix other disciplines and fields than just technology and social business processes. Back in October I had the opportunity to witness just that at the IBM Software 2010 Congress when I attended live one of those rather thought-provoking and amazingly engaging presentations, I know I will remember for a long while, by one of those science communicators that you just cannot but admire dearly; of course, I am talking about Eduard Punset and his “I exist, therefore I think“.

There are plenty of highlights that I would want to go ahead and share with you folks over here about that IBM event I attended, and where I presented as well, although that would be something for another blog post, but I thought I would go ahead and share with you the one major highlight from that day, which was, obviously, getting wowed by Mr. Punset with such an amazing and inspiring presentation that is still lingering there, after a month and a half! As a starting point, no slides (Yes, no slides!!), just a handful of notes to check out and deliver an inspiring speech. The way it should always be, in my opinion!

Now, I realise how Punset’s presentation was delivered in Spanish, so perhaps most of the readers of this blog would probably be missing out on it altogether. However, I still think it would be a pity to let this opportunity go, just like that, by not sharing it across with a wider audience. I am sure not only would it help you polish, and perhaps, improve, your already existing Spanish skills, but at the same time I know you’d all be capable of grabbing some of the key concepts of what he talked about in a little bit over 30 minutes.

The fine folks of GlobbTV recorded the entire one day event, and we are lucky enough to have already Punset’s replay available to us all. The direct link to it can be found over here, and I am afraid you will have to go there and watch it through, because the embedded code is giving some trouble, apparently … But not to worry, go and watch it and then come back; we will continue further on …


Incredible, don’t you think? I am certain you enjoyed watching through it quite a bit! Wonderful insights altogether, to say the least! … Ok, ok, for those folks who may not have been capable of following it, I am going to dedicate the rest of this blog post to detail some of the major insights that Punset shared across during the presentation and which I think would be worth while sharing in the context of defining the Future of the WorkPlace, starting today!, as well as the role of Enterprise 2.0 in it, so you can have a glimpse of the amount of work we still have got left in helping that 2.0 transformation become a reality.

Emotion! How many times have you heard that word being used in a corporate environment? Not too often, right? And probably in most cases, with a negative connotation around it, which doesn’t encourage you to make much more extensive use of it, I know. Well, that was one of the main key concepts that he brought on to the table, and, most specifically, our inability to teach how to handle well that emotion in a corporate environment. He brought up wisely the subject of how Emotion, as well as Attention Management, are actually walking hand in hand to demonstrate how much we all strive for that social recognition and love from the rest of the world; how, essentially, what most of us are looking for out there is to be recognised; it’s the main motive behind everything we do for each individual AND collective group out there, which, put in the context of social engagement within Enterprise 2.0, I guess it does make perfect sense, raising one key question for which I don’t have an answer… where is the … money? Actually, I *do* have an answer. Better said, Dan Pink has an interesting answer altogether.

I am not going to spoil this one, seriously, but his views on the survival of our species throughout thousands of years is tremendously provocative and you should watch through the video to see how technology has been transforming such perception over the last 100 years. What’s interesting to notice though is how his perception of the survival of our species is probably what I would still consider today the cancer of the corporate world. Yes, I realise these are very strong words, but, believe me, what he described is something that I still see today, in 2010, all over the place. Sadly. That’s how far I can go describing that part of the video replay… the rest you will have to go through it yourself 😉 heh

It was interesting to see as well how he differentiates between resources and knowledge and how as much as we used to live on getting the most out of those resources around us, it looks like in the 21st century we are going to live, and depend!, pretty much upon our knowledge and how it will help meet our needs, both at work, and elsewhere. Rather interesting perspective, which, I guess, is going to be rather provocative on its own for those folks under Human Resources.

As examples detailing how much we are depending, AND benefiting!, from our intense exposure to knowledge, instead of just resources, Mr. Punset shared the piece of research done around the topic of the hippocampus from London’s taxi drivers and how they are much different than the one from ordinary citizens. This is where he shared one of my favourite quotes, of the year, perhaps, even!, that still resonates quite a lot with me. Paraphrasing and translating it into English, something along these lines:

“We are programmed to be unique due to our own individual experiences of each and everyone of us”

Another interesting insight I thought was worth while mentioning, and that I never thought about it in the past, was the one about our increasingly faster paced lives, specially, in the western world, where we seem to want everything happening really fast, even when forming our own families with our own offspring. That life and work integration become a challenge when something like pacing out yourself seems to be of the biggest benefit. Who would have thought that, according to research, it’s best to wait about 6 years in between your first, second, third, etc. child? Whoahhh! Truly fascinating!

Another wonderful quote that stuck with me and which I thought was rather interesting was his perception of how “If we can change the brain of people, we can change the world“, so perhaps our efforts should not be placed on changing the world itself, which we have been failing constantly over the last 4 or 5 decades, but perhaps we can start influencing such changes by changing the brain of people, which, again, in the context of Enterprise 2.0, that’s probably what most of us, social software evangelists, are doing, don’t you think? At least, that’s how I would like to see it; that we are not changing and transforming the world, but the brains of people into new ways of thinking, of doing things, of being, in reality. Good stuff! Like I said, I quite like that notion; you see? Enterprise 2.0, once again, not inventing anything new in here…

From there onwards we move forward into what I thought was *the* most provocative part of his speech, where he talked very clearly about emotion, once again, and how we seem to always be reaching out for that universal consensus in order to survive, which is the need to learn manage the diversity of a global world, because today’s world is not the same world as four decades ago, as he stated out clearly; and our ability to succeed in today’s society will have pretty much to do with how successfully we manage, in this diverse world, its various commonalities, i.e. its common ground, its emotions. Ourselves. Goodness! Is your head spinning already? Mine was at the time, I can tell you that!

Fascinating insights as well were his thoughts about the two main qualities of the knowledge worker of today’s workplace; something I never thought I would be able to be confronted with in such an interesting twist of who we are and how we interact with others:

  1. A certain self-esteem in oneself that would allow us to “deal” with our co-workers: basically, be secure enough to interact with others in a healthy, engaging and prosperous manner;
  2. Also you need to be treated well enough in order for you to stick around: yes, probably not much of a quality per se for a knowledge worker, but to me it came through as something along the lines of treating others like you would like to be treated. That way you will probably be sticking around, wherever you may well be, for a little while longer. Goodness, even *I* can relate to that one!

Punset didn’t say this specifically, but, to me, that’s *the* core essence of the emotional (social) networks AND communities at work that establish how we operate and who we are, as knowledge workers, in today’s corporate environment.

Finally, coming closer towards the end of his presentation he also talked about some of the new competencies for today’s world, not just from a work perspective, but also in our society, and, specially, for the younger generations who seem to focus their attention in “other” things (“Mom, don’t bother me, I am learning…“, remember?); well, it’s not about an attention deficit, it’s just that they are not interested in what you are doing, because what you are doing is antiquated; essentially, we haven’t managed to capture their attention accordingly!

Goodness! This is just *so* accurate. Scary, actually! Just look into our current education systems all over the world and how those younger generations get to learn on a daily basis, following last century’s old and obsolete models versus how they truly learn in today’s world, hooked up completely to technology to continue their own self-defined learning in context. Where did we go wrong, folks? His views on blocking access to Web sites or restrict the number of hours playing with gadgets or mobile devices are just incredibly provoking! Worth while listening to him in order to realise where we have been going wrong all along! We must change! And quick! That’s all I can say …

Equally interesting and enlightening were his various insights on the topic of the new citizens of the world, talking about younger generations’ deficits while at school. Apparently, we haven’t taught them to work in teams, to collaborate, to share their knowledge, to solve problems in an innovative manner; we haven’t taught them either about managing emotions (Specifically, anxiety). Oh boy, if we haven’t done any of that, and I truly believe that we haven’t, specially while at school, how can we inspire them to transform the way we work, collaborate, share our knowledge and, eventually, innovate with the emergence of Enterprise 2.0 as that powerful enabler we all know it is. Do we expect that it will come to them by itself? Just like the corporate world thought it would happen with email for most of us back in the day? Boy, I surely hope not! We shouldn’t be making the very same mistakes once again, don’t you think?

According to Punset, in order to tackle some of this, and I surely agree with him big time!, we must reconcile knowledge and entertainment (i.e. having fun) in order to learn AND achieve something; same thing for schools as well as for the corporate world; we must accept that there are more questions without answers than answers themselves; that when you don’t know the answer of a question, we need to avoid having that tendency to look for a conspiracy response. We would probably be much better off leaving those questions unanswered, at least, for now and perhaps aim for that “permanent equilibrium“, both at work and in our personal lives, that he kept referring to time and time again…

And that idea doesn’t seem to be too crazy for me either, don’t you think? What a lovely aftertaste to wrap up this blog post! Indeed! Like I said, you will have to watch through his presentation to witness some more true awesomeness. I am afraid that this blog post won’t probably do much justice to plenty of the stuff he shared with us. But I hope these few insights will help you get a glimpse of how unique that whole experience of being there was for yours truly! So much so, that it convinced to shape up, slightly different, how I would blog further on over here, touching base on subjects that would probably fall out, initially, of the Enterprise 2.0 angle, but that, in reality, affect us all of who we are as knowledge workers 2.0. And that doesn’t seem to be such a bad thing, after all, right? Somehow, I suspect that’s the immediate future of upcoming Enterprise 2.0 conferences as well, if they would still want to keep their momentum…

Are you up for it, too? I am …

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Enterprise 2.0 Summit Highlights – “Knowledge Shared Is Power”

Toledo - Alcázar de Toledo by the River TajoLike I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post, there are lots of things that I would want to share across with you folks over the next few weeks, but for today I thought I would go ahead and get started sharing some initial highlights from the Enterprise 2.0 Summit event that took place in Frankfurt by the end of October. Now, I have accumulated a good number of draft posts with various insights around what I learned and thought about the event overall, but how about if we get started with some “Knowledge Shared *Is* Power“?

As you may have been able to see by now, while I was at the Enterprise 2.0 Summit, I had the opportunity to participate in multiple sessions, including a presentation I did on “Exploring the Adoption Archetypes”as well as a couple of panels on the topics of “Avoiding Enterprise 2.0 Pitfalls” and “Unlocking the Cultural War between Knowledge Management and Enterprise 2.0“. I will be talking about each and everyone of them in their due time, not to worry, but for now, I thought I would get this blog post going with a teaser that would certainly set the stage of what the overall event was all about, as well as what my main expectations were of hanging out with some of the most impressive Enterprise 2.0 talented folks out there from this side of the pond.

So when Cathrin Gill kindly asked me to participate on an interview to help set the stage for the event as well as detail what my expectations were before heading there, like it happened with a whole bunch of other folks, you can imagine how I just couldn’t resist the offer… The end result is a recently published article over at the Enterprise2Open blog under the following heading: “Luis Suarez on #e20s: “Knowledge shared is power”“.

In that interview we tried to cover a good number of topics whose headings I will be reproducing below, so you can have a look on what to expect when you read through all of them:


  1. “You take part in the panel on different adoption archetypes for Enterprise 2.0 initiatives. Please give us three tags that describe what to expect from your contribution to this session.
  2. In your opinion: What is the best way to implement an E2.0 initiative in a corporation?

  3. At IBM, you call yourself a “knowledge worker”, helping to push and accelerate the adoption of social software within the enterprise. What are your personal experiences and key learnings from that task?

  4. What are the crucial points in making the adoption successful? Is the cultural change a prerequisite or a key element of the adoption activities?

  5. At E2.0 SUMMIT we try to discuss the challenges for the E20 initiatives from the following perspectives: adoption, hindering aspects, management. This is still a classical approach to the topic – but as E2.0 works differently, must we also discuss the topic differently?

  6. What are your expectations for the upcoming Enterprise 2.0 SUMMIT?


I do realise that article is nearly a month old, but when re-reading through it, as I was finalising this blog post, I just couldn’t help thinking how relevant it still is with regards to how most businesses out there are preparing their social software adoption and community building programs in order to help transform their own businesses into the next generation of the XXI century enterprise. Now, I am not going to spoil it all for you folks and talk further about what we shared over there. I would certainly encourage you all to have a look into it, read further on, and then come back for a little present…

Yes, that’s right! In that interview I shared a link to a white paper that, just recently, two of my team colleagues, and good friends, Jeanne Murray and Rawn Shah, put together and shared for free out there around the methodology that we have been using ourselves inside IBM with our very own Social Software Adoption Program called BlueIQ. In that white paper you will be able to read, quite extensively, how our social software adoption program came into existence, how it works and what are the various different components that we have put together over the last three years.

It surely has been quite a journey with no final destination just yet; yes, that’s right! Still going strong, which is why I thought I would go ahead and share it over here as well, once more, as I am sure plenty of folks may be rather interested in finding out some more how we have been going at it all along and perhaps help improve it as well sharing their own experiences. It’s a living document, so feel free to download it, read through it, and comment right there on the document location itself or over here in this blog post. If you have got trouble downloading it, please do get in touch with me, as we have had a couple of issues in the past, which, we believe, are now solved. But you never know …

Finally, you may be wondering what’s my favourite quote from that interview itself altogether, right? Well, I think you know it already; one I have been using myself for a long while now… “Knowledge Shared IS Power”, regardless of what some people may have been claiming over the years … We hope that interview, as well as the white paper itself, may help folks get going with their own social software adoption programs within their own companies, because, eventually, that was the main purpose why we shared it openly in the first place. If we benefited from it ourselves, why not share it along openly, right? Isn’t that what Enterprise 2.0 is all about…?


(Stay tuned, because in upcoming blog posts I will be continuing to share further insights on some of the key highlights from the Enterprise 2.0 Summit itself, including my ¢2 on what I learned from the various different sessions I attended while in there… )

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Imagine an Island and Then … Come Along! Welcome Back!

Gran Canaria - Maspalomas DunesI am sure that at this point in time regular readers of this blog may have been wondering where I have been all of this time, or whether I may have abandoned my blog altogether, since the last time I created a blog post over here was over a month and a half ago and by this time plenty of people may be thinking it’s just too late to come to the blog back again, right? Well, you know, after all, blogs are dying, aren’t they? So it may have looked like this one was heading in that very same direction after such a long time without an entry being published. Well, nothing further than the truth. Yes, I have just gone through, perhaps, one of the longest blogging hiatus I can remember in my whole 7 years of blogging. But the reality is that I am now, finally, back to my usual regular blogging activities after such extended break. Thus I guess I could also say to all of you as well … Welcome back! Thanks for sticking around and for dropping by once again! I surely have missed you all, too!

I bet by now you may be wondering where have I been all of this time then, right? What has kept me away from the blog throughout all of these weeks and why I am coming back to it, once again. I am sure you may be pondering what has happened to Luis Suarez, yours truly, over the last few weeks. Or, maybe not. Maybe, you didn’t even notice I have been away all along and you just saw this blog post for the first time. Either way, I think I could summarise it all with a rather short sentence: things have been incredibly hectic as of late!

And like I have been mentioning in my twitterings over at @elsua, it looks like things are not going to change and become a bit quieter anymore, so I might as well take this opportunity to pick up my usual regular blogging and start writing again. Why? Gosh, I am sure there are plenty of various different reasons, but I will just start with the one that has helped me come back: lots of really good stuff out there to share along! I’m sorry, but I just can’t keep them all for myself any longer! That would be too selfish from my side, don’t you think? 😉

Over the last few weeks, I haven’t been blogging much, although I have been microblogging / microsharing quite extensively throughout all of that time. But at the same time I have been working on a good number of blogging drafts and at this point in time I think I may have gotten about 100 blog posts (Yes, you are reading it right! 100 blog entries!!) piled up just waiting to be finalised and published! Like I said, so many things going on that I just couldn’t help it anymore staying away from the blog for that long. So I am officially back after that long break, wanting to keep up with my usual regular blogging, hoping that we may be able to continue the conversations right where we left them and add a few more!

Thus what are some of the things that I plan to talk about over the course of the next few blog entries in the next couple of months? Well, a whole bunch of stuff for sure! To give you folks a little bit of an idea on what kind of topics I will be covering, here are some of the items I will be sharing my ¢2 about in no particular order, combining them all with some of the rather interesting and relevant stuff I keep bumping into on a regular basis. So, without much further ado, here is what’s coming up in elsua any time soon!:

  • Reports on my recent business trips: Yes, that’s right! Over the last few weeks I have been on the road for a few times, talking to customers about Social Computing within the Enterprise, Social Software Adoption, KM, Collaboration and a bunch of other subjects. So I will be talking about what I learned from those meetings as well as share a bunch of the slides that I have been using all along, now that IBM has got a new wonderful Slideshare channel waiting to be populated with some really cool stuff! hehe
  • Highlights from different conference events I have participated in: Yes, that’s right! I have been doing a bit of travelling as well presenting and attending various different conference events; so, as usual, I am planning on sharing some insights about each and everyone of those events I have participated in, hoping to share some of the major key learnings I have gone through so far. Thus I will be blogging about the recent IBM Software 2010 Congress, about the absolutely wonderful Enterprise 2.0 Summit that took place in Frankfurt in October as well; the IBM World Usability Day Webcast on the topic of The Social Workplace and the amazing Evento Blog 2010 that took place this past weekend in Seville. Lots of highlights to share from each and everyone of them altogether!
  • Highlights from different conference events I didn’t make eventually, but still rather interested in: Another round of blog posts will surely be dedicated to a good number of conference events that although I didn’t make it to any of them, because of other commitments, I was still rather interested in following up with them through the live tweets and extensive blogging coming along. So I will be sharing some further thoughts around the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Santa Clara (Where some major news and announcements were shared altogether!); also about Defrag, the one event that I keep missing time and time again and that I shouldn’t! I know for sure I’ll eventually be making it! But it looked like not this time around …; as well as another event that I keep missing and probably shouldn’t either, specially this year with such an amazingly talented pool of rather insightful and thought-provoking speakers. Just as much as Defrag’s. Of course, I am talking about KMWorld 2010. Can you imagine Enterprise 2.0 and KM coming closer together and become one again?!?! Yes, that’s what I will be talking about, amongst several other interesting happenings in all of those events …

  • Holidays!:  Yay!! Of course, it’s that time of the year for me that I treasure quite a bit as it marks the beginning of my holiday season. So in October I took a couple of days off to visit mainland Spain and do a bit of a tour around to some amazing places like Toledo, Segovia or Aranjuez and in November I took a few days off to enjoy one of those breaks where one tries to unwind and disconnect from everything, which, I think, I succeeded big time! So for all of those various different blog posts that I will be sharing along I will be adding some of the pictures I took, I am still processing most of them, and which will become available shortly in my Flickr stream. Stay tuned for them, because some of them are breath-taking, really making me wish I was a better photographer to do all of those gorgeous places enough justice!

  • #elsuapps: Now that I am back to normal again I will be picking up this hash tag I have been using in Twitter, as well as in this blog, to share my favourite iPad apps that I have been using extensively all along and which I couldn’t live without, specially, now that iOS 4.2 is out! And at the same time I will be sharing a couple of blog posts on how the iPad itself and those apps have changed completely the way I use and interact with the Social Web, while I am on the road! I know a couple of you folks have been asking about it, so I am planning to share some more on that topic, so that you can see where I am coming from …

    At the same time, though, I will be picking up a new theme in this regard; as you may well know, just recently, I acquired an iPhone v4 and have consistently re-introduced myself to the wonderful world of the iPhone Apps that I used to have and which have tremendously improved the way I interact with my iPhone, making it all a whole new experience! So instead of just having iPad Apps, I will also be sharing iPhone Apps; all of them under the same hash tag: #elsuapps. So I am hoping other folks may be able to benefit from that activity as well as perhaps share their favourite picks for both of them! It should be quite good fun!

  • Podcasts: Indeed! Over the last few weeks I have been invited to participate in a good number of podcasting episodes, all of them to talk about Enterprise 2.0, Social Computing, Social Software Adoption, KM, Communities and Learning, so over the next few blog posts I will also be pointing folks to those various different episodes in case you may find them interesting / relevant. 
  • A World Without Email: Of course, I couldn’t forget about this one! How could I? Over the last couple of months I have been having plenty of folks asking me whether I have given up altogether on the whole experiment of living “A World Without Email” coming back from giving up on corporate email for good! The short answer is that I haven’t! I won’t! Ever. It’s here to stay with me for a long while. So I guess we are due, very much, one of those updates where I can share with you folks how things have been going so far and where I am heading with it, since we are approaching, fast and furious, my third year anniversary of having ditched work related email! Quick teasing note for those who may be wondering though … Yes, still going strong with a total reduction to 17 emails received per week, which is great news, specially, when coming back from vacation!

Plus a whole bunch of other stuff, too …! Yes, that’s right! All what I have shared above is just a small fraction of all of the subjects I would want to share in upcoming blog posts. I do realise it is going to keep me busy for a while now, but I think it would be worth it. I need it. I need to get out of my head all of the really cool and insightful stuff I have been exposed to all along and which I think is worth while sharing out there! However, I am going to try something new. You may remember how a while ago I opened up an account at Posterous (You can find it over here); well, I haven’t been doing a really good job at keeping up with it, mainly, because I started to grew the idea that I probably didn’t need it to share lots of other different things eventually… Well, a couple of months later, I think I’m ready to take it for a spin, for the third time, and see if it would work this time around!

Like I said, there are lots of stuff that I would want to share and get out of my text files in my local hard drive, as well as my brain, so that others may potentially benefit from it, so I am planning to make use of Posterous once again to share shorter blog posts, more on target, sharing the odd thought / idea on whatever the topic I am covering within the main themes that are also present in this blog. And at the same time that would also trigger me to write shorter, much more straight to the point blog entries over here, so that I can keep up with the pace of perhaps having multiple articles per day. Some of them will be short, some of them will be slightly longer and, not to worry, there would also be the odd rather lengthy one, like this one, for instance! 😀

Either way, the whole purpose is to try to catch up with that one month and a half of not seeing any posts coming through on to this blog. Yes, indeed, blogs are not dead! For certain! Not yet. At least, not this one! I am very much back and in full force, so it’s time to ramp up some more activity and get back on track catching up with all sorts of happenings! Which brings me on to the next topic … Why have I given the title “Imagine an Island and Then … Come Along! Welcome Back!“? to this article then, right?

Well, very easy, as you may have noticed, over the last few weeks I have been travelling quite a bit, both for work, as well as for some of my holidays, and all along when coming back home, I couldn’t think of anything better than a recent YouTube video clip of a rather popular TV programme, here in Spain, that kind of depicts quite nicely, the kind of place where I live: the Island of Gran Canaria. My home. And, in a way, my coming back to blogging, to this blog, is like coming back to the island, to my island, time and time again. So to give you folks an idea of what it feels like I thought I would close this Welcome Back! entry with the link to the video clip itself, so you can see what I mean. When I first watched through it, I got goose bumps. Big time! The second time that happens to me, actually, after the post I put together back in January this year on a rather similar clip… I am fortunatey, very fortunate…

Watch through the video and you will see what I mean:

Like I said, it’s good to be back! Thanks ever so much for sticking around and let’s do it! Let’s keep up with the conversations! Welcome! 🙂

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MacBook Pro – The Down to Earth Experience

Gran Canaria - In the SpringOnce again, I keep struggling with being connected while travelling on business trips. I guess very little has changed in the last few years … Specially, if it is abroad, outside of the reach from my 3G card(s) which would only work in Spain and for which I wouldn’t want to expose them to massively expensive roaming costs. So, as you can imagine, it’s been a few days, since my last blog post, because, as most of you know already, I just got back, over the weekend, from another one of those biz trips. This time around to Germany. This time around to talk about Enterprise 2.0 and social software adoption, community building, something called Knowledge Management 2.0” and, of course, living “A World Without Email“. I am now back to the office, business as usual, therefore resuming my regular blogging activities…

Now, over the course of the next few blog posts, I will be sharing plenty of insights on the outcome of those various workshops I did with this particular customer, more than anything because most of the conversations we had over the course of three days were just wonderful and worth while sharing across! I do hope as well that I may be capable of sharing some of the slideware and recordings that we managed to put together during the course of those couple of days… But for now I thought I would share with you folks something that, before leaving for Germany, made me remember why, despite the years gone by, I still hate computers. Any computer, no matter what the operating system…

But first, let me share with you over here one of those hilarious YouTube videos that one gets to bump into every so often and which, I am sure, you can relate to quite a bit, specially, if, in this case, you are one of those people who uses a computer, regardless of the operating system and are not too sure about whether it would make a difference one way or another… I should probably share it across as one of those Friday Fun activities, but, to be honest, I have been having one of those days today, on a Monday, and I could surely do with a good laugh or two! So here it comes …

And this is where most of you folks out there would relate to it. If you have watched the video already, my story relates to about minute 1:05 of the short video clip… Last week Wednesday, as I was about to make my way to Germany for that business trip I mentioned above, I experienced something, for the first time in three years, that surely brought me some not so good memories. Yes, indeed, for the first time ever, my nearly two year old MacBook Pro (Second one I have had so far, after the first one year experience with an older model …) decided to let me down and go with one of those kernel panic crashes that surely provoked quite a scare on yours truly!

Yes, I found out about 2 hours before leaving for the airport that my MacBook Pro crashed, for whatever the reason (Wish all computers would be a whole lot more helpful at throwing back at your really weird error messages!) forcing me to go through a hard, cold restart fearing for the worst! Unfortunately, it was far too late to fire up Time Machine to save a last backup before leaving. Fortunately, I could restart the Mac and hope for the best. This time around, it seems to have worked. I was on the road for the following few days, and the problem didn’t come back! Phew!

Too close, indeed! To the point where I think I may have nailed it down to what may have appeared to have been the problem (A specific software application I had to uninstall and re-install again). Thus, over the weekend, I decided to take things further and, at least, have a more recent backup through Time Machine, so, if worse comes to worse, I would only lose a couple of days or so or work.

To be honest with you, I am not too worried, since I have now got that safe copy (If you can ever say so!) of the critical data I would want to keep further, since most of the other stuff is already backed up anyway, with all of those other applications in the cloud I keep using on a daily basis. I think the main issues though are the various different things I learned from that overall rather stressful experience, which I think would worry me over time if things continue to behave like that with those kernel panics. Specially, these:

  • No matter how cool and efficient / effective Macs are, they will also fail eventually! In this case, I’m just waiting for mine to die off a slow and painful death after two short years of somewhat intensive work. I bet it will have its time a week after the two year guarantee expires (In a couple of months from now… And, if you don’t believe me, watch this space … I can feel it!)
  • You can never tire of having a more recent backup of your critical data! Indeed, over the course of the weekend, I realised I did my last backup copy over six months ago! So when I booted up my Time Capsule I had over 60GB of data waiting for me to be backed up! So guess what Time Machine did for the last 24 hours … Yes, 24 hours non stop!! (Yes, happy to now have that one safe copy a bit more up to date…)
  • I must move all remaining critical data from my Mac into the cloud! Yes, I know and fully realise that most of my critical data, both work and personal related, are already up in the cloud, but not entirely. So scares like this one would surely help me get moving with a couple of new experiments I have been toying for the last few weeks, but which never found their place. Well, maybe this experience will help me make the jump … (Don’t worry, I will be blogging about them shortly, too!)
  • Need to start relying more and more on the iPad as my backup machine! More than anything else, because, after all, it’s not really a computer and, as such, it may not fail as badly as computers in general do! Who knows! I was on the brink on relying on it entirely altogether and travel light. But, eventually, I didn’t. I guess for my next one I’ll give it a go all the way to see if I can finally say good-bye to rely so much on standard computing power. And perhaps make it all last for a little bit longer! I have already managed to do with my 3G iPhone, so this could well work out! What do you think?
  • And, finally, computers, ALL computers, for that matter, will always suck! Whether it’s a software failure, or a hardware one (where the hard disk fails miserably, or the fans run out, or whatever else!) I have, at long last, realised that all computers will eventually fail to meet your demands and, as a result of that, make you lose critical information along the way. Even Macs! Even though it may have taken me three years to realise such potential failure I’m glad it’s happened when I could still recover, so I can prepare better for the next time, because you never know, right?, whenever you would have to experience another hard, cold restart. MacBook Pros are not invincible, unbreakable or … perfect!

It took me three years to bump into such conclusion, where one acknowledges that Macs are just as erratic and problematic to provide you that unique computing experience as all other computers out there. Yes, it may have taken me three years, but somehow I am sensing that very shortly I’ll be experiencing it again. Hopefully, this time around I will be slightly better prepared … Fingers crossed the damage would be minimal!

Oh, in case you are wondering whether I’m contemplating a potential switch from Mac to Windows or Linux, despite the hiccup(s), the answer would be the same one: once a Mac, always a Mac! There’s no way back! It is just that from now onwards, my everlasting idealistic Mac computing experience would be a bit more down to earth. Where it should have always been, after all … Because, sooner or later, without remedy, it will break. Like it did last week Wednesday… Time to wake up into reality!


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Enterprise 2.0 Conference Highlights – Finally, Decent Internet Access

Gran Canaria - In the SpringAs mentioned in yesterday’s blog post, I’m now ready to start sharing with you folks a number of different articles that I have been drafting together over the last few weeks around the topic of some of the major highlights from the recent Enterprise 2.0 conference event I attended in Boston, MA in mid-June. Like I have mentioned elsewhere, this time around, I think I’m going to spread around the various articles, mixing them with some other stuff that has been in my mind lately as well, in order to perhaps try to avoid those massively long posts that I put together in previous years and which eventually were somehow more difficult to read and digest. Hopefully, this time around I may be able to put something together much more dynamic. Let’s see…

Before I get things rolling, I thought I would put together this initial entry though to highlight what, to me, has been one of the absolute major highlights from the entire event to date. One that will surely mark a before and an after this year’s event. One that is surely going to put a whole load of pressure on other technical conferences out there as a living and undeniable proof that it is possible to do it right. It is possible to come up with a strategy to provide what most of us find essential nowadays to try to get the most out of a tech event such as #e2conf. Of course, I am talking about finally being capable of providing, and getting!, some Decent Internet Access for conference attendees.

That’s right! And what an amazing experience that was, wasn’t it? I know that in previous years I have been one of those rather critical, and skeptic, perhaps too critical at times, voices airing out such pet peeve of mine as that one of attending such high profiled technical event expecting to have a good, stable, scalable and reliable wi-fi connection, but year in year out failing to deliver. Well, not this year!

This has been my third year in a row that I have been attending the Enterprise 2.0 event in Boston. And so far it’s been one of the best held thus far, as far as the logistics are concerned; mostly because of having had, throughout the entire week!, a rock solid wi-fi connection throughout the venue of the conference itself; something that last year, for instance, didn’t happen very often, as I mentioned over at Enterprise 2.0 Conference Highlights – A Proposal for DIA.

I think Steve Wylie himself had a rather strong sense of pride, when at the end of the conference he was collecting some great feedback from attendees who were commending, praising and showing off, to some extent, that the wi-fi connection, finally, was just outstanding! I was one of them, too! … I can’t blame him for that sense of pride. I would have, too, if I were him. It was just terrific! Without a single glitch (At least, that I could experiment myself throughout the few days that the event lasted) and rather fast as well!

The best thing about such robust wi-fi connection throughout the event was that, for the first time ever, I had the great opportunity to live tweet the various different keynote and speaker sessions I attended from my own Twitter id: @elsua, helping quite a bit, spread the message around for those folks who were attending live, but in other sessions, or those other people who couldn’t make it to the event altogether, but who were following virtually from the comfort of their remote location(s).

What a blast! The feedback received during the event’s live tweeting I did was wonderful and a clear inspiration for upcoming events! Those live tweets I shared over the course of 3 to 4 days gave me an opportunity, too, to take plenty of live notes about the various different sessions I attended, as well as all of the additional commentary I tried to inject here and there. And, once again, let me tell you, that whole experience of being connected throughout the entire event gave me confidence to come back for more in the near future. And without any frustrations or skepticism. It made such a huge difference! For the better, of course!

A bit over a year ago I put together some sort of a manifesto for Decent Internet Access for tech conference events in general and, in particular for #e2conf; I was rather upset and disappointed that, once again, technology failed us to provide the best of experiences for such events. A year has gone by, another #e2conf has taken place and it is with great pleasure that I can share with you folks over here that yes! it is possible to enjoy such robust DIA without having to suffer too much in the process. This year it was, finally, a dream come true!

And, like I said at the beginning, the pressure is now ON for other tech conference events (Even IBM related ones, like Lotusphere 2011), because if Steve Wylie’s team have managed to make it work for such relevant tech conference, there is no longer an excuse for anyone else that it cannot work altogether. Eric Norlin, from Defrag, kicked things off by proving it is possible to provide such good quality wi-fi experience. The #e2conf conference event folks have not only consolidated such leadership from Defrag, but at the same time they have validated that, after all, if you put together the right level of investment as well as resources, energy, effort, talent, commitment and involvement to make it work, it will eventually do so!

So from here onwards, I just want to share across a big and special Thanks!! to Steve and his team at #e2conf for providing a superb and unsurpassed wi-fi experience throughout. I am really glad it all worked out all right and I can’t wait for the next time that I may be around, because I do know that I would no longer need to worry about a slow, clunky, random, weak connection. Quite the opposite! Raising the bar towards a clear and unprecedented commitment to participants to help enhance their conference attendance providing such stunning connectivity capabilities! Thanks ever so much, Steve! Well done!!

(Next blog post will cover the highlights from the pre-conference event, which, this year, was one of my favourites, compared to previous years, but one step at a time …)

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X Seminario Compartim – Las Organizaciones en la Epoca de la Participacion y las Redes Sociales por Luis Suarez

Gran Canaria - In the SpringFor a good few months plenty of people have been contacting me, mostly offline, asking whether I participate in Spanish speaking conference events where they could hear some of the very same stories I have been sharing over here in this blog for a long while now on the topics of KM, Social Computing, Collaboration, Communities & Learning. Specially, when related to how IBM has been going through a massive transformation with its wider adoption of social software, both inside and outside of the firewall. Up until now, my answers were rather limited, since most of those events were of a rather private nature, mostly customer workshops. Well, not anymore!

Indeed, over the last few weeks, couple of months, actually, I have had the great opportunity to participate in a number of Spanish speaking events where I have been presenting on these very same topics and at the same time I’m now in a position to share with you folks both the presentation materials, as well as the recordings of the pitches I have done. So people out there may now have a chance to listen to plenty of the stuff I have talked about over here for the last few years, including living "A World Without Email", and make some sense of it, if Spanish is their preferred language.

So, over the next few days I will start sharing some of those presentation links, as well as the recordings themselves, and that way folks would have an opportunity to get a taster of the kind of work I do, but in my mother tongue: Spanish hehe. Yes, it’s going to be lots of fun; here I am putting together this blog post in English that will talk about a recent presentation I did in Spanish on the topic of "Social Networking for Business"; English being the default language from this blog from the very beginning. Perhaps one day I will create another entry explaining why…

Either way, the links and the recordings, I guess, would also be helpful for those folks who may want to polish their Spanish skills, as well as get a grasp of the kind of flow I usually go through when tackling these topics. To get things going I’m going to start with the most recent event I presented at and which took place last week, while I was in Barcelona, Spain.

A couple of months back I was invited by my good friend Jesús Martínez Marín (From the Centre d’Estudis Jurídics i Formació Especialitzada del Departament de Justícia de la Generalitat de Catalunya) to go to Barcelona and speak at the X Seminario Compartim about the topic of "Las Organizaciones en la Epoca de la Participacion y las Redes Sociales" ("Organisations in the Age of Participation and Social Networks"), where I could spend a few minutes talking about the kind of impact that social computing and social software tools have been having in such a large organisation as IBM, specially in helping change rather quickly how we share our knowledge across and collaborate in order to help accelerate not only how we innovate, but also how we have been capable of augmenting our own day to day productivity levels.

At the same time, he invited me to share what some of my experiences have been like, over the last three and a half years, with regards to living "A World Without Email". What I have learned, what it has meant for me as an individual, as well as the organisation itself, what it has been like shifting conversations away from email into social open spaces, in short, to share some thoughts on whether it’s worth it, or not, giving up on corporate email.

Of course, as you can imagine, I couldn’t say "No!" to such kind offer, don’t you think? So I accepted and last week, on June 29th, I participated on a rather interesting, and thought provoking, morning event, along with a few other folks. You would be able to check out some of the various presentations used over at the following Slideshare URL address; and if you would want to check out some of the recordings, you would be able to find them all over at the DepartmentJusticia YouTube channel, which I can certainly recommend going through, if you haven’t done so just yet.

Lots of great content shared across by folks like Francesca Cañas (With a wonderful case study on EndoBlocLleida ), Joan Torrent-Sellens (Talking about Organisations in the New Knowledge Economy), Sandra Sanz (I particularly enjoyed her presentation on "Elements to Cultivate Communities of Practice") and, finally, David Rodríguez Gómez (With another rather insightful presentation on Factors that Influence the Creation and Management of Knowledge).

The presentation I did can also be found in Slideshare at the following URL link, which I will be embedding over here as well, so, if you are interested, you can start playing it as you may see fit:

And if you are interested as well in listening to my pitch for this time around, in Spanish, of course, as mentioned above, here you have got the direct link to it and here is the embedded version:

The YouTube video clip lasts for a bit over 1 hour and 20 minutes, and my presentation starts around the 3rd minute or so. And from there onwards, you would be able to see what I have meant with "Social Networking for Business", as well as living "A World Without Email" all along…

Finally, if you would want to do some additional reading about the outcome of the presentation and several of its highlights I would recommend you take a look into the following wonderful blog posts put together by Marta Estella under "De com un dinosaure a la xarxa es converteix en pardal", Miquel Duran under "Compartim: organitzacions, participació i xarxes" (who included as well some of the live tweeting that went on during the presentations…) and Núria Vives Leal under "X Seminari Compartim" (All articles in Catalan), amongst several others … and which have been rather faithful in capturing some of the major highlights from the entire event. Thanks much, folks, for such wonderful blog posts! 🙂

(From here onwards, just wanted to take this opportunity to share a special thanks! with Jesús Martínez for his kind invitation to participate in such a fantastic event and for helping me feel at home in one of my favourite cities! Many many thanks, Jesús, for all your help and for your support! It’s very much appreciated! And hope to see you soon again!)

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