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

Work Life Integration

Welcome to InnovationJam!

Well, after fully recovering from the user generated error from last week, here I am again, back in full force, ready to share some thoughts about some of the things that are going on in my mind at the moment. I must say that I mentioned earlier on that I thought I would go ahead and post something over the weekend but the weather has been rather nice to ignore it. So I didn’t. It looks like though the beginning of this week is actually going to be an exciting one and with plenty of events to look forward to. But perhaps one of them is the one that is going to catch my attention big time, even though not many people have been talking about it too much thus far. Yes, indeed, IBM is, for the first time ever, going to hold the first Global InnovationJam, an online event that lasts for three uninterrupted days where IBMers, business partners, customers and family members get to jam in and share their ideas in four different Forums:

The purpose of the event is to bring innovation forward in each of those different topic areas by allowing a huge amount of folks to chime in and share their ideas and collaborate with other folks, wherever they may be, in order to try to bring forward some of the best ideas for each different Forum. You can find all of the information about the Jam itself at the Introduction. You can read from there as well how then around the September timeframe there would be another follow up event in order to collaborate into how to bring forward into practice some of those best ideas that would get discussed over the next three days. Oh, yes, the Global InnovationJam starts later on today and although I usually don’t spend much time talking about IBM stuff I think that you would agree that this is one of those worldwide events that could change the way we see and do things. At least, given the nature of the four different Forums in place, that is what I expect is going to happen over the next 72 hours, starting later on today at 10am EST.

As you may have seen, this is not the same kind of event as the Habitat Jam that took place not long ago and where everyone could register and participate. In this particular case it looks like it would be only down to IBMers, their customers, business partners and family members. I would have wanted it to be open to everyone. However, I still foresee lots of great conversations and discussions will come out of the event. I am sure. And I will be certainly spending some time over there over the next three days just jamming in with the rest of the folks out there who want to help make a difference and bring innovation one step further. I will probably get a chance to weblog about the event itself once it goes live thus if you would want to read some more on it, stay tuned !

Also another reason why I will be hanging out at the Global InnovationJam is because I am really curious as to how IBM is planning to make use of Emerging Technologies, like weblogs, wikis and social bookmarking, amongst others, in order to help spark some more conversations to take place where different folks from different backgrounds get together to share and collaborate in moving forward with those ideas during the course of the next three days. Thus I better get ready and start preparing myself for the event of events, the one that will certainly help people make a connection with a relevant topic in today’s world and stick to it. So let’s jam!

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

0 votes
Read More »

Woophy – Where the World in Pictures Meets Everyone

Yes, folks, this is one of the places where I am going to be hanging out for the next few weeks. A colleague of mine at work just shared over in our internal weblogging network this really fine web site that I have been checking out for the last couple of hours and that has got me hooked. It is called Woophy and it puts together something so simple yet so effective: you get to share your favourite pictures from the different places you have been to, or that you would be interested in, or that you would want to share with others. In short, you get to share pictures in a world map. How simple is that? Yes, I know, very. And perhaps that is the actual beauty from the overall offering. Or is it perhaps the huge amount of great pictures that people have been sharing already? I tell you, once you start checking out the web site you would just want to chime in and share your best photos with the community of folks who have been hanging about all along.

Woophy has got also a news section where you can see what is happening with the service along with checking out on some of the great snapshots that people have been sharing thus far. I know it would be really nice if it would be having RSS feeds, and I guess that is coming, but certainly just checking out the news section will get you sticking around for some time. Then you have got the Forum where you can interact with other members of the community about the Woophy experience. There is even a contest whether they would be gathering “a collection of pictures portraying the diversity of life on our planet“, so that would also be a nice incentive to get you going. Although I am sure that after you have hanged out on the web site for a little while you would see that it is actually worth while the experience just browsing through the thousands and thousands of photos available already.

One of the nicest things about the whole experience is how you can actually help on the community building aspects by being able to leave comments on different pictures, or by actually rating a picture, or sending it to others or just simply by checking how many folks have already visited that particular snapshot. Pretty neat that instant notification of how much people are interested in your pictures or not. Then, finally, if you would be interested in a particular picture you have the opportunity to see it in full screen displaying up to 1280 pixels which actually makes for a very nice picture, at least, from the ones I have seen already.

As I said, quite an interesting offering that I would be spending some time on. Of course, I had to go into it and create an account: elsua. Thus you can get over there and search for all of the pictures I have been sharing already thus far. There will be some more coming up but for the time being I certainly want to recommend to you that if want to check some of the most amazing pictures head over there and start enjoying the Woophy experience. Oh, and not to worry, there are actually quite a lot more features available but I would let you discover those by yourselves while you head to the homepage. And then from there I am sure that you would be whoopying around like all of us for quite some time …

Oh, and in case you are wondering if I am going to stop sharing pictures in my Flickr account like I have been doing so far, that is actually not going to happen. At least, not for the time being. I will be sharing some of the best pictures I have shared in Flickr (And many more!) over there, in Woophy, but I will also continue to share some more as usual. Thus time to have some more fun !

Technorati Tags: , , ,

0 votes
Read More »

Blame It on the Weather!

You would expect that having had a day off today (And tomorrow, too!) I would have had plenty more time to write a couple of weblog entries over here to share some other interesting ideas that have been crossing up my mind lately, but alas that will not be the case, at least, it doesn’t look like it would be like that for today. We shall see what happens tomorrow. The weather has been rather nice, once again, and after having spent most of the day in Arguineguin and Little Venice (Goodness! I really like that place, I tell you, folks) I just got home in order to get ready to leave again. Yes, I know what you would be thinking by now 😉

Yes, folks, that is what days off at work do to you, and some lovely weather, too ! Thus there would be some light weblogging ahead for the next couple of days. But don’t worry because earlier on this morning, before I left, I was working already on a couple of rounds of some incredible pictures that I have taken in the last couple of weeks from several different places, including from the recent trip I did to Madrid, and since I have neglected sharing some of them over here I will go ahead and add some more whenever I find some free time to do it. For the time being, I think I am going to enjoy these couple of days off and catch up with life. After all, there is more to life than just weblogging on a daily basis, right? I shall be back soon!

Technorati Tags: ,

0 votes
Read More »

Laura’s Winning Ideas – How to Prevent Burnout

Last week, while I was away from the office, and even though I had the intention of talking about it, I missed out on the weekly blog boost from the LinkedIn bloggers group I am part of for a number of weeks now. I thought I would be able to talk briefly about it but in the end I couldn’t manage it. More to come on that later. However, with all that said, here we go with another Wednesday, another blog boost. And this time around the lucky winner is Laura’s Winning Ideas by Laura Ricci. I must say that Laura has put together an interesting weblog to follow up on if you are into the creation of proposals that would sell themselves to your customers. Worth while subscribing to for those interested, to say the least.

However, what struck me the most was one of the very last weblog posts she has created around the subject of How to Prevent Burnout. While reading through it I just couldn’t help nodding about some of the great tips she has shared over there regarding how you can avoid reaching beyond the stage of burnout. In particular the one on taking a 20 minute nap throughout the day. Reason why I have enjoyed that particular tip is because it reminded of a weblog post I created some time ago around the same subject: Power Napping for Improved Productivity, where I referenced Power Napping for Increased Productivity, Stress Management and Health by Elizabeth Scott.

I must say that I not always take advantage of such naps, or siestas, whatever name you would want to make use of, but I tell you something, whenever I can I try to go for one of them and I cannot stress out enough how re-energising they can be. It makes you feel like you could go for the rest of the day with the same energy as in the early morning. I have been trying to go with this tip for quite some time now and it surely makes you feel completely different. In case you haven’t tried it out, you should. I guess this is one of those worth while tips following up on and I am glad that Laura feels the same way as well. I actually found out throughout the years that they are great specially when you are travelling to different conference events with very long and intensive agendas from the early morning till the late evening. There is nothing like a 20 minute nap in the middle of the afternoon to then be able to respond to such demanding events throughout the whole day. I tried it out back again while I was at the TLE event in Madrid and will certainly repeat it in whatever the next event that I may get to attend. And believe me, you should do it, too. You would thank me for it later.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

0 votes
Read More »

Susan’s The Artsy Asylum – Blogging Did It Again!

Like every Wednesday, here I go with the weekly exercise from the LinkedIn Bloggers’ blog boost. As you may have been able to read all along since I got started with this, every week a randomly chosen weblog gets to be promoted by the entire group of LinkedIn Bloggers in order to bring some further visibility and also as a way to help further on the community building aspects of the group by learning a bit more from other community members through their own weblogs. And this week’s winner has just actually allowed me to do that. Help me get to know other community members that I never thought I would be able to. And even better when this week’s pick hasn’t got anything to do with Knowledge Management, Communities of Practice, Collaboration or Social Networking per se: i.e. the main themes from elsua. But certainly has got a lot to do with another subject that I haven’t touched based with in some time now: Work / Life Balance.

This week’s blog boost goes to Susan ReynoldsThe Artsy Asylum. As you will be able to read Susan is an artist, a writer and a consultant and while spending some time reading off her weblog I found it quite inspiring and interesting some of the topics that she covers regarding the arts in general. You may think that her weblog may be a bit too crowded but it is certainly very easy on the eyes and quite a pleasant read. At least, that is the impression you will get after you navigate through it for some time. All those pale shades, the lovely colours put together and the like do certainly have a soothing effect. And then you bump into little gems like the video clip she has shared as part of her weblog template and created over at One True Media.

And from there onwards you realise what you will be busy with during the course of this Easter vacation. Indeed, One True Media sounds like a worth while option to give it a try and create some montages or photo books based on the different pictures that I have been sharing all along in the Photography category. So thanks to Susan and her weblog I will be able to play around with this new to me offering and see how well it would produce those montages or photo books. And in the process I will continue with my everlasting learning process of shooting some great shots from the place I live.

Thus it turns out that instead of a blog boost, which I am hoping it will happen as well anyway, I found some really nice tips from Susan that I never expected would happen this way. This certainly clearly indicates to me the real power of weblogging as a learning tool. There is always something out there that you would be able to learn and get busy with and Susan just gave me that perfect opportunity to give a try to One True Media. And, of course, don’t worry. Once I am done with it, during the course of the weekend, I will share with you folks my experiences on this wonderful and exciting, yet widely unknown to me, multimedia world. Thanks, Susan !

Technorati Tags: , , ,

0 votes
Read More »

The High Cost of Interruptions

Just today, as I was surfing away on the Internet looking for some information related to communities and their complex interactions I bumped, quite by chance, like it usually happens, with a very interesting article that even though it is several months old it is still very relevant today and it makes for a good and interesting reading and worth while a weblog post. This one.

The article itself is titled The High Cost of Interruptions and it has been published in KMWorld. It comes to talk how disruptive interruptions could be for the knowledge worker and how it is becoming increasingly more difficult to manage those interruptions in order to continue being productive. Indeed, it looks like attention management is an art and as such it would require some effort to be able to master it effectively. I think we would all recognise and identify very much with the article itself, even more if we are currently involved working in multiple teams / communities. I bet that more than once you have received multiple IM sessions, or several urgent e-mails that would require your attention almost immediately, or a phone call that has been on hold for a while already, or all of a sudden somebody knocks on the door wanting to ask something. Sounds familiar, right?

Well, in a world where we seem to constantly get interrupted by a number of different things in order to get our work done, it is always a good reminder to read articles like The High Cost of Interruptions as they clearly indicate that at the end of the day no matter what type of interruptions we are currently being faced with (Whether they are total, dominant, partial or background interruptions) we are always the ones in control; just like one of my colleagues wrote over at her Intranet weblog and which I think would be a very appropriate quote to counteract the effect of the article itself:

We create our own distractions and just need to learn to manage them

Indeed, we are the ones who need to learn how to manage them so that instead of being interruptions they would be transformed and considered productive work. I do not think that there is such a thing as a “good” or “bad” interruption. I just think that we may not have learned how to manage them in such a environment that would then allow us to turn them into some productive work. Think, for instance, in the case where you may be working with a team / community and you get those interruptions. In principle, if managed well, they can be very useful because they would introduce a very powerful component in helping build those relationships with your peers in order to collaborate much closer and, perhaps, much more effectively as well. Negotiating and managing those interruptions with your colleagues would certainly be probably one of those key components that would allow people to build up on their social capital skills, which, as we know, it is one of the success factors from any community, whether they are just getting started or a mature community.

So how are you managing that social capital within your teams / communities ? Are your knowledge workers having the feeling they are not being productive, or, on the contrary, do they feel that engaging in those interruptions is productive to them as well to those who originate them since it allows them to collaborate closer with one another ? I think that interruptions can certainly be very damaging if they are not managed properly. However, they can also be very strong enablers to establish multiple and more complex levels of interactions both in teams and in communities. And perhaps that is not such a bad thing, is it?

Technorati Tags: , , ,

3 votes
Read More »