November 7, 2006

Oct 30, 2006 to Nov 5, 2006

November 7, 2006 - Categories: weekly
School and learning

I spent the week steadily working on various school deliverables – CAS
project report, KMD2004 essay on open source in developing countries,
and MIE1402 readings.

I enjoyed spending time with Simon, too. Hack night on November 1 was
*tons* of fun. We learned a lot about Google Maps and PostgreSQL’s
geometric functions. It was so much fun pair-learning. We could keep
each other on task, and my breadth of background was helpful. We
should do that again with something else, like Ruby.

I also had a terrific time having hot chocolate with John Oxley. I’m
starting to figure out what I want in a job.

Somewhere in between, I found the time to write Emacs Lisp code to
produce a contact report for September and October.
I also tweaked my blog design to be a little simpler and cleaner.

People

It was a very good week in terms of people. Over the week, I sent out
lots of cards. I figured that, well, I have all this blank
stationery lying around… I might as well use it. Having stamps on
hand certainly helps! I need to buy another pack of US and
international stamps.

Simon came over on Monday just to hang out and breathe. As previously
mentioned, Hack Night on Wednesday was tons of fun. And he visited
again on Saturday to take care of me while I was sick… =) There,
see, he does make time.

Halloween parties were fun, too. I got to hang out with Leigh and her
friends. The red leather dress (“So this is the famous red leather
dress?” – Leigh) got a number of compliments. =) I told them how my
mom picked it out for me, and some of the other things my mom’s asked
me to try out… <laugh>

I had a three-hour conversation with my mom over Skype. We initially
had problems with feedback between her speakers and microphone, but we
sorted that out when she plugged in earphones. Voice quality was
pretty good. It was great chatting with her about the different things
that were going on, and my dad had an interesting theory about
Microsoft’s interest in me. ;) You’ll have to ask me about it; it’s
unbloggable.

I was too sick to go to Andrew Burke‘s
housewarming party or Joey de Villa‘s
birthday party, but I called with regrets as soon as I recovered.

The week ended with a wonderful dinner at the McGuffins. Michael
turned 30. Seeing them reminded me that I need to spend more time with
those folks – I like them a lot.

A very good week indeed. =)

WeeklyReport

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Tom Purves, Enterprise 2.0 overview

November 7, 2006 - Categories: barcamp, enterprise2.0

I’m at Enterprise2.0Camp right now. Tom Purves
gave a good overview of what Enterprise 2.0 is and what it means for
businesses. “Social media” is fine for Web 2.0, but it raises eyebrows
in business. Tom suggested “tacit media” as a better term, and went
into more detail.

Bryce Johnson pointed out a difference
between barcamp.org wiki and usabilitycamp.org wiki – barcamp wiki was
where organization happened, whereas usabilitycamp wiki happened after
the organization. Tom shared something from Office 2.0: “A blank wiki
is a room without chairs.” (Esther Dyson)

Comments: Seeding a wiki can affect how it goes. Any best practices?
Tom suggested deliberately making small mistakes, which encourages
people to look for how to edit it. Another person points out that this
also lowers the psychological barrier to entry – things don’t have to
be perfect. There are social issues, though, such as implied
permissions. Bob Logan pointed out that you can’t design emergence.
Alex Petrov noted that you can’t predict innovation if you’re going
bottoms-up. Tom acknowledged the loss of control, but talked about
unorganizations that emerge as well.

Another person explicitly distinguished between innovation and
collaboration. Innovation is never really been successful without some
sort of direction, he continues. A wiki is like a blank piece of
paper, which is difficult to work with. Tom replied that collaboration
is a good stepping stone toward innovation or the dispersion of
innovation. The first person continued that R&D expenditure has no
correlation to the performance of the company. Innovation is a very
different function than collaboration. Another person talked about
skunkworks and the possible value of having a skunkworks wiki, which
could be a very powerful tool. Greg Van Alstyne supported Tom’s point
that innovation requires diffusion and adoption, and differentiated
innovation from invention. You have to see it happening in a network.
The person beside him talked about emergence and levels of complexity.

Another person talked about the nature of a corporation as a tree
structure, push instead of pull. You have to fuse them together. Tom
wondered if wikis need critical mass, and if the software isn’t as
good as they thought.

Deb brought the conversation back to the empty wiki. Anything
successful has at the core of it a real problem, so that people have a
motivation to do whatever. Carsten pointed out that it needs to be
appropriate. Bryce brought up the idea of voice. Tom agreed that
different kinds of media fit different tasks.
Brent Ashley pointed out that there’s a
certain constituency of the population who are going to be involved.
So we need to draw out the people in the organization who would be
good adopters of these tools, so that the tools will be built by
people who care about it. Tom agreed absolutely. Firestoker saying:
“Learn to stop worrying and love your 1%.” Rohan said that the key is
to make sure that something there is important. People don’t want to
be left behind. As long as what’s on the wiki is a hobby thing, then
they’re not going to go there. Jevon of Firestoker: A moment of
crisis. Work gets done and operational efficiencies come into play. In
that moment of crisis, it’s a chance for leadership to let go and give
up some of their silos. It’s after that point that we see innovation
and collaboration really come into play, because that’s when people
trust the space. Carsten: I think what makes collaboration
unattractive is the lack of integration. The browser is the great
equalizer. [But it's not integrated into the applications that I live
in, like Outlook]. Maybe the wiki is not all that appropriate or
practical.

Jevon: Story about Big 5 banks. They had computers in managers’
offices, but no one was reading e-mail because computers were handled
by their secretaries. Then the CEO sent the final paper memo, and then
everyone used e-mail.

Person: If you build technology that does not conform to the way
people behave, no one will use it. Noted problem with signup wiki. UX
experience is the story. The experience of using a device should
complement what you want to use it for.

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