January 17, 2008

Bulk view

social networking

All that’s needed to turn me from an introvert to a people person is the ability to skip small talk, at least in the beginning. Thank you, Internet!

Take today, for example. I was working on a wiki guide to social media on a client site when I heard a cheery voice introduce himself and say that he found me on a social network. A few minutes later, I was deep in conversation with someone I’d never met or even talked to before. He had noticed that my client contact had added me on LinkedIn, and that I was from IBM. Intrigued, he checked out my profile and read my blog. He was baffled by the Emacs posts, but he noticed my passion for social computing, and that was something that he was very interested in. We talked about knowledge management, technology adoption, influencing behavior, the different initiatives going on at the company. I recommended two books:

Influencer: The Power to Change Anything
by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, Al SwitzlerRead more about this book…
The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling: Mastering the Art and Discipline of Business Narrative
by Stephen DenningRead more about this book…

… and I’m definitely looking forward to more conversations.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if people in his company—and in other companies—could meet and talk to other people as easily as he found and talked to me? Wouldn’t it be great if people could skip past all the small talk and build rapport by talking about the things people are passionate about?

Emacs: Searching your notes

C-s (isearch-forward) and C-r (isearch-backward) are two of the most useful Emacs keyboard shortcuts you’ll ever learn. To search forward interactively, type C-s (isearch-forward) and the first few characters of your search. Repeat C-s (isearch-forward) as necessary, or type in more characters to jump to the first instance that matches all those characters. Use these shortcuts to not only search your Org file, but also to quickly jump to sections. For example, I often search for headlines by typing C-s (isearch-forward) * start-of-my-headline. Org searches collapsed sections, so you don’t need to open everything before searching.

To search using Org’s outline structure, use C-c / r (org-sparse-tree, regexp), which will show only entries matching a regular expression. For more information about regular expressions, read the Emacs info manual entry on Regexps. Here are a few examples:

To find Search for
All entries containing "cat" cat
All entries that contain "cat" as a word by itself (example: "cat," but not "catch") \<cat\>
All entries that contain 2006, 2007, or 2008 200[678]