January 11, 2010

La-Z-Boy cinemas, massages, and seafood

January 11, 2010 - Categories: life, philippines, sketches

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It’s not like a trip home to the Philippines means stocking up on cheap export overruns or taking advantage of pricing differences. Gadgets are more expensive here. Clothes are about the same price and I’m shifting towards sewing my own anyway, so I only buy comfortable styles that I’ve not been able to find in Canada. (Jockey V-neck shirts for ~CAD 5, yay.)

Instead, I make time for massages, facials, and movies watched from a La-Z-Boy. I drink all the mango shakes and fresh coconut juices I can get, enjoying the sweet coconut flesh for dessert. I fill up on riotous laughter with my barkada and stock up on memories with my family.

Globalization is funny when you’re here and there regularly. Stuff becomes less important, and experiences matter more.

Information gardening tasks

January 11, 2010 - Categories: web2.0, work

A large part of my work involves capturing and organizing information. It takes a surprising lot of time and thought. Here are some of the things I do:

I do that across multiple tools (Wikis, Communities, TeamRooms, Activities, e-mail), with a team of mixed early, mainstream and late adopters and changing communities of learners.

I think of this as information gardening. I can’t architect a beautiful information structure from the beginning. I don’t know what the final result will look like. All I can do is support, organize, water, tie, and prune. I have to find out what paths people use, then pave them to make finding things a little easier.

It’s not easy. It’s less engaging or measurable than programming, where you can track your progress by the defects you close and the features you build. But it creates a lot of value and helps scale up the effect of our group’s work. Why do I do it?

How am I learning about this? Mostly through inspiration, practice, and reflection. I collect examples of well-organized wikis and I talk to other teams who use combinations of tools. I handle my team members’ requests and questions, and I think about how we can organize things better.

If you want your team to get more value out of social tools and knowledge sharing, you’ll probably need someone doing work like this.

Anyone else doing this? Want to share notes?