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Archive for September, 2006

why people don’t use collaboration tools

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Shawn Callahan’s post on why people don’t use collaboration tools following a post by David Pollard

Collaboration tools work best when your collaborators are geographically distributed and in other time zones and I wonder how many teams have that as a situation? Sure, globalisation is spreading and small, nimble operators are connecting using these tools, but how many large corporations are active users? I know IBM is and I would imagine technology firms would be at the vanguard. I was surprised however when PriceWaterhouseCoopers consultants arrived in IBM because there were unfamiliar with collaboration tools and disinterested in using them.

It works best when all the collaborators are equally enthusiastic and capable in using the tool. It just takes a handful of influential members of a team to stop using the tool for the tool to be abandoned.

The majority of people in organisations are baby boomers (I’m not sure this is true) and haven’t been brought up in environment using collaboration tools. I was in a pub the other day meeting our complexity group and I overheard a small group of people in their 20s and 30s talking about the MySpace interactions. These people already know how to use the tools and will expect them in the workplace.

From Dave’s Post:

  • Most people are still unfamiliar with the tools in the middle and right columns. 
  • Many of these tools are unintuitive and hence not easy to learn to use. 
  • The way you have to use these tools is not the way most people converse and collaborate, i.e. they’re awkward.
  • Most people have poor listening, communication and collaboration skills, and these tools don’t solve (and can exacerbate) this underlying problem of ineffective interpersonal skills.
  • The training materials for these tools don’t match the way most of us learn and discover (i.e. by doing, by watching others, and iteratively by trial and error).
  • Often the people we most want to converse or collaborate with aren’t online.
  • Often we don’t even know who the right people are to converse or collaborate with, so we need to go through a process of discovering who those people are first, which these tools cannot yet effectively help us with; once we’ve discovered who the right people are, we’re likely already talking with them using the ubiquitous tools in the left column above.
  • We are not accustomed to learning with others. Traditional schooling rewards individual effort (e.g. you take the test by yourself).

Written by anol

September 22nd, 2006 at 12:07 pm

We are Blogging now

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As the new site of GetIt (my company) is launched – we added a group blog too – Macchiato, a place for our rants, work-related stuffs and all other knee-jerk reactions! :-)


RSS Feed here

Written by anol

September 22nd, 2006 at 6:00 am

Grazr – the free mini OPML Browser!

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RSS feeds are great, but the subscription model used by aggregators is slow and clumsy. After a while, it gets to be too much trouble to subscribe to more feeds. That’s why grazing feeds is becoming so popular. Grazr lets you view as many feeds as you want without the hassle of subscribing. Grazr users can freely jump from feed to feed. It’s like surfing on a river of feeds.

It’s easy to share the joys of feed grazing with visitors to your site with Grazr.

Grazr – the free mini OPML Browser!
How Grazr Works :


With Grazr you can: Listen to podcasts, Display YouTube videos, Display data mashups with no programming, Explore a Social Network and many more…

Here goes my Bloglines exported OPML in Grazr:

Written by anol

September 21st, 2006 at 11:01 am

Under-utilized Intranets

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Via : Steve Rubel

Web 2.0 technologies are starting to hit intranets. Nevertheless, according to a new report from the Irish Computer Society some 80% of of large companies surveyed said that employees are not taking full advantage of their corporate intranets as an internal communications tool.

Intranets under-used, research finds from Silicon looks like Web 2.0 has already arrived on some intranets with blogs, wikis and other communication and collaboration features. We see intranet becoming an application, or application space, replacing or enhancing other already overused parts of the network like email. But basically it’s still about sharing information efficiently and putting order and control into internal communications. Just getting the simple things right delivers such powerful results.

What do you think the reason of the under utilization?
Usability issues?
Wrong information architechture?
Being one way media – less ‘interactive’?
Context -Content mismatch?

Written by anol

September 21st, 2006 at 10:08 am

Blogs to build leaning communities

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Finally managed to finish reading + listening Nancy White’s great article on Blogs and Community – launching a new paradigm for online community?
Great piece on why, what and how’s of building communities through blogs.

Click to listen to Nancy’s wonderfully engaging podcast. (28.6 MB)

Click to download the print versions Blogs and Community Word.doc (447 KB) or Blogs and Community PDF(427 KB).


Online community has been an important part of the Internet, mainly forming around email lists, bulletin boards and forums. In recent years, the ascendancy of blogs has introduced a new platform for communities. This article looks at some of the emerging patterns of blog based communities and raises some questions for their strategic application.

Part of the discussion came in as comparing merits of Blogs Vs Forums as community building tool. Tony Karrer followed the article and commented:

What’s Better to Build Community: Blogs or Forums? – Compares conversation in blog world vs. forums. What struck me was:

  • In general, blogs are great at connecting and bridging to a NEW community.
  • In general, forums are great at harnessing and growing an EXISTING community.

Put in a different way, blogs allow us to grow a community without going to a single location. A forum or mailing list is most effective if everyone agrees to go to that single location and abide by those norms. Blogs allow community to be formed based on common interests and the community grows and evolves in a very fluid manner.

In my recent experiences with COP’s I got a little different result in this case. In any established community, forums actually creates number of silos of individuals, which mostly promotes ‘buy-in’ by most of the people following a few. In the process both individualism and true ‘connected’ intelligence get sacrificed. Yes the Collective Intelligence or Group-Think emerges – but that ‘wisdom of crowds’ is actually the brain child of few ‘socially influential’ people.

Written by anol

September 21st, 2006 at 8:28 am