Relevance + Trust = Attention

I just read a few interesting posts by Tim Bray and Alex Payne about what to read and how to stay up to date (see below).  Much of what they say I agree with.  The simple problem is that there is just too much stuff out there that is interesting or important on some level.  Combine that with an ever expanding workload, a short attention span, and a fading memory and you have a combination that just can’t work long term.  What’s interesting is that I’ve asked several knowledge workers of one sort or another what their biggest problems are and most respond with something like … “too many interruptions” “wasting time on nonproductive tasks like email” “no ability to focus on key tasks” “excessive multitasking” This is clearly a major problem and is probably getting worse given the increasing amount of information that keeps pouring in.  The key to ...(Read More)

Converting Tire Kickers into Missionaries

Ever wonder why some open source projects are insanely popular and others struggle to get mind-share?  I do, all the time, especially since the “insanely popular” part is what I’m striving for as a Community Manager at Novell.  I recently read a great book entitled “Designing for the Social Web” by Joshua Porter.  In his book Joshua describes the life-cycle of a user interacting with a website and points out the various hurdles that must be overcome in order to create an active user.  This got me to thinking (dangerous) about the similarities shared between the life-cycle Joshua outlined and what open source projects go through.  I thought I’d write down my thoughts on this topic before I forgot them  Unaware User -> Awareness -> Interested Potential User Once you think you’ve got a handle on describing the nature of the problems you solve its time for some outreach.  This ...(Read More)

Is Email Dead? I wish!

I get upwards of 100+ emails a day with fewer than 10 junk messages getting caught in my spam filters, and I don’t even classify myself as a power email user!  Some people I know get at least double that volume and spend half their workday reading and responding to email.   What it does sound like is that email is broken or better yet our email habits are broken. Email in most corporate environments has degenerated into a CYA system that sucks volumes of time and offers less and less value in the face of competition like Twitter, IM or Facebook.  In the golden age of handwritten notes writers tended to craft very thoughtful correspondence and then it was only sent to one person.  Now in the age of Email Overload, correspondence is less  personalized and well thought out and is driven primarily by the need to “just reply”. In ...(Read More)

Integrating Data with RSS

Having the ability to combine data silos and reduce their contents to a single search box is the Holy Grail of computing, and like the Holy Grail it remains allusive.  Google has made huge progress in integrating data from multiple sources for Internet users, however, Google can’t get behind company firewalls and it can only index what it can find.  This means only a fraction of the data relevant to you has been indexed by Google or the like.  The rest is locked in company databases and storage systems safe and sound from the prying eyes of YOU and Google.  This means you still open your email client to search emails.  You still go to the internal company blog to find that important message from HR.  There is no Holy Grail of Integration that pulls everything together to make it easy for you to find and use or reuse.   Or ...(Read More)