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)

Designing for the Social Web

These notes came from Joshua Porter’s book Designing for the Social Web.  This is an excellent book and I highly recommend it for people designing software to be used by anyone, not just web software.  These notes will probably have a bias towards Kablink but I think I summarize all the major points of the book. In essence Joshua advocates finding the objects you collaborate around and the functions that support that collaboration.  Everything else will fall into place if you focus on those two important concepts. Notes What are the major actions and desired social interactions that group software should support or enable? Allow users to form into groups based around a common goal Provide tools that allow relationships between users and groups having a common set of goals to be created and maintained Enable information relevant to a user or group’s goal to be documented and discovered With ...(Read More)

Lost Productivity

Ever feel like the picture below depicts your typical workday? You wake up in the morning with such high hopes for today’s productivity and then suddenly you’re stuck in the mud of day-to-day Corporate America. Put another way, how many of you get 50, 100, even 200+ emails a day intermixed with your 5-10 daily meetings AND on top of that you are supposed to get your REAL job done? If my guess is correct it’s most of you reading this. It seems Corporate America (henceforth called CorpAm) has become a productivity drain. Most of the people I talk to about this have the same problem; go to work from 9-6 to take their meetings and answer urgent emails, then book it home to see the kids before bed, after which start trying to answer the rest of their email and finish all their work. It’s a never ending cycle ...(Read More)

Knowledge Cycle

Team collaboration and social networking software are all the buzz right now, however we need to look at the overall contribution these technologies bring to the enterprise in terms of value before we determine if they should be the new “cool” technology.  Are IT programmers ready to answer the CIO’s question of “How will team collaboration software add value to our business?”?  Maybe?  Maybe not?  What I hope to describe is how you can answer that question and what to look for in order to get your company started using collaboration software to solve real business problems. Which leads us to our first real question we need to answer and that is – how does collaboration add value to the bottom line of a business?  The short answer is that it doesn’t, not in and of itself.  Collaboration in the right context and under the right conditions can produce spectacular results in ...(Read More)