Is This Future Shock?

musings on how technology is changing my business environment

Archive for June, 2008

Weighing Contributions and Participation

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Should we reward participation?

Is adding useable knowledge to your employer useful? Should it be part of your actual job?

If it was part of your job, how would you measure it? Should you?

To save time, I think the right answers are Yes; Yes; Yes; Various ways; Yes

Why ask the question now?

As my interest in Social media and wikis has risen over the last year or so, I’ve watched JP talk about social software in the enterprise (many links), and recently been delighted when my firm started the nascent internal social networking, announced publicly by my colleague Richard Dennison

There’s a fair amount of wiki use within the firm, and I like them – despite my ongoing discussion with another colleague Sandy Blair.

We’ve now got an excellent WordPress instance running internally – I think I accidentally publicly announced that, shortly before the official announcement. I like that too, particularly how easy it is to search. I’m still amused that Sandy ranks first for “Glitter Glue” within BT.

We have had a BTpedia – an enterprise wide information wiki for some time.

It’s a source of some mild pleasure that I’ve contributed 0.25% of the content (including some of the most edited/updated articles) although I’m .00125% of the workforce.

This stuff is really taking off, internally

Why the fuss about job descriptions/measuring etc?

One reason that is suggested for non-participation in wikis/social media is the “not real work” argument. People express concern that their management will think they are slacking if they add to wikis/blogs.

Make adding to corporate knowledge part of people’s jobs, with some sort of weighting to it, and people *may* be more willing to do it

As far as measuring goes, until we move to a more Deming driven organisation, you have to show what and how you contribute. Measuring something about your contributions might provide that.

What should we measure

As is often the case, I’m again somewhat beaten to the point by Richard, who in his excellent recent post says

Leadership will be a combination of willingness to engage and connect, and the value of those engagements and connections to the community of users and to the complete enterprise ecosystem. Leadership won’t be about power but influence. And, value to the ecosystem will be measured in terms of contribution rather than achievement

he then highlights

Everyone in a enterprise ecosystem will need to understand that while every perception/view is equally valid, they are not of equal importance… Importance will be a combination of that inferred by the enterprise (as currently happens) and that inferred by the community (willingness to connect/engage and value of those connections/engagements as measured by the community).

To me, that suggests a combination of

  • objective measure – perhaps a combination of separate views, incoming links, other citations, and maybe number of comments/edits
  • subjective measures – post ranking/karma awards

What do you think should be measured in Enterprise Social Media?

Picture Credit Capt Kodak

Written by SteveEllwood

June 23rd, 2008 at 1:34 pm

An excellent post about RSS

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Why you should use RSS

I’d talked about this at some length in a previous post – and basically it lets you manage vast streams of data very easily.

But *how* do you use RSS?

I’d talked about that too.

The talented Brian Kelly decided to go not one, but several better. He’s decided to make a publicly available video showing you how to use NetVibes and Google reader.

Nice one Brian.

Written by SteveEllwood

June 20th, 2008 at 9:57 am

Posted in Web 2.0

What do you remember?

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Good with dates?

I remember my birthday. My wife, when she’s being cynical, which is rare says one reason we married was that we have the same birthday. I stand *no* chance of ever forgetting her birthday.

One of our friends gave us a counted cross stitch tapestry to celebrate our wedding day. It, with the helpful date and year, hang over the bed. I don’t forget our anniversary, either.

Do you remember phone numbers/email addresses?

I used to work in a service organisation. Back in the 80s, I would have a list of maybe a hundred numbers for organisations/people I needed to contact in my head. I probably recognised a couple of hundred customer numbers, too.

Nowadays, I either use a cellphone directory, a shortcode button or web based lookup. Why would I need to remember a number? I can’t tell you my mother or brother’s full street address. Why would I remember it? I send email, and gifts… usually come from Amazon… who remember their address for me.

What about your IDs?

I use my employee number at work all the time; I guess it’s like your Army number. Hard to forget. Elsewhere – I have loads of IDs. Sometimes, my browser remembers them. Sometime sxipper remembers them.

Best of all, I like my OpenID. Somewhere that accepts that makes me feel good.

Some things, you just don’t remember

I must have vacuumed the stairs in my house 300 times. Each stair, individually. Do you know how many steps are in the main flight of stairs in your home? Without checking?

Some passwords are like that. Hard to remember. Tech Mavens did a piece on password complexity a while back. When I get a password rejected with “No non-alphanumerics” or “Repeated digits” I get really wound up. One system at work I had to get reset 15 times before I’d worked out a mnemonic I could use.

If you are designing a system, remember your user might have to remember scores of IDs and passwords. Don’t protect them so much they won’t use your system.

Oh, my stairs? There are 13 of them. I counted them on Sunday. I wondered why I didn’t know how many there were.
What don’t you remember?

Picture Credit S@Z

Written by SteveEllwood

June 17th, 2008 at 4:10 pm

Posted in performance