Knowledge Shared is Power
Steve Cogan 2700000Q3G firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  london user-group social uk connections ibm social-business 1,157 Visits
I currently tend to Tweet more often as @stevecogan - but interrupting that stream of micro-blogging to point you to a new user group, focusing on IBM Connections.
As befits a social software solution - the group is known as 'Social Connections'. See their website here: http://socialconnections.info/events/sc.nsf/home.xsp
Steve Cogan 2700000Q3G email@example.com Tags:  connections connections2.5 free webinar upgrade 744 Visits
This is the way social networking goes...
Saw Stuart McIntyre's Twitter update on a Lotus Connections upgrade webinar (2.0 -> 2.5), which led to his blog post. Which referenced our forthcoming free webinar we'll be running via our LotusLive webconferencing solution.
For the sign-up details check out this page from IBM support.
Steve Cogan 2700000Q3G firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  support lotus webcast best-practice 681 Visits
When I hear 'open-mic' I usually think of stand-up comedy. (For my UK readers, I bear no relation to a comedian of a similar name to mine, and only get it mentioned roughly 50% of new people I'm introduced to.) Well, best-practices are no laughing matter. The Lotus Support Technical Exchange team take sharing their expertise seriously enough to regularly hold public webcasts and conference calls on useful topics, such as a forthcoming call on best practices around Sametime on VMware. (See, I avoided having to differentiate between virtualisation and virtualization there!)
This Sametime call is on December 16th - details here.
The list of up coming (& recorded calls from the recent past) can be found here. Past topics include; Connections, Notes-Domino, WCM Portal - so a good chunk of the portfolio then.
Steve Cogan 2700000Q3G email@example.com Tags:  lotusphere social-bookmarking connections 4 Comments 1,152 Visits
Apologies for the blogging hiatus, but I've been busy, busy. What have I been upto? Well, for one, discovering that dipping into the stream of comments in Twitter leads to lots of interesting conversations, plus links to add to my Dogear bookmarks. Apart from that I've been head down in day to day work ranging from Connections to Expeditor. Oh, and dropped in at the recent Web2.0 Expo in Berlin a few weeks ago!
But the main point of this post is to point you at the blog of my colleague, the one, the only - Luis Benitez, over at 'Socialize Me'. I'll forgive him for the US English spelling there, sure there's some song about tomatoes and potatoes... ;-) Or perhaps something about Zed versus Zee? (In case you haven't guessed I'm from the UK...)
Luis has an excellent run-down here on the Connections sessions lined up at this year's Lotusphere conference. For the uninitiated, it's THE annual Lotus conference, run by IBM and lives in DisneyWorld - Florida. I was lucky enough to get there this year, although January does seem like an awfully long time ago. Without disparaging other conferences, the challenge for me (& others I compared notes with) is not finding a session I can get worked up enough to visit - but planning sessions well enough so I can dash between them with enough time to attend everything I want.
Should I make it to Lotusphere2009, will do my best to attend ID304 - What's Next with Lotus Connections, Suzanne is an excellent presenter and gave a great account of herself at this year's Enterprise2.0 conference.
What's the social software connection? Well, I happened to bump into - sometimes hard to do when there are around 7 or 8,000 other attendees around you! - another Luis. (I'm 3rd on the left, thanks to Flickr)
This Luis, is someone I mentioned in my first KSP blog post. Actually, the more I delve into social software, and networking, the more links and common ground I naturally find. Twitter is a great example of that for me, as I've recently started to expand my list of followers and friends, with more and more people 'de-cloaking', as one of my colleagues puts it, who I've either met or actually interacted with.
Anyway, back to the day-job. Will promise to check in again soon :-)
When discussing "Web2.0" I've heard people looking for the value justification once they've moved past the so-called hype-cycle. Well, a last minute invite dropped into my in-box today (should REALLY have been notified via an RSS/ATOM feed, but I'm just being picky!) offering a free webinar by the well known "Dr Dobb's journal" - in conjunction with IBM - on this very subject.
Broadcast Date: Wednesday, September 24, 2008
More details and (*free*) registration available here. I can, however, reveal that speakers and topics include mashups, tools and the community based, Project Zero.
A key line for me was discussing re-use and the value that brings to the business,
Steve Cogan 2700000Q3G firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  notes8 demo trial lotus linux occ novell suse ibm open-collaboration-client live-dvd h2 779 Visits
A while ago I was interested in checking out Notes8 on Linux but didn't have the time to 'roll-my-own'. I'd come across an offer of a live-DVD version of Notes8 on Linux. Firstly I downloaded the SUSE10-Notes8 live DVD from here. Snappily titled, "IBM open collaboration client solution powered by SUSE Linux Enterprise from Novell". Surely, "Notes8 on Linux" would have been shorter? (I know, I know, don't call me Shirley...). Incidentally, The Register commented on this some time ago here.
After slapping my forehead in a "Doh!", Homer-Simpson, moment I realised my drive-bay had my extra HD instead of my DVD burner. A little bit of quick thinking later, I created a blank VMware machine and edited the CD-ROM settings to use the ISO DVD image instead of having to burn to DVD and boot from it. (Example settings below).
Voilà! You can now trial Notes8 (via VMware) on Linux. Certainly saves DVDs from ending up as more coffee mats...
Steve Cogan 2700000Q3G email@example.com Tags:  notes wild-bill blackberry domino 725 Visits
"Wild Bill" Buchan, one of our more colourful members of the Lotus community, is one of the Notesberry website creators. Ok, ok, it's not just by him, but his nickname does make for a more entertaining blog entry headline...
After much anticipation, the NotesBerry.org web site is alive. This site is a collaboration between Paul Mooney , Mike Smith , Jason Hook and myself - but feel free to pitch in. Its meant to provide killer content on the integration of Lotus Notes/Domino and BlackBerry.As you can imagine, the site is dedicated to Notes on Blackberry. Pop on over and take a look at this new external resource, or take a feed from here.
Steve Cogan 2700000Q3G firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  user-group royal-society edinburgh web2.0 mashups websphere free connections wug 746 Visits
The Websphere User Group in the UK is holding a meeting in Edinburgh on 17th September. I'd definitely recommend investigating the details and registering here.
I went to last year's event - which was also held at the Royal Society venue - and found many of the sessions informative. This year's line-up looks even better with hot topics such as Web2.0 & Mashups covered. In my opinion, the (*free!*) event strikes a good balance between product updates, and general industry concepts. There's also a session on Lotus Connections, with Adrian Spender from the Dublin labs presenting with his colleague Karim Heredia. Adrian was one of the key developers involved in the v2 release of Connections and the new homepage.
Blogged with the Flock Browser
Steve Cogan 2700000Q3G email@example.com Tags:  education commoncraft rss blog social-networking twitter wiki training social-bookmarking web2.0 1,179 Visits
I was introduced to an excellent series of 'educational' videos on Web2.0 concepts, by a group called Commoncraft, some time ago. For me, the beauty of these videos is that they aren't vendor, or product specific, and so can give a good overview to the actual concepts. All too often, those of us who have been around this area for a while can make dangerous assumptions that everyone is familiar with these concepts - and this can lead to colleagues feeling left behind. After all, how easy is it for us (myself included) to stand up and ask for an explanation of concepts your peers may assume are 'common knowledge'?
If you haven't already heard of Commoncraft, and their excellent line of introductory 'Web2.0' videos, I'd definitely recommend you go through their various offerings such as their simple, smart and effective overviews of technologies - and concepts - such as Twitter.
See their Twitter video here.
Commoncraft also have excellent (non-product based) videos to introduce people to concepts such as:
Their use of the term 'plain-english' is not to be confused with the 'Campaign for Plain English' organisation in the UK. I was trained in this method of writing - and editing - oh, all of 14 and a half years ago. (I'd like to say that it feels like yesterday, but it really does feel like almost two decades ago!). For the uninitiated, the CFPE (they'd hate the acronym!), are all about improving clarity of writing and reducing the amount of
... gobbledygook, jargon and misleading public information
No bad thing, eh?
My first professional career was as a journalist, more years ago than I care to remember. One of the lessons drilled into me by my mentors was about the inverted pyramid structure of information. Apparently this is making a comeback, according to Gerry McGovern in his piece "The six Cs of killer Web content". Gerry talks about how people basically skim information, and if their interest isn't quickly captured, say by the headline, they may well read - or click - onwards and away from your content.
This to me, speaks of making your communications relevant to your audience, not only in the content, but in choosing the channel to publish it. If you're publishing information, or comment, a blog may be appropriate, whereas a collaborative effect may suit a community solution more, such as Activities (in this platform, Connections), team spaces, wikis, and many other collaborative offerings.
A fellow IBMer, Luis Suarez, made waves when he declared that he was "Giving up on work email". Lots of people appeared to take this at face value and asked pointed questions about how he would deal with corporate communications, sensitive data and the like. Only when he'd generated a heated debate, did many people grasp what he was attempting to do - and that was to spark a debate about using the right tools for the job.
His point was to get people to question whether they really needed to send an email, or whether they should be contributing their knowledge to a more appropriate place. I'd call this collaboration in content. Sounds both simple and obvious doesn't it?!
Luis recently spoke about his experiences with this at the 'Next 08' conference in Germany. Thanks to Oliver Marks, for the link to a video of Luis' presentation. The presentation is also available on slideshare.