Semantic Proxy

It's been way to long ago. But I was invited to try SemanticProxy. ReadWriteWeb recently had a nice overview post on Semantic web applications and Calais was one of them. Calais is:

...a toolkit of products that enable users to incorporate semantic functionality within their blog, content management system, website or application.

Since launching the Open Calais API early this year, over 6,000 developers have registered with it and the service is doing more than 1 million transactions a day. We wrote about the launch of Calais' easiest-to-use service yet, called SemanticProxy, at the end of September. Version 3.0 was released earlier this month and version 4 is expected by January 09.

RWW verdict one year later: Calais has really blossomed over the past year and it is one of the most promising Semantic services around today. We can't wait to see what's next!

I finally had time to play around with SemanticProxy. I first tried the demo using the 'Knowledge Management' Wikipedia entry. The extraction of key phrases is impressive (also for the other entries I tried). It also categorizes the terms/phrases, distinguishing 'industry terms', 'technologies', etc. It didn't get the term in the 'organization' categorization right.

The demo is pretty limited (- it's beta, I know). I didn't go into the API stuff. But it's not hard to see this kind of smart functionality being useful in the near future. For instance, I'd love to use this semantic analysis to sifts through our internal document management systems, connect unconnected information together and build a network of information using tools like Semantic Proxy. I'm really curious if this will also work for the Web. Using this kind of technology inside the enterprise seems to be easier due to the limited data and term set.

Good luck, Semantic Proxy. I'll be following your steps and hope to experiment more internally with your tools as well. When I have results, I'll let you know.

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Why Microblog in the Enterprise?

Lots of interesting stuff has been written and is being written on why we should use microblogging (or microsharing) inside and outside the enterprise. I've been collecting some of the posts I find most interesting and will share them with you here, with some personal comments relating to why I use microblogging inside and outside the company.

On external microblogging:

How to Use Twitter as a Twool by Guy Kawasaki. Great example of personal experiences with Twitter, but also how it can be/should be used by companies. Learned about,which is great. Already use Twitterfeed, which is handy to auto-publish bookmarks, etc.

Why I love Twitter by Tim O'Reilly. It's unbelievable how many tweats he cranks out every day. How do you do that? I don't have a smart phone and use the web and TweetDeck to tweet. After reading this post I decided do regularly check my Twitter Grade. Just to see how I'm doing compared to others.

10 reasons why Twitter is for you and FriendFeed in not by Robert Scoble. Gives a nice overview of the similarities and differences between Twitter and FriendFeed in a neat, cynical way. I also started using FriendFeed. But I find it hard to switch completely, even it's a wonderful tool. You can really monitor your and other's social media update in there. Even if they're not in Friendfeed. But I still can't switch all the over to FF for some reason. Do you have the same experience?

But I'm learning to swith. Daniel Pritchett of Sharing at Work has a great introductory presenation on FF: Connect faster and learn more with FriendFeed. > And Zee Kane of the NextWeb has 2 nice posts to help you (and me) start using FF: The Unofficial Guide to Friendfeed Part 1 and Part 2. Both taught me bout 'imaginary friends' in FF. That is such a useful feature to add in and follow people that don't use FF (yet).

Finally, there's an interesting HP paper titled Social Networks that Matter: Twitter under the Microscope. Conclusion: Users with many actual friends tend to post more updates than users with few actual friends. "On the other hand, users with many followers or followees post updates more infrequently than those with few followers or followees."

Now over to internal microblogging:

I told you some time we started using Yammer internally. Slowly but steadily the number of users is increasing. I think it time to stop experimenting and give it an official 'go'. We have several nice cases to show why microblogging internally is very useful.

Dan York of Voxeo Labs gives a nice overview of the main current enterprise microsharing tools: Yammer,, Laconica and pushing enterprise microblogging into the cloud. He also provides a list of why companies should use microblogging internally and also addresses security of hosted enterprise solutions. Of course, Pistachio consulting has the most comprehensive overview of microsharing tools out there.

The NYTimes picked up on the trend with an article, Now Brevity is the Soul of Office Interaction. Here's a nice example of the gap microsharing fills in knowledge work: "Depending on what they're doing, people might be paying attention to messages as they're posted. But if I'm not in the office, I can go back and get the whole company stream for a day and read it in about 10 minutes. I could never do that with e-mail." (...) "[M]icroblogging systems are more appropriate for asking quick questions and sharing brief status updates. The short posts can also reduce in-box clutter." (...) "This phenomenon, often called “ambient awareness,” is easy for companies to sanction when the messages take so little time to write and read."

And finally, Mary Abraham of Above and Beyond KM blog has a post Ask and You Shall Receive via Enterprise Microblogging. She pointed to great post by Marcia Conner on 'Enterprise Micro-Learning, mentioning lots more benefits for enterprises to use micro-blogging. Thanks, Mary!

The strange thing with Twitter is that, as when I started blogging, you have to get the hang of it. Don't give up too soon. Start by tweeting every now-and-then. Then answer tweets. Direct Message someone. And then, suddenly, someone answers your question and it takes off from there!

To wrap this post up, I have one wish. It's related to a wish I also have w.r.t. blogging: offer one platform for internal and external (micro)-blogging. Now, we have to constantly switch between the two, cross-post, etc. I hope the number of platform will be reduced to one in the coming years.

Happy Holidays!


Happy Holidays everyone! Hope you have some nice, relaxing days with friends and family. Wish you all a Happy New Year.

I won't be blogging much the coming weeks. I'm definitely looking forward to 2009: in January I'm celebrating my 2 year blogging anniversary.

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Better Place

Just signed the petition of 'Better Place' and inserted a badge on the right-hand side of my blog. The venture to change the way we see mobility and use natural resources has gripped me over the last couple of years. I must admit this is largely due to some innovative colleagues I carpool with. Dutch TV has been broadcasting interesting documentaries on this topic and we've been discussing them and the implications of their statements.
Then, recently, I ran into an article in Wired about 'Better Place' and the guy behind the company, Shai Agassi. 'Better Place' has this 'big hairy audacious goal' to change the way we approach mobility. And while 'Detroit' was sleeping and may go bankrupt, these guys are working hard to actually do what should have been done years ago: find alternatives for the way we make cars and make them run.
I support this venture to make this world a better place and hope you will too.

Want To Publish a Paper, Review on Wiki First

My Dutch newspaper (NRC, Dec. 18, 2008) had a nice short article with very interesting content (- no link available, so I'll provide source link). The Journal RNA Biology is now requiring papers to be peer-reviewed twice. Once on Wikipedia. And once by the journal's own review panel. A summary of the paper must be submitted to Wikipedia first, before the paper is published in the journal.

I think this is good for the scientists wanting to publish an article. Who knows what kind of interesting corrections and extensions will be made to the central thought of their paper. And it's also good news for general public as well. Expert information (on RNA in this case) is published publicly and shared with us all.

It would be nice to see other journals open up as well!

I was also thinking this could or should be applied inside companies as well. In most companies employees write reports and they're submitted to an archive or document management system, after being formally approved by their manager. How often don't we run into incomplete, inaccurate information in these reports (that can't be changed after publishing)? If these reports would have been peer-reviewed lots of mistakes could have been eliminated. But, what do we do when we ask colleagues to peer review? We look for close and trusted colleagues (cf. a journal's own review panel). But who says they are the right person and most knowledgeable person to review the memo/report/etc.?

So, why not apply this same concept RNA Biology is applying to internal documents as well?

Social Media Addicted?

Not bad, eh?!


This quiz was provided by - Search & Social - Media Experts

Cultivating ba

Strategy + Business has an interesting interview with prof. Ikujiro Nonaka, "The Practical Wisdom of Ikujiro Nonaka".

Some nice quotes:

In the act of creating, people argue. They have heated dialogue. They get upset! Without real exchange, you can't create knowledge. Knowledge creation is a human activity. (...)

... Nonaka's perspective ... runs counter to conventional corporate practice. Most companies assign knowledge management to their information technology departments, which focus on codifying best practices that can be captured, stored, indexed, and retrieved as efficiently as possible. Nonaka views all this data management as minor, almost incidental aspect of the capability development that enables business success. (...)

Nonaka's concept of a knowledge-creating company resembles the kind of community in which generosity is prevalent, people feel recognized as distinct individuals, and informal, honest communication is commonplace. When designers of knowledge management systems fail to understand this - when they (consciously or not) treat humans as interchangeable parts, receiving and processing data - their expensive, high-tech systems get ignored. (...)

... creating ba, a Japanese term that describes a field or space where people freely and openly share what they know in the service of creating something new. ... ba is never solitary; it exists among two or more people. (...)

Companies can foster ba by designing processes that encourage people to think together. ... an exercise called the "five whys" enables employees to diagnose problems... (...)

Westerners generally esteem explicit or theoretical knowledge, which Aristotle called episteme, over tacit or embodied knowledge, which he called techne. (...)

But organization that favor explicit over tacit knowledge limit their capabilities in several ways. (...)

For Nonaka, phronetic wisdom represents a potential antidote. If techne is "know-how", and episteme is "know-why", phronesis is knowing "what must be done." This requires an understanding of how the organization should exist in the world: its purpose, its reason for being. (...)

As companies grow more skilled at knowledge creation, Nonaka sees them drawing customers, suppliers, competitors, education partners, and communities into these processes.

By the way, if you don't know Strategy + Business go over to their nice site and have a look. All their articles can be downloaded in layout-ed version too, which I find fantastic.

Missing Security Features in Enterprise RSS Tools

[Note from infoarch: Peter Verhoeven is a smart colleague of mine. One of the things he’s working on is selecting and implementing an Enterprise RSS solution for the company we work for. Peter did deep research on this topic and found some gaps in what current Enterprise RSS vendors are offering. I asked Peter to summarize his thoughts in the guest blog post you find below. Enjoy! And we would love to hear what you think. Peter's LinkedIn profile can be found here and he initiated and maintains a popular website,]


Last months we evaluated two Enterprise RSS solutions: Attensa Feed Server (AFS) from Attensa and NewsGator Enterprise Server (NGES) from NewsGator, to replace our self-made Enterprise RSS solution.

Both products are missing an essential feature for us, namely good support of “secured feeds” and options to share “secured feeds” with employees with the same permissions.

What are “secured feeds”?

A “secured feed” can be defined as an RSS feed, that can only be accessed by employees with enough permissions.

Within the company firewall think about an RSS feed on a Sharepoint site, where project members are collaborating.

Outside the company Firewall think about services that need any type of authentication, for example accessing company related RSS feeds on Yammer.

What all “secured RSS” feeds have in common is, that you can access them by entering a valid username and password combination.

Why Use Secured RSS feeds?

The security policy in our company is that you can only see information you are allowed to see.

If for example members of “Project X” are sharing information in a Wiki “Project X” and want information in this “Project X” Wiki to be restricted to members of “Project X”, then employees not working on “Project X” are not allowed to access RSS feeds on the “Project X” Wiki.

Most websites in our company like Wiki’s, Blogs, Sharepoint, the intranet portal, require that you are a member of our Windows Domain.

To access these websites employees must be logged onto our network.

As a result, all RSS feeds on the above mentioned websites, need authentication to access and are secure RSS feeds.

Enterprise RSS Secured Feed Requirement

Two important advantages are frequently mentioned to implement an Enterprise RSS solution within the company, instead of using individual RSS client software:

  1. Network Bandwidth reduction.
  2. Improved collaboration by sharing RSS feeds.

This is exactly what we think are advantages of an Enterprise RSS solution, but these advantages should also work for secured RSS feeds, since more than 90% of our RSS feeds are secure.

To explain our requirement regarding secure feeds in an Enterprise RSS solution I’ll give you the simple example below.


  1. “Person A” and “Person B” are members of “Project X”.
  2. “Person A” and “Person C” are members of “Project Y”.
  3. “Project X” has a secure RSS feed “Feed X”, that can be accessed by “Person A” and “Person B” and not by “Person C”.
  4. “Project Y” has an RSS feed “Feed Y”, that can be accessed by “Person A” and “Person C” and not by “Person B”.

After “Person A” subscribed to “Feed X” in an Enterprise RSS solution:

  1. “Person B” and all other members of “Project X” accessing the Enterprise RSS solution, must be able to see and subscribe to “Feed X” in the Enterprise RSS solution (Feed sharing).
  2. “Person C” and all employees who are not a member of “Project X”, do not see “Feed X” in the Enterprise RSS solution and are not able to subscribe to it.
  3. If 3 members of “Project X” have a subscription on “Feed X”, the Enterprise RSS solution polls only once for new news items, instead of doing this for any subscribed person (network bandwidth reduction).

“Person C” add “Feed Y” of “Project Y” to the Enterprise RSS solution:

  1. “Person A” can see and subscribe to this feed, because he or she is also a member of “Project Y”.
  2. “Person B” does not see and can not subscribe to “Feed Y”, because he or she is not a member of the project “Project Y”.
  3. All project members of “Project Y” can see and subscribe “Feed Y” in the Enterprise RSS solution (RSS feed sharing).
  4. “Feed Y” is polled once for all project members of “Project Y”, who have a subscription on “Feed Y” in the Enterprise RSS solution.

Secure RSS feeds in NewsGator Enterprise Server

In NewsGator Enterprise Server (NGES) secure RSS feeds ‘work’ as follows:

  1. An administrator can add a secure feed to the company taxonomy. By doing this all employees can see and subscribe the secure RSS feed, without using their own username and password.
    The advantage of this is that all those secured RSS feeds added by an administrator can be shared (RSS feed sharing) and are polled once for all subscribers with the administrator permissions (Network bandwidth reduction).
    This can work for RSS feeds only requiring that you are a member of the ADS Group Domain Members. It does not work for RSS Feeds with a higher security level.
  2. Secure feeds added by individuals, instead of administrators, are not visible by others and therefore cannot be shared. Also the advantage of network bandwidth reduction does not work for these individually added RSS feeds.
    If 100 employees individually add secure feed “Feed A” to their subscriptions in NGES, this feed will be polled 100 times and there is no network bandwidth reduction.

Secure RSS Feeds in Attensa Feed Server

And, AFS ‘works’ in this way:

  1. In Attensa Feed Server (AFS) individuals can add secure RSS feeds. All these RSS feeds can be shared with others.
  2. When trying to subscribe to a shared secure RSS feed in AFS, the subscription always fails. The only way to get the same RSS feed in your own subscriptions, is by adding the RSS feed by yourself again.
  3. When clicking on an RSS feed, for which you do not have enough permissions on the source website, you can read the titles of the items in the RSS feed. This is really a lack of security in AFS.
  4. Network bandwidth reduction does not work in AFS for secure RSS feeds.


Currently, both NGES and AFS do not support our requirement for secure RSS feeds.

Are you implementing an Enterprise RSS solution? How are things going? Have you also run into security issues? How did you address them?

IBM and Numerati Revisited

Recently I posted my thoughts on 'IBM and Numerati'. I got several interesting comments on that post. And I was pointed to posts by Luis Suarez (mind you, an IBM-er) and Dave Snowden (an ex-IBM-er). I had already read them before posting my ideas on this topic, but didn't respond to their posts.

But too be clear. I was just as surprised to read about this topic as Snowden. And funnily, an IBM-er like Luis says this is not common practice at IBM either...

However, as I said, I do find the idea intriguing... and scary. True, like Luis and Ton Zijlstra commented, this is different from web 2.0. For me too, I like the web 2.0 approach more than the Numerati approach.

But I do find this approach closer to web 2.0 than my commenters. Luis says:

IBM is not routinely analyzing employees e-mail, calendars and chats without employees' permission or knowledge

But how does this relate to IBM Whisper and the opt-in 'Social Network tool' IBM runs internally. I posted on these two here. I wrote:

Erik goes on to show IBM Whisper: it is an automatically generated list of people you know and/or subjects you are interested in. It comes up with suggestions for documents, links, articles, etc that you might find interesting. (...)

Erik shows the Social Network Analysis tool IBM has in which email communication and Instant Messaging is tracked. Employees can choose to opt in or not. Type in a word you want to see the network for. The tool comes up with a diagram and/or map with connections between people on it.

Yep, these are opt-in, so employees have to give permission. But, as far as I understand the Numerati (again, I haven't read the book yet), it's not so secretive either. I mean: they're writing about it in Business Week!

So, if it's not secretive and employees can agree/disagree to opt-in, where does this bring us? Could this approach help us like the Techmeme is helping us find interesting stuff and be more productive? Or, in other words, is IBM Whisper and their Social Network Analysis tool helping the employees that use it be more productive? I agree with Ton, that you would always want to tell 'the machine' what to process and what not. It should always be your choice. But even then, relating to an older but interesting Wired article about radical transparency: if we would all be radically transparent (in the organization), would this help us make the company more productive, etc. (And there are limitation to transparency. We can also make things transparent that we can write down.)I mean, if you ask older people, they think your crazy to write out in the open (blog), tell all what you're doing (twitter), etc. And we look at them in a funny way and say: We're more productive than you are, just watch us and join us! Could the Numerati or (even more) transparency be the next step?

I'd love to hear what you think!


Productivity Tip: Who's Going to Read It and Act Upon it?

Just was rethinking the way I organize my work while reading the 'Productive Magazine'. (Great magazine, by the way!) As a knowledge worker I do lots of work because I think it's good for me and/or the company I work for. After finishing a memo, report, etc I go off and distribute it. Of course I hope others will read it, use it and make good decisions based on it's content.

I organize my work using the 'Getting things done' methodology. And it works great for me. In the Productivity magazine other methods tell us what GTD is lacking. I wasn't too convinced by their lists... But all of a sudden I did realize that I don't ask myself explicitly enough for every task: Who I am doing it for? Is someone really waiting for me to give them new insights and/or am I answering questions they have? This relates to what GTD calls 'desired result' of a task. I think I should focus on this more to hopefully become more productive than I already am (- at least I think I'm productive...).

I was wondering: in your work, do you think for every task, who's your audience and what is the desired result?

Wikipedia Becoming More User-friendly

Good news! Wikipedia is going to work on its user-friendliness. (Refer to Marie Jose Klaver's post (in Dutch), Wikimedia's post.) My first reaction was: great. Then I read some critiques on this move and thought: that's an interesting perspective. Making Wikipedia easier to use, could lead to lots of clutter and more edit-wars...

Why I'm happy is because I'm thinking from a corporate perspective first. We are using the Mediawiki platform (on which Wikipedia is built) for our enterprise wiki's. Although they are much-used in R&D, we see that less-tech-savvy employees would rather have a more user-friendly (mostly relating to a WYSIWYG editor) interface. So, from a company perspective I'm really happy with this and hope this will encourage our employees (and other companies) to use wiki's more often.

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Taglocity for Files?

I forgot to post an idea on how Taglocity could become even more useful (for me). It would be nice to be able to tag/label files too (straight from Outlook and in Explorer). I know Vista supports tagging of files (I use Vista at home and XP at work), but I don't find the tagging very easy and user-friendly. Is Taglocity thinking of moving in this direction?

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Tweating Bookmarks

Recently I decided to stop publishing my bookmarks to my blog. I wondered if my readers agreed with this idea. Some responded and urged me to continue to publish my bookmarks. So, I almost proceeded to do that and then I thought: why not tweat them? I proposed that option and it seems to do the trick. I'll be trying this and see if this is the way to go. You can follow my tweats (with bookmarks) here. And of course you can follow my bookmarks directly in Diigo en Delicious.

The Real Information Architect

Wow, this is a great presentation on the evolution of the 'information architect' role (- found via @dtunkelang. Thanks again!). As you know I'm an information architect for Océ. I posted on my definition of 'information architecture' before. My definition seems to fit more with the 'old' definition than the new. Although this does depend on where you live. In The Netherlands, e.g., information architecture is more related to 'information management program development' than to 'web architecture/design'.

First Taglocity Experiences

Alright! Not too long ago I said I would start using Taglocity. And, of course, I promised to tell you more about my experiences using it. Well, here goes!

The strange thing is not too many people seem to be using Taglocity. At least not the people in my network. Lots of them use Xobni, as I did too. I tweated my network, searched Twitter, Googled a bit and found their isn't a whole lot of buzz on Taglocity yet. Well I guess I'll have to create some and lead the way... ;-)

Ok, now about Taglocity. As I said I really enjoy Gmail functionality. Taglocity brings this to Outlook. And it works for me. I really enjoy adding labels to my email. I still put mail in one of the 6 folders I have (of which the biggest one is 'Deleted items'). But I now also label them. This makes finding my email back much faster. And I don't have to be to anxious to put the email in the right folder.

The search speed of Taglocity is good enough. In practice I switch between Outlook search, Taglocity search and MS Desktop Search. Just depends on what nearest. What I really like about Taglocity search is the fact that it searches all my Outlook folders and archives. When you move emails to your archive it reindexes pretty quickly. The start-up time of the Taglocity search client could be quicker though. Furthermore, when I query I would expect it to search in my tags first, but default is full-text search. Filtering your search results using the labels works wonderfully. (As in most search tools, give Taglocity some time to index your mails when you start using the plugin!)

Adding tags to your emails is very easy. No explanation needed here. You can even add a tag to the email you are going to send (- this is not that easy in Gmail). It would be nice to have colored tags as Gmail has. You can also add tags to people, but I don't use it. In the search client, the tags are not in alphabetical order, for some reason.

I don't use the 'conversation viewer' often but it works and is great. (Of course you can turn on the conversation view in Outlook too, but Taglocity's feature let's you switch between the views with one mouse click. It's not or-or, but and-and.)

Relating to Xobni, Taglocity also has social network features. You get some stats saying how many emails you sent, received and cc-ed to the person. This is nice, but I don't really use it. It would be nice to have the Xobni 'schedule meeting' functionality in Taglocity.

Does Taglocity slow down Outlook? This is a very important question to me. If the plugin would slow things down, I'd quit using it right away. Up until now I don't think Taglocity slows down my computer and/or Outlook - other stuff is doing that...

Oh, and if you wondered: I'm not going back to Xobni.

IBM and the Numerati

Not too long ago I read Dan Brown's Angels and Demons'. This book introduced me to some people I've vaguely heard of, but didn't really know: the Illuminati. Actually I'm not really sure I know them after reading Brown's book. Are they real? Have they actually done the stuff Brown describes? And are they still active?

The same kind of questions popped up when I recently ran into a new book by Stephen Baker, "The Numerati". Actually I first read some of the buzz on this book and read an excerpt in Business Week. I plan to buy the book and read it soon.

Based on the excerpt and other posts I read on this book, my first impression is: very interesting, thought-provoking stuff. As I understand, the basic question is: how far can you go with data, numbers, digital objects? If you have lots of them, what can you do, has been and is being done with them?

What I like about this question, is the fact that it doesn't relate to the postmodern world we're living in. Postmodernism says, among others, nothing is true, objective. Everything is relative, relational. 'It all depends.' This book seems to say: we can make much more objective than we think. We may even be able to steer and manage employees by continually monitoring them.

Sifting through résumés and project records, the team can assemble a profile of each worker's skills and experience. Online calendars show how employees use their time and who they meet with. By tracking the use of cell phones and handheld computers, Takriti's researchers may be able to map the workers' movements. Call records and e-mails define the social networks of each consultant. Whom do they copy on their e-mails? Do they send blind copies to certain people?

Takriti is the mastermind behind IBM's work to apply 'the Numerati' to their company. The next big step could be "to take tools like this and tie them to scheduling and productivity programs". And this what IBM is doing:

Haren says the efforts under way at places like IBM will not only break down each worker into sets of skills and knowledge. The same systems will also divide their days and weeks into small periods of time—hours, half-hours, eventually even minutes. At the same time, the jobs that have to be done, whether it's building a software program or designing an airliner, are also broken down into tiny steps. In this sense, Haren might as well be describing the industrial engineering that led to assembly lines a century ago. Big jobs are parsed into thousands of tasks and divided among many workers. But the work Haren is discussing is not done by hand, hydraulic presses, or even robots. It flows from the brain. The labor is defined by knowledge and ideas. As he sees it, that expertise will be tapped minute by minute across the world. This job sharing is already starting to happen, as companies break up projects and move big pieces of them offshore. But once the workers are represented as mathematical models, it will be far easier to break down their days into billable minutes and send their smarts to fulfill jobs all over the world.

This sounds scary right? To me it does. And it sound unethical too. But I do want to give it more thought. This could be a good thing too. Takriti says: "As the tools ... make workers more productive, the market will reward them."

Isn't this part of what the web 2.0 world is showing us? Be open, social, transparent and you will be rewarded. Share your knowledge voluntarily and you will be rewarded. Most bloggers say they are more productive. Most micro-bloggers say the same. And non-blogger say we're crazy, too open, you'll loose you identity etc. But, isn't this Numerati-ish? I know, not every keystroke is being recorded, but still, some web 2.0 users seem to be very close to what Numerati describes IBM is doing.

I do have a more philosophical issue with the Numerati, though. I was happy we left the 'old' SECI-KM-model behind. This model basically said we can make all our knowledge explicit (externalize) and when we do so we have a perfect situation in the organization. So, lots of companies went ahead and built big knowledge bases. Nobody ended up using them. Filling them and keeping them up-to-date was very painstaking. And we found that explicit 'knowledge' is not all the knowledge we have. There's lots of implicit knowledge (to keep with the dichotomy).

But what are the IBM Numerati doing? They're taking all the objective data and pretending this is the complete description of a knowledge worker. Everything the knowledge worker does can be related to what he/she does in the digital domain. We all know this is not true. For instance, I can be a C++ programmer. I'm programming all day and this can tell others something about my level of expertise. But I never type into the computer that I am an expert and others don't type that in either. Furthermore, to be a good programmer you need skill you typically don't type in either. So, an important part of my expertise is not recorded...

To round this post up. "The Numerati" definitely sounds like a nice read. It provides good food-for-thought and -discussion. And that's what a good book should do. If you agree with the point of the book or not!

Stopped Publishing My Bookmarks

As you know and can see: I have my new bookmarks published to my blog every now and then. I started doing this because I see others doing this too. I found it quite useful. For me, it feels like others are reading and recommending posts that I am not following and reading. Hopefully I could do the same for them. It's some form of social search.

And I do see that friends following my blog copy posts from my 'recommended bookmarks' and share them with their readers.

However, I'm stopping anyway. I find the amount of 'recommended bookmark' posts is cluttering my own (non-automated) posts. And you can follow my favorite bookmarks (with or without comments) on Diigo and delicious anyway.

If you think this is wrong, please let me know. If you happy with this move, let me know too!

Recommended links infoarch 11/26/2008

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Where Do I Share and Store My Information?

Most companies have loads of tools to help employees share and store information. Because we have so many of these tools, it can be hard to decide where to share and store my information.
The company I work for also has this problem. I was asked to explain the differences between the tools and help our employees decide where to share and store information. As promised, I would share this with you. This is what I came up with. Please keep in mind this is focused on our situation. But I think and hope this could be of help for other companies as well. If so, let me know. If not, also let me know!

Every employee within searches, creates, collaborate and stores information. Several methods and solutions support these processes. However many employees wonder where and when to share and store certain information and what solutions are provided to support the above-mentioned processes.
This post gives our guidelines on storing and sharing information using these tools. This post intends to help the user select the right tool for his/her problem and to store and share information in the right place.
Process-related tools, such as PLM and ERP systems, are not in the scope of this post.

Information Processes
In this memo we distinguish the following information processes:
  • collaboration: an employee shares content with other colleagues to improve, inform and peer.
  • store: an employee stores the content in a certain place.
Two other important information processes, search and creation, are not in scope of this post.

In the digital domain, the above-mentioned processes relate to the following methods:
Collaboration Tooling is a general term which comprises all tooling that facilitates online collaboration. These tools offer document management functionality (versioning, etc), tasklist sharing, calendar sharing, discussion forums, wiki’s, blogs, instant messaging, news, etc.
A blog is a website, maintained by an individual or a team, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. Usually all entries can be commented on by readers.
A wiki is a collection of web pages designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content, using a simplified markup language. Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites and to power community websites.

(Our) Current IT solutions
To support (our) employees the following solutions are provided:
  • FTP servers
  • Shared network directories (SND)
  • Wiki’s
  • Blogs
  • Discussion fora
  • Compass
  • Sharepoint
  • Document Archive/Vault
When to use what solution?
FTP servers are used to share (large) files, mostly with external parties. FTP servers offer no other document management (DM) functionality than storage.
Shared network directories (SND) are used to share (large) files inside en outside the organization. Shared network directories also offer no other DM functionality than storage.
Wiki’s are used to:
  • dynamically and collaboratively work on the content of a document,
  • build up an online and live knowledge base (such as a manual with working methods).
Usually all people have all rights to edit the content on the wiki. All edits are versioned.
Blogs are used to communicate and discuss personal (business) interests with all readers. All readers may comment on the posts, but the posts can only be posted and changed by the owner(s) of the blog.
Discussion forums are used to ask all readers a certain question or discuss a certain topic. All employees may start a forum thread and all readers may read and respond to the thread.
Compass is our corporate Intranet. Compass is not a collaboration tool. It is used to publish fairly static content on.
Sharepoint is a typical collaboration tool. It is used to manage projects and group initiatives. Sharepoint is used to share and collaborate on files (which contain content), tasks and calenders a.o..
Document Archive is our internal report and memo light-weight records management system. Finalized (Word) documents written in a template can be submitted to this archive, with or without approval (depending on the document type). This archive can be searched.

In summary
To give a clear overview of the different solutions, we summarize their commonalities and differences in the table below.
where do I
And this table as a diagram:

Does this make sense?
I'd really like to know if you think this makes sense? Is it helpful and insightful? Is the diagram correct (- it seems to be too good to be true...)? Can it be used in other companies too?

UPDATE: just saw this picture, also a great visual in this context.

Recommended links infoarch 11/19/2008

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Stop Using E-mail

Nice presentation (9 min.) by Luis Suarez to whom I've been pointing regularly on my blog. This is his presentation at the Web 2.0 Expo in Berlin (added in below). It gives a good overview of how he's trying to stop using e-mail for the wrong reasons and what he experiences doing this.

I've asked the question before, but I'd really like to hear more from Luis about the time he used to spend on email and the time he now spends on email and the social tools. (Something for the Sweettt podcast, Luis?!)

Also relate to his posts on day 1, day 2 and day 3 of the Expo.

New Blog: Fragmented Living

A colleague of mine (and ex-carpool-er) just started a blog I'd like to point you to. It's called 'Fragmented Living'. Thinking back of all the discussions we had about knowledge management, information management, innovation, living and complex systems and organizations, etc this blog should be interesting to follow!

Good luck, Harold!

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EMC also Focusing on Personal Information

Ran into this interesting news via Michael Sampson's blog: EMC started a company that will focus on personal information management.

I've always wondered why the large enterprise information management vendors never adequately addressed the personal information space. I found they basically said: use the enterprise system, even if it doesn't fit your personal way of working. Will Decho, the new company, truly address this gap? I'm really curious if they will and will follow this step.

Also refer to EMC press release and Decho site (which basically tells you Decho now 'only' sells a backup service).

Recommended links infoarch 11/16/2008

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tribalization of Business

Just wanted to point to this very nice interview on the O'Reilly Radar blog with Francois Gossieaux of Beeline Labs. This short (6 min.!)interview gets into all the key issues of communities and organizations ('tribalization of business'). That's really impressive. What I really liked was what Francois said about measuring the success of communities. Andrew McAfee recently wondered if we should introduce 'enterprise 2.0 metrics'. I wasn't sure if this was a good idea and suggested:

Can’t we ‘just’ ask for stories and try to quantify them? Ask employees to tell managers how the tools helped them or others become more productive.

Francois says the same for communities: the stories about the communities tell you their success.

Again, great interview. I'm definitely following the Beeline blog from now on!

Recommended links infoarch 11/15/2008

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Trying Taglocity: tagging Outlook

Well, just ran into Taglocity. I read through their site to see what they offer. I must say it all sounds very interesting. I'm curious how Taglocity compares to Xobni. I've been using Xobni for some time now and am pretty enthusiastic about the tool. Is Taglocity even better?

So, I'm de-installing Xobni to try Taglocity. (I don't want 2 sidebars in my Outlook and I'm don't want to try them both at the same time.) One think I'm really curious about is tagging in Outlook like in Gmail. That would be great! (I use Outlook 2003 and heard that 2007 has tagging functionality.)

So, I'll be using Taglocity for the coming weeks. I'll let you know what my experiences are.

My evaluation questions are:

  1. how does Taglocity compare to Xobni in general?
  2. is Taglocity as social as Xobni?
  3. are the Taglocity tags as good as Gmail's?
  4. can tagged emails also be retrieved after they've been archived and/or moved?
  5. is Taglocity secure (also the free version)?
  6. what could the implications of Taglocity be for corporate email? (Relating to what Taglocity claims.) Could this be a big step towards RSS-ifying email and less email, as Luis Suarez is working on?

If you're trying Taglocity too, please let me know and share your experience with me/us.