the mother of all mashups

24 09 2006

david coleman over at collaboration strategies posts about a potentially awesome mashup that currently will allow you to link four web 2.0 applications (salesforce.com, inetword, thumbstacks, and sharemethods is the starting set) and work interactively between them.  the promise is that this mashup will be so compelling that a critical mass of web 2.0 applications will sign on and do the work necessary to interact with the mashup.
it will be interesting to see if key players in the web 2.0 office arena will be willing to unbundle their "suites" so that they can be selected individually be the end user.  this would be especially beneficial when on component of a vendor’s suite is best in it’s class but the others in their suite are average or mediocre.  will google be happy with you using just google spreadsheet?
there is a demo you can watch to see what it should be like.  If you are a salesforce customer, you can find in as a salesforce extension at the salesforce.com appexchange
coleman nor any of the four initial contributors say anything about an expected availability for a non-salesforce.com version tht could be purchased standalone.   nor is there any discussion of price or individual access to the mashup.  it’s my guess that the business model is still evolving as they are likely woeing other web office applications.
no matter what becoems of this particular application, it should turn out to be the cornerstone of the realization of a powerful, let flexible integrated web office suite.  this is what microsoft has been fearing (or at least what many pundits have said they should be fearing.)





more eelearning, more me

19 09 2006

i’m please to announce that i’ve launched a ning mash-up to enable more interactivity around web 2.0 applications than my wiki doesn’t allow.  navigate on over to my ning application for web 2.0 review and you can add a review of any application you’d like, or simply react to a review i or someone else has already published.  just for fun, the mash up includes a google map. so be prepared to figure out where in the world your application is made.

i’ve also put the initial finishing touches on an online project portfolio that examines 3 major projects i’ve lead.  i’m using the carbonmade application which is designed for artists, graphic artists and photographers.  it makes for a interesting approach discussion business projects but centering then on the visuals that are a part of them.





rise of the intranet

16 09 2006

there has been more and more discussion of corporate intranets in the past year or so.  in most places workplace learning has been involved in these discussions.  independent, free standing lms’s will soon be dinosaurs.  some will evolve, but most will go the way of, well, the dinosaurs.

back in july, avenue a|razorfish, a consulting firm here in san francisco published a report on corporate intranet best practices.  unfortunately it’s taken me this long to get through my other projects and the pile of reading i’ve got "stacked" in a folder on my desktop. 

it was well worth saving.

the report is packed with great information and insights and would take far too much of my time, and yours, to summarize.   the section i thought most interesting to elearning is the section on future trends on corporate intranets.  many of the trends are somewhat no brainers to those who have been involved with company intranets – like mini-intranets a emerging throughout the enterprise, that intranets are becoming key builders of corporate knowledge and strategy, or that users are now demanding better interfaces on intranets as they use them more. 

their take on executive attitude toward intranets and the technologies to be involved were the interesting bits.  they predict that intranets are becoming so fundamental to the enterprise that they will be budgeted without the massive roi justifications that intranets – like training – have had to build up til now.  they liken it to email.  "when was the last time that your management team asked you to create an roi model for corporate email?"   of course, every finance executive out there is waving their arms and saying, "but everything must have an roi."   but the reality is very few sectors of a corporate budget have roi calculated.  i think avenue a|razorfish are right on this call.

the second area of interest is around technologies.  of course they predict the ajax revolution on the intranet.  no big aha there.  but i like there take on blogs, rss, and wikis.  they predict that strategies focused heavily on blogs will not last.   they maintain that enterprise blogging will generally not work blogging clashes with corporate culture in two fundamental areas.  one, bloggers blog because they have something important or unique to say. (or we hope we do.)  most corporate  cultures, like it or not, still reward information hoarding and group think.  stray to far away from the herd and you get picked off. 

the other reason blogs will have limited success is that bloggers expect independence.  independence of thought is given alot of attention these days, but seldom does it get rewarded by career advancement.   learning to align your ideas with the strategic goals of the company is what gets your to the executive suite.  while a few lone voices are often encouraged, the report suggests that "the people who have the most  will be the most reluctant to say it."

they believe that rss and wikis are the web 2.0 technologies that will have real staying power.  in the case of rss they suggest:

Enabling employees to subscribe to subject and department specific RSS feeds and then view them through readers will enable more targeted, community-focused conversations in the workplace.

wiki’s then allow a place where those community-focused conversations can manifest themselves in projects and other work situations which require extensive collaboration.  they finish by giving an obligatory tip of the hat to social networking tools.  while i beleive they are right to call out social networking tools as important, i think they miss the mark when they point to wikipedia and squidoo as hallmarks of social networking.  better examples of social networking tools would be linkedin or myspace.  wikipedia networks information.  social networking should network people.  but i plan to write on this issue soon.

i highly recommend avenue a|reazorfish’s corporate intranets best practices report to anyone who will be involved in communicating with the workforce in the future.  the intranet is going to be the focal point for training, learning, performance management and just about anything else involving interaction between employees and the enterprise.

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eelearning goes wiki style

15 09 2006

a blog is a wonderful thing, but it tends not to be very good at building on going dialogue and discussion.  so much of what is going on in elearning needs more than a short blurb today and then on to another topic tomorrow.  one solution i’ve decided to pursue is the creation of a wiki linked to eelearning.  thus may i present to you the:

2

eelearning wiki will be dedicated to conversations around topics that i believe are important to learning professionals.  at least they’ll be of interest to me.  everyone is welcome to come on in and participate at whatever level you’d like.

the first topic in eelearning wiki is a review of web 2.0 applications with a learning perspective.  there are literally thousands of web 2.0 applications out on the web today.  some of them are very useful and have become common day names – youtube, flickr, blogger, skype – even outside of the techie/internet world. 

it’s not surprising that learning professionals are trying to figure out which of these tools can help in the learning process.  obviously, the tools that are marketed and designed right at us – like elgg or nuuvo – are easy to find and blogs have been used in learning situations on a regular basis for several years now.  but what of the rest?   de.lic.ious and cocomment?  ning and myspace?  empressr and wridea?

what’s in eelearning wiki?  well click one of the links to it in this post or in the sidebar bulletin and find out.  (FYI, the password is "learning").   oh ok, a bit of a preview:

[web 2.0 review]

review of the apps – i’ll be reviewing various applications, of my own choosing (see disclaimer on the topic home page) and rating them in three categories – personal effectiveness, learning effectiveness, and coolness.  each application will receive one to five – one being bad and five being great.

i’ve started out with 25 and will add 2 or 3 a week.

competitor lists – you’ll get a chance to help me build a list of competitors for each application.

topics regarding web 2.0 applications – i’ve got a number of things in the works that you’ll just have to wait and see when i launch them in the next few weeks.

mega, mega list of web 2.0 applications – drawing on other lists and my own exploration of the web 2.0 world, i’ll get us started on building the most comprehensive list of web 2.0 apps yet attempted on the web!

but of course, a wiki is about you adding your comments and ideas as well.  so come on in, check out eelearning wiki, and let’s do this together!





how innovators think

14 09 2006

george siemens points to an article on 10 ways that youthful technologists think about innovation from technology review by Jason Pontin.  here are the ten ways:

  1. successful innovators are famously untroubled by the prospect of
    failure.
  2. many innovators appreciate failure.
  3. innovators commonly recognize that “problems
    and questions are the limiting resource in innovation.”
  4. innovators
    find inspiration in disparate disciplines.
  5. Innovation flourishes when organizations allow third-party
    experimentation with their products.
  6.  Fra­gility is the enemy of innovation: systems should boast broad
    applications and be unbreakable.
  7. Real
    innovators delight in giving us what we want: solutions to our
    difficulties and expansive alternatives to our established ways.
  8. They are, it is true, sometimes perplexed by our ignorance of our own
    needs.
  9. Innovators can divine needs by applying a utilitarian imperative: they ask, Would the innovation help someone now?
  10. Many innovators become technologists because they want to better the world.

Now that doesn’t seem so difficult, does it? ­

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i thought the "e” was going away

11 09 2006

not surprisingly when doing an ego search on “eelearning,” i was delighted to see jim forde’s post eelearning <– (that’s not a typo) on his edtechnot.com blog. i was surprised to see it wasn’t talking about this blog but about a call for papers by jim morrison in his newsletter for innovate.

we have become familiar with “e-learning” or (e)lectronic learning,which uses communication technologies to connect students andinstructors separated by distance and/or by time, and to providestudents with access to learning resources and interaction. and thereis a long history of (e)xperiential education, where learning takesplace in the “real world” of work and service and governing and theother institutions we create to organize our encounters and interests.

historically, electronic and experiential learning have been unique and separatedomains of study and practice. the joining of the two e’s in“ee-learning” provides an opportunity to define and organize anemerging pedagogy that brings together these two domains.

seems as many are trying to get the “e” out of elearning, mr. morrison wants to add another. it seems to me that eelearning is no more that a form of just-in-time learning or workflow learning. his questions toward the end of the excerpt forde includes are provocative nonetheless. what does become of the university if all learning were to become embedded in workplace settings?

(PS – I was also surprised that this was the first time this post had appeared in my searches, maybe google has a glitch! oh, my!)

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bonk!

11 09 2006

that was the sound of another woman hitting the glass ceiling.

i was shocked to see the following headline in clo magazine article this morning regarding the continued difficulty women have in reaching the executive suite of most companies:

Study: Climbing Corporate Ladder in Stilettos Trickier Than Ever

stilettos?!? you’ve got to be kidding! it never ceases to amaze me where non-performance related bias can raise it’s ugly head.

i must point out that clo magazine isn’t solely responsible for this gaff.  in the article they are reviewing a book by lynette lewis regarding career success for women which is entitled “climbing the ladder in stilettos.”

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