Tech 621 Lesson’s Learned – Ent 2.0 : Culture & a desire to Collaborate

After a semester in the trench, and now coming up from “the field” with some results to my brief research study – it seems that acceptance of Enterprise 2.0… or perhaps even Web 2.0 comes down to two key things based on my finds:

  1. The culture you live/work in
  2. The desire you (or your firm) has to collaborate with others

It sounds so simple, but simple rarely means easy.  It is simple for me to loose weight if I will just lay off the chips, walk 1/2 hour a day, and get my head in a positive mindset…  EASY???  uhhh, no – not really.

As I reflect back on the first days of class and re-read my first blog, I was coming from a place – a culture perhaps – that found little if any value in the Web 2.0 space.  I had observed its use by the so-called digital natives, and was not impressed at the value of Tweeting what you were eating where, incessantly checking Facebook for updates, or the need to spend hours creating “special” sites that reflected ones “unique image and personality”.  I came from a different time, and place  – a generation where efficiency, economy, and activity for PURPOSE was valued.  A place where the individual was not really viewed as unique at all – it was their contribution to the greater whole that gave them value.  Quite simply, the individual really didn’t matter, so why would I want to know what you were thinking, eating or listening to, 24/7?  What value could that possibly bring?

I cannot report that I am converted from my thinking entirely – that would just be a lie.  That said, the collaborative nature of Web 2.0 forced me into this alternative universe – this culture of intense sharing, exposing, listening.  Taking a moment (or for me, a semester) to examine how the tools, methods and ways of thinking/engaging MIGHT be used for the benefit of the “greater whole” lead me to really believe in Enterprise 2.0 – Web 2.0 for work.

I will forever be more of a listener than a Tweeter, a thinker rather than a blogger, a note taker that uses a pen and paper rather than Google docs, but thanks to my young friends and instructor in #tech621, I am definitely not relegated to the culture I once pledged allegiance to.  I value in a new and personal way, the fresh and lively exchanges that you have shared with me.  I have laughed until my face hurt at your inclass tweets, your LOL cats and your Vladerday photos.  I am forever beholding to the way each of you SHARED and collaborated with me to learn the tools, the terms, the sites and the right way to search using hashtags…  Lets face it, I now know what a hash tag is!!  BIG GROWTH for the gray haired GENXRECON!  You have reminded me through your actions how to simply listen and think without sharing is really an existence of isolation, with missed opportunities for learning, understanding and harvesting joy that can only come through developing a relationship… even if the relationship is born on Twitter : )

To value Web 2.0/Ent 2.0, you must have a sense of wonder, adventure and give value to the possibility of collaboration – the power of the individual to help create collective value through their own unique voice.

This morning I received a tweet to take a quiz on the kind of collaborator I was.  I was wishing I had taken it prior to the start of class, then again at the end to see what if any change had resulted.  That said, I smiled as I read the result summary which encouraged me to “spend more time in the system sharing and collaborating to set an example for your team”…  while also advising that I get along well with “the experts”.

Thank you – for being the experts that have enabled me to become an executive collaborator; never the ultimate Web/Ent2.0 user, but better informed, open and responsive to the possibilities.  I am not sure if this will be the last blog I ever write, but I am confident this will not be the last blog I read.

Until next – I will echo back to you the wisdoms you shared  and showed me over the months…

  • Never Tweet before coffee or after beer
  • Everyday is a day to celebrate Vladerday
  • It’s ok to try new things and fail – keep trying, you might find something that works in a way you never envisioned
  • If you need to blog it – then it matters, even if no one else comments
  • Tweet like your life  depends on … because sometimes your grade does!
  • A LOL cat can bring a smile to someone having a really crappy day
  • Gen Y’s are really special…listen & learn with them
Best to you all – THE GenXrecon
genxrecon’s Result: You’re the Executive.
on quiz: What Type of Collaborator Are You? (By Central Desktop)

What Matters? Thoughts In Anticipation of our Final Presentation

It was Steve Jobs who said the following…

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”   I am not sure he always spoke with such clarity – but this one is a good one to live by.

This quote spoke to me in anticipation of our final presentations this week as well.  What really mattered between the lines of text and figures in the research that we all poured over?  Is it something of value?  Are we satisfied with how it was completed, the results, what we learned?  Can we ever be satisfied with the work in progress we call our life work?  I am not sure.

That said, if in our project we learned about something truly interesting, if we managed to find even the smallest amount of curious joy in the process, then our work was a success and we should find satisfaction.  If not – keep looking.  Maybe it was just the wrong topic, the wrong method, a bad time for you.  Find what matters to you… and like Jobs said, you will know it when you find it.

The goal for me in this Friday’s presentation is to try and share the one nugget of gold “mined” from this term, and hopefully spark some interest and generate some curiosity.

Remember to laugh

The draft paper is in, and though there are plenty of spots that will undoubtedly need follow up tweaks, it amazes me what a relief having one thing off the to-do list (even temporarily) brings.  Having so much to do during the holidays – and end of the school semester –  fills up the brain like a virus running in the background of an old computer.  It can be exhausting… it IS exhausting.

I ran across some funny Christmas cartoons by Randy Glasbergen this morning and they really gave me a giggle (especially the one about Santa texting). During this busy time of the year don’t forget to take time to breath, have a wonderful belly laugh and remember,…

Blessed is the person who is too busy to worry in the daytime and too sleepy to worry at night.” Anonymous

Re-Thinking Thanksgiving

During this season of thanksgiving, it seems right to share a link to a blog called “News from an Acorn“.  Take just a quick moment to open this link; for those too busy to read even one more thing, as the title suggests, there are NO WORDS, really there is no need for words.

Simply take a moment to listen to these photos with your heart and be grateful for all the many blessings you have in your life – both large and very small.  If you are someone that needs a few more words, click here to learn more about the child and artist (retired CIA disguise expert).

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

RAA#5: Fostering Innovation in a Mashup-oriented Enterprise 2.0 Collaboration Environment

Soriano, J., & Lizcano, D. (2007). Fostering Innovation in a Mashup-oriented Enterprise 2.0 Collaboration Environment. Universidad Politecnica de Madrid. Madrid.

Purpose:  The purpose of this research was to promote the idea that workers in the firm are “co-producers” of the software services they are suppose to use each day, as well as the content it contains.

Methods:  The method used for the study was a case study analysis of Telefonica –  a firm that manages customer service trouble tickets through their large scale knowledge management team.  A detailed description of the company’s operating procedures, business concerns and existing IT limitations were elaborated upon.  The authors then described how in a “grassroots” movement, a portion of the organization created a Ent2.0 Mashup solution that allowed for better customer service and improved solution gathering.

Main findings: The main finding of this study were the descriptive aspects of the firm as they implemented Ent.2.0 tools that fostered collaboration and information sharing; namely how the firm was able to improve their organizational processing through the use of wikis and their “EZWeb” business mashup tool.  The authors suggest the following from this case analysis:

  • associates must feel empowered to  support the content and personalizing aspects of the Ent.2.0 tools
  • knowledge workers must be able to add their improvement ideas to the tools.
  • community based collaboration activities need to be supported and fostered.
  • for success, the IT department needs to begin to embrace the SoaS model (managing the services vs. deploying/supporting applications)

The authors also propose this agile and supportive process will reduce IT backlog activity, while creating operational flexibility and improving service.
Analysis:  I found this study informative in terms of being one of the few academic case studies that I was able to find on Ent.2.0.  Not only did it demonstrate to me one possible approach for a case study write up, but the writing style was clear – easy to read and was clearly “sign posted” with the key points they wanted you to consider and walk away with from the study.  They provided a great background of the company’s problem with current systems, and what lead to the initial inquiry of an Ent.20 solution to be sought out.

If there was a downside, they really didn’t have any “bad news” to report in this study.  Perhaps there just wasn’t any, but since they made a point to mention the implication that Ent.2.0 deployments will have on IT departments, I suspect they could have spent a bit of time discussing how the IT department of Telefonica probably wasn’t all smiles with this deployment.

I would strongly suggest this as a reading to learn about Ent.2.0 in the workplace, as well as a great example of case study.

Adobe Connect: Not quite “Pain Free”…

Tonight we had the chance to try out Adobe Connect for class.  I have been a part of AC in the past, mostly for business calls with clients abroad.  In my prior experience, AC worked in an “all or nothing” way; either my clients could get in and everything worked well – or the system just never was able to deploy for them/me.  Each time trouble shooting was a random act of discovery, and the truth was – I was never really able to figure out what caused the complete failures.

In an effort to “beat” that situation for tonight’s class, I carefully entered the meeting room yesterday, tried out my head set and local DSL line and everything was PERFECTO!  I was anxious with anticipation and looking forward to stress free presentation; it was not to be.

In spite of Adobe’s website which claims: ” Ease of Use:  Adobe Connect web conferencing is a flexible solution that is easy to set up. Deploying Adobe Connect is quick and pain-free with no downloads necessary! Adobe Connect runs via Adobe Flash Player which is already installed in 98% of Internet-enabled desktops.  Attendees can easily join web conferences at the click of a single URL, with no download required! The only requirement is a web browser making the setup and use of Adobe Connect extremely simple for users from all types of backgrounds.”, the experience was NOT pain free.  The night was wrought with miscellaneous lock ups, sound outages, terrible echos, problems with video and personally (though maybe my PC’s issue again) mic issues.

I have to say, when compared to Google+, Adobe Connect was impersonal, it was much nicer to see everyone’s face in G+, and frankly – I think G+ had less operating issues.  That said, Adobe Connect – DID ALLOW for us to use whatever format slide deck we wanted to use, and there was no “weird auto-reformatting”  of the decks fonts/backgrounds like what happens in G+.

We aren’t the only ones having issues with Adobe Connect and it made for a bit of a stressful night waiting to present.

As I sit here typing this blog, my neck has a cramp from holding my cell phone against my shoulder since the mic wouldn’t work throughout the 3 hour conference call.  Other than that – it was another lesson learned by me for why F2F makes for a better overall learning experience, well… except for the pajama pants.

Bad Endings & Cyber Stalking

After reading numerous articles, reviewing statistics and watching youtube media clips about cyber stalking, (the following articles to name a few:  http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/criminal_mind/psychology/cyberstalking/5.html , http://womensissues.about.com/od/violenceagainstwomen/a/CyberstalkStory.htmhttp://writing.wikinut.com/My-cyber-stalking-horror-story/lxihxqeu/ )

It seems that women find themselves frequently the victims of cyber stalking, often due to relationships that end badly.  A few articles suggest that cyber stalking is just a Web 2.0 version of the “old fashioned” stalking behaviors that have been around for ever, but the ease of launching “attacks” and the size of attacks that can be launched grows exponentially with the mass media Web 2.0 tools.  The broadcast nature of Web2.0 also makes for more victims from cyber stalking; whereas before, perhaps being stalked was someones “secret”, now through the web one can not only torment you – they can effectively engage your entire network to work against you.

I believe it is some of the best nature of women that opens them up to cyber stalking; not wanting to hurt someone, attempting to be responsive to someone else’s needs, trusting people with our personal information and or trying to end a relationship on some sort of “amicable” note – when it is really impossible to do so.  That said, women might want to take a note from our male counterparts and be more direct about situations, be clear about limits, de-personalize bad behavior – acknowledging it for what it is – bad behavior.

No one deserves to be cyber stalked  – or stalked for that matter, but I believe women in particular need to reconsider the precautions (or lack there of) that they are taking to protect themselves.  First and foremost, women need to surround themselves with healthy relationships so that cyber stalking  – or any form of stalking doesn’t even enter the picture.