Are you in the inner circle?

You might expect because of my interest in knowledge management and social software that I would be an early adopter of networking tools like LinkedIn.

In fact quite the opposite – I was slow to signup exactly because my background in knowledge management tells me relationships are built on more than just loose online connections. However, I did eventually sign up but to be quite honest it was out curiosity around social networks rather than aiming to find business opportunities.

I remember then thinking it was very US-centric (not surprising). Now I’ve noticed an increasing number of people who are bit more local, but that I don’t actually know already. In fact here are the stats from LinkedIn tonight:

* San Francisco Bay Area (11%)
* United Kingdom (10%)
* Greater New York City Area (6%)
* Netherlands (5%)
* Brazil (5%)
* Australia (4%)
* Dallas/Fort Worth Area (4%)
* Greater Boston Area (3%)
* France (3%)
* Washington D.C. Metro Area (3%)

Apart from the US, does anyone have any ideas why LinkedIn is so popular in Brazil???

BTW If you’re thinking of inviting to link up with me in LinkedIn but we don’t already know each other, please don’t be offended if I decline the invitation.

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Omnidrive, made in Wollongong

I’m always happy to give ICT companies based in my adopted home town, Wollongong, a bit of support. So if you’re looking for an intersting startup that plans to offer “a service that gives people the ability to store all their files online, making them available from anywhere” take a look at Omnidrive.

The two brains behind Omnidrive are Geoff McQueen, who already has a well established Web software company called Internetrix, and Nik Culbrilovic (who also has his own blog – check out his post on the The Economics of Online Storage). You can read Geoff‘s write up on their adventures in the US where they have been chasing some venture capital. Yes, these guys are serious!

The only thing I want to know is what kind of open API’s are they going to offer so that the Web community can mash up some interfaces to Omnidrive?

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Collaborative Advantage

HBS’ Working Knowledge reviewed a new book on collaboration, called Collaborative Advantage: How Organizations Win by Working Together by Elizabeth Lank.

I like Lank‘s argument that says by collaborating companies are “creating competitive advantage that is difficult to replicate… [and it] cannot be bought, copied, or stolen; it must be created from scratch in competing organizations.”

What I’m not so excited about is that she has created yet another bit of jargon, “collaborative capital“!

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G’Day from Singapore

If you are looking for me at the moment I’m currently in Singapore running a 2-day master class on enabling knowledge management with technology. Participants include people from Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong who represent a range of industries, covering government, healthcare, resources and logistics. Its an interesting mix and I know from the comments so far on day 1 that some people are finding my approach to KM and information technology is already challenging some of their original assumptions.

In day 1 we looked at a brief history of KM, discussed some key concepts – including the Australian KM Standard, Collaborative Infrastructure and Strategy – plus a case study on Ernst & Young. Tomorrow we’ll be looking at social software, some more on collaborative infrastructure and change management.

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More PowerPointless Wisdom

We never get tired of talking about leading practices for using PowerPoint. This Australian newspaper article has some good advice, including the 10-20-30 rule:

a PowerPoint presentation should have 10 slides, last no more than 20 minutes, and contain no font smaller than 30 point“.

Personally I actually try to present with rule of thumb of around 1 slide per 5 minutes. And occasionally I’ve even been known to use none 😉

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End of the road for the dot-dash world

There have been a number of interesting reports, including this one from Wired, about the rather quiet and uneventful end to Western Union‘s 150 year-old historic telegram service the other day.

In the age of email and other instant communication tools this had to happen. However, its great to see that the significance of the telegraph networks in understanding the impact of information and communication technologies on society hasn’t been lost – if you don’t understand what I’m talking about, when you have a moment take a look at Tom Standage‘s book, titled The Victoria Internet.

PS For a bit of fun also have a look at the William Gibson/Bruce Sterling collaboration, The Difference Engine!

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Light layer of collaboration

You might remember that last year I went on a bit about the history of Lotus Notes and how it links with the current evolution of social software out on the Internet. Well, IBM are holding their annual Lotusphere conference where according to a report, IBM “showed off plans to infuse its entire collaborative software lineup with so-called social networking technology such as blogs, wikis and syndication feeds.

In the report IBM‘er Duncan Mewherter – and one of the people behind a preview (released last August) of a Weblogging component that can plug into Workplace platform – is quoted as describing social software as a “light layer of collaboration“. Hop over to IBM‘s alphaWorks for more information.

Of course the cynics will say IBM (and others) are just jumping on the bandwagon. Now while we should expect a bit of hype from the vendors, overall for enterprises I think this is a good thing.

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