Lantern’s #MH20 – Joining the dots in mental health care

Lantern, a Melbourne-based non-profit with a focus on mental health, are running a Mental Health 2.0 Unconference today. I was planning to attend but one reason and another I wasn’t able to make it down from NSW in the end… however, I thought I might as well share the slides I had prepared. As usual, this is a short deck and imagery intensive – so I’ll do my best to add some commentary later.

UPDATE: A <10 minute audio commentary is now included with the slides.

Incidentally, with the support of Simon Spencer (GM Asia Pacific) and Ross Hill from the local Yammer team, the unconference has been able to bring together participants into a microblogging community that has had people talking and introducing themselves before the event starts. So even if I’m not there today, I’ll be able to follow and engage with this back channel during the day.

If you are interested – this makes use of Yammer Communities functionality, that lets you create an enterprise microblogging network that extends beyond your own organisation.

Can you deploy collaboration software out of the box?

Mark Gilbert from Gartner spoke at the Gartner BI summit in Sydney recently. He said that firms shouldn’t deploy collaboration software “out of the box” – I disagree, but I disagree because I’m being pedantic, although I think it is important to be so given this is a Gartner person speaking.

Overall, I think Michael is right to be pedantic. What I’m not clear from Gilbert’s statement is that when he talks about the need to adapt collaboration (and social software), is he talking about actual developed customisations or customisations achieved through configuration and user-generated information architecture.

However, Gilbert also mentions SharePoint – and that does complicate things, because of the way I typically see SharePoint deployed, which is with little thought. If we read “out of the box” SharePoint to mean, you’ve just finished installing the software, switched it on, and announced job done then I can understand why Gilbert might be concerned.

Does this argument hold for enterprise social computing tools? It depends. Architecturally speaking, other “pure” tools of this type (by which I mean, are designed to be or have specific heritage in social software) typically have a greater resilience for dealing with organic and emergent usage. However, I would also encourage people to design for adoption anyway, remaining open to exploring customisation through both development and configuration based on user’s and business needs.

Bringing me back to the beginning… you can *sometimes* deploy out of the box. But even while that might be the end of your technical activities, its only the start of the project.

BTW You can come and debate this with Michael and I at the Intranets2011 conference, where we are both presenting.

Are we really getting cold feet on open government or is it just the institutions?

I did make many of these points since the very beginning of the open government initiative, and I have been warning other jurisdictions not to enter a competition based on how many data sets, or how many Facebook pages or idea contests they would run vs. other jurisdictions.

What very few have done, and should have been hardwired in the directive, is to link openness to value and mission objectives. There is still time, although the clock is ticking as the Congress – which is no longer as favorable as it was at the beginning of the Obama administration – starts looking more closely into this matter.

Gartner analyst, Andrea Di Maio, comments on the recently released US Congressional Report on Open Government, which appears to challenge some of the rhetoric of open government supporters – Di Maio clearly thinks, to put it in commercial lanaguage, its all about return on investment.

I haven’t had time to read the report myself, so I’m taking Di Maio’s comments on face value – surprisingly, I agree with some of them in principle. It is very easy to get caught up with app building and open data, while not actually really doing anything innovative to extend, improve or reduce the cost of community services, they way they organise or how they are delivered.

However, the thing I would challenge is who exactly do we mean as the beneficiary of the return on investment in open government – the institutions or the citizens? And is this report really just the sign of government institutions fighting against change and the FUD created by Wikileaks?

The issue of what Clay Shirky calls “Coase’s Floor also comes to mind – the problem might be that governments are making it too expensive is some cases to move to open government, by trying to measure and make the effort visible so they can analyse it before taking action.

Jack Dorsey: The Birth of Twitter

Straight from the horses mouth, how Twitter came about. Love the fact they were sitting on a slide at a kids playing, eating Mexican food, when Jack first pitched the idea to his team (and I never realised the 140 character limit was imposed to reduced their SMS bill).

Also from the past, Michael Arrington wrote at that time:

“There is also a privacy issue with Twttr. Every user has a public page that shows all of their messages. Messages from that person’s extended network are also public. I imagine most users are not going to want to have all of their Twttr messages published on a public website.”

Really…? 😉

Hat tip to Jordan Willms.

XPLANE’s Dave Gray on Visual Thinking in Management

Dave Gray from XPLANE | Dachis Group will be presenting at this year’s Social Business Summit in Sydney. If you haven’t heard of XPLANE before (where have you been?) or are thinking, what’s the point of visual thinking to my job? Then let Dave explain its bottom line value to management.

You might also enjoy this other recording of Dave at UX Week 2010, where he talks about Gamestorming (see my book review).

The dangers of only partially engaging with social media for emergency management

The Federal Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, has signalled a growing role for social media and other communication technologies to play in helping governments manage natural disasters.

The peak co-ordinating body is really only offering cautious support for the use of social media in managing natural disasters, which is great but also a little concerning. I don’t disagree that traditional and auxiliary channels (like SMS alerts) remain essential, but those and social media really need to work in tandem. By only engaging partially with social media, we actually create more risk than if we engage fully.

This is under pinned by the concept of being social on the inside, to be social on the outside, a Lee Bryant quote you may have heard me mention before. Also see this great related post by my Dachis Group colleague, David Mastronardi. This approach in itself goes some way in dealing with issues of misinformation, but if we fully embrace social software then we have the opportunity to also bring these technologies to bear on the problem. Tools like Ushahidi’s SwiftRiver are designed to deal with this exact issue – and they work with SMS too.

For my part, this is backed up by my observations of taking part in the qldflood.org initiative and also my observations from a recent trip to Queensland where I had the chance to chat with different state government representatives about their experiences with using social media during the floods. The door has opened and there is no question about the value of social media in a disaster. Now we need to plan to do it properly for next time.

Gartner – Workforce collaboration gaining traction in Australia during 2011

Worldwide enterprise software revenue is forecast to surpass $US253.7 billion in 2011, a 7.5 percent increase from 2010 revenue of $US235.9 billion. In Australia, enterprise software revenue is expected to grow 10.9 percent to reach $A5.5 billion* ($US5.1 billion) in 2011, with the web conferencing and team collaboration segment expected to show the fastest growth, followed by enterprise content management software… Gartner analysts see use of social media and networking continues to gain traction. In the trend of socialisation, which includes personalisation, collaboration and content in the context of user-defined activities, Gartner predicts that unified communications and collaboration will see increased adoption in 2012, and context-aware and presence-based computing will gain more traction in 2013.

So, if we believe the analysts this should be a busy year for collaboration in Australia.