The Normal Business Person’s Guide to Blogs, Wikis & RSS

nocats

  • “I have too much to read – I can’t keep up”
  • “E-mail has stopped being productive for me, but I don’t know what else to do”
  • “Communication’s really bad around here, nobody knows what’s going on.”
  • “Oh God, I didn’t know we had a project team working on that.”
  • “Advertising just seems to have stopped working for us”

You’re not alone. These are some of the things that made me tear my hair out as a manager (in the end I just had to shave it all off to stop myself doing it) – and these problems seem insoluble – worse than that, everything you do just seems to make it worse.

Geeks to the rescue!

Luckily, some very clever people with rather variable social skills have created a bunch of tools that seem to deal with these problems very well (Hey, you’re reading one now!). What’s more they’ve made them pretty much freely available – all you have to do is know what you want to do and work out how best to do it.

If you’ve been reading the right papers, you’ll have heard of blogging some time ago – what you may not realise is that blogs can be more than a teen-angst diary or a place to add more hilarious pictures of your cat – they are also a business tool that can be applied to marketing and communications, project management and improving the productivity of individuals and teams.

You might even have heard of a mysterious relation of blogs – RSS. Really Simple Syndication is increasingly being used to help people both focus their own reading, but also reach their audience much more effectively. RSS is also spawning a new generation of search engines that can help you find the very latest web-based information while also letting new readers find your stuff much more easily.

Those who really should get out more will have heard the word Wiki. A wiki is a very simple website that anyone (yes anyone) can edit – they are very useful for collaboration, helping people who may be geographically separate to work up ideas, create and edit documents and to organise events. Take a look at my wiki if you like

These tools together can boost your productivity enormously whether you choose to use them over the internet or within your corporate network, but if you’re not a geek and you don’t know any geeks (or perhaps you’d just like to keep your geek-related activity quiet)how can you relieve some of the frustrations of coprorate life? What could your organisation do with them? What are others in your industry doing with them? Just how do you get started?

“The Normal Business Person’s Guide to Blogging, Wikis and RSS” is a one-day workshop that I’m offering now to help people look at these issues and work out how they can benefit.

Who should attend?

There are three key criteria:
Are you a person? Good, ‘cos there’s no cats allowed.

Do you do business? OK so the definition of business is pretty wide here – I work with lots of public-sector people who do lots of “business”.

Now here’s the clincher… are you normal? I think this pretty much comes down to “Do you need to communicate better with people inside and outside of your organisation? Do you want to serve your customers better? Must you have value for money?” If you’re shouting Yes! Yes! Yes! then you’re normal enough to attend the workshop.

What’s in it for you?

If you attend, you will come away with a better understanding of:

  • What these tools are and what they can do.
  • How the tools are being used already by your customers, suppliers or competitors.
  • The risks of not adopting these tools.

You will also see:

  • How ridiculously easy it is to start and maintain a blog.
  • How blogs encourage conversations that can turn prospects into customers.
  • How a wiki can be used to jointly create something useful.
  • How RSS can speed up information flows while improving how well that information is targeted.

Finally you will have the opportunity to talk about how best you could use these technologies to improve customer relations, internal communications and (if that’s the bag you’re into) sell more stuff!

The workshop is best suited to a small group of people (6-8), in a single organisation, or who otherwise have to work together. Contact me in the usual way (lloyd AT perfectpath DOT co DOT uk) to set up a day’s session for your team.

tags: & & & &

The Normal Business Person’s Guide to Blogs, Wikis & RSS

nocats

  • “I have too much to read – I can’t keep up”
  • “E-mail has stopped being productive for me, but I don’t know what else to do”
  • “Communication’s really bad around here, nobody knows what’s going on.”
  • “Oh God, I didn’t know we had a project team working on that.”
  • “Advertising just seems to have stopped working for us”

You’re not alone. These are some of the things that made me tear my hair out as a manager (in the end I just had to shave it all off to stop myself doing it) – and these problems seem insoluble – worse than that, everything you do just seems to make it worse.

Geeks to the rescue!

Luckily, some very clever people with rather variable social skills have created a bunch of tools that seem to deal with these problems very well (Hey, you’re reading one now!). What’s more they’ve made them pretty much freely available – all you have to do is know what you want to do and work out how best to do it.

If you’ve been reading the right papers, you’ll have heard of blogging some time ago – what you may not realise is that blogs can be more than a teen-angst diary or a place to add more hilarious pictures of your cat – they are also a business tool that can be applied to marketing and communications, project management and improving the productivity of individuals and teams.

You might even have heard of a mysterious relation of blogs – RSS. Really Simple Syndication is increasingly being used to help people both focus their own reading, but also reach their audience much more effectively. RSS is also spawning a new generation of search engines that can help you find the very latest web-based information while also letting new readers find your stuff much more easily.

Those who really should get out more will have heard the word Wiki. A wiki is a very simple website that anyone (yes anyone) can edit – they are very useful for collaboration, helping people who may be geographically separate to work up ideas, create and edit documents and to organise events. Take a look at my wiki if you like

These tools together can boost your productivity enormously whether you choose to use them over the internet or within your corporate network, but if you’re not a geek and you don’t know any geeks (or perhaps you’d just like to keep your geek-related activity quiet)how can you relieve some of the frustrations of coprorate life? What could your organisation do with them? What are others in your industry doing with them? Just how do you get started?

“The Normal Business Person’s Guide to Blogging, Wikis and RSS” is a one-day workshop that I’m offering now to help people look at these issues and work out how they can benefit.

Who should attend?

There are three key criteria:
Are you a person? Good, ‘cos there’s no cats allowed.

Do you do business? OK so the definition of business is pretty wide here – I work with lots of public-sector people who do lots of “business”.

Now here’s the clincher… are you normal? I think this pretty much comes down to “Do you need to communicate better with people inside and outside of your organisation? Do you want to serve your customers better? Must you have value for money?” If you’re shouting Yes! Yes! Yes! then you’re normal enough to attend the workshop.

What’s in it for you?

If you attend, you will come away with a better understanding of:

  • What these tools are and what they can do.
  • How the tools are being used already by your customers, suppliers or competitors.
  • The risks of not adopting these tools.

You will also see:

  • How ridiculously easy it is to start and maintain a blog.
  • How blogs encourage conversations that can turn prospects into customers.
  • How a wiki can be used to jointly create something useful.
  • How RSS can speed up information flows while improving how well that information is targeted.

Finally you will have the opportunity to talk about how best you could use these technologies to improve customer relations, internal communications and (if that’s the bag you’re into) sell more stuff!

The workshop is best suited to a small group of people (6-8), in a single organisation, or who otherwise have to work together. Contact me in the usual way (lloyd AT perfectpath DOT co DOT uk) to set up a day’s session for your team.

tags: & & & &

Ugliest Dog ever

I wouldn’t normally be interested in dog sites, especialy ugly dogs. Personally, I aspire to having a cat blog, perhaps one like Gia’s.

But there’s a special reason for linking to The Ugliest Dog in the world (WARNING: link is nsfgosm – not safe for granny or small children), and it involves an upcoming talk called Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts & RSS – what do they have to do with your future?

Darn. I was going to use that title (the talk one, not “World’s Ugliest Dog”)

Shut up.

tags: & &

Open Tech 2005

open tech 2005God what a geekfest. The upside of today was that I got to hear people more obsessed with media hacking and social software than I am – talking tech. The downside was that personal hygiene isn’t high on the agenda for quite a few members of this community. I came away not sure whether my head was aching from brain-overload or the heady mix of sweaty NTK t-shirts and Asda’s own-brand deodorant.

I got to the venue, at the back of Charing Cross Hospital, more quickly and easily than I thought, so had time to go and stock up on mineral water, which helped with the headache.

Cool stuff I saw/heard about was:

Science Commons – like Creative Commons…only for science.

Openstreetmap – which seems to be gathering momentum, though it still has a lot of usability issues.

Podzilla – using Linux on an iPod with applications including a video player player and a ZXSpectrum emulator.

MythTV – open source PVR

backstage.bbc.co.uk – including new feeds for weather and TV schedules and, I almost forgot, Matthew Somerville’s very excellent ‘diff’ for BBC News frontpage

That’s not to say the other stuff wasn’t cool, but a lot of it just went over my head.

I took some time out in the afternoon (I’m getting on, you know), which turned out to be a great opportunity to sit and chat with the fragrant Gia Milinovich about the cool work she’s doing, and about podcasting and television and all.

I then went in and listened to my final session with a nice summary from Tom Reynolds on how to blog without losing your job, Paul Mutton on Social Network Analysis based on inferences drawn from IRC conversations and Paul Lenz who is following up Who should you vote for? with What shall I read next? (He also threw a novel out into the audience which I caught – I started reading it on the way home…it’s crap)

After which, I really couldn’t take any more and escaped to the relative fresh air of the Fulham Palace Road.

Too late for linking, piccies or tags.

Another bunch of bombs

Two weeks after the last lot, the tube network was at standstill again because of explosions. Thank goodness they were smaller and relatively insignificant. Still enough to seriously put the wind up you if you were involved.

Here’s just hoping that this isn’t going to be a repeat of the IRA tactics when they found the way to bring London to a halt just about every week. That’s going to get really boring.

Geeking & Eating

London continues to welcome a stream of geek-beloved names. This Friday, 22nd July, Lee Wilkins has organised a special night with Jeremy Zawodny of Yahoo! [ sign up in the comments to Lee’s post on geekdinner.co.uk ]

Lee sez: “Venue is the luxurious Bar Blanca, 3/4 Sherwood Street, London W1 [map]. We have hired out the whole bar! As with previous Geek Dinners [last 2] £20 will be payable on the door to cover cost of food.”

Jeremy’s here for the feverish geek excitement that is OpenTech 2005 which takes place on the following day.

Be there, or be quietly sniggered at in binary, hex and l33t.

tags: & & & & &

Geeking & Eating

London continues to welcome a stream of geek-beloved names. This Friday, 22nd July, Lee Wilkins has organised a special night with Jeremy Zawodny of Yahoo! [ sign up in the comments to Lee’s post on geekdinner.co.uk ]

Lee sez: “Venue is the luxurious Bar Blanca, 3/4 Sherwood Street, London W1 [map]. We have hired out the whole bar! As with previous Geek Dinners [last 2] £20 will be payable on the door to cover cost of food.”

Jeremy’s here for the feverish geek excitement that is OpenTech 2005 which takes place on the following day.

Be there, or be quietly sniggered at in binary, hex and l33t.

tags: & & & & &