Creative Commons Plug-in for Microsoft Office
Lawrence Lessig announces a plug-in is now available to attach a Creative Commons License to MS Office documents. A good step for CC as well as MSFT! Next step....open document formats for MS Office? (via Joi Ito)
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SocialText Going Open Source
I have been watching, and sometimes using SocialText ever since Ross Mayfield and his group started it. In the beginning I was enthusiastic about the wiki, and feeding back experiences and needs and wants in terms of functionality. I may not have been following quite close enough, but over time it felt like SocialText didn't evolve anymore. There was loads of buzz around this 'first wiki for the enterprise' (a point where Atlassian might beg to differ), but it looked and felt the same to me. When Seb joined SocialText he sort of fell of my radar, which I thought strange. But apparantly they were very busy cooking stuff up, or it was just me after all.
Because at Jonas Luster's, who recently joined SocialText, two major things are announced:
Dan Bricklin has joined SocialText, and with him wikiCalc, which they will be busy integrating.
By OSCON 2006 SocialText intends to go open source. So More on that also by Ross Mayfield. I guess I know what I'll be writing about around the end of July.
(via Boris Mann)1 Comments and 0 Trackbacks | Permalink
EDEN Pre-conference Workshop on Social Software
In the past days I visited Vienna, on the invitation of the ZSI, Centre for Social Innovation. They organized a workshop on the fringe of the yearly conference for the European distance and e-learning network (EDEN). The workshop was titled Social Software in Professional Learning Environments, and an initiative of both the PROLEARN and iCamp European projects, and took place at the technological university of Vienna.
Sebastian Fiedler and Barbara Kieslinger kindly invited me to speak at their Social Software workshop about the pioneering our company Proven Partners does in working with social software, both internally and for clients. In my presentation I talked about the rationale for using social software in our organization, and our experienced benefits, challenges and obstacles. Based on the questions I also introduced some of the examples in working with our clients with social software.
My presentation was the first, which worked out nicely as I approached the subject in broader terms, and as seen from the 'user'-perspective. Subsequent presentations were by Thomas Burg (on tagging), Karsten Ehms (on internal weblogs at Siemens), and Ralf Klamma (on research perspectives and projects around social software). Ralf does interesting stuff on visualization issues, reminiscent of the work of Marc Smith at Microsoft Research. The few dozen people attending were active listeners, with a good number of questions.
Apart from the workshop this was also a good chance to talk to Karsten, Thomas and Sebastian again. It's always a pleasure to meet them. And the 'beer gardens' in Vienna, such as Altes AKH and the Hermann's beach bar (photo) were good places to have those conversations. And of course new faces and names were part of those exchanges as well. Such as Norm Friesen, Jan Mendling, Ralf Klamma and Fridolin Wild, and a whole bunch of others. All in all a very pleasant experience. Looking forward to returning to Vienna in the fall for the BlogTalk Reloaded conference, for which we just heard a proposal by me and Elmine got accepted. Photo's are up on Flickr, ofcourse.
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In the past weeks I have observed some strange Technorati search results. When I search for links to my weblog, about a third of the times Technorati shows a first search result that doesn't make any sense. It is always only the first returned result that is wrong. It shows a website that contains no link to my site, and the highlighted link is to another site altogether. I have added two examples from the past weeks. Anyone else seen this behaviour?
Reboot 8 Themes V: Relationships, Visualization, Contactivity
Relationships above Information/Technology
Putting relationships above information shifts your perspective on what information filtering is dramatically. Something I noted here a number of times but which is not something that everybody easily or automatically grasps and accepts. On a number of occasions the notion came up that if you want to keep knowledge alive in your organisation, or want to 'store' it or protect from getting lost, you need to share it, and need to build more and stronger relationships around it. The announced death of marketing as broadcasting fits here too, as does the rebirth of marketing in its original shape of bringing your goods to market and weaving relationships around it.
Another major ingredient for filtering and dealing with information abundance. Visualization so that we may see the patterns. Pattern watching is much more important than the individual pieces of information when you are trying to make sense of the world around you, and want to see trends. Combining visualization and relationships is when information filtering really starts to get into its own.
Technology helping you to be a social animal while on the move. Staying connected to your existing relationships and being able to spot the opportunities for new ones. Who is near you, in your proximity, who is in your general location, and how can I share with them and my relationships at home and elsewhere. Plazes and Imity are examples of aspects of this. Contactivity is social connectivity. It needs technological connectivity but is a totally different beast.
Photo's: both by me.2 Comments and 0 Trackbacks | Permalink
Reboot 8 Themes IV: Privacy and Ownership
Privacy and Ownership
Without wanting everything to be free (as in both beer and in speech), or everything to be protected under exclusive rights, it is still possible to think about whether the systems we use are really helping us in achieving what we need. And that we can do something to make those systems better tools for us.
Without wanting everybody to know everything, or wanting to hide everything from everybody it is still possible to discuss the nature of privacy.
That privacy is not the place where you can be on your own without anyone knowing what you are doing, that is merely solitude. That privacy is the gift you receive from others when you are in that grey zone where you are in the public space but somewhat withdrawn from it in your own space. When we visited the Illum department store on Saturday there was a couple kissing while riding down the escalators. People looked elsewhere, or merely smiled when they saw. We gave them their privacy.
Privacy is not a place seperate from the commons, it is something right inside the commons that I can give you and you can give me. We really know that already in our hearts, otherwise we wouldn't say "can you give me some privacy?" on occasion. It's not ours to take, it is ours to give, asked or unasked.
Privacy and copyright are in that sense also similar to me: copyright is not an exlusive right of me on my writings to keep it from you. It is a gift from the commons to the author so that he may have enough time to gain back the money and energy he spent on creating it. If you want to exclude others, keep it in your drawer; the copyright's equivalent of solitude in the case of privacy.
All parts in this story:
III Good Enough
IV Privacy and Ownership
V Relationships, Visualization, Contactivity
Reboot 8 Themes III: Good Enough
Jacob Boetter brought this to daylight for me over dinner on Saturday. All of these new web apps are built to be good enough. Not perfect.
I always accepted the fact that the net is inherently messy, just like human behaviour is messy. People thrive on messy, because it challenges them, causes coincidental connections, associations and serendipity. In my mind though new web apps were primarily decentral, catering to the edges, where old apps were primarily centralised catering to command and control.
Good enough however is not just about that. It is also about accepting that you cannot predict the future, and mostly don't need high precision info to be able to navigate the world. This means you don't need to script all possibilities into your technology, and don't need military precision for a lot of your info. I don't need to know where exactly you are, as long as I can find out if you are near to me, so we can meet up, for instance. A lot of the web apps we saw at Reboot take the messiness of human behaviour as given, don't try to put it in a straightjacket, but use it as a feature rather than a bug.
Photo's: Target by David M under Creative Commons license.0 Comments and 0 Trackbacks | Permalink
Reboot 8 Themes II: Diversity
But it surfaced in a number of other ways for me as well. First and foremost that you have to act yourself if you really mean you need diversity around you. Use the European examples, look at who you invite for your event, look at the holes in your current network and fill them. And that if that is not working out, remember the key point Lee had in his talk about participation. If you are looking for participation and people are not responding, it is because of your system, the structure of your attempt to engage others, not because of the people. You make it work. If it doesn't, redo it.
Interesting to note was that those present in the session really seemed to get energized by the topic. While at the same time also a number of people told me before the session that they'd already given up on Europe and had a Rumsfeldian look on Europe as the world's retirement home. I was quite surprised by that. If I intend to keep on living in Europe I need to help find ways for creating new value. You can't say your neighbourhood is going to waste and stay indoors bemoaning that, without acknowledging you're part of that yourself and need to take co-responsibility.
Photo's: Strings by Brainless Angel under Creative Commons license.0 Comments and 0 Trackbacks | Permalink
Reboot 8 Themes I: Renaissance
It's been a week since Reboot 8 in Copenhagen, and my head is still spinning from it. Last weekend already I poured most of the snippets of thoughts into a mindmap in order not to forget stuff and create space for even more memories, ideas and thoughts. I have been building on the mindmap in the past week, and am slowly ready to start writing some more extensive thoughts. Let's start with the themes I picked up from the conference. The seven themes are cut into five posts, to keep the size manageable, but they really are one story.
This of course was the theme of the whole conference. Even though some attempts of connecting presentations to this were somewhat artificial, it was a genuine theme throughout the conference. Revisiting ideas to interpret and make them work in new ways. Hearing that notion of existing ideas reused in new contexts again expressed and reconfirmed in itself was an eye opener I needed. I knew it rationally, now I feel it as a possibility again too. The helicopter was a good idea in Leonardo's time, and it needed revisiting in the 20th century when we had the means to make it work. A lot of good ideas have been floating around since the dawn of the internet, but also a lot of it wasn't feasible yet because of lack of people on the net and inflexibility of technology. I heard a number of things that I connect to the Renaissance theme. That broadness of scope, interest, and curiousity are a key part. That it is social above technological. Global microbrands, taking marketing literally as bringing stuff to market. And also that Renaissance brought Inquisition as well, as Euan Semple pointed out. That strengthening emerging European networks in which each participant's uniqueness is acknowledged and leveraged is important. That we need to use European examples much more often. They are there, we just don't share them enough. I all knew that. Now for me it is connected in a new way, more established as a pattern, and thus reinforced, stronger, and more likely to be acted upon more effectively.
III Good Enough
IV Privacy and Ownership
V Relationships, Visualization, Contactivity
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Reboot8: First Impressions First
Reboot is over, and am now in need of some serious down time.
Thomas had been afraid up front to not live up to expectations after the tremendous event we had last year. He did not have to be. Yes, it was a different event from last year. The world is different from last year. We are different from last year.
We had a different mix of people, different spectrum of topics, different conversations. Reboot was very much the same however in certain aspects: inspiring, challenging, fun, professional, interactive, deeply social, very real and about humans, not technology as such. And these were the aspects that made Reboot so good last year.
Meeting up with old friends, some for the first time. And in this day and age that thankfully is no longer a contradiction. Meeting up with new people, some not for the first time (oh that is you that writes
The children and baby's present in the audience. Keeps you connected, keeps you sane. All 'real' business conferences should have them mandatory. CEO's: bring your family. If you learn one thing from the Danes, let it be the way they let their children really be part of all aspects of their life.
I did what I promised myself last year, be part of the programme, and found myself lucky to do that with Lee Bryant of the brilliant Headshift company, and Martin Roell. I also became part of the programme ad hoc by doing a session with Frank Meeuwsen. He made my day by the energy and inspiration he found for himself when he realized he could turn his criticism on a presentation into something constructive by voicing it and doing a session himself and add to the dialog that way.
The boat ride the evening before, the two days that were as socially relaxing as can be and at the same time tremendously intense to the point of exhaustion. The great atmosphere during the after conference dinner with 25 others, mostly new faces again, that triggered even more thoughts ideas, and even concrete steps to take.
The after party at club Rust, where I summarized everything in a simple "Good show" when I patted Thomas on his shoulder. Thanks to him and all volunteers and supporting companies for making it happen once more.
And on top of all that I got to share yet another conference with Elmine. Both working on our own stuff, doing our own thing, but able to share the same context and energy this created.
On the way to the after party, someone asked me what I like to do in my spare time.
Photo by Jarkko, under CC license.2 Comments and 0 Trackbacks | Permalink
Quick Reboot Update
Although Martin, Lee and I haven't figured out yet what we're going to do in our session on diversity tomorrow morning, Frank and I did do an unplanned session this afternoon on personal management strategies, like Getting Things Done, amongst others. This as a result of the back channel discussion during a presentation on Gootodo.com (not linking, as the presentations was a promo pitch enough, without me adding to it with Google juice.)
Other than that having a good time. More later.2 Comments and 0 Trackbacks | Permalink