Upcoming: BarCamp Bodensee 2010

Well, buzzing a lot prevents me from blogging more – sad truths of an ever evolving digital smarter work knowledge worker’s lifestyle. But then again, other than with Google buzz (and this movie we all know and love) the first rule of BarCamp is “You talk about BarCamp”.

And the http://barcampbodensee.mixxt.eu/ this weekend is something we better talk about – an international event, attracting people from France, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark et al.

Denmark? Yes, I am happy that Kim Bach is making the trip from Copenhagen. I met him last year at reboot – another international event drawing geeks in literally droves – and we had the great time that’s facilitated by an athmosphere of kindness to strangers and intellectual curiosity. Yes, my reboot experiences are fueled by both the shared understanding and the sparkling contrarian discussions – it’s a very special climate and I am sad that this year will be a year of breath-taking and pausing (there’s a substitute for those that can’t live without their yearly rebooting fix experience). And for crying out loud I can’t even make it to the Ersatz because I’ve got a major event lined up. More on that later.

For now, let’s blog about the proposed sessions at #bcbs10, there’s some interesting stuff in there, my selection:

You see, I am cheating a bit about the interesting proposed sessions, but I really do hope that we can do some collaborative, live-documenting the BarCamp in Wave this year:

Yes, that’s the second rule of BarCamp: You blog wave about BarCamp …

Aggregation, syndication and the delicacies of smart knowledge worker workflows ™

Now this has evolved into one hot topic, huh? And so it’s about time to sort, aggregate and systematize my thoughts on the smart knowledge workers workplace and lifestream configuration.

Well, I was blogging about my personal workspace before, and that post and this one have blurring boundaries. See there for my general setup, my choice of browsers et al. Here it’s about processes and ways to channel and refine content.

I got triggered by various posts and inspirations – one being recent posts by Robert Scoble (on what it needs for better content curation), Louis Gray (on how he proceeds with sharing content), Steph Booth (on why she likes Tumblr and how it fits into her lifestream), Andi Gohr (on his lifestream configuration) and Mac Slocum (on how buzz can be perceived as hybrid blogging). Other inspirations include people asking me on buzz how I share links (Christian, yes!), why I continue to use and enjoy buzz (DT, yes!), and how I refine the contents I share.

All this made me compile this post to share some of the tweaks and lifehacks I have chosen to tailor content I share, how I get a grip on the topics myriad of people whose work I am following et al. Basically most of these tweaks are in place to avoid needless redundancy, ie. channels get selected depending upon content (and audience) – hoping that the stuff I share to different platforms will be interesting (or valuable at times).

So here’s the basic setup:

Complicated infographic, yes. So let me explain: Basically I am depicted in the middle (ie. the neat frogpond logo) – and I am busy filtering, refining and curating content (from the top down to the bottom).

Most of the things I am learning on the web reach me via RSS – and in my reader of choice, the Google Reader. Currently I am subscribed to +1000 feeds, including podcasts, Tumblr feeds, a ton of blog feeds, searches and everything – all sorted into folders (yes, these folders have varying importance to me, you sure believe me when I say that the _fun folder is less important and funny than the _e20 folder, will you?). Moreover the Google Reader is the focal point for all the recommendations I am subscribed to, ie. the Google Reader items my buzz contacts and friends are sharing (top left). This is the lions share – and you will understand that I basically live and breathe by RSS.

Other sources of inspiration and content include my buzz lifestream (now following 400 people) and my twitter lifestream (following roundabout 1600) – and the usual suspects, ie. mail, skype, IRC, Google Talk, telcos, talking to actual people, working with customers et al.

All of this – remixed, refined and reworked – gets pushed out via various channels again, the easiest being my delicious bookmarks (bottom right). I am bookmarking and tagging a lot – yet, I must confess that not everything I hamster is public. As of today roundabout 75% of my bookmarks are marked private – I bookmark them so that I alone can find them again, come time. The 25% of my delicious bookmarks that I think are interesting to share in public get spliced into the main feed of frogpond by Feedburner.

Then I am blogging – in WordPress blogs here and there. Mostly I am pretty happy with generic posting, but sometimes it’s more convenient via Posterous, ie. via frogpond.posterous.com. This Posterous blog also allows for manual autoposting to my tumblr, a range of self-hosted internal collaboration wordpress blogs (my interpretations of a linkblog and an aggregation site), to Facebook, to Friendfeed and even to delicious. Heck, I could even tweet directly from Posterous …

All of the posts that make it to my regular blogs are syndicated to Google buzz – which in turn is feeding Twitter (via the Feedburner socialize solution, employing Pubsubhubbub) and Facebook (via Twitterfeed). Notice that I only feed native and generic buzz to Facebook, no @-Replies, no Retweeting, no redundancy, no nothing. And no, it’s not because I like Facebook and I want to keep it clean and easy. It’s more the other way round – if you want to interact with me you better use the spaces I engage in, ie. buzz and to a lesser extent Twitter. No point in aggregating my replies into Facebook when nobody there knows why I am replying ..

Ok, onto buzz – you notice it’s bigger than the rest (hey, almost as huge as Google Reader …). This is for a reason: I just love the platform. And I use it daily. Via mobile access or via old-school generic usage. Daily.

Into buzz there goes
a) generic buzzes – say I want to macroblog a link or an image or, err a tweet
b) my GReader recommendations (GReader is linked with buzz, ie. every time I click on “recommend” in Reader the item gets added to my lifestream)
c) all content I share via my secondary Posterous-Blog buzzpond (this is directly linked to buzz, while frogpond.posterous.com ain’t linked).
d) content from my blogs
e) all mobile (picture) buzzing and all public Flickr additions 😉

Now I should elaborate as to why buzz has hit a nerve with me, but I will keep this for another post …

Q&A, TGIF und mehr

Weekend at last, a little gap in between – and a bit of time to blog some of the things that happened during the week – like:

– interviews on Enterprise 2.0 consulting and wikis (german language),
– discussions on buzz and on buzz,
– a lengthy explanation on what to aggregate and where and how to do it,
– a post on last week’s SOMESSO summit in London,
– some compilation posts on smarter work and knowledge work,
– my proposal for the upcoming Lotus JamCamp (german language, explaining the rationale in English),
– and whatever else is worthwhile. There’s been quite a lot, yes.

I will link to the individual posts later, as I come around in writing them (psst, we’re doing some redecoration house DIY work this weekend too, check out my buzz to see pics 😉

New blog design – what do you think?

I decided to give this blog a new design – this is a prototype and I am still optimizing , but the basic idea is like this:

Modern look, two sidebar columns where both pointers to conversations and syndicated content go, and a header & footer area where admin stuff and additional links (blogrolls!) go.

Overall it’s based on Anton Schevchuk’s constructor theme set, that allows for a lot of customizing and tweaking.

The technology underneath is basically the same as before, the only thing I added was the Google Buzz wordpress plugin that provides the nifty buzz widget in the middle column. That said, it’s placed there, ie. in the “conversation sidebar” for a reason: I find that I engage a lot more in dicusssions on buzz – much more than on Twitter – so this is a place I find worthy mentioning and linking to.

What do you think of the new design?

Buzzing beim WikiWednesday Stuttgart

Tja, das war eigentlich abzusehen – der neunte WikiWednesday in Stuttgart ging nicht ohne Verluste über die Bühne. Konkret haben wir einen alten Hasen mit der kurzfristigen Ortsänderung – und trotz Umleitungsschildern – verloren in die Irre geführt. Sorry Dirk – tut uns leid. Du hast viel verpasst, das war gestern ein sehr spannendes und gut besuchtes Meeting. Danke an alle Anwesenden und Mitgestalter!

Wiki Wednesday Stuttgart

Zuerst aber ein großer Dank an den Coworking Space Stuttgart, der uns gestern einen Raum, Beamer und auch alles andere zur Verfügung gestellt hat (Kekse!). Bei Flickr gibt es einige Fotos von der Veranstaltung, da sieht man auch dass es schöne Seminarräume im CoWorking Space hat (hint!). Mehrere der Bilder wurden schon während der Veranstaltung bei Google Buzz gepostet – dem Mittelpunkt unserer Diskussion gestern abend.

Unsere Agenda war ja vielfältig – kein Wunder, bereits in der Vergangenheit haben wir immer wieder die Zukunft der Zusammenarbeit und der Wissensarbeit diskutiert. Buzz ist hier (wie auch Wave) nur ein weiterer Schritt in eine Welt in der das Wort Wiki mehr als Verb, denn als Pronomen verwendet wird …

Entsprechend haben wir gestern abend eine Tour durch Buzz unternommen, inklusive Tipps und Tricks:

Daneben haben wir auch einige Ideen für das WikiCAMP am 6. März 2010 bei der CeBIT gesammelt – diese trage ich noch zusammen und stelle sie dann im Mixxt-Wiki ein …

Google buzz and the fabric of the social web

“In other words, standards — and in particular social web standards — are the lingua franca that make it possible for uninitiated web services to interact in a consistent manner. When web services use standards to commoditize essential and basic features, it forces them to compete not with user lock-in, but by providing better service, better user experience, or with new functionality and utility. I am an advocate of the open web because I believe the open web leads to increased competition, which in turn affords people better options, and more leverage in the world.”

Says Chris – oh yes, and this must be only the beginning, right? See epeus.blogspot.com – I am crossposting this here now from posterous – now that our vision of buzz is getting clearer, and me and fellow buzzards need some more “argumentative fuel”.

Thoughts on using Google Buzz for collaboration and knowledge work

Ah, all the buzz about Google Buzz. Everybody is kicking the tires, experimenting and playfully learning. This is fun – at least for geeks and I can say that the overall experience has been pretty cool. It’s slick, has seen some very good ideas implemented and integrates nicely with my (private) Google account. Some feature requests and some questions still remain, and right – mine are not so much focussed on the consumer experience side but rather on the side of collaboration and knowledge worker’s processes. So no thoughts on mobile usage of Buzz now, nor about usability, complexity or design and only a smallish thought on adoption near the end of this post.

One – I am really waiting for the Buzz to arrive in my Google Apps domain (mail to frogpond adresses is handled by Google Mail, yes, there are a lot reasons for putting mail and apps into the cloud) – and the official announcement wasn’t clear I think:

We also plan to make Google Buzz available to businesses and schools using Google Apps, with added features for sharing within organizations.

Hmm, does this include the standard edition of Apps or is this planned for Premium alone?

Two – let’s applaud Google for relying on open communication standards for its social web endeavours – it’s playing, integrating and – as Chris Messina writes here – leveraging the fabric of the open web. Of course this is helping Google but it’s also helping us, and it’s a wildly disruptive move too (hey, everything that uses Pubsubhubbub is a friend of mine …).

Three – Right, Buzz both validates and marginalizes Friendfeed (I so dig the tag line “FriendFeed Reborn. On Growth Hormone” at Techcrunch). Indeed, the idea of an aggregated life-workstream was just too good to go unsatisfied – and I am now waiting for rooms and/or persistent searches to find their ways into Buzz.

Knowledge workers they need to arrange their groups and channels of communication, finding information from sources that are contextually relevant (and then act upon them, sometimes this may just mean more information filtering, analysis and refining et al.). All in all the knowledge workers workplace can need some more nifty tools that improve productivity – and yes, this is a big topic in Vulcan too everywhere.

Four – Commencing on the context topic of three, what Buzz already has done for me is a boosting of the volume (and so far the usefulness) of Google Reader recommendations. I really like the pre-filtered stuff that gets channeled to me through my social network (and I hope they enjoy the stuff I am recommending and bookmarking on a daily basis).

And now there’s more of it – and it’s easy to “buzzify content” that may start a discussion on Buzz. So I guess we need some more Backtype wizardry to include the Buzz discourse on blogs. That said – we’re still missing threaded conversation, individual favoriting of comments et al. in Buzz. Until that arrives I would rather have the conversation and discourse in here, yet I am not sure how this will work out in the end. But yes, I see and I like that Buzz will allow for more finetuning, filtering and finding stuff that interests me.

Let’s assume then that the adoption rolls in the enterprise sphere too? That’s asking for much now (and let’s not forget that these are beta status thougts …). One reason is that Google is not exactly in the position to enter the large enterprises market, even taking into account the considerable amount of consumerization of corporate IT and collaboration instruments. But I am sure that collaboration systems that merge IM, mail, wiki style collaborative editing, content sharing and communication will succeed in the enterprise too.

So yes, I think they can mount the 9x challenge – Susan asked here whether Buzz can overcome Andrew McAfee’s famous test – and I commented that it’s the integration with Google Mail that helps Buzz access a huge initial user base and network, of which:

[…] some may use it at times, even when it’s not 9 times better than the other ways we communicate

From this initial user base I guess it’s a downhill battle …

So yes, and to sum it up – for now Buzz may be immature, but it has lots of promise to change the way people collaborate and communicate.

PS. I know this could as well been a BMID post – as Buzz pondering touches and meanders around the cultures of innovation, the nerve and resilience to pull through with your innovation and ideas (some have fears Google may not), all in all the excitement and the wonders of technology innovation. And it’s relevant from a business model innovation perspective too, I feel a bit so …