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 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 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 …

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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 😉

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Upcoming – Intranet 2.0 Webinars

Via Jörg Hoewner habe ich vom Webinar zu Intranet 2.0 (“The future of intranets – a sneak preview“) mit Prescient CEO Toby Ward erfahren. Ganz interessant und darum angemeldet …

[…] a sneak preview of the findings and analysis of the first major study on Intranet 2.0. The webinar will also preview some of Toby’s case study examples he’ll present at the jboye08 conference in Denmark.

The Intranet 2.0 phenomenon is beginning to gather speed. More than 50% of medium-to-large organizations have implemented, or are testing, piloting or evaluating blog and wiki applications. Just about everyone wants to rollout social media, but not everyone understands how to do so most effectively. In this 60-minute information session, attendees will:

– Learn the real numbers on what is being done (and not done)
– Case study examples from IBM, Cisco, BT, Sabre and others
– Lessons learned and key recommendations for undertaking an  Intranet 2.0 initiative

Am anderen Event werde ich aus nachvollziehbaren Gründen – nicht teilnehmen können: Key Strategies for Successful Enterprise Social Computing Deployments von Newsgator am 22. Oktober:


While most people are familiar with some components of social networking and collaboration, that doesn’t mean your project will be a “build it and they will come” success scenario. Find out what strategies you can employ or those that you should avoid to ensure that your social computing deployment meets or exceeds your business goals. […]

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Intranet.days 2008: Muss es immer gleich Web 2.0 sein?

Next post from Intranet.days 2008 at Frankfurt: Ein Vortrag von Eckhard Oberfrank von Detecon zum Thema “Mitarbeiterbeteiligung im Intranet der Deutschen Telekom – Muss es immer gleich Web 2.0 sein?”

Kleiner Rundown zum Thema Web 2.0 – angelehnt an die Web 2.0 Meme Map von Tim O’Reilly – mit besonderem Fokus auf Folksonomies, Social Bookmarking, … und wie Social Media im Unternehmen eingeführt werden kann.

Intranet 2.0 – welche Elemente der Tim O’Reilly Definition gelten für das Intranet:
– Vision: Intranet wird eine Plattform
– Benutzer steht im Zentrum
– Erschließung der kollektiven Potenziale
– Trust the Mass – kollektives Regularium – Intranets haben aber oftmals nicht die kritische Masse (frogpond: sehe ich nicht ganz so kritisch, in Intranets kann auch mit wenigen aber interssierten und engagierten Mitarbeitern viel wertvolles entstehen – zum anderen reicht es oft aus, wie vorhin bei Leila Summas Vortrag gehört, wenn die Mitarbeiter passiv daran teilnehmen und dadurch besser informiert werden)
– Bewertungen von Informationen -> Bewertung von Personen schwierig
– Kollaborationsanstoss im Unternehmen schwierig

Captain Obvious strikes again: “Social Media for Collaboration is different from generic Social Media on the Internet.”

Einige Beobachtungen:
– RSS ist bei T-Systems anscheinend noch in der Testphase
– AJAX und Eye Candy muss im Intranet anders verstanden und eingesetzt werden – es geht nicht darum Stickyness zu haben
– AJAX und Eye Candy können aber das Intranet (und die Corporate Strategy) emotionalisieren
– Mr. Clemens blog is well accepted – employees are checking the contents, yet there aren’t too many comments until now
– internal blogs at T-Systems try to build up #authenticity, connecting to employees – while talking with authority
– es gibt auch eine nette Reihe von etablierten Kommunikationsmethoden und -instrumenten die dabei helfen können die Authentizität der “corporate message” zu erhöhen
– user generated rich content (videos) im Intranet der Telekom – über 30.000 Beiträge wurden von den Mitarbeitern im Rahmen einer iPhone-Verlosung (?) eingesendet

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Geek breakfast, email and RSS observations …

Last Friday morning I had the pleasure to host Luis Suarez and his IBM colleague Matti for an improvised geek breakfast at my house. I didn’t take any photos, Luis did, but you can believe me that we had a gorgeous time sitting on the porch, sipping coffee and exchanging trade secrets of the enterprise social software market – IBM and all.

Luis is one of the bloggers I really dig, his contributions range wide – from enterprise knowledge management to collaboration software, from social software suites to personal/knowledge worker productivity. Check his talk at Next08 for some insights on living without email (“Thinking out of the Inbox – More Collaboration through less e-mail“).

Here Jon Mell talks with Luis on escaping Email (mp3). This experiment has some interesting learnings, so check his status reports and Jons summary of the talk. There’s also an extended version of the “email detox experience”, in another podcast Luis did with Matt Moore and guests.

Yes, instead of email we’re moving conversations, knowledge exchange, and collaboration to wikis, instant messaging, and other social tools. Here, RSS is one central tenet, and this is where I want to chime in, adding some compiled RSS notes I was collecting since the Enterprise RSS Day of Action (initiated by James Dellow of ChiefTech) and the Mai 1st RSS Awareness Day.

RSS is a technology, which in my perspective is still underrated – this holds true also in corporate settings. RSS can ease the life of knowledge workers, yes this is an obvious fact, but one that got reinforced today in the sessions I attended yesterday at the BarCamp Bodensee. Yet, a big problem is awareness – it’s hard to teach people, you have to help them giving it a try, and help them see how RSS comes in when dealing with information work.

In the enterprise RSS provides a channel for notifications, delivering content automatically and intelligently: Monitoring recent changes in internal wikis, moving information privisioning from push to pull, integrating various sources of information – RSS sits right at the intersection of information management and collaboration.

So here you go:

  • Recently AvenueA/Razorfish communicated that RSS was the social media tool with highest growth rates. Nice news, via pheedo:

RSS growth surprises many when the hear the numbers. It is used by over 50% of online users according to AvenueA/Razorfish. RSS has been growing under the radar for some time. According to a 2008 study from Universal McCann, RSS use is exploding, growing faster than all other key social media platforms, including social networking and video sharing. According to the study, the number of RSS users jumped 153% between June 2007 and March 2008. Publishers today recognize that their content is increasingly consumed away from their website by their most loyal, dedicated readers. For many top publishers, their page views consumed outside their domain are greater than their website page views.

[…] enterprise RSS adoption is coming into fruition – but why has it taken us so many years to finally get here? Why do the folks considering enterprise RSS today have to be the ‘forward thinking’ ones?

  • James Dellow sums up his learnings:

Overall, I don’t think that Enterprise RSS Day of Action changed the world, but this was never the intention – I’m just pleased that we’re having this conversation. However, I’m also feeling a bigger disconnect between what excites the external world of Web 2.0 and the reality inside the firewall
In these still early days, being an Enterprise RSS champion requires a delicate balance between being visionary and pragmatic.

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Notes from the trenches …

Andrew McAfee makes a case for prediction markets, citing James Surowiecki:

“[…] the most mystifying thing about [prediction] markets is how little interest corporate America has shown in them. Corporate strategy is all about collecting information from many different sources, evaluating the probabilities of potential outcomes, and making decisions in the face of an uncertain future. These are tasks for which [prediction] markets are tailor-made. Yet companies have remained, for the most part, indifferent to this source of potentially excellent information, and have been surprisingly unwilling to improve their decision making by tapping into the collective wisdom of their employees.”

Janet compiles Enterprise RSS Day of Action posts, pointing out Scott Niesen who calls for altering the conversation about RSS:

Like most new technology companies we had a vision of how RSS could be used behind the firewall and we wanted feedback to see if we were on target. In the early days we started these conversations by focusing on the technology. These conversations didn’t get very far. The inside joke was that we were starting the conversations by asking, “How many pounds of RSS would you like to buy today?” You live and learn. Now we start the conversation talking about communication and collaboration challenges. The conversations last longer and are far more meaningful.

Naming is important, so I like this “Communication & Collaboration Delivery” instead of Enterprise RSS.

And there’s an interesting chart on Enterprise 2.0 adoption here at Read-Write Web (“Enterprise 2.0 To Become a $4.6 Billion Industry By 2013“), citing a report by Forrester Research:

web 2.0 adoption

Yes, it’s sad to see that small and medium-sized businesses don’t see the opportunities. Way to go for social software consultants – more explaining, teaching and coaching – customized to this “long tail” of businesses – is needed. Still, the problem of “getting past the IT gatekeepers” is mostly a problem of big enterprises, which have other upsides still:

Enterprises are keen in adopting web 2.0 principles in both external and internal aspects. Knowledge Management is being replaced with web 2.0 collaboration and social networking applications. The executives understand the need, but knowledge of web 2.0 and how to implement is still missing. They are opting for less risky web 2.0 pilot applications instead of realigning their business strategy with web 2.0. But I am sure success of pilot applications will lead to bigger initiatives. It is just a matter of time and confidence.

Well, there’s nothing wrong with doing pilots first, funding a small team and bringing in external consultants like me to get up to speed quickly. Don’t spend hours pondering the details and splitting hairs – actually use this stuff and find out.

And finally, when shall the next Wiki Wednesday Stuttgart be? My favourite date is July 9th, between the European Football Championships and summer holidays in Baden-Württemberg.

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Enterprise RSS Day of Action

James Dellow prepared a short slide deck for the upcoming Enterprise RSS Day of Action:

James also put up a presentation with a “wish list” for enterprise RSS:

These 10 things are inspired by the RSS services and functionality I’ve seen or experienced on the “consumer Web” that I want to have available inside the firewall too. Hopefully it also goes someway to explaining why Enterprise RSS is a different proposition from simply installing an RSS Reader on your work PC and RSS-ifying your intranet.

Yes, these are traits that are overlooked sometimes. Small wonder too – as enterprise RSS is only beginning to take up, some of these points are just emerging (like mobile access) or are seen primarily as job of the IT department (like security).

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