Prezi Meeting, which launches today, brings real-time collaboration to the Prezi platform. Once collaborators have been invited to work on a presentation, the team can update different parts of the storyboard — pictures, text, images, videos, etc. — while watching collaborators add their own content to the presentation.
Presentation collaboration tools aren’t anything new […] Up to ten presenters can break down, rearrange and build presentation storyboards. The real-time aspect makes it so that remote team members can see changes as they happen.
This entry is part of Thorsten Zörner’s christmas calendar blog carnival – my task is to add something interesting for Dec 8. Thought this is an opportunity to write about something more general than usual. Still there’s collaboration and knowledge-worker content in here, stand by.
Let’s see, we all know toolsets they are fascinating, and as I’ve just set up my new travelling machine, ie. an ultra-portable 10,1″ screen laptop, it’s time to do a write-up for my other machines as well. These include home office workstations, ranging from desktop machines and servers to the notebook and the netbooks. So below you will find my short list of collaboration and communication tools and set-ups. For consultants this seems to be easy only at first sight (yes, of course mobile and on-site work is an important element), but my tools comprise much more than a mobile phone, a laptop with Powerpoint and a dark suit.
Now, fascinating tools aren’t the only reason for this post, there are at least two more: some time ago Ute linked to a survey by Dirk on what is the ideal IT-workers workplace, and last week I’ve been to the first meeting in the planned Stuttgart CoWorking space. As we’ve been dicussing what one needs for a likeable and efficient workplace (from coffee corners, open office spaces vs. silent single rooms, meeting rooms and a library) some other recent posts I earmarked lately were creeping up. And these are shining a little light on the trends and future of distributed knowledge work, and maybe even on the nature of work on the web …
Lilia Efimova wonders what happens when “[…] we move from a physical space into a digital one. […] First is about understanding what is missing when the work becomes distributed […] The second one is about emergent solutions – articulating how exactly tools facilitate things ‘around work’ that enable it.”. Here I think that she touches base with the CoWorking idea: “name […] those things – those that provide us with time, space, opportunities and excuses to engage into informal and non-goal oriented interactions. Are they spaces? activities? contexts? structures?”. I can live happily with the notion of coworking space, but it’s of course also about adaptive contexts that allow for the emergence of structures and coordinated activities.
Then Domic Basulto identified 5 top trends for the new way to work (“creativity and innovation are more valued by employers people than ever before and the traditional notion of work as merely an economic activity is being supplemented by ideas about happiness and well-being”). Obviously it’s been me who deleted employers and replaced it with people.
Yes, and I think that toolsets and work configurations are essential to living and working happily and productively. Even more for a collaboration and Enterprise 2.0 consultant who should test and evaluate the future of work first-hand …
So here’s how a productive and happy workspace looks for me:
This is my home office setup, three screens, two computers (server and desktop), a large desk, decent lighting (ergonomics is important, there’s a window to the left but on a winter’s morning it’s of little use). You don’t see the coffee machine, you don’t see the packed bookshelves to my right and you don’t hear the music playing in the background.
Then there’s the (software) technology configuration, ie. all the tools I use and employ (like Nancy I wonder if by looking at one person’s personal technology configuration, you can get a sense of what a community’s tech configuration might be). Well, here’s my microcosm:
- my blogs are the centerpieces of my online world (both are running WordPress, besides frogpond there’s BMID)
- Personal and business wikis – both are running Dokuwiki – this is my intranet and extranet
- Gmail (two accounts, one private one, another one on Google Apps for everything business related), together with Google Docs, Google Reader, Google Sites and Google Wave
- Skype and Pidgin on the machines below Ubuntu 9.10, Empathy on the 9.10 desktop. For IRC, Google Talk and Jabber stuff.
- Twitter and identi.ca
- Xing, LinkedIn, Facebook and a myriad of other webservices
- and last not least some P2-themed WordPress-powered blogs at various points both in the intranet and the extranet (for communication and collaboration with a range of individuals from a range of networks)
All this is managed and accessed by
- GNU/Linux machines (I have XP dual boot set-up on the laptops, alas), Ubuntu Server 8.04 LTS, Desktop 9.04 and 9.10. Gnome mostly.
- a nice selection of browsers (Firefox, Chromium, Opera, Midori)
- and Adobe AIR powered Tweetdeck and Seesmic Desktop – still installed, but hardly used, sorry Loic
- plus – and obviously because these are GNU/linux machines – there are some other tools that make up my configuration – mostly the standard desktop stuff like Filezilla, Gimp, Open Office or Inkscape, but also more consultant’s work tools like OpenProj, Dia and Freemind.
The funny thing now is that my setting is both really bound to my home-office physical location (these screens aren’t really mobile), and really virtual at the same time.
Being digital in the configuration of tools (mail, web services and all) makes it easy to be productive on the road and it’s lightweight. See, setting up the new travelling machine comprised nothing more than a clean install of Ubuntu 9.10, the setup of AIR and Tweetdeck and the addition of more geeky browsers (Opera and Chromium). Everything else is sitting happily on various servers, making it really easy for me to kick in an odd day in a coworking space, at the client’s site, at a conference or whereever my knowledge worker life takes me …
I need and enjoy it that way but I also guess that it’s a growing trend with others as well?
I believe that much of the functionality we see in Enterprise 2.0 software today will eventually be integrated into other enterprise applications. In fact, I would not be surprised to see that beginning to happen in 2010, as the effects of the recession continue to gnaw at the business climate, making it more difficult for many vendors of stand-alone E2.0 software tools and applications to survive, much less grow.
Smart questioning in this thought-provoking piece on the Enterprise 2.0 software market by Larry Hawes. My take has two perspectives:
One is technology-related – while I assume that the shake-out will take longer than he predicts, the eventual outcome will be indeed in favor of systems with open APIs, standard-adherent mode of interconnectivity etc. It’s a good time for open source players thus too, making the situation more complex than if we were to look at “vendors” alone. But why will it take longer? Reasons include everything from vendor lock-in, a tough time for budgeting for yet another switch of systems and a general fear of “having to go through all that integration hassle” again.
Second perspective is a bit more strategically, ie. factual market consolidation will be highly dependant of how the big players proceed. Big players like Oracle, SAP and Microsoft. Yes, I am speaking of elephants in the living-room. It will be interesting to see how they (and their acquisitions) will deal with the need for integration and interplay that are emerging as needs. I guess that the winners in that bigger race have to find a way to integrate various and diverse Enterprise 2.0 software application suites into their systems. This will also mean that they have to tweak their understanding of “integrated suite” as well. Thus, E2.0 may be the virus that changes the workings and DNA of its host (in a stealthy und unexpected way?) …
These days, you won’t always have immediate access to everyone who works on a given project. Maybe some aspects are being handled by freelancers. Maybe members of your team work remotely. Maybe you just aren’t in the office today. No matter how your team is distributed, you need to be able to assign tasks, share files, and manage your projects from anywhere. These applications offer the ability to do so from any Internet connection.
Yes, reality not only for distributed workers.
So, while the value of lists like these (10 Best Project Management Tools) can be questioned (hey, who decides what makes them the “Best”? and even “Who says it’s applications to begin with?”) they offer an overview of what’s marketplace norm in terms of functionality.
And yes, it will be interesting to watch the fight between the SaaS offerings and the open source contenders (like in 11 Open source project management tools), especially when we see collaboration as the overall goal. Focussing our views and goals for collaboration on “projects” alone is limiting – hence the best tools are adaptive and offer room for emergent uses.
“Wear yellow. Blog yellow. Tweet yellow. Bleed yellow. Release yellow. Skin yellow. Ship yellow. Join yellow.”
Bleed yellow? Thank god it’s bleedyellow.com:
What is BleedYellow?
Welcome to bleedyellow.com, where the Lotus faithful gather to post personal profiles, write blogs, share bookmarks, create communities, track activities, and build applications
Probably good to make a mash-up with the old saying “It’s not about the technology, folks” – and open source advocates may even do a reinterpretation mash-up with George Siemens:
A corporate technology infrastructure is not so much a system to control what is permissible as it is an infrastructure that needs to be co-created with end users. […] Open source software has developed largely because people are seen as participants in software creation rather than as end users.
During the Enterprise 2.0 SUMMIT I learned (via Twitter incidentally) that James Dellow has started a quite noble undertaking – putting the spotlight on (Enterprise) RSS with a so-called Enterprise RSS Day of Action:
The purpose of the Enterprise RSS Day of Action is to help raise awareness for the potential for Enterprise RSS. This wiki will provide Enterprise RSS champions with materials and information they can use to run their own awareness campaigns inside their own organisations.
Myself, I also strive to alert people to the potentials of Enterprise RSS whereever I go, sometimes by explaining it along this nice visualization by Fred Cavazza (from his article “What is Enterprise 2.0”):
What’s especially important here are those filters and aggregators, that take RSS feeds as input and refactor them so that in the end personalized information is delivered – that way easing the problems of information overload …