Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A friend in need's a friend indeed, a friend that tweet is better

A couple of months ago shortly after I moved to Zurich, my friends from Stuttgart started to use Twitter and said, its cool for letting others know what one does in the evening so that others could join. Well, I gave it a look and signed up. But it proved no real value to me, not only because it was no use for me knowing what my friends in Stuttgart do in the evening, because I definitely don't drive 200km to join them, moreover they soon lost interest in Twitter (possibly they saw no use for that purpose, too, because they all lived in the same neighborhood)

So I lost twitter a bit out of sight, until last week when I was on the presales meeting about Lotus Connection with another colleague who told me, that twitter could be easily integrated into facebook to update the facebook status. Well, I started updating my facebook status regularly some weeks ago, so I thought I'll give it a closer look.

Connecting the Facebook status with Twitter is described on several blogs like this one. So that was easy. But having to open the Twitter page everytime I want to post something? Thats not going to work out. Following the principle of "Simple ubiquitous online access" (the third principle, thanks Luis for the link :) I had to find a better way of updating my twitter.

First of all, I use my browser almost 95% of my time, so I had to find a way to post to twitter from my browser. After a quite short search I found Twitterbar which lets you post to Twitter directly from the addressbar, but the downside was, that it did not came with a keybord shortcut and I had to press the post button using my mouse (how horrible :). But I found another cool add-on named keyconfig that let me define custom hotkeys. Unfortunately its yet not officially available for FireFox3, so I had to use an experimental version, but thats no problem. In keyconfig I assigned Ctrl+Shift+P to post to the Twitterbar (the command for posting is simply "TWITTERBAR.post();"). So that was done, I was now able to update my facebook status from my browser, that was a real value-add (for me).

With diving deeper into the Social Software topic I also began reading more blogs and following other guys from IBM on twitter I also began to use a news reader (this stuff exists for years now and I justed started using them last weekend, I'm definitely everything but not an early adopter ... )
With using the feedreader and following more on twitter, I also received responses to my posts and liked to answer them, therefor I used another cool tool, Twhirl, which I intend to use to respond. When it comes to posting, I find out its also possible to post via GoogleTalk.

One thing I found out these days for me personally is, that twitter has a real value-add, if its used by others as well and regularly. I can easily been kept informed on what is going on around me, what my colleagues are doing. And not only staying informed, but also getting help. I can post what I am doing, with which I am struggeling or what I'd like to know, and the more knowledgekeepers I have that follow me or read the same feed (like our Lotus Connections Twitter feed) I can get easily help. That is cool!

So as a non-early adopter as I see myself, I experience some aspects of what we are preaching when it comes to business adoption.
  • I need someone I can follow, I need content already inside "the system", even if this "content" are other users that are using it (like in twitter)
  • I need easy access from everywhere to use it. Now, I have multiple channels of posting to twitter.
  • I need some value-add, I don't contribute just because I can. With twitter I even kill two birds with a stone: I keep my facebook status up-to-date (somewhat over-up-to-date I admit) , I see what is going on around me and I have easy and direct access when it comes to help each other or share knowledge.
So slowly I see what's the point on this thingy named Web2.0 :)

Btw. the next milestone I'll probably try out when it comes to integration is how I import my blog posts to Facebook notes.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Blogworld, here I come

So thats it, my first blog.

Feels a bit strange, now I also belong to those that feed the world with unasked opinions... but hey, nobody needs to read it if not wanting to.

Why do I start to blog ... well, let me shortly introduce myself to the world, since July this year I'm an IT consultant, working at IBM, in the field of Portals (WebSphere Portal) and social software, mostly Lotus Connections. Well, as I get deeper into the matter, I'm getting familiar with the concepts, and the use of it, and the benefits, and of course I need to know the stuff we are selling. And in terms of social software, we're not only selling the software (Lotus Connections) but moreover the idea behind it.

Last friday we had a presales event at a customer for Lotus Connections, and the customer was very keen on the topic and very interested. The audience ranged from really early adopters to very reluctant but nevertheless very interessted participants. We had a very intense and interessting discussion making this event a quite exciting one.
This discussion dropped my final barrier and after the event I came to the conclusion that I personally have to open myself to the web 2.0 now... I have the feeling that the time has come (and I'm really not an early adopter, too)... and here I am, writing my first blog entry. But I think for a first entry, it is enough for now, but stay tuned, there will be more to follow :)