I hope you'll enjoy reading the original Traction Product Proposal, dated October 1997. Many early Traction concepts carried over directly to the Teampage product first commercially released in July 2002, but we've also learned a lot since then - as you might hope! The quotes still make me smile. The Proposal and Annotated References may be particularly helpful to students interested in the history and evolution of hypertext.
Andrew McAfee writes Nov 20, 2014: "Facebook’s recent announcement that it’s readying a version of its social software for workplaces got me thinking about Enterprise 2.0, a topic I used to think a great deal about. Five years ago I published a book with that title, arguing that enterprise social software platforms would be valuable tools for businesses...
Why did it take so long? I can think of a few reasons. It’s hard to get the tools right — useful and simple software is viciously hard to make. Old habits die hard, and old managers die (or at least leave the workforce) slowly. The influx of ever-more Millennials has almost certainly helped, since they consider email antediluvian and traditional collaboration software a bad joke.
Whatever the causes, I’m happy to see evidence that appropriate digital technologies are finally appearing to help with the less structured, less formal work of the enterprise. It’s about time.
What do you think? Is Enterprise 2.0 finally here? If so, why now? Leave a comment, please, and let us know."
Ada Lovelace Day celebrates the contributions of women in science and technology, follow @FindingAda for news and events. This year I've chosen to write about mathematician Amalie "Emmy" Noether. At the time of her death in April 1935, she was described by Pavel Alexandrov, Albert Einstein, Herman Weyl, Norbert Weiner and others as the most important woman in the history of mathematics.Noether’s First Theorem is a fundamental tool of modern physics and the calculus of variations: every symmetry corresponds to a conservation law. "It was her work in the theory of invariants which led to formulations for several concepts of Einstein's general theory of relativity." [J J O'Connor and E F Robertson, 1997]. Of her later work, Nathan Jacobson said: "The development of abstract algebra, which is one of the most distinctive innovations of twentieth century mathematics, is largely due to her – in published papers, in lectures, and in personal influence on her contemporaries." Einstein wrote Noether's obituary in the New York Times, May 5, 1935:
On Sep 4, 2014 the Named Data Networking project announced a new consortium to carry the concepts of Named Data Networking (NDN) forward in the commercial world. If this doesn't sound exciting, try The Register's take: DEATH TO TCP/IP cry Cisco, Intel, US gov and boffins galore. What if you could use the internet to access content securely and efficiently, where anything you want is identified by name rather than by its internet address? The NDN concept is technically sweet, gaining traction, and is wonderfully explained and motivated in a video by its principle inventor and instigator Van Jacobson. Read on for the video, a few quotes, reference links, and a few thoughts on what NDN could mean for the Internet of Things, Apple, Google and work on the Web. Short version: Bring popcorn.
The technoid vision, as expressed by various pundits of electronic media, seems to be this: tomorrow's world will be terribly complex, but we won't have to understand it. Fluttering though halestorms of granular information, ignorant like butterflies, we will be guided by smell, or Agents, or leprechauns, to this or that pretty picture, or media object, or factoid. If we have a Question, it will be possible to ask it in English. Little men and bunny rabbits will talk to us from the computer screen, making us feel more comfortable about our delirious ignorance as we flutter through this completely trustworthy technological paradise about which we know less and less.
Takashi has been a TeamPage wizard since 2007, and now directs Traction Software's Japanese Business Office. Takashi provides exceptional sales, consulting, and support to TeamPage customers in Japan. He is a valued member of the Traction Software global team, and a frequent contributor to the TeamPage Customer Support Forum including development and discussion of TeamPage SDK plug-ins and examples. We invite Japanese visitors to explore TractionSoftware.jp for TeamPage information and a free trial. You are also welcome to join the TeamPage Japan Customer Support Forum to talk with Takashi and Japanese TeamPage customers.
By "augmenting human intellect" we mean increasing the capability of a man to approach a complex problem situation, to gain comprehension to suit his particular needs, and to derive solutions to problems. Increased capability in this respect is taken to mean a mixture of the following: more-rapid comprehension, better comprehension, the possibility of gaining a useful degree of comprehension in a situation that previously was too complex, speedier solutions, better solutions, and the possibility of finding solutions to problems that before seemed insoluble. And by "complex situations" we include the professional problems of diplomats, executives, social scientists, life scientists, physical scientists, attorneys, designers--whether the problem situation exists for twenty minutes or twenty years. We do not speak of isolated clever tricks that help in particular situations. We refer to a way of life in an integrated domain where hunches, cut-and-try, intangibles, and the human "feel for a situation" usefully co-exist with powerful concepts, streamlined terminology and notation, sophisticated methods, and high-powered electronic aids.1a1
Updated 29 May 2015 Why isn't the Web a reliable and useful long term store for the links and content people independently create? What can we do to fix that? Who benefits from creating spaces with stable, permanently addressable content? Who pays? What incentives can make Web scale permanent, stable content with reliable bidirectional links and other goodies as common and useful as Web search over the entire flakey, decentralized and wildly successful Web? A Twitter conversation.
On Jun 9 2014 Virginia Commonwealth University launched a new course, UNIV 200: Inquiry and the Craft of Argument with the tagline Thought Vectors in Concept Space. The eight week course includes readings from Vannevar Bush, J.C.R. Licklider, Doug Engelbart, Ted Nelson, Alan Kay, and Adele Goldberg. Assignments include blog posts and an invitation to participate on Twitter using the #thoughtvectors hashtag. The course has six sections taught at VCU, and an open section for the rest of the internet, which happily includes me! This week's assignment is a blog post based on a nugget that participants select from Vannevar Bush's 1945 essay As We May Think. Here's mine:
At Apple's WWDC 2014 on 2 Jun 2014, Apple demonstrated how to build a great user experience spanning a your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Apple calls this OS level capability Continuity. It basically enables you to continue what you're doing across devices and applications by securely encapsulating your identity and the context of your action. From picking up a draft email message started on an iPhone and continuing work with that draft on your Mac, to answering and incoming iPhone call on your Mac, I believe this opens the door for a level of seamless experience that everyone will want for personal use, their family, and at work.
You'll be seeing the new TeamPage logo here, on Twitter, Facebook, across the Web, and next to TeamPage sites shown in your browser's tabs; I hope you like the it! I also hope you like the the new look at TractionSoftware.com. Our customers believe TeamPage is ideal for work that combines collaboration and action tracking, including quality management, human resources, project work, intelligence analysis, knowledge management, and compliance. We want TractionSoftware.com to tell this story simply and clearly, and we'll continue to improve this site just as we continually improve TeamPage. Please contact us for insights into how customers use TeamPage to get work done, along with a free trial.
Ada Lovelace Day celebrates the contributions of women in science and technology, follow @FindingAda for news and events. This year I've chosen to write about Marissa Ann Mayer Software Engineer, Product Manager, and Executive, currently President and CEO of Yahoo! Over her career Ms Mayer earned exceptional recognition for Computer Science teaching (while working for her Stanford degrees), software engineering, design, product management, and her executive skills. Ms Mayer joined Google as employee number twenty in 2009 and played an instrumental role leading Google Search for over 10 years.
Justin Rosenstein wrote an excellent option piece for Wired, The Way We Work Is Soul-Sucking, But Social Networks Are Not the Fix. Justin begins: "With Twitter’s recent IPO filing, the most popular graph dominating conversation is the “interest graph.” Before that, it was the “social graph,” courtesy of Facebook. But we’re now seeing the emergence of a third important graph: the work graph." The work graph term is new - and useful - but I believe the model dates back to Lotus Notes and even Doug Engelbart. In this blog post I'll review Justin's definition and use it to describe Traction TeamPage's work graph model. I'll also show how TeamPage leverages its work graph model to meet challenges of information overload, work with external as well as internal teams, and work that needs to span siloed systems of record.
Jordan had a conversation with a TeamPage customer in Sweden who agreed to document and publish a TeamPage case study, but the ISO auditor story is too good to wait. The customer is small precision machined products manufacturer. They initially supplied prototypes to the Swedish defense industry, but now focus on precision products for heavy vehicle manufacturers.
I was very sad to learn that Doug Engelbart died quietly at home on 2 July 2013. Doug had a long life as a true visionary engineer, inventor, and pioneer of technology we use every day, and technology where we're just starting to catch up to Doug and his SRI team in 1968. Unlike many pioneers, Doug had a quiet, friendly, and unassuming nature combined with deep knowledge, iron will, and a determination to pursue his vision. His vision was to aid humanity in solving complex, difficult and supremely important problems; Doug's goals were noble and selfless. The sense of dealing with an Old Testament prophet - a kindly Moses - is perhaps the greatest loss I and countless others who have met and been inspired by Doug feel today. I've written frequently about Doug in the past, and I'll continue to do so. Here are a few remembrances and resources that seem appropriate. I'll update this list over the next several days. Farewell Doug and my sincere condolences to his family and many friends.
In his Jun 2, 2013 blog post, Chess Media analyst and author Jacob Morgan asks: How Open is Too Open? He asks "Would you be comfortable working in an all glass building where people can see everything you do and every move you make?" Jacob outlines the benefits of transparency: "Keep everyone on the same page; Build trust and fostering better relationships; Allow employees (and customers) to contribute ideas and value when they see the opportunity to do so." Jacob recognizes that a balance needs to be struck, but not being transparent enough may do more harm than good. He ask: "How open is too open?" I agree with the benefits Jacob outlines, and believe the answer to Jacob's question depends on the answer to a critical question: "Transparency for what purpose?" I'll start the ball rolling in with this post, including some real-life customer examples.
In Co.Design May 24, 2013 Peter Morrison of Jump Associates writes The Future of Technology isn't Mobile, it's Contextual. He says that the way we respond to the world around is based on situational awareness."The way we respond to the world around us is so seamless that it’s almost unconscious. Our senses pull in a multitude of information, contrast it to past experience and personality traits, and present us with a set of options for how to act or react. Then, it selects and acts upon the preferred path. This process--our fundamental ability to interpret and act on the situations in which we find ourselves--has barely evolved since we were sublingual primates living on the Veldt.
The Manhattan Project, Atlas and Polaris projects cited as roots for traditional phased stage-gate Project Management didn't use that model; new high innovation projects shouldn't either. Think Agile that Scales. A fascinating 2009 paper by Sylvain Lenfle and Christoph Loch of INSEAD, cited on Twitter by Glen B. Alleman who calls it "breathtaking".
Ada Lovelace Day celebrates the contributions of women in science and technology. This year I've chosen to write about Suni Williams, NASA Astronaut and US Navy Captain currently commanding Expedition 33 on the International Space Station. I hope young women reading about Ada Lovelace Day now are encouraged by her example to pursue their dreams where ever they may lead - here on Earth or as the first Earthling to set foot on Mars.
"I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow." - Neil Armstrong, The Engineered Century.I was sad to hear about the death of Neil Armstrong on 25 August 2012. I'll always remember meeting Armstrong at an event for high school science students in the spring of 1966. He'll be remembered forever as the first person to set foot on the Moon on 29 July 1969. He coolly navigated the lunar lander to the surface despite computer alarms, avoiding rocks at the planned site, and landing with gauges showing about 20 seconds of fuel left. But that wasn't his only close call as an astronaut. In March 1966 Armstrong and David Scott successfully returned Gemini VIII to earth after a runaway thruster spun the Gemini and attached Agena target vehicle to a roll rate of about 300 degrees per second, making chances of recovery "very remote".
It's common to read about corporate culture as a big barrier to successful adoption and use of social software in business. It's easy to understand people's reluctance to change and adopt a new way of working. There are many good reasons to be wary of the promised benefits of change if you don't have relevant direct experience ("I've used this and it works"), clear examples, trust in your organization, and trust in your leadership. Books like Jacob Morgan's new The Collaborative Organization offer great practical guidance, examples, and answers to important questions. However, most social business advice makes a common and good-natured assumption that your organization is healthy - or at least has good intentions - but is just hard to convince. That's not always true.
"All of this has led me to believe that something is terribly wrong with e-mail. What’s more, I don’t believe it can be fixed,"writes New York Times columnist Nick Bilton - not pictured on right - in his July 8, 2012 Bits column, Disruptions: Life's Too Short for So Much Email. He's cranky just because he received 6,000 emails this month, not including spam and daily deals. Nick says: "With all those messages, I have no desire to respond to even a fraction of them. I can just picture my tombstone: Here lies Nick Bilton, who responded to thousands of e-mails a month. May he rest in peace."
I've read an advance copy of Jacob Morgan's upcoming book, The Collaborative Organization: A Strategic Guide to Solving Your Internal Business Challenges Using Emerging Social and Collaborative Tools. I'm very happy that we decided to give Enterprise 2.0 Boston folk a chance to meet Jacob and get their own free, signed copy at Traction Software Booth 418 next week. Jacob says: "The purpose of this book is to act as a guide for executives, decision makers, and those involved with collaborative initiatives at their organizations". I believe he hits the mark with a book of lasting value, as do reviewers including Vivek Kundra, former Chief Information Officer of the United States; Erik Brynjolf, MIT Center for Digital Business Director, and others.
Thanks to Jacob Morgan, Chess Media Group for his Tweet this afternoon while we were chatting on the phone. Last October Jacob reviewed Traction TeamPage in his Emergent Collaboration Vendor series, and liked what he saw, including TeamPage pricing. He said: "I had the pricing explained to me so I understand it but I think it would be helpful if they made it easier to understand for all site visitors because it really does make sense." We agree on both points! In updating the Buy page, Chris Nuzum used Apple Store product configuration pages as benchmarks for clarity and ease of use.
From Nora Ephron speaking at Brown University, President's Lecture series, "Adventures in Screenwriting" April 24, 1997. Paraphrased notes by Greg Lloyd: I took my first journalism course in high school. The fellow who taught it left after two years and opened a hardware store in LA. I think I was the only person he taught who went on to work as a journalist.
Ada Lovelace Day celebrates the contributions of women in science and technology. I've chosen to write about Betts Wald who was a branch chief in the Communications Science division of the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) when I first met her. I joined NRL in 1974 as my first real job - after serving in the US Army when I was drafted as a graduate student at Brown. It was a great experience. NRL was full of wildly talented, energetic and brilliant managers who knew how to get impossible things done in engineering and government, and taught that skill to their teams. Betts was one of the best: leading and inspiring her team, running interference, providing just enough technical guidance (i.e. to avoid permanent damage) while constantly encouraging and developing her team's talents. Women in science and technology should be encouraged to consider career paths as leaders as well as individual contributors: Betts is a great role model. Although I never heard Betts shout: "To the difference engine!", except for the pipe it would be in character. And I'm not certain about the pipe.
Hat tip to Professor +Andrew McAfee for pointing out Do Happier People Work Harder? my nomination for Required Reading of the Day (#RRD). Teresa Amabile, a professor at Harvard Business School, and Steven Kramer an independent researcher wrote a great New York Times Labor Day opinion column. They cite sobering results from a Gallup-Healthways poll of 1,000 adults every day since Jan 2008: "People of all ages, and across income levels, are unhappy with their supervisors, apathetic about their organizations and detached from what they do." They also suggest that the problem is manageable - by what I would define as great enterprises.
I enjoyed reading Dion Hincliffe's Putting Social Business to Work and G+ discussion led by Luis Suarez on Laurie Buczek's The Big Failure of Enterprise 2.0 Social Business. I agree that top down - and isolated - Social Business parallels the faults of top down - and isolated - Knowledge Management. I like Laurie's analysis and recommendations, including her top level: "Make social tools part of the collaborative workflow." This is good for both social business and knowledge management. The question is: how to extend the fabric of work?
On Aug 5, 2011, Andrew McAfee opened a public discussion on Google+ by sharing How Apple (unintentionally) revolutionized corporate IT by Aaron Levie. McAfee commented "Story from CNNMoney about how Apple is unintentionally revolutionizing corporate IT. About time, too." and asked "Does anyone doubt that the Cloud + mobile + social + new devices is going to have a huge impact on corporate technology infrastructures and costs within the next 5-10 years?" Off to the races...
Like many people in the tech industry, I've been happily exploring and enjoying Google+ for the past week or so (thank you Susan Scrupski for the early invitation). I like the Google+ bar, polished integration with Google Profiles, Photos, and Video, as well as the new Huddle and Hangout capabilities. And I'm looking forward to Google+ integrated Search.
Larry Cannell, Research Director, Gartner Group presented great slides and hosted an excellent webinar on July 7, 2011 based on his research and experience. Free registration gives public access to a recording of the Webinar and a copy of Larry's slides - at least for a few days (after than please check Gartner Webinar Archives). Please register and learn! Larry will also be leading sessions at Gartner Catalyst Conference 2011 San Diego, July 26-29. Larry's framework is very crisply stated, general and useful. The 65 slides include very helpful diagrams, examples, scorecard decision aids, and more. These are just top level points from my notes.
See the lively McKinsey & Company What Matters debate, Tyler Cowen: "Yes. The big gains in the 20th century resulted from transformative innovations that are much rarer today." versus Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson: "No. We’ve only just begun to reap the productivity benefits of digital technology." Read the analysis, lively comments, and jump in! My two cents (also posted as What Matters comment): I agree with Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson's analysis that digital technology - including but not limited to the Web, communications and computer technology - is a GPT that "leads to fundamental changes in the production process of those using the new invention." and whose impact on productivity will be felt over decades, not years.
There's been a lot of Web and Twitter discussion about the value of activity streams to promote broad awareness versus the potential problem of showing too much information and having important signals get lost in the flow. I believe that the best solution is to allow people to selectively zoom into activity streams, status and discussions - clipped by space, project, person or milestone - to focus on any particular activity in context. To focus more precisely, click a watch button to get notification when anything is added, changed, or discussed in a context you want to monitor carefully.
Euan Semple's Literate Business post of May 4, 2011 is well worth reading. In preparing to write his book, Euan noted "There's something wrong with the names we use for social web tools in business... whether Enterprise 2.0, Social business or whatever."
The Computer History Museum's This Day In History March 11 reminded me that today is the birthday of Vannevar Bush (born March 11, 1890), a distinguished educator, engineer, Vice President and Dean of MIT, and President of the Carnegie Institution. As World War II Director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, Bush managed all US wartime research, reporting directly to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. After the War he was instrumental in creation of the National Science Foundation. Bush is also known as the author of a famous July 1945 Atlantic Monthly essay As We May Think, where he described a possible "new relationship between the thinking man and the sum of our knowledge" including the Memex - a literary machine which inspired the invention of hypertext twenty years later - and indirectly lead to creation of the Web. See the video archive of the MIT / Brown Vannevar Bush Symposium on the 50th Anniversary of As We May Think for a great collection of talks by Doug Engelbart, Ted Nelson, Andy van Dam, Tim Berners-Lee, Alan Kay, and others inspired by Bush and and his work.
Yesterday I read GigaOM analyst and editor Haydn Shaughnessy's Future of Work Platforms report (registration required, free seven day trial available). I commented: Haydn -- A very thoughtful and useful analysis – a combination that’s all too rare! I’m particularly happy to see your thoughts on observable work (see the full report for Haydn's excellent analysis).
Ever since Jon Udell coined the term, it struck me as good way to talk about practical benefits and a business purpose for collaboration. In my opinion it helps by pealing back issues of privacy in context and activity streams, along with subtleties required to support the social dance of getting things done, dealing with exceptions, and staying aware of what’s going around you without getting swamped. This is much closer to jazz than the world of canned business transactions. It requires a level of attention to ease of use and user experience that’s just as important but in many ways more challenging to do well in a business context than for the public Web.
Our long-time Japanese reseller partner Applied Knowledge Co Ltd has done a great job bringing Traction TeamPage to the Japanese market. They are an excellent sales and consulting partner for Japanese market customers. AKJ also has deep experience applying Enterprise 2.0 principles, the Traction TeamPage SDK, Japanese Language localization of the TeamPage interface, and Japanese advanced linguistics and faceted navigation capabilities of Traction's Attivio powered Advanced Search.
TUG 2010 Newport just wrapped up after four busy and enjoyable days. It's hard to express how grateful I am to the customers, partners, friends - and the Traction Software team - who made this such an enjoyable event. First I'd like to thank keynote speakers Jim McGee, Chris Nuzum, Jon Udell as well as customers, friends and partners whose thoughtful talks and enthusiasm made Wednesday's sessions so rewarding.
A few days ago the Enterprise 2.0 Blog published Venkatesh Rao's excellent post The Real Reasons Enterprise Search is Broken. When he hears ironic jokes comparing search on the public Web versus internal enterprise search, Venkatesh notes: "People move on because they seem to think that this is incompetence at work. Search is soo 1.0 right? It's been solved and we're just fumbling the execution, right?" He says: "I have reached a radical conclusion: broken search is the problem, but fixing search is not the solution. Search breaks behind the firewall for social, not technical reasons...Let's start with the blindingly obvious, and then draw some weird conclusions." I think they are perceptive conclusions based on sound analysis, and agree with most, but come at the problem from a different angle.
I really like Jim McGee's Jun 23, 2010 blog post Managing the visibility of knowledge work. Jim makes the excellent point that "Invisibility is an accidental and little-recognized characteristic of digital knowledge work." and points back to his 2002 post Knowledge Work as Craft Work to reflect on what Jim calls a "dangerous tension between industrial frameworks and knowledge work as craft work". Early in his 2002 post McGee says:
On Tuesday June 15, 2010 we'll introduce Traction TeamPage Release 5.0 to the world at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston. TeamPage Release 5.0's new generation Proteus interface technology is fast, simple, and looks great. TeamPage 5.0 leverages this technology to add extensible personal profile pages, Twitter style personal status, group live blog technology, slick and simple Feed summary and more as a natural part of Traction's award winning Enterprise 2.0 platform.
For the second annual Ada Lovelace Day, March 24, 2010 - celebrating women in science and technology - I've chosen to write about Frances E. Allen, IBM Fellow, Turing Award winner and pioneer in the theory and practice of optimizing compilers. I've never had the pleasure of meeting her in person, but I'll take the liberty of calling her Fran, as Dick Merwin and everyone I know called her in their Fran stories.
Professor Andrew McAfee posted a very good business analysis of points made by Garry Kasparov in his Feb 11, 2010 New York Review of Books article on Diego Rasskin-Gutman's book Chess Metaphors: Artificial Intelligence and the Human Mind. Kasparov's summarized of his own thoughts as a Chess Grandmaster and world chess champion playing against - and losing to - IBM's Deep Blue chess computer. But the interesting part comes when Kasparov talks about a recent match open to grandmasters who were allowed to use computer chess programs of their choice to augment their own chess skills: "The surprise came at the conclusion of the event. The winner was revealed to be not a grandmaster with a state-of-the-art PC but a pair of amateur American chess players using three computers at the same time." McAfee quotes Kasparov and continues:
"DOUG Engelbart sat under a twenty-two-foot-high video screen, "dealing lightning with both hands." At least that's the way it seemed to Chuck Thacker, a young Xerox PARC computer designer who was later shown a video of the demonstration that changed the course of the computer world." from What the Dormouse Said, John Markoff
Oliver Marks wrote a very good post: Facebook: The Legal Rumblings Start Dec 17, 2009, on the Facebook's potential legal exposure due to its controversial changes to member privacy capabilities and settings. My comment: Oliver -- Very good followup on Facebook's awkward (to put it mildly) changes to selective privacy capabilities which were a large part of their differentiation vs Friendster and MySpace.
With over 70 million folk apparently hooked on "social" games like Farmville, targeted ads that seem to belong on late night TV, and incredibly lame attempts to nag folk get their friends to use Facebook more (giving "viral" a new and flu like meaning), I see Facebook becoming a downscale carnival midway more than a neighborhood. They certainly have a right to do that.
Originally I thought the equally lame and manipulative privacy changes would just contribute to the downmarket feel of the place.
But as you point out - EU privacy laws may land them in legal entanglements too.
Facebook is becoming a bad example rather than a good example for use of social software in the enterprise - or anywhere for that matter. Look out below!
I'm flattered that Professor Andrew McAfee cites Enterprise 2.0 Schism in his Nov 20, 2009 blog post Enterprise 2.0 is Not THAT Big a Deal, kicking off a neat discussion on serious points behind my tongue in cheek analysis. McAfee agrees that Enterprise 2.0 is a big deal - but "... I don't see E2.0's tools, approaches, and philosophies making obsolete managers, hierarchies, org charts and formal cross functional business processes". There's no need to use a 2.0 version for the Enterprise, but:
Earlier this week Oliver Marks wrote an excellent post on his Collaboration 2.0 Blog: 'The Purpose of a Business is to Create a Customer' - Peter Drucker Centenary. Oliver celebrates the Nov 19, 2009 Centenary of Peter Drucker's birth with two of his favorite Drucker bumper sticker quotes: " ‘Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes‘ and ‘There is an enormous number of managers who have retired on the job‘, which somehow seem to fit together very well." then uses these quotes as context to discuss the disturbing findings of the 2009 Shift Index report and followup analysis by John Hagel, John Seely Brown and Lang Davidson of the Deloitte Center for Edge Innovation. Please read Oliver's full post - you'll like it. Oliver was also used kind words to build on my earlier Enterprise 2.0 Schism post. Here's a slightly extended version of the comment I posted in reply, along with my two favorite Drucker bumper sticker quotes and several links to celebrate Drucker's birth and life.
I have to confess that I've enjoyed watching recent rounds of Enterprise 2.0 discussion and mud wrestling. The fact that so many people enjoy debating definitions, values, doctrinal principals - even the existence of Enterprise 2.0 - makes me think that E2.0 might best be framed as a religious debate. With that in mind, I'd like to introduce a new and exciting element: schism.
I'd like to thank all of the Traction customers, partners and friends who traveled to Providence last month to make TUG 2009 Providence as enjoyable as it was enlightening. Special thanks to keynote speakers Carmen Medina, Chris Nuzum, Stewart Mader and all of the customers and partners who participated in the Oct 14 Main event. And my personal thanks to everyone on the Traction Software team who worked so hard to bring TeamPage R4.2, the Oracle RDB backend, Attivo Advance Search, and the Proteus Google Web Tookit (GWT) UI to life. I don't know what we'll do to top TUG 2009 next year - but TUG members provides some excellent ideas! See TUG 2009 Providence | Keynotes by Carmen Medina, Chris Nuzum and Stewart Mader for links to TUG videos, slide shows, interviews, tech talks and more, along with how become a TUG member and join the conversation. TUG registration is free and open to the public.
You may have noticed a slow down in blog posts by Jordan and myself, and attributed that to our work for TUG 2009 Providence last week, and you'd be partially right (but it was fun - as you'll learn). You can also blame our slower blog posting to time spent on Twitter, both as individuals: @roundtrip (Greg Lloyd) and @jordanfrank and using the Traction Software corporate feed @tractionteam (which broadcasts the title and a shortened link to new content posted on TractionSoftware…. as well as original tweets).
On April 17, 2008 Professor Andy van Dam of Brown University delivered the keynote address of the Enterprise 2.0 Summit 2009 Tokyo. Andy's title is a play on Vannevar Bush's July 1945 essay As We May Think.As We May Think inspired creation of pioneering hypertext systems by Andy, Ted Nelson, Doug Engelbart and others, leading to Tim Berners-Lee and the World Wide Web. The creators of these hypertext systems originally envisioned an environment where individuals could write, link, comment on and share what they wrote as well as search and read what others had written - core capabilities of what we now call social software for the public Web or an Enterprise. Andy's keynote is a personal history, and a vision of how the Web provides a new context for work as well as public communication, socialization, commerce, scholarship and entertainment. For the full slide set see As We May Work (.ppt 8.8MB), posted here with Andy's permission.
Gil Yehuda wrote a very good post today Enterprise 2.0 Thoughts to end the week. He talks about Enterprise 2.0 maturity, second wave adoption, focus on work, and levels of the conversation. It's a great post you should read in full and reflect on. One particular point caught my attention; Gil says: "...having a wiki, forum, blogs, etc. on the intranet and using a wiki, forum, blog effectively to improve the transparency and productivity of collaboration are very different indicators of progress."
May 12, 2009 5:38pm rotkapchen Great explanation: Traction Director of Engineering Andy Keller tells why Traction's chose GWT (Google Web Toolkit) for TeamPage's new interaction layer. View video inline below or youtube.com/watch…
For this first Ada Lovelace Day I've chosen to write about Professor Lee Sproull an internationally-recognized sociologist whose research centers on the implications of computer-based communication technologies for managers, organizations, communities, and society. Professor Sproull is a pioneer and visionary in the rigorous study of what we now call social software.
Last week a friend who just signed up on Twitter said: "... just like Jon Stewart, I can't figure out how it works or why anyone would want to tweet or get anyone else's twitter. I had no idea what grunt and stalker is but I am assuming that is reality too. I put this all in the pocket with second life (stupid bulky awkward and totally useless)." So I reluctantly joined the crowd attempting to explain why people who have a job and have a life might be interested in Twitter. I decided to describe Twitter as one of three distinct places on the Web where I socialize every day: the public commons. The others two are my neighborhood and my workplace.
See Kuka Systems for an excellent TeamPage story Jordan wrote in cooperation with this Traction TeamPage customer.KUKA is one of the world's leading suppliers of robotics as well as plant and systems engineering and has been in the automation technologies business since 1898. They build robotics systems for factory automation and are a leading worldwide supplier of assembly and welding systems, and other related machinery, servicing the automobile, aerospace, and energy industries.
If you haven't been paying attention to this week's flap on Facebook's revised terms of service - posted three days ago and retracted today - Andrew Lavelle of the Wall Street Journal published a good recap today. The controversy relates to what rights does Facebook get to content that an individual Facebook user posts? There are a lot of good arguments about what rights people think Facebook should be able to retain, but there's a second level of discussion that relates to how people expect Facebook privacy settings to work, and how these expectations make it difficult to craft an agreement that seems fair, makes sense, and corresponds to what Facebook actually implements and enforces.
John Markoff wrote a really good Jan 11 2009 New York Times profile, In Venting, a Computer Visionary Educates on Ted Nelson and his new book,Geeks Bearing Gifts: How the Computer World Got This Way (available on Lulu.com). Markoff notes that Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, but: "Lost in the process was Mr. Nelson’s two-way link concept that simultaneously pointed to the content in any two connected documents, protecting, he has argued in vain, the original intellectual lineage of any object... His two-way links might have avoided the Web’s tornado-like destruction of the economic value of the printed word, he has contended, by incorporating a system of micropayments."
On Dec 9, 1968 Doug Engelbart stepped onto a stage in front of about 2,000 people. He adjusted his headset and sat down before his mouse, chord key set, and twenty-two foot TV projection screen. His NLS/Augment system prefigured the Web, shared screen teleconferencing, much of what we know as hypertext, in what's often called the Mother of All Demos.Read this authorized clip from John Markoff's excellent book What the Dormouse Said or see the video of the Demo.
from Michael Angeles, Traction Software Director of User Experience: Live Blog is a new plug-in for TeamPage 4.0. The new Live Blog interface works like Twitter or IM. It creates an automatically updating browser window you can park on your desktop (or iPhone). You type a brief note and everyone with access to that Live Blog sees their window update in seconds. But unlike Twitter or IM, Live Blog is backed by Traction's TeamPage platform that provides scalable storage, security, integrated search and all of the other capabilities that make TeamPage the leading best platform for Enterprise 2.0. For a video introduction see below. If you don't have Traction yet, remember that Traction is free for up to five project spaces and five users.Get a free Traction TeamPage/5 license and start Live Blogging now!
On Oct 1 DonorsChoose opened their Blogger Challenge 2008 to help spread the word about a great model for charitable giving. It's simple: Teachers ask. You choose, Students learn. Click the badge below to learn more and bring some light to classrooms where any contribution can make a difference. You'll feel good on a person-to-person level, and help children succeed in life.
If ye be seeking Enterprise 2.0 Skills, click Traction Software or prepare to be Boarded, Pillaged and Sunk by thy Competition! If thou knowes't not how Enterprise 2.0 Skills canst Protect thy Treasure - Unto thy very Corporate Life - Profesaarh Andrew McAfee can set thee aright. Arrhh!
Web-based social software makes it possible for people to discover connections and stay in touch on a global scale without imposing undue work on either the sender or receiver of information - unlike email, face to face meetings, or any other medium in human history. In Who’s on Your Team? Enterprise 2.0 and Team Boundaries Larry Irons discusses a 2002 study on distributed work that's relevant for Enterprise 2.0 collaboration. The study found that members of geographically distributed teams have a fuzzy notion the boundaries of their team (who was in, who was out) while collocated teams rarely disagreed. Larry suggests that wiki style collaboration and social networking will make team boundaries fuzzier - and that's a good thing.
Read Prof Andrew McAfee's recent blog post Curb My Enthusiasm for a very concise summary of the model, analysis and conclusions of a July / August 2008 Harvard Business Review article he co-authored with MIT's Erik Brynjolfsson. McAfee poses a polite challenge that I'll paraphrase: For a bold and important claim, where is he wrong?
Ron Miller of EContent wrote a very good article AIIM Study Finds Enterprise Search Still Lacking about an upcoming AIIM report on Findability and disappointed expectations for enterprise search. Ron's title is more polite than some of the words I've heard (and used) to characterize enterprise search. Bluntly - if we all agree that enterprise search sucks, what is to be done?
One big problem for collaboration has been too many borders - technical or cultural - creating silos of information for no good reason - and many bad ones. There's also a big problem if you don't have a good way to mark borders that enable collaboration where there's a natural expectation of privacy.
WSJ.com's Ben Worthen quotes SAP chief executive Henning Kagermann "giving an interview in the back seat of a hybrid Mercury SUV instead of his usual Town Car, in accordance with SAP's new environmental policy". Kagermann is skeptical about the proposition that "large corporate-software projects will disappear, replaced by easy-to-use Internet-programs targeted at individual workers". Kagermann says:
I'm just back from the 2008 Current Strategy Forum at the US Naval War College in Newport. This year the topic of panels and presentations (including addresses and extensive Q&A by the Secretary of the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations and, the Commandant of the Marine Corp) was the Cooperative Strategy for 21s Century Seapower - a joint strategy for the US Marine Corp, Navy and Coast Guard. The strategy raises prevention of war - deterrence, cooperative relationships with more international partners, trust built through humanitarian assistance and disaster response - to an equal level as the conduct of war. In the very best sense this is a positioning statement: what a nation should expect from its maritime forces.
Last month I had the pleasure of interviewing HBS Professor Andrew McAfee at the Enterprise 2.0 Summit Tokyo 2008. The forty minute interview was videotaped in Professor McAfee's HBS office based on questions submitted in advance from the Tokyo conference site (www.enterprise20.jp). Topics included the definition of Enterprise 2.0 versus Web 2.0; return on investment; risk of disclosure; factors for successful Enterprise 2.0 deployment - and a series of questions and followup on Enterprise 2.0 and competitive advantage that particularly struck me:
Good Morning Silicon Valley's Off Topic section for 18 Jan 2008 links to
this page as "the least entertaining game ever". Unfair, unkind, funny, but with an element of truth:
close to a perfect example of what I'd call a good cheap shot. To restore my karmic balance and express a personal opinion that the authors of the game might appreciate, see this page.
Bill Ives of Portals and KM shifts his usual focus to raise a question near and dear to all of us who live in New England, Searching for the Perfect Fried Clam. He lists three tempting choices in Massachusetts, settling on Woodman's in Essex as his first choice. I'll certainly put that on my list, but must nominate Evelyn's Drive Inn in Tiverton RI for the Clam of Honor. Not only do they have great fried clams, but they're also my top choice for Rhode Island style (clear) clam chowder and traditional Rhode Island stuffies ("Fresh local quahogs halved and filled with our spicy blend of chopped clams and chourico").
JP Rangaswami writes an excellent blog - Confused of Calcutta - where he shares his experience as an "accidental technologist" who moved from investment banking to the services arm of a telco. His post on Facebook and Knowledge Management tells a great story about what happened when he decided to open up his mailbox to his direct reports:
Traction Roots: A Whirlwind Tour (.ppt 6.2MB) tells the Traction story in pictures: 1) Tim Berners-Lee's web trades stable links for utmost simplicity and bottom-up scalability without central control; 2) Traction creates spaces which are pleasant and stable islands with a rich hypertext model internally: bi-direction links; comments based on ternary relations rather than hacking the representation of the referent object; faceted permission models uniformly enforced for search results, cross-references, as well as content browsing; fully journaled actions, etc. 3) Traction generates HTTP addressable views of its content to enable any item in the Traction corpus to be read and linked like the rest of the web (optionally restricted by access controls). This creates a pleasant and stable island that's easily connected to other islands of stability on the Web - as well as anything in the storm tossed sea - not a stovepiped box.
In his Mar 26, 2006 post, Putting Enterprise 2.0 in Perspective, Mike Gotta agrees with Tom Davenport and Andrew McAfee that a balanced discussion of E2.0 should include "... how well an enterprise addresses the complex organizational dynamics that often inhibit change," not just "irrational exuberance regarding the technology."
I enjoyed FASTForward '07 last week in San Diego - an excellent conference and 60 degrees warmer than Providence Rhode Island! It featured great keynotes (particularly Andrew McAfee on Enterprise 2.0 the Next Disruptor), sessions, networking and entertainment.
Andrew McAfee asks a great question in A Technology Flip Test: Introducing Channels in a World of Platforms: "... imagine that current corporate collaboration and communication technologies were exclusively E2.0 platforms -- blogs, wikis, etc. -- and all of a sudden a crop of new channel technologies -- email, instant messaging, text messaging -- became available. In other words, imagine the inverse of the present situation. What would happen? How, in the flip-test universe, would the new channel technologies be received?"
Everyone at Traction Software is honored to learn that TeamPage has been named a InfoWorld 2007 Technology of the Year Award Winner. In addition to InfoWorld, we'd like to thank customers and friends of Traction for helping us build a product that works well and serves a useful purpose. I'd personally like to thank Traction Software's employees and partners, as well as the inspiration from Andy van Dam, Ted Nelson and Doug Engelbart. What a way to start the New Year!
The first public document from the first Hypertext Editing System (Andy van Dam et al, Brown University, 1968) was a press release announcing its own creation. Brown University Public Affairs thought this was very clever. AvD and crew wrote a two page press release, which in the second paragraph claimed to:
Green Chameleon posts two wonderfully funny fake interviews: Explaining KM #1 (which roasts KM academicians) and Explaining KM #2 (which roasts KM consultants). I hope they go on to produce Explaining KM #3 to roast KM software vendors! Produced by (and starring?) folk from StraitsKnowledge…., which appears to be a very good Singapore-based consulting and research firm focused on knowledge, learning and innovation.
Regarding Yahoo's new The 9, Tim Bray writes:"This is the End, maybe, of
Civilization As We Know It. I’m thinking now would be a good time for the
Borg to come along and assimilate us all..." Come on Tim! Hardly the Apocalypse! Somewhere between the burning of the library of Alexandria and the first Entertainment Tonight.
I really like David Berlind's post IBM's Suitor asks how you share documents. Wrong question, right time (May 2, 2006). David makes a great points including: "Think about freeing your knowledge. Then worry about the format (after your thinking leads you to regular document land)."
But I think David edges close to a similar problem in characterizing
blogs vs. wiki's - particularly with respect to Traction and other
products which purposefully blur the boundaries.
July 1945 The difficulty seems to be, not so much that we publish unduly in view of the extent and variety of present day interests, but rather that publication has been extended far beyond our present ability to make real use of the record. The summation of human experience is being expanded at a prodigious rate, and the means we use for threading through the consequent maze to the momentarily important item is the same as was used in the days of square-rigged ships. -- As We May Think by Vannevar Bush, Atlantic Monthly, July 1945
the past fifty years, the inspiration of hypertext systems has been the
challenge of dealing with an ever-increasing volume of information.
With the advent of the World Wide Web (WWW) as a near universal
platform for commercial and scientific information, it is now possible
to use the WWW as a platform for collecting, analyzing, disseminating
and receiving feedback on competitive intelligence and other valuable
business information. This paper will use examples of weblog deployment
for competitive intelligence in the pharmaceutical industry to examine
broader challenge of enabling enterprises to more effectively deal with
the ever increasing volume of critical business information in general.
The source of the term Journal for the Traction TeamPage database is Douglas Engelbart's NLS system (later renamed Augment), which Doug developed in the 1960's as one of the first hypertext systems. Traction's time ordered database, entry + item ID addressing, and many Traction concepts were directly inspired by Doug's work. I'd also claim that Doug's Journal is the first blog - dating from 1969.
This is a group blog for employees of Traction Software Inc of Providence Rhode Island. You can read about Traction Software's customers products, partners elsewhere on this web site, but here you'll find a public conversation about anything and everything.Blogs is just one page of Traction's web site, but every news item, customer story and product note is a Traction blog post. Everything on this site is powered by a single Traction TeamPage server showing the content of Blog, Press, and Public projects (blog/wiki spaces) using a custom skin (for a similar example see IJIS.org). Welcome!