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Second Wave Adoption

Full Circle Associates (Nancy White) - November 7, 2006 - 6:32am
While in Australia, one of the sub themes of my workshops and talks was the idea of "second wave adoption." In education, there is a vanguard of smart, innovative people who are coming up with really wonderful uses of new internet based technologies (sometimes referred to as "web 2.0" stuff), but they are not always seeing adoption in their groups and organizations.This question of "second wave adoption" is fraught with questions, many of which my friend Bev has been articulating on her blog. Things like:
  • Are we focusing on the right value to the people we are asking to use these new tools and ways of working?
  • How do we stimulate people's imagination to try new things, like tools and processes that may be of use?
  • How do we trigger inventiveness with new tools?So this morning Annette Kramer pings me that she has been writing about this too. Kismet! How to Implement Web 2.0 In Practice? Write Some Wrongs (and Not Just in Theory). Amonth other observation, Annette suggests using writers as catalysts - and makes me wonder more about the role of catalysts in change. She also points to Andrew McAfee who talks about adoption of "2.0 technologies," looking for case studies that show adoption, not just experimentation. Ramana Rao gives specifics in the form of barriers to adoption of enterprise wide use of "Office 2.0" applications.McAfee's plea for cases reminds me that one of my recommendations out of Australia was to look for stories of second wave adoption, and I was really happy to hear that Bronwyn Stuckey and Rose Grozdanic were doing just that in the education area. (Take a look at some of the story themes and you can see why this is useful!) This is where we can learn about what is useful, how it was adopted and why.Of course there is always the caveat that there has to be value in innovation, change, dissemination of new practices. There is always the trap of the "shiny new thing" and the sometimes misappropriated enthusiasm of early adopters. That is a part of the change process. For me, from a facilitator practice perspective, I have been thinking about six practices around tool adoption. They are sort of embedded in this slide show, but I don't think they are clear enough yet. So here goes -- just a bit of thinking:What are your stories of useful, generative adoption of newer tools and their supporting practices? What sticks and what fades away after the enthusiastic coach, teacher or early adopter walks away?Tags: , , ,
  • Categories: Attendees

    Three years of blogging...

    MasterMaq - November 6, 2006 - 10:28pm
    It was three years ago today that I started this blog. And after three years of posting I can honestly say that I enjoy it more now than I did when I began. A few days ago Darren had an interesting post where he looked a bunch of popular blogger's very first posts. They aren't what you'd expect in a lot of cases. My first post was fairly introductory, but that's because I actually had a different blog for a month before this one got started. Unfortunately, it has been lost (at least I can't find it anywhere), and that's why I consider this one the start of my blogging career. Sounds funny doesn't it, a blogging career? Well call it what you will, I'm just getting started!
    Categories: Attendees, Speaker

    How Technorati calculates authority, and what you can do to improve yours

    Larix Consulting - November 6, 2006 - 6:26pm

    David Sifry has published his latest State of the Blogosphere report.  It includes all the usual data points we've come to expect (number of blogs created, posting frequency, language break down, etc).  Which while it's interesting to me, it is a tad academic.  What did catch my eye was this chart on blogging authority (click for a larger version).


    As you might know, when you do a search for a tag or term on Technorati, there is a slider to show blogs with more or less authority.  The idea being that limiting to the highest authority will give you what the "top blogs and bloggers" are saying, while the lowest is the unwashed masses.  I did wonder, though, how was authority calculated?  David outlines how things fall out and here are some interesting facts about the posting habits in each level:

    The Low Authority Group (3-9 blogs linking in the last 6 months)

    The average blog age (the number of days that the blog has been in existence) is about 228 days, which shows a real commitment to blogging. However, bloggers of this type average only 12 posts per month, meaning that their posting habits are generally dedicated but infrequent.

    The Middle Authority Group (10-99 blogs linking in the last 6 months)

    This contrasts somewhat with the second group, which enjoys an average age not much older than the first at 260 days and which posts 50% more frequently than the first. There is a clear correlation between posting volume and Technorati authority ranking.

    The High Authority Group (100-499 blogs linking in the last 6 months)

    The third group represents a decided shift in blog age while not blogging much more frequently than the last. In keeping with the theme of the maturation of the blogosphere, it seems evident that many of these bloggers were previously in category two and have grown in authority organically over time. In other words, sheer dedication pays off over time.

    The Very High Authority Group (500 or more blogs linking in the last 6 months)

    In the final group we see what might be considered the blogging elite. This group, which represents more than 4,000 blogs, exhibits a radical shift in post frequency as well as blog age. Bloggers of this type have been at it longer – a year and a half on average – and post nearly twice a day, an increase in posting volume of over 100% from the previous group. Many of the blogs in this category, in fact, are about as old as Technorati and we’ve grown up together. Some of these are full-fledge professional enterprises that post many, many times per day and behave increasingly like our friends in the mainstream media. As has been widely reported, the impact of these bloggers on our cultures and democracies is increasingly dramatic.

    A note on Ranking

    For those of you who are new to Technorati's ranking systems, we establish a blog’s authority (or influence) by tracking the number of distinct blogs that link to it over the past 6 months. In this chart, we’ve looked at folks with at least 3 links or more and grouped them into four separate categories. In total, we’re looking at about 1.5 million blogs of the 57 million total. Even though I labeled the first group as the "Low Authority" group, given that these people are in the top 2% of all of the blogs that exist, the concept of "low" is purely in relation to the other groups above.

    Bottom line, blogs that post more and more often start to inch up the authority ranking.  Posting frequency is only part of the formula though, links in factors very highly as well.  Someone could write 20 posts a day every day for months an not edge up if they are rarely if ever linked to.  Then how do you help improve your ranking (as my title suggests)?  Post and link.

    I know, I know it sounds overly simplistic, however there are only two things in this metric you can control, your posting frequency and who you link to.  I've seen time and again that when I slack off posting, my traffic dips, when I pick right back up, so does my traffic.  Traffic means people will have a better chance of finding you and when they find you, they can link to you.  What about the linking to other people part?  Part of good blogging and getting "found" is linking to other people who are writing about the same topic.

    Here's the perfect example ... people talking about this point in Sifry's post as well.  First, I went to Techmeme and looked at the thread below the root post. Then I looked for titles that looked like they focused on this issue as well (note ... writing good titles is very important to getting found ... stuff like "A cool link" or "Hmm .... interesting" are bad on so many levels).  I found four or five, read them, then narrowed down to three that were really close and relevant.

    From my reading, Blogging Trends and Deep Jive had points similar to mine ... keep posting, keep linking, keep working ... it will pay off.

    Now those folks will see in a bit that I linked to them.  Maybe they will read the post, maybe not.  Maybe they will subscribe to my feed and read more.  The point is that as you write and link you build readers and some of those readers will write something related and link back to you.  And so it goes.

    This is a long-ish post for me (hmm, coffee at five PM ... maybe it was a good idea after all) ... so I'll leave it to you.  What do you think?  Can you jump in authority? Or is there just too much out there to break free of the pack?

    Tags: , , ,

    Categories: Attendees

    When in Doubt, Hire Your Detractors

    Blog Business Summit - November 6, 2006 - 5:18pm
    Robert Scoble has just announced that Chris Coulter, his fiercest antagonist, has been hired by PodTech to help build out its news department. Scoble seems genuinely glad to have his rival aboard, which is really big of him considering that he could simply look at the man as a thorn in his side.The takeaway here is that if you launch a company blog, you can approach your detractors as nay-sayers to be “managed,” or you can listen to them. And sometimes, when you listen to them, you might find that your company could really benefit from hearing that “nay-saying” all the time. And that’s when you take a gulp, breathe, and hire your detractor.
    Categories: Other Conferences

    How Do You Measure the Value-Add of a Media Sponsorship?

    Blog Business Summit - November 6, 2006 - 5:05pm
    Our attendee Chas Edwards of Federated Media posted today about running an online media business in which he concludes:And what about sponsorships? That free money with no strings attached, no accountability and no sponsor expectation that their message will reach a pre-set number of prospective customers? It doesn’t exist. Sponsors have expectations just like advertisers. Even if the insertion order doesn’t price the deal in dollars per thousand impressions or cost per click, sponsors are doing the math just like everyone else; if the math doesn’t add up — appropriate value for their sponsorship buck — the sponsorship dollars will dry up fast. Crunching numbers may not be the fun part of the media business, but it’s an important skill to learn. There’s no free lunch — even on the internet.I couldn’t agree more with that assessment, but I think Chas overlooks the number of ways that sponsoring a site can add value beyond the basic pay-per-click/impression model that many sites use to drive revenue. When we talk with our clients about sponsored blogs, we go over all the ways they add quantifiable value. Yes, conversions and click-through matter.  But our sponsors are usually more concerned with search engine optimization. They want to make sure that their site, or our blog is the first thing that pops up when their prospects are searching for something relevant to what they offer.Chas is absolutely right. There are too many media providers out there who simply want to get their content sponsored without thinking about what the sponsor will expect in return. Successful commercial media, old and new, provides advertisers and sponsors with a clear and quantifiable value-add. They won’t stay in the game long if they don’t.
    Categories: Other Conferences

    Technorati Improves Recognition of Spam Blogs

    Blog Business Summit - November 6, 2006 - 1:19pm
    David Sifry of Technorati issues a biannual “state of the blogophere” report. The latest report indicates a decrease in new blogs per day from 160K per day in June to 100K this October. Sifry attributes the decrease to improvements in the detection and removal of spam blogs or “splogs” from Technorati’s tracking system.I was most interested to see that bloggers still choose to link primarily to mainstream media (MSM) outlets such as the New York Times as sources of hard news and information. That flies in the face of predictions that the blogosphere will crush mainstream journalism.
    Categories: Other Conferences

    Using MindMaps to help lawyers become lawyers ... check out LawMaps.org

    Larix Consulting - November 6, 2006 - 11:52am

    I love it when an old post is found and you get a great comment (because mostly when I get a comment on an old post, it's spam).  My post from May about the debate over laptops in the classroom netted a comment this weekend from David over at LawMaps.org.

    David and his friends have made MindMaps with MindManager as study guides for U.K. and E.U. law exams.  Cool, yes, but it gets a lot better.  They released them under Creative Commons for all to benfit from!

    So you don't have to search for his comment, here it is:

    Hello,

    I saw your discussion about laptops in the classroom and share my experience with MindManager. I was amazed to be one of the few people at my law school to use a laptop in lectures. For the first 6 months of school I took notes in OpenOffice.org. I then switched to MindManager and was really happy with the change. I worked with a couple of friends to edit my maps, and these (particularly when printed in colour A3 landscape format) made invaluable study aids when preparing essays, for tutorials and of course for exams.

    When I did solicitors' vocational training, the Legal Practice Course (LPC), I managed to find a mindmapping study partner, and we found the software more useful than ever. The LPC exams are open book, and it was incredible to have a binder of 20-30 mindmaps covering the main topics in each subject and just open the relevant map to work through our exam answers.

    My friends and I have decided to share our maps, and we've set up www.lawmaps.org to do so. We have maps for all of the UK mandatory LLB courses plus several electives, we have the same for the LPC, and we hope soon to have maps for the barristers' course or BVC. All the maps are shared under a Creative Commons noncommercial-attribution-sharealike licence
    [bold mine], so anyone and everyone is welcome to use them.

    We would be happy for people would make use of them and absolutely thrilled if they would edit/update the maps and share their efforts back to our site. This is a completely noncommercial effort, we really just want people to benefit from our efforts and learn more about mindmapping.

    Best regards,

    David

    Just like I've always contended, it isn't laptops in the classroom that is a problem, it's how they are used.  I doodled my way through many a class and lecture ... does this mean paper and pens should be banned?  No.  Using a laptop with MindManager can, IMNSHO, really help people collect and take notes.  For ADD folks and people with learning disabilities like mine (fine motor deficit with spatial issues ... yes, watching me park a car can be scary) MindMapping is a godsend.

    David and team, great job and I hope this could be an example for other folks (SATs, MCATs, GREs, LSTATs).

    Tags: , , ,

    Categories: Attendees

    Do spammers get spammed?

    MasterMaq - November 6, 2006 - 11:26am
    Larry posted yesterday about the many kinds of spam he receives, including some that could not possibly result in any revenue for anyone. I get some of that too. The most interesting kind I have gotten lately is spam with the subject line "hi mack" or "hi mmale" - they are getting better! Anyway, Larry has a pretty common idea for punishing the spammers: There are those that advocate capital punishment for spammers. I think we should just sentence them to a lifetime of receiving spam themselves. I hear this all the time, and it just makes me laugh. I think it's safe to assume there's a person behind every piece of spam that gets sent (someone has to turn on the computer in the first place) - we'll call them the spammer. So why would anyone think that the spammer is exempt from getting spam? I bet the spammers get just as much spam as the rest of us. Larry Borsato  
    Categories: Attendees, Speaker

    links for 2006-11-06

    The Last Minute (Duncan Rawlinson) - November 5, 2006 - 8:20pm
    Call Me Fishmeal.: You've Gotta Fight for Your Right to... OLPC! Will Shipley on his meeting Nicholas Negroponte. (tags: WilShipley olpc education technology)...

    Notes for 11/5/2006

    MasterMaq - November 5, 2006 - 6:29pm
    Before I get started with this week's notes, I have to mention the MacT Relief Fund. Yes, you can make a donation to help MacT, the head coach of the Oilers who was fined $10,000 for his comments about McGeough's blunder the other night. Fittingly, if MacT doesn't want the money, it will go to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. It sickens me that McGeough is getting off so easy. His actions the other night simply are not acceptable for a professional level official. By doing nothing, the NHL is basically saying that it's okay for officials to make calls without a clear view, from locations on the ice where you couldn't possibly see the play. It completely sucks, and fining MacT is not the right course of action. Mini Review: The Prestige Sharon and I went to see The Prestige last night. I enjoyed it, but you have to pay attention. The film jumps around quite a bit, so at times it is hard to tell what is present day, and what is happening in the past. I totally didn't figure it out until the very end though, so I was happy about that. Of course, once the movie is over, you feel like an idiot because the clues were there the whole time. David Bowie really impressed me, despite having a fairly small part. On the whole, I'd give it 3 out of 5 stars.
    Categories: Attendees, Speaker

    A Page of Question that has me SLATHERING!

    Full Circle Associates (Nancy White) - November 5, 2006 - 5:31pm
    From early October's CCNR Conference...Prato wiki - The Big Questions. This is the emerging Community Informatics community. The next question is what will they do with these questions? Maybe I'll borrow a few and play with them here. A couple of my favorites:
    Categories: Attendees

    A Page of Question that has me SLATHERING!

    Full Circle Associates (Nancy White) - November 5, 2006 - 5:30pm
    From early October's CCNR Conference...Prato wiki - The Big Questions. This is the emerging Community Informatics community.The next question is what will they do with these questions?Maybe I'll borrow a few and play with them here.A couple of my favorites:
    Categories: Attendees

    Participation Inequality: Lurkers vs. Contributors in Internet Communities (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox)

    Full Circle Associates (Nancy White) - November 4, 2006 - 6:27pm
    Jenny Ambrozek has been sharing with me some of her ideas about "valuing participation," particularly online. Jakob Nielsen recently posted an article on Participation Inequality: Lurkers vs. Contributors in Internet Communities (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox) which surfaces an age old issue online, the small percentage of people who visible participate in online interactions. I think it is important to always hold these questions in the context of offline patterns as well. I'm not sure how the percentages vary between online and offline, but the fact is in open spaces, only a few actively participate - online and offline. The question to me is not that some do and don't participate. The question is, what is the value of participation in any context or setting and why might we want to pay more attention to designing and facilitating for fuller participation, and when that is not a priority. I think there are more questions to ask here, rather than simply point to the fact that online a lot of people lurk. What are your questions about online participation? When should we value participation? Tags:
    Categories: Attendees

    Friends to Help You Keep Up

    Full Circle Associates (Nancy White) - November 4, 2006 - 6:11pm
    I have given up trying to catch up on my blog subscriptions after 3.5 weeks away. Luckily, I can use a few of my friends like Beth to cover a swath - in this case, the non profit swath. Now if I just had time to follow up all the cool links in NpTech Tag Roundup: Election Day, NPTech Blog Chatter, and Tool Talk. Thanks, Beth. Posts like this are community indicators! Tags:
    Categories: Attendees

    Simple advice for acting on your software ideas

    MasterMaq - November 4, 2006 - 5:50pm
    Justice decided to play the "hypothetical situation" game today, with a post asking what you should do if a great idea hits you. I started out writing a comment, but it got ridiculously long, so here's a post instead. First, I'll answer the questions Justice included in his post, then I'll suggest some of my own questions. Not that you need to be reminded, but I'll say it anyway - I'm not an expert on these matters, so take this advice with a grain (or jug) of salt! Okay, so you've got a great world-changing idea for a software application/business. What now? Do you even tell *anyone*? Yes! This is the easiest of the questions to answer. I think you have to tell someone, preferrably many people. You might think your idea is amazing, and maybe it is, but you won't know until you get someone else's opinion. Be prepared though, an honest opinion from someone can have you hitting the ground hard. If/when this occurs to you, what do you do? Well, tell someone first. Get another opinion. After that, decide if you really want to proceed. I don't like doing things half-assed, and I'm sure you don't either, so this is really an "am I all in or not" kind of decision. It's not quite the point of no return, but once you commit, you had better follow through. How do you get started? In the case of software (or most things of a technical nature), you need to help people visualize your idea. That means getting a prototype or mockup or something going as quickly as possible. It'll help you refine the idea, and it'll make it easier to attract help later on. If you don't know any programming languages, I guess you should learn one of those first ;) Do you quit your job immediately and begin laboring intensely to bring this to fruition? This is a difficult question to answer. It comes down to opportunity cost I suppose. It really depends on your individual situation. If you can quit your job and still manage to keep a roof over your head and coke, er, food on the table while working on your idea, I say go for it. Be prepared to give up any social life you might have however! One caveat is to make sure you have something else going on in your life. If all you do is work on your idea, you're going to burn out. You need to be able to take a break every now and then. Do you immediately rush out and try to gather every talented and qualified person you know to begin building what you understand will eventually end up altering the world for the better? In short, no. First, get that prototype/mockup going. Once that's done, you can think about adding to the team. Here are some of the things you need to consider:
    • A large team can actually slow you down!
    • Waiting too long to bring in other developers may mean they spend all their time learning what you've already done before they can become productive.
    • Make sure you're ready to share the glory if you decide not to go it alone.
    • A small number of people with specialized, complementary skills can be excellent for development.
    • How will you pay everyone?
    What other questions should you be asking? Well, there's a bunch. Here are some that came to mind for me:
    • What problem am I solving? This one you need to be able to answer right away.
    • Do I want to be rich or do I want to change the world? This will have an impact on how you decide to pursue the idea. If you're lucky, you'll get both.
    • If you decide to go for it, will you get a Pareto efficient outcome? Of course it won't be perfectly Pareto optimal, but that should be the goal. If your family has to suffer greatly for this to work, maybe reconsider.
    • How much is this going to cost me? In dollars, time, etc.
    • Are you prepared to hear "no"? Because you will, a lot.
    • Do you value sleep? You'll get less and less if you go after your idea.
    • If this becomes a real business, are you ready to give up control one day? You'll likely need to bring in outside help, investors, etc.
    There's dozens of other potential questions you could ask. Most of them don't need to be asked right away, however. So, what now? I really believe you need to do two things: create a visualization of your idea, and get as many opinions as you can. After you've done those two things, you'll have a better handle on the idea, and you'll be in a much better position to answer any questions. Gray's Matter  
    Categories: Attendees, Speaker

    All the fish gone by 2048?

    MasterMaq - November 4, 2006 - 3:16pm
    In the last week we've heard a lot about recent research that suggests fish stocks will completely collapse by 2048. The research, led by Boris Worm of Dalhousie University in Halifax, found essentially that marine biodiversity matters. An article at The Economist explains: The findings suggest that governments should rethink the way they try to manage fisheries. Marine reserves are common in the tropics, but policymakers in temperate countries tend to focus on one species at a time to control numbers of that species caught. They might do better to spend more time thinking about ecosystems and less haggling over quotas. I guess I'm what economists would call a "frontier" thinker. Now that we know about the issue, I think we'll be able to apply our science and technology to solve any potential problems. I am pretty confident that by 2048, we won't have to worry about disappearing fish stocks. The Economist  
    Categories: Attendees, Speaker

    Two Slide Sets from Business Blogging Summit

    Full Circle Associates (Nancy White) - November 4, 2006 - 12:19pm
    I get a bit grumpy when events come to my city and I'm not there to play. Sorry to all of my pals who I missed while you were here in Seattle. I have taken a spin through the BBS blog to read what went on and found links to two interesting slide shows. I link to them for a couple of reasons. First, I'm interested in the content and I hope I find some podcasts to listen to what the speakers said. Second, they are interesting uses of PPT from a visual perspective. Tara Hunt's Community or Commodity?(application/pdf Object) and Maryam and Robert Scobles Ten Ways to a Killer Blog (which uses Hugh's cartoons as the visuals.) Tara, the simplicity of the white words on a black field was nice and clean. It made me want to hear your words. I wonder what would happen if you thought about changing "vs" to "and" in some of those slides? I have been playing a lot with the idea of how to work creatively with tensions which, on first glance, are in opposition. In reality, they exist in an everchanging yin and yang. So how do we get adept at looking at them that way (complex systems?) and using the tension generatively? Maryam and Robert, I love the visual nature of the slides with Hugh's cartoons, even if they are a bit...um... cynical? :-) Here is my question for you: what would be another word for "killer?" This stems from my hopeless pollyanna thought of how we move from a culture of fear to a culture of love. Part of that may be finding alternatives to war-based language.
    Categories: Attendees

    The NHL needs to fire McGeough

    MasterMaq - November 3, 2006 - 9:29pm
    Whenever Michael McGeough is assigned to officiate an Oiler game, I cringe. Tonight he proved exactly why. The Oilers just lost to the Dallas Stars by a final score of 3-2, but the Stars were helped immensely by the officials in this one. The first Stars goal should not have been allowed. Roloson was in his crease and was interfered with, which according to NHL rule #78 should have been immediately disallowed. Neither official on the ice made a peep, and the goal was allowed to stand. Late in the third period, with the score 3-1 for the Stars, the Oilers pulled Roloson and managed to get to within one. Then, with less than half a minute to go, Hemsky scored. This time though, McGeough immediately waved it off, very emphatically I might add. He claimed that Horcoff made a glove pass off the draw. First of all, it's really not hard to distinguish between a glove and a stick, and Horcoff clearly used his stick. The play was entirely legal. Secondly, McGeough was horribly out of position and could not possibly have had a good look at the draw. Which leads to the question - why did he wave it off? Because he's a fucking idiot, that's why. The play could not be reviewed apparently, and the Oilers were robbed of one, possibly two points by the sheer stupidity of McGeough. I don't blame the fans for throwing anything and everything on the ice. Seriously, the NHL needs to review this game and make sure McGeough never officiates again in the league. This kind of atrocious stupidity cannot be tolerated.
    Categories: Attendees, Speaker

    links for 2006-11-04

    The Last Minute (Duncan Rawlinson) - November 3, 2006 - 8:22pm
    British believe Bush more dangerous than Kim Jong-il | Guardian Unlimited (tags: politics Bush uk news terrorism)...

    David Sibbet: My New Second Life Story Studio

    Full Circle Associates (Nancy White) - November 3, 2006 - 3:50pm
    One of the dean's of graphic facilitation, David Sibbet, has set up a studio in Second Life. Check out his story David Sibbet: My New Second Life Story Studio. I came upon this link while reading the wonderful posts from Peter Durand of AlphaChimp studio documenting the sessions at the IFVP 2006 Conference (a conference for those interested in and practicing graphic facilitation). Lots of great stuff to read from their gathering. I wish I could have been there!
    Categories: Attendees
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