Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Brightkite to add an Android Application

Update: The application is now in beta

My favorite location based social networking service, Brightkite, is said to be working on an application for Android, Google's new open source phone operating system. This should allow posts to twitter with location sensing and other services. I can only imagine that the Brightkite website will already work fine using Google's Chrome browser on the Android powered phones even without application.

It also looks like Brightkite is about to release an application for the iphone as well, and they are showing some screenshots.

The T-Mobile G1, android operating system phone, is supposed to be in Denver on about November 22nd, a month after the official release. This is also when T-Mobile is supposed to get 3G access.

Brightkite is based in Denver, CO but works anywhere through the web, text messaging, and through mobile browsers.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

KMWorld - Next Generation Communities of Practice

Next Generation Communities of Practice: Taking KM to the Next Level with Web 2.0

Eric Sauve -

notes from Eric Sauve's presentation:

communities vs social networking

design principle #1 - Communities need to prove a range of interactivity:

    options:     1) basic interaction - mouse only,

                     2) more advanced interaction - minimal typing,

                     3) power users or leaders

design principle #2 - They need to be simple

design principle #3 - They neeed to create ownership for engagement

    - enterprise idea: add a voting button similar to digg: helpful? yes /no

design principle #4 - Let the community do some of the heavy lifting

    - best practice identification

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KMWorld - How to Measure Web 2.0 Content by Carmine Porco

Carmine discussed a number of issues around measurements with web 2.0 use in a knowledge management implementation. It seemed to be much more of an all around guide to web 2.0 KM than being specifically about measurement. Unfortunately, although he included a few measurements in the presentation, he didn't focus on how to measure. Also, his presentation was outdated with old figures and references to sites, pages or products that no longer exist.

Carmine's bio:

Here are some notes from the presentation:

The power of groups:

 - collective guesses are closer than individual guesses.

 - Google uses collective intelligence in the page rank

Web evolution: web 1.0 -> web 2.0

publishing -> participation

CMS -> wiki

taxonomy -> folksonomy

Sun Microsystems Community Equity - tracks and rewards employees for collaboration

Webnext - Their portal is supposed to be 90% what an employee cares about, 10% ideas that the organization is pushing down

Generate data from simple surveys at the end of blog posts, etc.: Did this help? yes / no

Creating a blog at doubled the conversion rate (from 2% to 4%)

 - the blog doesn't seem to exist anymore though (from my quick search)

Carmine says not to use a wiki as a Content Management System because there is no control, etc. He does say you can use a wiki with teams with time limits.

 - I argue that you can have controls on wiki's, and in my practice deploying wiki's on intranets I haven't seen the pandemonium that Carmine says exists. I think they can work, at least for a limited group, as an editable knowledge base.

He mentioned that some people won't go to your company (work for?) if you ban facebook. He discussed how some companies are using facebook or requiring employees to log on for a certain amount of time.

He showed - "a global incident map showing terrorist acts and other suspicious events"

He suggests using an executive blog that combines posts from various executives including the CEO.

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KMWorld - Sharepoint as a Collaboration Tool - An Independent Evaluation

Michael Sampson is vendor independent and vendor neutral . His mission is to help organizations succeed with collaboration endeavors.

His presentation has parts of his white paper, The 7 Pillars of IT-Enabled Team Productivity: The Microsoft SharePoint 2007 Analysis, available on his website for a fee, although the shopping cart is down currently.

How Sharepoint fares with Michael Sampson's evaluation:

Shared access to team data: (passes standards for) separate team space, many types of digital objects, ability for many people to access, "segregated."

Location Independence: In order to pass it would need connection in the office, out of the office, and on a mobile device. Sharepoint works in a web browser (works), Microsoft Outlook (problems with syncing), Microsoft Groove 2007, Windows Mobile 6 (doesn't automatically sync outlook calendars and tasks from sharepoint). There are ways around the problems, but they aren't practical for users.

A solution: Colligo Contributer allows offline sharepoint collaboration. It lets users know of sharepoint syncing errors, to avoid conflicts that sharepoint makes it difficult to discover.

Realtime Joint Viewing: synchronous sharing, passing of control, etc - fails on its own but does work if you have other services.

Exchange can not see sharepoint calendars, so you can't do free-busy searches of sharepoint. This makes sharepoint calendars somewhat useless. However, you can create all calendars in outlook and invite sharepoint to use it through email. This is a bit backwards.

Social Engagement Tools: To pass it would need to share "the implicit", instant messaging, presence & availability, and blogging. This would also work if you have OCS, but without it doesn't work.

Enterprise location independence of  Task Lists: You can't get a single task list that is separate? Can work to some extent if you have CQWP and MOSS 2007.

Collaboration auto discovery - discovery of capability, "who else can help?", deduced expertise of people, correlated interest between sites. Doesn't work.

Summary: not a mature collaboration platform, would require much additional work, collaboration is only one of the six parts of sharepoint 2007, so you may be satisfied by other things it does.

see sharepoint 7 pillars white paper

strong speaker, made black or white deductions

A final word of advice: make sure you go to training to use sharepoint designer - don't try to use it yourself

Michael Sampson has been working hard on a very detailed blog of KMWorld

Tags: , ,

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

KMWorld - Aligning the Networked Enterprise

Gordon Vala-Webb spoke about using KM 2.0 tools in the workplace with specific examples.

What is networking? - A relationship between content and communication, also with collaboration involved, all within a context.

Networking has to do with conversing with others, while teams need collaboration. A simple solution used at his company is just collaborative spaces. For this they use Lotus Notes. This restricts collaboration to pre-defined teams though, so a wiki or other KM 2.0 technology would allow for a more flexible collaboration.

On a different note, Gordon says that customer service related call-centers don't need networking, what they need is good FAQ's to be able to answer questions quickly. I wonder, how do you get KM to work in a call center then?

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KMWorld - Snowden on KM: A Hot Seat Interview

Some notes from Mary Boone's interview with Dave Snowden:

The strategic agenda is going to change. It's going to involve human and social components, not just search. Dave prophesizes that this may doom Google, or at least prevent it from being able to reinvent itself since it so focused on the idea of the search.

When setting up an intranet, Dave recommends experimenting with freeware. Other than his own product of course, Dave thinks you should try and see what works for your organization. Institute blogs, etc, but don't buy social networking collaboration software, just use the free stuff.

Dave also says that twitter is one of the most useful apps he's used, as it has solved more little problems that just about anything else. He uses twitter to ask a question and possible solutions are presented by others. He even uses it to answer the question of what music to listen to next.

On KM history, Dave says that KM started with good theory and bad technology, but no we have good technology and no theory.

On the book Good To Great, the true explanation of the companies success may lie in them being the first predator in the niche, that was able to dominate it. This reiterates the idea that following others best practices won't necessarily create your own successes. It is context that creates the behavior.

Things that are up and coming: Crews. Dave's notes that crews have a cognitive capacity that exceeds the collective capacity of the individual. His company is looking at mapping roles and assembling crews.

He is also working on social networking simulations that force people to move across silos. Also, Dave points on that he believes strongly in management. Some KM theories seem to advocate a social freedom and anarchy, but Dave insists that we must have management to keep things organized and working.

Dave Snowden's site is

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Innovation & Knowledge Management

John Kao delivered the opening keynote address on Tuesday morning. The main topic of his speech dealt with the lack of a clear direction towards innovation and also was a pitch to buy his book, among other things.

First John attempted to define innovation, since it appears to be yet another KM related concept that few people can agree upon. He says that innovation has to be new and has to create value for society. Also, innovation has to be an answer to a question. Innovation for innovation's sake doesn't have value, but if it solves a problem then that is useful.

According to John, innovation can exist in a number of areas, not just science. We must have the science and technology part of course, but also innovation in design to allow technology to be used by customers, and have innovation in business processes.

John notes that not only have other countries started to focus on innovation, but they also have picked up enough of the American dream to provide a comfortable standard of living. He spoke about a brain drain taking away America's best and transplanting them in Singapore. Finland and China are also innovation centers he mentions. His main argument for supporting a high standard of living involves the number of Starbucks and other chain stores though.

The flight of Sputnik appears to have focused the US on innovation previously. And now there just isn't a focus on being as competitive in technology and innovation fields. John notes that with the high number of high school drop-outs that we are in jeopardy of creating a "large class of marginally employable people." John appears to have a solution though, make him the first advisor to the president focused on innovation. He didn't explicitly state that, but that appears to be his aim.

More information on John's book can be found at

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Welcome & Evening Event - Learning From Mistakes

I made it in from the airport just in time to see Dave Snowden instructing the attendees to create their own heaven and hell in the world of knowledge management. The room was setup with small groups surrounding several tables, and each group was constructing timelines and with color coordinated post-it notes.

The blog on shows some photos of the event and offers a description of the process -

Each group defined it's heaven and hell and then found the timeline that got there, in reverse order. By going in reverse it makes it harder to lie to yourself. It is possible that one group's heaven could be another group's hell.

Dave Snowden had many great stories and observations. According to Dave, "organizations are largely determined by fear of their past common failures."

Instead of building best practice databases consider building "worst practice" databases. People like reading stories of failure more than success, or at least are more interested focusing on problems than seeing how to do things right. If people learn to recognize what is wrong, they can avoid it, and are more likely to do so than to copy someone doing things right. He told a story about having a company focus on wrong ways to carry coffee, including a propaganda campaign showing burns and the creation of coffee wardens, that ended up lowering accidents with the carrying of industrial chemicals.

In the end, negative stories get more attending and carry more learning.

When telling stories you should suck the listeners in before you get to the message. If you are told the message first, you will try to discount the message while hearing the story. If you're involved in the story, you will accept the message.

Dave closed the session by urging km professionals to be a part of the solution and not a part of the bureaucratic problem.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

KMWorld and Intranets 2008

I'll be attending KMWorld and Intranets 2008 in San Jose next week where I'll be blogging and bringing you the latest updates in the world of Knowledge Management. My attendance comes with many thanks to Jane Dysart.

Stay tuned for posts.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Orphaned Works Update

The American Society of Picture Professionals has put out a new guide relevant to orphaned works. It's called "Best Practices for Locating Copyright Owners of Photographic and Visual Art"

Monday, June 16, 2008

Knowledge Management at the core

Even though I couldn't get into a breakfast meeting this morning (the km breakfast sold out weeks ago) I did squeeze into the KM at the core presentation by Dave Snowden. The topics presented were great and turned much of what I knew about KM on its head, as well as put things into much better focus. I'm going to have to do much more research before I can really discuss many of the concepts discussed and verify how useful they could be but here I hope to display some of the notes that I took. Dave presented ideas so simply that it almost seemed too easy.

First Dave spoke about not using the usual KM terms of tacit vs explicit knowledge. He said that what we can write down is a very small part of what we know. Instead we can look at ways to improve and influence outcomes and decision making through managing "attractors" that are positive and disrupting the negative attractors. His stories were all great metaphors that allowed easy comprehension of some of these very complex topics and often brought about a 180 degree shift in how one can think about management techniques. Incidentally, the entire presentation should be viewable as a podcast at although I don't see it yet.Here's my photo of the event, so you can see what it looked like.

Many companies are trying an ordered approach to knowledge management when really they should be using something that fits into their environment which is probably more complex or chaotic.

Some other topics for more more discussion later:

  • No company has ever been successful following the best practices of another company, ie. just because all successful ceo's play golf doesn't mean your company will be successful if you play golf
  • Analogies of ordered systems to traffic lights vs the apparently more effective design of an intuitive roundabout
  • using "good practices" in situations where there are multiple answers, as using "best practices" only works in ordered systems where there is only one way of doing things
  • improving weak signal detection (using common techniques only autistics and people that aren't paying attention spot a gorilla) ... really
  • practice "ritualized dissent"
  • depending the the environment different km techniques may work, best practices, good practices, emergent, novel
  • taxonomy is similar to taxidermy
  • moving from fail-safe to safe-fail
  • predictive markets are not the "wisdom of crowds"
  • there are no deep structures in knowledge, we redefine the same words each time we use them
  • and a nice little trick - in order to test a liar, get them to tell their story backwards.

First Day at the Special Library Assocation 2008 Convention

I started the day rather upset about some basic things. Being that I am here to learn more about knowledge management I was upset that the personal planner on the sla website is basically a useless tool. It has great potential to be used to plan, integrate with other applications, and even let planners know of who is going to be attending what. I'm not sure how many of these concepts were intended to be implemented but I am pretty sure that none of them worked. The news was that on the day before the convention the site was down during a critical printing time. I can't verify that as I was apparently doing other things. The thing that I have noticed was that the comma separated values export to allow importing into outlook doesn't work, as it only record a file with a big error message. I had no intention of printing my schedule and instead wanted to keep everything digital, however the personal planner didn't allow that. It ended up being a schedule that I had no access to at the time of the event, and had to do everything over manually. I feel that intended or not it was a subset of what could be a successful knowledge management system, and yet was a complete failure as a useful tool.

Further frustrations occurred when getting to the event and registering. Although I got into Seattle on Saturday I waited until Sunday afternoon, when some events were fully starting, to come by the convention center and check in. After getting my handy gray recycled bag and some other stuff I was sent on my way. But where could I go? The expo booths were not yet open. The first lunch meeting sponsored by ebsco was debatable on whether or not I could attend. The info booth gave me some fancy ribbons but not much of a clue. And the already mentioned personal planner was so much digital useless trash. I ended up confused and lacking direction. It wasn't until the first timers event started that I had something to do.

The first timers meeting was pretty well run, with a good bingo game to get things started and lots of interesting people to meet. I met past presidents, people very involved with web 2.0 technologies and second life, and other students. The food and refreshments were popcorn, nuts, and other indigestables, along with some wonderfully lip staining fruit punch that made me look like I was enjoying otter pops. After all the extroverted networking though I was ready for a nap.

Returning for the awards ceremony and interview with Vint Cerf I was feeling refreshed and ready for some good quality experiences. It was great to see some people that I met at the first timers event receiving awards. The rest of it was a sometimes interesting but far too long of an event of clapping for people I've never heard or seen. I was overjoyed when the interview finally started.

The discussion with Vint Cert was uplifting and invigorating. Many things brought up were so inspirational that I really felt like it gave me a purpose in taking part in the progression of this information revolution. Some of the most interesting things discussed involved intellectual property owners of obsolete software allowing others to use their created files lest they become so much digital trash. He mentioned the fear of standing on a large pile of useless files that nobody could open, and postulated on these ideas to prevent such a hell. He also ballyhooed the idea that information is power and quoted the much more relevant "sharing information is power." This is an axiom for us to live by. Finally, I keenly listened to his descriptions of solar powered internet cafes that used satellites to provide internet access in remote areas. There is a great reason that Vint is such a visionary and internet evangelist.

Finally I made it over to the Microsoft event, which I originally had no plan to attend, but I'm glad I did.When I first got there it was ridiculously packed, but after some crowd mingling I found some excellent food and an even greater view. I met some great people, professional law librarians and other students from around the country. I even went into a tirade about copyright issues and the wonderfulness that is flickr with a law librarian. It was such a great time.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

How to tag photos with your copyright information

To add on to my post about orphaned worked I thought I might post some ideas and how-to's about watermarking and embedding tags in your photos.

One way is to use an invisible watermarking service like digimarc.
But it is expensive and requires a subscription.

So here are two ways that you can do it for free using my favorite little (and free) image utility, IrfanView.

The best way, and probably most interesting for a librarian, is to tag your photos with metadata. Images can have EXIF and IPTC data.

Using IrfanView, go to the thumbnails view - File > Thumbnails (or T)
Select all the photos you want to add data to. (You can hold down the Ctrl key or use shift for multiple selections)
Go to File > JPG Lossless Operations > Set IPTC Data to selected Files
Put in your various metadata. I recommend your name, website address if you have one, email address, year the photo was taken or the time of your last edit, and a message about your copyright or creative commons polices. There are many fields and you can enter lots of information if you wish.
Click Write - You're done!

This data is great to have in your photos and won't be visible and distracting when looking at it. Flickr can show this data. Theoretically if someone thought your photo was an orphaned work they would check this data and find out who you were.

This method is not without its flaws though. All you have to do is copy and past the photo and all of the information is gone. Even saving the photo from flickr on any of the different size views does not preserve the data. And, anyone can edit the photo and put their own data in. Still I think this is a good method to have your data in the photo initially.

You can watermark images the traditional way, which puts whatever little text you want directly on the image, and do it in batch.

Using IrfanView go to File > Batch Conversion/Rename (or B)
Click the advanced options checkbox and then click the corresponding button.
In the lower right click on "add overlay text" and then the corresponding settings button
put in your copyright info as you want it to appear, and where you want it to appear.
You may also want to click on "overwrite existing files" (if you trust yourself and don't want a backup) and "save files with original date/time" as well as making sure that nothing you don't want checked is checked. Click OK.
Now just add the images you want to watermark, make a note of where they will be saved, double check to make sure its right, and click "start batch." Voila! watermarked photos.

Personally I find this annoying looking, even if it is small, but getting rid of it is a bit of a pain, so it prevents theft. It is possible to remove them completely with Photoshop, especially if the text is on a plain background.

Here is a tutorial on more advanced watermark implementations that shows how to create them and how they can be removed. The end result is a photo you probably wouldn't want to look at anyway because it has a giant watermark on it.

There is actually a copyright tag in both EXIF and IPTC data, but it appears to only be used on flickr.
- information about metadata tagging, EXIF and IPTC tags, and how they work on and in Google Picasa

The Orphaned Works Act and You

There has been some hubbub going around recently about the new orphaned works act -

H.R.5889 - S. 2913

The first information I received on this was an email warning everyone to beware of this bill. It discussed how we'd have to register everything we created with a commercial copyright office and we'd lose all are rights if we didn't. This does not appear to be the case.

The reason to enact this legislation is that there are lots of works that are not attached to information about who created them. Many libraries and archives are full of orphaned works. Copyright law keeps getting extended so that it takes longer and longer for works to become part of the public domain. Because many of these works aren't linked to a creator they can't be used until they are so old they are useless or destroyed by time. The purpose of copyright law is to foster creativity and innovation by protecting the rights of the creator, but still allow innovation and use when the copyright runs out. The idea of orphaned works is to allow the use of works if nobody is taking credit for them.

Sharing of information is an increasingly important part of our society and helps things to go forward and progress. If works can not be shared because their creators can't be found this can greatly stifle innovation. It's in our best interest to allow the sharing of content whenever possible, and also to protect the rights of the artists and content creators to benefit from their creations. The important thing here as with so many things is balance.

It seems that the best thing to do with this legislation is to support it as long as it does protect artists and creators that are taking credit for their work. The Special Libraries Association is supporting the bill as long as the "dark archive" portion is removed. Incidentally the "dark archive" portion is the part, in the house bill only, that requires someone who wants to use an orphaned work to file with the copyright office before using it. This is meant to protect artists and would keep a record at the copyright office of use of the work. Library groups don't think it would actually help the content creators though and would increase the cost of compliance substantially. It appears that this point is where the real debate should be.

The basic premise of this bill is that before using a work attempts must be made to find the copyright holders and get their permission. If after a “reasonably diligent” search that information can't be found then it can be considered an orphaned work and may be used. If you create content and can be found then work can't be used without your permission.

Things that content creators can do to protect their works:
tag works with your information - include your name or other contact information in the EXIF or ID3 data of files that are made available.
put credits on works - especially with videos
watermark images - Digimarc is an invisible solution that offers some protection
keep your contact information up to date - on your website
if possible register your works with the copyright office.

The above suggestions are from Jonathan Bailey's blog, which has a great discussion of this issue.

Here's my post about how to watermark and tag photos: How to tag photos with your copyright information

Even without this legislation many copyright holders have had works used without their permission and have had difficulty getting payment for use through the courts. Registration with the copyright office can make this much easier - but is not totally required like some emails and comments on this bill would lead you to believe. The bill provides for "fair" compensation should you find out your works are being used without your permission. After you get your fair compensation you are entitled to charge whatever you wish for future use as you still own your work and now users know who you are. Claims that you will lose ownership without registration are unfounded.

I think we do need some legislation to allow sharing of works while they are still of some use. I think it's somewhat like the open source movement, but instead of people creating content for all to use from the start it takes works that are neglected and makes them useful again. Instead of being afraid of sharing we should see how we can use it most effectively.

Some links to related articles:
audio commentary and interview that says creators will lose all their rights - - from theweeklynews - another discussion about supporting the bill - This doesn't mention current legislation changes in this bill but does mention how works are being stolen and used as orphaned works now - it encourages copyright registration - more discussion of this bill in legal terms
Jonathan Bailey's blog - discussed above - Creative Commons gives you much more options for protecting and sharing your work, although I'm not sure about enforcement The current term limits on copyright and when things becomg public domain software that claims to be able to search for images, especially on flickr, even if it has been cropped or altered. I will attempt to use this service and comment on it if I get the beta invite.
- a good examinations of the "myths" of the bills - although it doesn't consider the main purpose of the bills