Posts Tagged ‘email’

Wikis, Google Docs & ooVoo

March 12, 2008

Social Media class discussed wikis today. Not just Wikipedia, but wikis in general. What’s a wiki? Here’s the definition from (where else) Wikipedia:

A wiki is software that allows users to easily create, edit, and link pages together. Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites and to power community websites.

That’s a little hard to understand, but let’s put it this way: You and anyone you choose to invite, can put whatever information you want on a page, as well as edit it. And you immediately think: Why aren’t we using that in our projects more often? Wouldn’t it cut out the hassle of email?

The thing about wikis is, with most new technologies, everyone has to know how to use it. I don’t mean know how to bold or underline text, I mean to really use it and gain the synergies that it offers. That’s where the tough part comes in. Will we be spending more time editing our wikis, or focusing on what really matters, the sharing of ideas, information and knowledge?

I know it’s hard. A few friends of mine used to have our meeting agendas on Google Docs, but gave up after awhile because we weren’t using it efficiently enough to get rid of email. As with all technology advancements, the new offering must offer significant benefits over the old, otherwise the switching cost is just too high.

Which brings me to ooVoo, a webcam-chat programme that allows up to 6 people to converse at once. Good for short meetings right? Would you use them? I personally would, but I’m not sure whether productivity would be higher or lower than if we had meetings face to face.

On a separate, curious note: does anyone know what happens if 2 people try to edit the exact same portion of a wiki at the same time and both save their changes?

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Twitter 201: Part 1 – What Is Twitter & What Uses Does It Have?

February 9, 2008

TwitterRoughly trawling through 10 webpages and roughly 470 comments later, I’m ready to “graduate” to Twitter201 and give you a good if not definitive guide to Twitter and it’s uses. This will be part 1 of 3, so check back or subscribe to my RSS feed to know when parts 2 and 3 are out.

What Is Twitter?

Twitter is a mashup between instant messaging (IM), email, facebook and even sms. It’s mobile, can be targeted specifically at friends or widely at anyone you choose, is instantaneous, and social.

When you visit Twitter, you’ll be prompted: “What are you doing?” and that’s exactly what Twitter does: let your friends/acquaintances know what you’re doing at any given time. For example, mine currently says “yet another great cup of Hazelnut latte at Borders Bistro”, that lets people know what I’m doing and where I’m at. Let me just say that that’s a bad example of how to use Twitter, and a good example of “noise”. More on that in part 2.

If I haven’t made it clear by now, Twitter’s usage is to help you stay connected with whoever you choose.

More Twitter Usages

Besides connecting people, Twitter also allows you to ask questions to find out more about what the people in your network think or what they’re doing. A really good example is found on ProBlogger where Darren got 30 responses to a question in 10 minutes. (You should really click on the link and check out the screenshots to get an idea of what I’m saying).

Also Twitter can be used very easily as a traffic generating device. Everytime I have a new blogpost, I announce it on Twitter for anyone who’s interested.

Twitter can also be used as a to-do-list. Remember The Milk is a cool site where you can send messages to your Twitter to remember stuff like, well, buying milk. If your phone is internet or wi-fi enabled, this can be even more useful because you can just update your Twitter status to remind yourself to do something later.

Finally, Twitter can be used for friendsourcing. Surfing around Twitter the past few days, I’ve seen quite a few tweets going like “need a ______ on behalf of a friend”, which can be really useful if there’s something specific you need, and a particular audience you want to tap onto.

Before I end, let me say that this list is nowhere near exhaustive and of course there are business uses that I’ve neglected to mention. Given that I don’t own a business, I don’t think I have the necessary expertise to talk about that. Also, this guide is targeted at the average blogger trying to figure out how to use Twitter for the first time, I’ve decided to leave out all the business bits.

Part 2 should be up tomorrow, covering what you need to do to make Twitter useful, as well as how to grow your Twitter network. Meanwhile you may want to check out my previous posts Twitter 101, Twitter 102 and Twitter 103, as well as let me know what’s on your mind with regards to Twitter in the comments below!

PS: If you like what I’m doing, please add me to your Technorati favourites (Add to Technorati Favorites) and/or follow me on Twitter, user: uniquefrequency