Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Live Video for Your Business

It might seem like I am on a Kipp Bodnar binge here yesterday and today. Actually, I am just spending a lot of time looking into uses of video for your business and Kipp has been doing this for a long time and has great advice.

Take the 12 minutes to watch Kipp and Wayne Sutton from http://talksocialnews.com/ tell you how to use live video streaming.

Think about how this might be good for your business.

This is where many folks think the next big thing will be.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Clay Shirky - How Twitter Can Make History

A great insight into the changes we have in front of us as businesses. Communications have changed.

Thanks to Kipp Bodnar at http://digitalcapitalism.com/

Friday, June 5, 2009

Collaboration Tools - Part 2

To start part 2 of my ramble about collaboration I want to thank the 3 folks that commented on yesterday's post. Apparently this is a topic of interest. I promise to include each of these services in future posts.

But for now, as promised, here are my thoughts on Google Docs.

I have used Google Docs for about a year and a half on a limited basis. I find the Word processor very easy to work with. I personally have found the spreadsheet just different enough to make me not use it as much as I would like. I have played with the Presentation tool, but I have not used it for a final product.

My attraction to Google docs was not for collaboration, it was for storing things I needed access to as I traveled with a variety of computers. I was basically looking at it as an alternative to a flash drive. Of course I also have several flash drives.

I started using Google Docs as a way to keep several manually generated spreadsheet reports up to date and in sync. Each day I track many stats on my various web sites. I originally thought about just permanently moving these spreadsheets into Google Docs and working with them there exclusively. This is when I found I really did not want to take the time to learn the differences - whatever they were - between my desktop spreadsheet and the Google spreadsheet. I am certain this was compounded by my traveling with a Mac but using a Windows desktop in the office.

When I bought a new office Windows PC recently it did not come with Microsoft Office. I thought I would take the opportunity to shift from Office to Google Docs. I am disappointed in myself that I have not followed through on this. I eventually installed Office. I am not even sure why. The point is my experience and expectations for Docs has been more along the lines of a replacement for Office instead of a giant need for a collaboration tool.

The feature I have appreciated the most is the ability to upload a Microsoft Word, Excel or Power Point file and have Google Docs automatically convert them. The reverse is also true, I can save Google docs to my desktop in Microsoft formats.

On the big plus side, Google Docs is free, it is clean, it is fast and it is pretty intuitive.

Next up is 37Signals.

Fantastic Parody

Thanks to John Battelle from Twitter - http://twitter.com/johnbattelle - for this...

So true. I wish I had the talent to do these things.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Collaboration Tools Part 1

This is the first in a series about various collaboration tools. If I miss your favorite, please let me know.

The first digital collaboration tool I recall using was the Microsoft Office - Word and Excel. Early on we would just copy the file to a disk and pass the disk on to the person with whom we were sharing. later we would put the file on the local area network server. Finally we got real slick and started emailing the files as attachments.

How badly did I just show my age? Before email? Yes, there was such a thing.

What made these programs collaborative was the ability of the party you shared with to edit and change the document. It was nice when the software tracked changes and managed version controls, but just the ability to pass the document on, have it changed and returned was the great benefit.

The comparison to typed or hand written notes is hard to image these days, but that was the giant leap when these tools became available. Folks would pay $3,000 to $5,000 for the PC and software in the 80's to get this improvement. In today's money that would be at least twice as much. Who would pay that now? Now we all expect it for free or almost for free. And I have to admit I love my under $300 net book.

Once we became used to these tools we learned to complain about the limitations. The big limitation was most apparent when sharing with groups. If you sent the same Word document to two other folks, getting a single merged version was the issue.

Of course, in software, every problem which can be clearly described becomes the specifications for the next generation.

Next post - Google Docs.