Feb 09

Should social networks replace email?

Collaboration Comments Off on Should social networks replace email?

I just read through Jack Vinson’s post on email, writing and expertise location (written largely in response to Luis Suarez’s ongoing quest to dump email) — and I think Jack’s right on the money with his observations.

With any system, there is the inevitable volume question — how do we derive the quality information from the mediocre but high-quantity information. As Jack correctly points out, using collaboration tools (think Twitter, FaceBook, etc.) can actually make it more difficult to track that conversation down later on, whereas an email conversation (thread, basically) might be easier to search through.

In addition to Jack’s points, I can also envision situations where client confidentiality or other sensitivities would prevent you from having this sort of public conversation — where you would want the flow of any conversation to be tightly controlled and monitored (counter-intuitive to collaboration, I know, but unfortunately, sometimes a regulatory or legal reality).

I’ve always believed that most of the time, frustrations arise due to people picking the wrong method of communication for a particular conversation. There is nothing inherently good or bad about email, we just sometimes need to give a bit more thought as to whether it’s the appropriate mode of communication for what we need to talk about.

Feb 02

The technology arms race.

Technology Comments Off on The technology arms race.

I was sitting on the subway last week (which is unusual for me, as I tend to avoid the subway at all costs), and during one of the brief moments where the train goes above ground, was sending a few emails. After giving myself a mental pat on the back for being so productive, I took a look around the subway car. Guess what everyone else was doing?

Exactly the same thing I was.

It was then that I had a sudden realization about productivity: while technology may enhance our productivity when compared to how productive we used to be without (or with a ‘lesser’) technology, I seldom think about how little my productivity actually increases compared to others.

Continue reading »

Jan 11

Knowledge management video competition.

Knowledge Management Comments Off on Knowledge management video competition.

Patrick Lambe over at Green Chameleon is having a rather novel competition (novel for the world of knowledge management at least, I think): he’s having a competition to see who can create informative, inspiring, creative and even funny videos about knowledge management.

The video has to be your own work and publicly available for people to watch, but other than that, there’s not really many rules as far as content or subject matter go. So if you’ve got something to say about knowledge management, or are just super-talented at making viral videos, why not submit something?

Patrick’s also giving away some prizes: KM Method Cards, KM Approaches, Methods and Tools – A Guidebook, and his Organisation Culture Cards (worth US$140).

Jan 02

I just wanted to write a quick post to wish all my readers a great 2010. It’s hard to believe that the first ten years of this millennium are already behind us — it sometimes seems that time just keeps moving faster (I sometimes wonder if there is any correlation between how much time we spend using technology and the perception of how quickly time passes… but I digress).

I know that 2009 was a rough year for many, but let’s hope things continue to pick up in 2010. Hopefully you all got to spend some time with friend and family before the end of the calendar year (and some rest as well!). All the best in the upcoming year.

Dec 15

Are you scared of FaceBook and all its privacy-infringing social networking possibilities? Are you suddenly feeling much less social now that you’ve spent some time on FaceBook?

The Wired wiki (yes, there’s a Wired wiki) has an entry to help you un-FaceBook yourself — or if you’re not willing (or able) to break your FaceBook addiction, you can at least fiddle with the site’s privacy settings to allow yourself to get some sleep at night without worrying who’s looking at the skeletons in your FaceBook closet.

As I’ve said before, I’m pretty terrible at responding to anything on FaceBook — but I’ve been trying to get better. But I wonder, if I’m not able to keep up with FaceBook, how will I ever be able to keep up with Twitter? I thought that getting Twitter on my mobile might get me using it more, but so far it’s a no-go.

Dec 14

The HTC HD2: will it finally replace my Diamond?

Technology Comments Off on The HTC HD2: will it finally replace my Diamond?

I’ve been looking at the HTC HD2 for a few weeks now (unfortunately when I say looking at, I don’t mean live — I mean reading about) — and I have to say, HTC has put out one impressive device. One of the best features on this feature has to be the 3.5mm headphone jack (which was also present on the HD), but is sorely, sorely lacking on my HTC Diamond (which often means ordering cheap adapters from eBay, which break far too easily). In case you haven’t already come across the device, here it is:


Continue reading »

Nov 24


Writing Comments Off on Wordle.

I was playing around with Wordle.net last night, and of course the first thought that came into my head was to put my own site into Wordle to get a visual representation of the kind of stuff that I write about. While I maintain my own list of tags on my site, it’s always interesting to get a better tag-size/importance correlation. Not to mention Wordle’s pretty colours.

Not many surprises there really, but apparently I use the word ‘things’ a lot. Who knew. Click on the image below for a bigger version.

Wordle for lucasmcdonnell.com.

Nov 19

As I’ve been sick as a dog all week, I’ve been spending way too much time sitting in front of the computer browsing the web (as I haven’t felt well enough to do much else besides watching television). Today’s distraction ended up being Google’s preview video for Wave, which I haven’t had any time to take a look at until now.

Looks pretty cool… I especially like the live typing in IM conversations, as well as the notion of having all of your communication and collaboration options consolidated into one platform.

In case you’re interested in watching the video as well, here it is:

Oct 08

I never really thought about using Google Voice, until I read this nifty little post on the Official Gmail Blog. I think some kind of integration between email and voicemail would be great, and I’d like to explore this a bit more when I get some time. Has anybody used Google Voice or any other email-voicemail integration? Anything that would allow me to hear my email while I drive would be especially cool.

Sep 13

WordPress upgrades: your best defence.

Blogs Comments Off on WordPress upgrades: your best defence.

Matt has an interesting blog post at the WordPress blog about why you should keep your WordPress version up-to-date (as if you needed another reason). Matt compares 3 types of WordPress security advice: snake oil. Club solutions and real advice (see his post for what he means by Club solutions). The only thing I would add to Matt’s post is that you should also make sure you keep your plugins up-to-date as well — as they can be another security hole that can potentially be exploited. Check out Matt’s post for more info on why you should always be on the latest WordPress version.